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Posts tagged 'Marcos Balter'

New Music from Wollschleger, Hearne, and Balter

Scott Wollschleger's long-anticipated album, Soft Aberration, has just been released on New Focus Recordings. Featuring Brontal Symmetry, Soft Aberration, Bring Something Incomprehensible Into This World, and String Quartet No. 2 "White Wall", Wollschleger's new album features performances by soprano Corrine Byrne, trumpeter Andy Kozar, violist Anne Lanzilotti, cellist John Popham, pianist Karl Larson, the Mivos Quartet, and the Longleash trio. In a series of informative blog posts, Lanzilotti has written extensively on Wollschleger's concept of "brontal": 

a made up word that longtime collaborator Kevin Sims coined after making a series of pencil drawings on orange paper. The word now embodies Wollschleger’s aesthetic: the idea that we can create something very basic and human by discovering the sensation of an object. In doing this, we are making something unfamiliar very immediate. This process of discovery can be very focused and also, at times, very funny.

Check out Wollschleger's new album below. 

On October 21st at 7.30pm, the New World Symphony will premiere a new work by Ted Hearne entitled Miami in Movements. But while this piece was composed by Hearne, the musical material that Hearne had composed is made up of over 1,050 videos and audio recordings, made by the people of Miami, that record the feelings, impressions, and emotions they associate with their city. Working with videographer Jonathan David Kane, Hearne has created Miami in Movements for Project 305, a concert program by the NWS that features Hearne's new work in a free, public "wallcast" performance

Just as Miami in Movements was created specificly for the city of Miami, the Jack Quartet has put together a touring program of American string quartets from the 20th and 21st centuries, which they have titled "Soundscape America". Their program, which premieres on October 21 at Columbia University's Miller Theatre, includes classics such as Ruth Crawford Seeger's String Quartet 1931, as well as more contemporary works such as Marcos Balter'sChambers. This work, which was commissioned and premiered in 2011 by the Spektral Quartet, offers three movements that condense the different aspects of Balter's musical identity into a single work. Check out Spektral's recording, released on Parlour Tapes, below. 

Vijay Iyer's "Trouble" at Ojai and Beyond

As the Music Director of the 2017 Ojai Festival, Vijay Iyer believes that festival-goers will "discover a great deal—not just about music, but about themselves." Stacking the festival program with close collaborators such as violinist Jennifer Koh, and legendary ensembles such as the AACM and ICE, Iyer wants to force an "update" of what contemporary music can mean today. 

On June 8th, Iyer will perform the American premiere of Emergence for jazz trio and orchestra, along with bassist Stephan Crump, drummer Tyshawn Shorey and the International Contemporary Ensemble alongside players of the Oberlin Conservatory Contemporary Music Ensemble. Emergence, which premiered in 2016, combines the forms and notational traditions of classical music with the possibilities of improvised traditions, asking performers to listen to each other in real time and make performative decisions. 


(Koh with Oberlin Sinfonietta and Tim Weiss in workshop performance of "Trouble"; photo: Yevhen Gulenko, courtesy of Oberlin Conservatory)

That evening's concert also includes the world premiere of Trouble, featuring violinist Jennifer Koh, accompanied by ICE and the Oberlin Contemporary Ensemble, and led by Steven Schick. Trouble is a violin concerto in three movements, the second of which is dedicated to Vincent Chin, a Chinese-American auto-worker killed in a hate crime in 1982. During rehearsals at Oberlin, Koh's colleague Claire Solomon, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies and Comparative Literature, was inspired to write a "voluntary response" to the piece (you can read Solomon's full account in our PSNY Greenroom, part of our new "Composer Spotlights" series). As Solomon writes, 

Trouble opens up something scarce and endangered that classical music doesn’t even know it needs. Trouble isn’t programmatically anti-racist; it doesn’t represent Chin’s murder but testifies to the rhythmic relay of lives of which his was only one, and demands that we see the pattern. It grieves the racial tragedy that shapes our future because we do not work through it, and it opens up a space for what Derrida called the work of mourning as he might have pointed out an area for his cleaning lady to take care of – but Trouble doesn’t let us off the hook as rubberneckers; it summons us to a reckoning. As Vijay said in the Museum Q&A, it pins us to the present: a moment in which to tell white audiences not to be racist.

Trouble will also be performed at UC Berkeley and Tanglewood, both of which co-commissioned the work.  

The rest of the Ojai Festival is packed with talks and performances, including two that feature flautist Claire Chase. On June 9th, Chase will perform excerpts from Marcos Balter's Pan, and on June 10th, Chase performs a free pop-up concert of Mario Diaz de Leon's Labrys and Mysterium

Anthony Cheung's "The Real Book of Fake Tunes" in Chicago and New York

Players, students, and enthusiasts of jazz will be familiar with the many iterations of the "fake book"—a collection of lead sheets that has seen many versions throughout the 20th century, even an "official" edition as The Real Book in the 1970s. Anthony Cheung, no stranger to the long stylistic and compositional traditions of jazz, takes the "real book" as a starting point for his The Real Book of Fake Tunes, written for fellow Chicagoans Claire Chase and the Spektral Quartet. Cheung takes the architecture of a "Real Book" and designs his own plans for the classical instrumentation of string quartet and flute, recalling the dance or compositional suites of the 18th century while catapulting the listener into the 21st. 

On Thursday, April 13th, Claire Chase and the Spektral Quartet will perform The Real Book of Fake Tunes at Northwestern University, as a part of Chase's "Density" project, alongside a new commission by fellow PSNY compoer Marcos Balter. Later in the month, the ensemble will travel to New York to present The Real Book of Fake Tunes at National Sawdust, in a program that features a new quartet by George Lewis and Katherine Young's arrangement of Arthur Russell's Hiding Your Present From You

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