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Posts tagged 'Ashley Bathgate'

Sleeping Giant at Carnegie Hall and Le Poisson Rouge

On January 18th, the members of the composer collective Sleeping Giant premiered a new work, Hand Eye, commissioned for the Grammy-award winning sextet eighth blackbird, at Carnegie Hall. Each composer—including PSNY composers Timo Andres, Andrew Norman, Ted Hearne, Christopher Cerrone, in addition to Robert Honstein and Jacob Cooper—composed a piece inspired by a work of art in the collection of the Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation. The works they chose ranged from painting to sculpture, resulting in compositions ranging from Hearne's By-By Huey, which meditates on the murder of Huey P. Lewis, to Andres' Checkered Shade, which draws inspiration from Astrid Bowlby's pen and ink drawings

Earler in the month, Sleeping Giant also premiered six new works for cellist Ashley Bathgate, inspired by Bach's suites for solo cello. Perhaps the most paradigmatic set of compositions for solo cello, Bach's suites have become canonical repertoire in the 20th century, and have served as models for many contemporary composers. Sleeping Giant continues this tradition by composing six new movements that form Ashgate's evening-length performance, Bach Unwound. Check out Bathgate performing Jacob Cooper's Arches with the Bang on a Can All-Stars in 2015 for a taste of her playing.  

Ted Hearne Joins PSNY!

We're thrilled to announce that PSNY now represents several works by the brilliant, powerful, and politically-minded composer Ted Hearne. Active as both a composer and a performer, Hearne's output ranges from his noise-pop duo R We Who R We (with Philip White), to his powerful Katrina Ballads, a song cycle based on primary source texts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, as well as dozens of works for orchestra, chamber ensemble, and soloists. Hearne now has three works available from PSNY: 

The first is Consent, a powerful piece for 16 voices. This piece illustrates the idea of a "desiring machine": the impulse of desire, "I want you/I want to" becomes the productive force for a swarm of textual and harmonic fragments that illustrate the way one body wants another in the age of late capitalism. The multiplicity of voices enters the listener's brain all at once, as if vocalizing a rapid-fire succession of thoughts coming into being, at once contradictory, disturbing, heart-felt. "All of it shall be mortgageable and bound as security"/"it can be taken from me - even from the shirt on my back". Hearne mixes text fragments from his own love letters, his father's love letters, the Catholic and Jewish rites of marriage, and text messages used in evidence in the Steubenville Rape trial of 2013. Consent premiered at the 2014 International Festival of Arts and Ideas with Jeffrey Douma leading the Yale Choral Artists:


Next is 
But I Voted for Shirley Chisholm, for 11 instruments and fixed electronics, which was commissioned and premiered by Alan Pierson and the Brooklyn Philharmonic. Shirley Chisholm, a congresswoman from Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, was the first African-American to run for the President of the United States on a major party ticket, in 1972. Hearne's work recalls lyrics from rapper Biz Markie's 1988 track "Nobody beats the biz:" "Make you co-operate with the rhythm / that is what I give 'em / Reagen is the Prez' but I voted for Shirley Chisholm." Sampling and cutting up Biz Markie's track, Hearne re-purposes and re-imagines this song in an orchestral setting, layering samples over orchestral writing and vice-versa. 


Furtive Movements
,
for cello and percussion, continues Hearne's explorations of the intersections between politics and music. The phrase "furtive movements" is one of the most commonly used justifications by the New York Police Department for their controversial "stop and frisk" policy, where "suspicious" (or "furtive") individuals are stopped, frisked, and often detained by the police. Hearne argues that this phrase says more about the expectations of the police officer than the guilt of the "suspect;" he writes, "my challenge in writing Furtive Movements was to call [the performers'] assumed identities into question, and to try and blur the lines between their musical roles." Check out a performance of Furtive Movements featuring cellist Ashley Bathgate and percussionist Ron Wiltrout: 

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