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Posts tagged 'Ethan Iverson'

Ethan Iverson interviews Alvin Singleton on "Do The Math"


(photo: Alvin Singleton, left; Ethan Iverson, right)

Alvin Singleton, who recently celebrated his 75th birthday year with a portrait concert at Roulette, has been interviewed by pianist and composer Ethan Iverson on his blog, Do The Math. Calling Singleton "one of the most important living American composers," Iverson queries Singleton about his influences, collaborations, commissions, performances, and more.

One of the most extensive and thorough interviews with Singleton ever published, their conversation traces Singleton's musical life through his early days in Brooklyn, his training in New York and at Yale, his experiences with other major composers and performers, and the preservation of his unique compositional voice in the face of countless 20th-century aesthetic movements. 

(video: Argoru IV; Stephanie Griffin, viola)

Along the way, Singleton covers a large sampling of his works over the years, including the Argoru series, Be Natural, Mestizo II, In Our Own House, Inside-Out, ShadowsSecret Desire to Be Black, and many other works published by Schott Music. Discussing his recent work for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Different River, Singleton and Iverson had the following exchange: 

EI: Different River is an orchestral work for Atlanta that has various strong thematic characters. When there are big blaring major triads next to more conventionally advanced modernist harmony it is rather shocking.

AS: Well, the piece itself is the river. And as river flows, the scenery changes. But it’s still the same river.

EI: A metaphor for American music, perhaps!

Be sure to check out the full interview at Do The Math.
 

Scott Wollschleger: New Works and Performances

"What kind of music would we create after everything was over?" Scott Wollschleger asks this crucial question in an interview on Arts & Letters, produced by the University of Arkansas' KUARIn his monodrama for solo percussionist, We Have Taken and Eaten, Wollschleger creates music using a sonic language from "the dustbin of history." Wollschleger's music often theorizes and sonifies the presence of the not-quite-real, playing with time, gesture, and semiotic codes of tonality to evoke absence, silence, or non-being—what he often calls "dust." Two new works and two high-profile performances of Wollschleger's work in the coming weeks prove that more and more musicians are beginning to wonder about what happens "after". 

(above score excert from "The Heart is No Place for War") 

Ethan Iverson (of the noted trio The Bad Plusrecently wrote that "Wollschleger has become one of my favorite contemporary composers". On July 15th, from 5-10pm, he will perform a program in New York's Bryant Park, including Wollschleger's solo piano work, Music Without Metaphor, which has been recently published on PSNY. Wollschleger dedicated this piece to pianist Ivan Illić, who premiered it in 2013, calling it "beguiling" and "improvisatory". Check out Illić's recording below: 

The very next day, pianist Karl Larson will perform Wollschleger's piano concerto Meditation on Dust at Mass MoCA, as a part of the Bang on a Can Summer Festival. Commissioned and premeired by Larson and the String Orchestra of Brooklyn in 2015, this piece imagines what a Strausian tone-poem would sound like after drying out in the desert for a thousand years. In this piece, tonality is granulated, rendered simultaneously present and absent, ephemeral. Check out a video of the premiere below: 

Indeed, as Alex Ross writes, this weekend will be a "Wollschleger Moment". Wollschleger's The Heart is No Place for War, for two pianos and two vibraphones, asks the instrumentalists to time the work to their heartbeats; after hearing this piece, Ross wrote that Wollschleger has "become a formidable, individual presence." Check out the recording from the premiere at Brooklyn's Firehouse Space below:  

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