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Posts tagged 'Brentano String Quartet'

Vijay Iyer Joins PSNY!

PSNY is thrilled to announce the newest addition to our roster: composer, pianist, MacArthur fellow, Harvard professor, and all-around renaissance man, Vijay Iyer. Iyer's signature work as a musician in the past few decades has cemented him as a ground-breaking, boundary-crossing, true innovator of the 21st century. And now, his compositions for chamber ensembles are available to the public, for immediate, direct download. 

Our initial offering of Iyer's works is a testament to his bold style. Let's start with Dig the Say, a string quartet commissioned by Brooklyn Rider.

This work draws inspiration from James Brown, whose signature rhythms and harmonies (particularly around 0:26) are reimagined for string quartet with Iyer's fluid compositional hand. Not a mere transcription or imitation, this quartet filters Brown's energy into an entirely new composition that attempts a daring act of transcription across instruments and time. 

Iyer's Time, Place, Action, for string quartet and piano, contains similar stylistic elements—unison ostinati, rhythmic complexity, lyrical phrasing—but with a darker, more abstract effect. This work seamlessly blends compositional aspects of the classical quartet repertoire, jazz piano, and electronic music, as many of Iyer's works do. Check out a video of Iyer performing Time, Place, Action with the Brentano Quartet at the studios of WQXR in New York:

Iyer's Rimpa Transcriptions, commissioned and premiered by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, incorporates elements of improvisation into a brooding, meditative sound-scape. In the first movement, "Waves," a clarinet picks from several melodic fragments and performs them against an ominous background of glockenspiel, string glissandi, and bass pizzicatti. Figuration and accompaniment are split between the ensemble with expert orchestration.  

Our last initial offering of Iyer's works is Bruits, for wind quintet and piano. This work, premeired by Imani Winds, incorportes Iyer's signature rhythmically complex ostinati, accompanied by a wind quintet which blows through harmonies deeply inspired by contemporary jazz. 

Keep an eye out on our blog for more of Iyer's works to come in the future! 

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