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Posts tagged 'Matthias Pintscher'

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.

Soper, Lash, and Pintscher Performances on the East Coast

Brooklyn's National Sawdust has already become one of the most vital venues for new music in New York, adding to an already-vibrant cultural scene on the East Coast. The New York Philharmonic has recognized this by holding their 2015 CONTACT! Series in this new venue, and on November 16th, they give a performance of Kate Soper's Into That World Inverted, for horn and piano.

Inspired by the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop, Into That World Inverted imagines the inside of instruments, "where left is always right,/where the shadows are really the body,/where we stay awake all night,/where the heavens are shallow as the sea[...]". Check out a recording of it below. 

 This performance comes on the heels of the world premiere of Hannah Lash's Two Movements for Violin and Piano and the US Premiere of Matthias Pintscher's Profiles of Light triptych, both given brave and empassioned debut performances on November 13 by the Ensemble InterContemporain at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. A Washington Post review of the performance sums it up:

A work of almost prayer-like gentleness opened the program. Hannah Lash’s lovely, understated “Two Movements for Violin and Piano” (a commission by the Library’s McKim Fund, in its premiere) used the simplest of means — a cantabile violin line over a spare and open piano accompaniment — to create a sense of wistful reflection, then hesitation, before finding release in the soaring second movement.

Hannah Lash Premieres Two Works with ACO and Ensemble Intercontemporain



In the next two months, two new works by PSNY composer Hannah Lash will be heard by audiences in New York and Washington, D.C. On October 23rd, Lash premieres her new Concerto for Harp and Chamber Orchestra with the American Composers Orchestra, as a part of their SONiC Festival, at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall. George Manahan conducts, with Lash herself as soloist. For the concerto, Lash was concerned with taking on "all the ramifications of our perception of this instrument's character," creating a work that is "mysterious and beautiful and at the same time fearful, aggresive, lonely."

To get a sense of what some call her "avant-garde post-romantic" style, check out this in-depth interview produced by Harvard Magazine: 

Some weeks later, Lash will see a second world-premiere of a brand-new work by Ensemble Intercontemporain, led by Matthias Pintscher. Commissioned by the McKim Fund in the Library of Congress, Lash's Two Movements for Violin and Piano premieres at the Library of Congress on November 13th. This new work will be heard alongside works by Berg, Varèse, Ligeti, and the U.S. Premiere of Now I & II from Profiles of Light by Matthias Pintscher.  

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