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Posts tagged 'National Sawdust'

Vijay Iyer Performs with Jennifer Koh at National Sawdust

On March 31st, PSNY composer Vijay Iyer will perform on an all-star program at Brooklyn's National Sawdust that features Jennifer Koh, Tyshawn Sorey, Nina Young, and Du Yun. The program features premieres of new duos for Koh and their respective composers, in a commissioning program run by the arco collective called "Limitless." Iyer has already worked extensively with Koh, composing the violin concerto Trouble and writing Bridgetower Fantasy for her "Bridge to Beethoven" program.

For "Limitless", Koh seeks to address what Douglas Shadle calls the "burden of sameness" in American orchestral culture. In an interview with Steve Smith, Koh asks: 

My question is, why aren’t we doing more – or what can I do more, as an artist – to counteract what I see? What do we do within the industry, in terms of programming? I think finally people are now saying, “Hey, there’s no women on these programs,” whereas five years ago it was the same thing, except nobody was actually doing research. So the reason I created “Limitless” was because oftentimes people are just not seen, and not acknowledged. “Limitless” was about imagining a future in which people are seen, bringing us together and getting rid of the boundary between composer and performer, and really advocating for this new movement of community.

On March 31st, Koh and Iyer will continue to ask these questions—and to seek out the beginnings of an aswer. 

Kate Soper's "Here Be Sirens" Performed in Massachusetts and New York

Kate Soper'sHere Be Sirens has been hailed as "audacious, genre-bending music theatre", and is described by the composer as "an opera/theatre work that blends beautiful music, terrifying noise, screwball comedy, and Aristotelian tragedy." After two widely acclaimed stagings in 2014, Fresh Squeezed Opera will mount a new production directed by Amber Treadway, featuring sopranos Victoria Benson, Claire Myers McCormick, and Devony Smith. Before its performance at National Sawdust on January 28th, Fresh Squeezed Opera will also perform the work on January 12th at the I/O Fest at Williams College, where Soper will also herself perform George Lewis' 2011 work, Anthem, for ensemble. 

Fresh Squeezed Opera has previously performed a suite from Here Be Sirens at New York City's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center on a program of "nano-operas" in 2017. 

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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