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Alex Mincek Portrait Concert at Miller Theatre



Alex Mincek
—the composer and performer dubbed "the new guard of the New York avant-garde" by the The New York Times—will see his music featured in a Composer Portrait Concert at Columbia University's Miller Theatre on February 25th. The portrait features the piano/percussion quartet Yarn/Wire and the Mivos Quartet in the premiere of two new works: Torrent, an octet for two pianos, percussion and string quartet, commissioned by the Miller Theatre, and Images of Duration (In homage to Ellsworth Kelly), for Yarn/Wire. To compliment these new works, Yarn/Wire will perform Mincek's Pendulum VI: Trigger, composed in 2010, and the Mivos Quartet will perform String Quartet No. 3 ("lift – tilt – filter – split")

Mincek's Images of Duration, for Yarn/Wire, references the sequence of images that Kelly planned as a book in 1951: Line Form Color. He elaborates:

"In Kelly's work a succession of images proceeds from one to many lines, then grids, then primary color fields, then mixed color fields, and finally shapes embedded in color. My own work follows roughly the same strategy, applied to sound, in various reorderings, and emphasizes, like the Kelly, the futility of fully separating the experience of color from that of shape/gesture and how the order, or 'form' of the successions can intensify or dilute the perception of each." 


Pendulum VI: Trigger
 is part of Mincek's Pendulum series of compositions, which deal with the constantly-changing nature of pendulum swings. Mincek writes, 

"As a pendulum swings, it repeatedly passes smoothly through all the space and time between extremes without becoming fixed on any single position. The 'Pendulum' series presents a catalog of musical extremes, but like a pendulum, does not become fixed on any one musical position. Instead, it represents a refusal to choose any one side. Both sides of multiple polemics are treated as equals and are mediated by alternating in constant succession from one to the other, in an attempt to represent the futile insistence of having both, many, and all at once."

Check out an excerpt from Pendulum VI below: 

String Quartet No. 3 ("lift – tilt – filter – split") also plays with constantly-changing musical flux, though more akin to a Foucault Pendulum, which shows both its own oscillations and that of the constantly-rotating earth. This piece allows multiple points of entry, using constantly-changing textures to represent dynamic systemic changes. Check out a preview of the Mivos Quartet performing Mincek's String Quartet No. 3

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