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Posts tagged 'Mivos Quartet'

PSNY Recent Recordings: Part II

We're continuing our celebration of recent recordings by PSNY composers this week, and that celebration begins with a landmark album for Anthony CheungDystemporal, a portrait CD released on Wergo in 2016. Containing six premiere recordings of works Cheung, Dystemporal is performed by the Talea Ensemble, which Cheung co-directs alongside percussionist Alex Lipowski, and Ensemble Intercontemporain. These works represent a formative period in Cheung's career, and this new recording presents a landmark document of his unique compositional voice. They include: SynchroniCities (2012) for 8 musicians with electronics; Windswept Cypresses (2005) for flute, viola, harp, percussion; Running the (Full) Gamut (2008) for piano; Centripedalocity (2008) for 7 musicians; Enjamb, Infuse, Implode (2006) for 6 musicians; and Dystemporal (2012) for 23 musicians.

Another PSNY composer also saw a major portrait CD released in 2016: Lei Liang, whose Luminous, released on New World Records, documents five recent compositions that explore his long-standing research into traditional Asian arts and music, and their incorporation into a contemporary music aesthetic. These works, performed by musicians and ensembles including Steven Schick, Daniel Schlosberg, Aleck Karis, Third Coast Percussion, the Formosa Quartet, and the Palimpsest Ensemble, include: Verge Quartet (2013) for string quartet; Trans (2013) for solo percussion; The moon is following us (2015) for solo piano; Inkscape (2014) for percussion ensemble and piano; and Luminous (2014) contrabass solo and ensemble. Check out a performance of Luminous below.

With the Mivos Quartet, Kate Soper recorded her work 2015 work Nadja, a three-song cycle sets texts by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Ovid, and André Breton that incorporates the composer's own voice into the quartet. Released on New Focus Recordings, Nadja is accompanied by works by Taylor Brook and Andrew Greenwald to complete Mivos's album, titled The Garden of Diverging Paths. Check out Soper and Mivos performing the work in 2015 below. 

Narrowing from large ensemble pieces to solo works, we're thrilled to feature percussionist Ian David Rosenbaum's solo album, Memory Palace, released on VisionIntoArt Records, the in-house label of Brooklyn venue National Sawdust. Memory Palace contains recordings of the eponymous 2012 work by Christopher Cerrone, as well as Timo Andres'Crashing Through Fences, which Rosenbaum originally commissioned and premiered in 2010. Check out a performance of Memory Palace at EMPAC below: 

Sound American Releases Alex Mincek Portrait Album "Torrent"



On April 26th, Sound American releases a new album, Torrent, featuring the music of Alex Mincek—the composer's first solo album since 2011's self-titled release on Carrier Records. Torrent collects recordings of several new works for ensemble alongside extensive interviews and wrtitings on Mincek into a 28-page art-object, and is the first of Sound American's "Young Composer Portrait series".

Torrent includes recordings of several works performed by members of the Wet Ink Large Ensemble, Yarn/Wire, and the Mivos Quartet. These works were all composed in the past seven years, and include Pendulum VII, which is available from PSNY. Check out an excerpt below: 

In a special issue devoted to the music of Alex Mincek, Sound American offers several interviews between Mincek, the Wet Ink ensemble, Nate Wooley, and Jeremiah Cymerman. On the works collected and recorded on Torrent, Eric Wubbels notes:

"Each piece is a balance between objects and ideas that have been thoroughly tested and developed in previous pieces and new, exploratory, or experimental ideas (sounds, objects, forms). In any given piece, if the new ideas work well, they might find their way into the next piece, and so on... As a result, I see a kind of slow evolution and refreshing of the musical language within a style that maintains a strong profile and internal consistency."

For more critical analysis of Mincek's recent work, check out George Grella's long-form article on Mincek in Music and Literature, which describes him as "on the outside, looking out."

Katherine Young Joins PSNY


(Katherine Young; photo: Peter Gannushkin)

We're thrilled to welcome composer and bassoonist/improviser Katherine Young to our roster of PSNY composers! Young's compositions exemplify the attention, intuition, embodied knowledge, and indeterminacy that comes from a deep understanding of instrumental possibilities, and her activities over the past ten years show a musical mind open to all of the possibilities of sound.

Young's music can actually proclaim that it is, in fact, "new"—not only new in aesthetic, organization, and style, but also in instrument, performance, and authority. Her scores call for techniques to extend the sonic possibilities of the instruments, and indeed often turning them into systems of body, wood, metal, and electronics. From her experience as a composer, performer, improviser, and collaborator, Young's work manages to be all of these things at once: intentional composition, intuitive improvisation, and close collaboration with performers. We're proud to offer three of Young's works written within the past eight years, each with its own unique sonic world. 

Composed in 2008, Underworld (Dancing) is written for tuba and Wurlitzer electric piano, with each instrument making space for the other within the dimensions of timbre and pitch. The score, which instructs each player within these dimensions, contains gestrual writing, graphic notation, and other innovations designed to allow the "work" to unfold as it is "worked" by the performers, with the instrumentalists reacting both to each other and to each other's instruments. The result is an aural game played between all of these actors, linked by Young's network of associations and resonances. 

Puddles and Crumbs, written in 2014-15 for solo trombone and electronics in collaboration with trombonist Weston Olencki, folds this instrumental dialogue onto itself, augmenting the trombone with electronic effects: reverberation, pitch-shifting, and distortion. A common technique of solo improvisers, routing the signal of an instrument through a chain of effects here actually creates four voices: composer, performer, instrument, and instrumental signal. Young writes that Puddles and Crumbs is a "loving embrace of the by-products, side effects, and detritus of performance." But we could also say that Puddles and Crumbs forces a re-evaluation of "performance" and "side effect", drawing the listener's attention to the middle ground between the two. 

slam creak bzzz, composed in 2012 and revised in 2015, is a string quartet, amplified and augmented to evoke the sound-worlds of mid-century epic cinema. Young translates the phantasmagoric sensory experience of the movie theater into the concert hall, mirroring the effects of cinematic sound design in her composition, which calls on the musicians to play the entire instrument's body, as well as the performer's own human bodies. Check out a recording of slam creak bzzz featuring the Mivos Quartet:

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