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Posts tagged 'percussion'

Andrew Norman Premieres "Switch" at Utah Symphony

On November 6th, percussionist Colin Currie and the Utah Symphony premiered Andrew Norman's new work for solo percussion and orchestra, Switch. Norman's works for orchestra have been called some of the "best orchestral works that the 21st century has seen thus far", and we couldn't agree more. His landmark 2008 piece, Unstuck, has already become a staple of orchestral repertoire around the country; 2011's Try, for chamber orchestra, was commissioned and premiered by the LA Philharmonic to critical acclaim; and 2013's Play premeired to critical acclaim in both traditional and social media. 

So what has Norman composed this time? Switch, like its sibling works for large groups of musicians, explores the ludic possibilities of play between soloist and ensemble. Quite literally, the music acts like a "switch" between percussion instruments positioned in front of, and behind, the orchestra; these instruments act as "switch[es] that control other instruments in specific ways, making them play louder or softer, higher or lower, freezing them in place and settng them in motion again."

The Salt Lake Tribune, which called the premiere "electrifying" and "hyperkinetic", conducted a video interview with Norman and Toby Tolokan, the Utah Symphony's Vice President of Artistic Planning. Check it out below: 

Ann Cleare Performances in New York, Europe

Composer Ann Cleare has had a spate of successful concerts recently, featuring premiere performances of her work I should live in wires for leaving you behind by Yarn/Wire, who commissioned Cleare to write it. This piece, for prepared piano and percussion, was premiered at ISSUE Project Room on October 9th, and performed again at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's EMPAC on November 15th. I should live in wires for leaving you behind begins with all performers 'inside' the piano, playing carefully arranged crystal bowls set inside the piano; it gradually moves out to a second 'outside' space, where the instruments called for include modified salad spinners, flower pots, and more. Both the sonic and the visual coordination of this piece make it a stand-out for Yarn/Wire, and a successful collaboration with Cleare. 

Other recent performances include anchor me to the land, performed in Darmstadt, Germany by the Curious Chamber Players. This premiere was the fruit of Cleare's Staubach Honorarium, a prestigious composition prize awarded each year to composers for premieres at the Darmstadt International Summer Course for New Music

Just down the road from Darmstadt in Mannheim, Cleare saw the premiere of another new work, luna (the eye that opens the other eye), for solo alto saxophone, which was performed by Patrick Stadler at the Popakademie (University of Popular Music)

Farther south in Karlsruhe, Cleare's eyam iv (Pluto's farthest moons) was premiered by Richard Craig and The Experimental Ensemble at the IMATRONIK Fesitval of Electronic Music. eyam iv, part of Cleare's eyam series for contrabass wind instruments, pairs a contrabass flute with a electronically spatialized ensemble of winds, strings, and percussion. The piece was commissioned and written as part of a research residency at The EXPERIMENTALSTUDIO of the SWR.   

Cleare was also featured in the Bludenzer Tage zeitgemäser Musik (Bludenzer Days of Contemporary Music) Festival in Vienna. Her work, luna | lithe | lair was commissioned and premiered by Ensemble Mosaik, a new music ensemble based in Berlin, conducted by Enno Poppe. 

Check out her work Dorchadas, for ensemble, which is also available from PSNY! 

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