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Posts tagged 'Marcos Balter'

Vijay Iyer's "Flute Goals (Five Empty Chambers)" Debuts at Claire Chase's "Density 2036" Series

Claire Chase's density 2036 series is perhaps one of the most ambitious commissioning projects of the 21st century: beginning in 2014, Chase has commissioned 60 minutes worth of compositions for solo flute, and will contintue to do so until 2036—the 100th anniversary of Edgard Varèse's Density 21.5. That means 22 years of commissions, which totals to 1320 minutes of music, and at least 100 new works. 

Chase's density 2036 commissions have already resulted in new works from Marcos Balter (Pessoa for six bass flutes), Mario Diaz de León (Luciform, for flute and electronics), and Matthias Pintscher (Beyond for solo flute). And for the fourth installment in 2016, Chase commissioned Vijay Iyer to compose Flute Goals (Five Empty Chambers), a piece for fixed media / pre-recorded flute sounds. To make this piece, Iyer asked Chase to send him recordings of her improvising, and Iyer used these recordings to compose his piece. The resulting work consists entirely of non-pitched sounds recorded by Chase on five different flutes (contrabass flute, alto flute, flute, piccolo, and ocarina). Iyer explains:

[Chase] displayed a different personality on each instrument; it was like listening to a cypher of whisper-quiet battle emcees, or perhaps a series of encounters with various insect-robots, whirring and buzzing in the air in front of you. I decided I would treat each of her improvisations as an episode. I built a specific environment around each one, and ran them through effects so that her extemporaneous rhythms were triggering other sounds.


Writing in the Village Voice, critic Alison Kinney notes that "Claire Chase wants to show us what solo flute music sounds like when you take away the flute and the soloist. Or when the score is danced, the sound engineer performs, and the flute is played as a drum set."

Iyer's Flute Goals (Five Empty Chambers) reconfigures the roles of composer, performer, and engineer — a true collaboration between musical minds.

yMusic Releases New Album on New Amsterdam Records

On September 30th, 2014, New York-based new music ensemble yMusic will release Balance Problems on the New Amsterdam record label. The album features music by PSNY composers Andew Norman, Marcos Balter, and Timo Andres, as well as Nico Muhly, Marc Dancigers, and Sufjan Stevens. yMusic's previous album, Beautiful Mechanical, was Time Out New York's #1 Classical recording of the year in 2011

The press is buzzing again, anticipating the release of Balance Problems; Pitchfork previewed the album, featuring Andrew Norman's composition "Music in Circles." Check out a preview of the track here: 

 Produced and engineered by Son Lux (aka Ryan Lott), the album stands to be a landmark collaboration between composers and performers, chamber music and electronics. Check out a preview for Balance Problems below: 

Anthony Cheung at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra's MusicNOW series opens its 2014-2015 season with a performance of Anthony Cheung's SynchroniCities, a composition for a small ensemble of winds, strings, percussion, piano, and electronics. The capitalized "C" in the middle of the title is no mistake: Cheung's piece explores the synchronous, resonant pairings of city sounds, from the ambient buzz of cicadas to the high-pitched electronic beeping of the subway turnstile. Commissioned by the Koussevitzky Music Foundation for the Talea Ensemble in 2012, this work plays with the signification of sounds: dissonant, in tune, harmonius, ordered, or seemingly chaotic. Paired with works by John Luther Adams, Michael Gordon, and Mason Bates, SynchroniCities will set the mood for both the evening's concert program and the entire season. Be sure to check it out on September 29th! 

Also, if you haven't yet heard Chicago-based saxophonist Ryan Muncy's album Hot, on New Focus Recordings, then consider yourself reminded: Anthony Cheung's Refrain from Riffing is only one of several killer tracks on the album, which also contains works by Chaya Czernowin and Marcos Balter. Here's an excerpt of Refrain from Riffing:  

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