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Posts tagged 'Karl Larson'

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:  

PSNY Around America

It's an exciting week for new music in America. Though plenty of concerts will be happening on both coasts, this week boasts three events in Nebraska, Chicago, and Miami that showcase the works of PSNY Composers outside of their normal haunts. Premieres of new works, master classes, and presentations will be given by five PSNY composers over the next several days in both the urban centers of Chicago and Miami, as well as the regional center of Kearney, Nebraska. Who says new music only happens in New York? 

Kicking off this weekend of new music in America's heartland is a performance on November 6th by pianist Karl Larson at the University of Nebraska, Kearney. Larson, who has premiered several works by PSNY composers, will perform Scott Wollschleger's Secret Machines No. 6 and Adrian Knight's Death of Paneloux, alongside Morton Feldman's Palais de Mari. Larson recently premiered Wollschleger's Meditation on Dust with the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, and has played all of Wollschleger's works for piano. The University of Nebraska Kearny recently wrote a preview of the concert, which calls Larson's playing "adventurous," and includes a short interview with Dr. Anthony Donofrio, UNK assistant professor in music theory and composition. Get a taste of Larson's program with a sample of Adrian Knight's Death of Paneloux

The following evening, Adrian Knight's hour-long piece Obsessions will be performed by pianist R. Andrew Lee at the FETA Foundation in Miami, Florida. Obsessions, commissioned by Lee, will be heard again at the University of Central Florida on November 10th. The piece is described as "a fifty-minute work which explores stubborn habits, routines, patterns, and, well, obsessions."

During the same weekend, Northwestern University's second annual New Music Conference and Festival will take place at the Bienen School of Music. This hybrid conference and festival brings together scholars, composers, performers, and students for a free weekend of workshops, performances, master classes, and presentations. Participating ensmebles include Ensemble Dal Niente and Third Coast Percussion, and participating composers include PSNY composers Ann Cleare, Kate Soper, and Ted Hearne, among others. 

On Saturday, November 7th, Northwestern's Contemporary Music Ensemble (co-directed by Alan Pierson) will perform excerpts from Ted Hearne's Katrina Ballads, as well as Ann Cleare's on magnetic fields, which will be published soon on PSNY. The following afternoon, Hearne, Cleare, and fellow PSNY composer Kate Soper will present on their work as a part of the conference. A complete schedule of events is available here.

World Premiere of Scott Wollschleger's "Density Is A Kind Of Love" in Boston

On June 1, Boston's Equilibrium Concert Series closes its season with a concert of works for bassoon, bass clarinet and marimba, including the world premiere of Scott Wollschleger's Density Is A Kind Of Love featuring bassoonist Chris Watford and the Transient Canvas duo (Amy Advocat, bass clarinet; Matt Sharrock, marimba). Density Is A Kind Of Love, which was commissioned by Watford and Transient Canvas, reveals surprising new sonic landscapes between the three instruments and transforms them in strange and uniquely expressive ways. The work explores the wide timbral landscape of the bassoon and bass clarinet by weaving together complex multiphonic textures within a haze of bowed marimba, resulting in a unique, dance-like tapestry that Wollschleger describes as "an erotic soup of structured sound". He writes:

The marimba, which in some ways has nothing in common with the two wind instruments, finds a way to both interact with them yet also break free from their dance until all three instruments find a surprising and dramatic new configuration. I think of the work as a kind of choral love song. 

The program takes place at the Davis Square Theatre in Somerville, MA and also includes the premieres of Lattices of Blooms for bass clarinet and marimba by Zach Sheets and Timothy McCormack's BODY MATTER for solo amplified bassoon. 

Later this summer, Wollschleger sees the premiere of a new concerto for piano and string orchestra, Meditation on Dust, with the String Orchestra of Brooklyn and pianist Karl Larson. The concert will take place at Roulette in Brooklyn, NY on June 25 in a program including Feldman's Rothko Chapel and Penderecki's Dimensions of Time and Silence. Check out a video of Wollschleger's White Wall, performed by the Mivos String Quartet

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