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Posts tagged 'Scott Wollschleger'

Kettle Corn New Music Presents Scott Wollschleger's "Brontal Symmetry"

On February 11th, Kettle Corn New Music presents a concert at New York City's Scandinavia House that features Scott Wollschleger's Brontal Symmetry for piano trio, alongside works by Hans Abrahamsen, Kaija Saariaho, Ingraham Marshall and Anna Thorvaldsdottir. The Longleash Piano Trio will perform Wollschleger's work, and will be joined later by violist Anne Lanzilotti. Composer and presenter Alex Weiser sat down with Wollschleger to discuss his compositional practice and his concept of "brontal", which is obliquely etymologically related to "brontasaurus."

"Brontal" speaks both to the paleolithic nature of certain modes of being and to the absurdities of urban life. Wollschleger specifiies a "brontal motion" as an ascenscion from low to high (recalling, and inverting, the Schenkerian claim of high-to-low movement); but rather claiming this quality as a universal feature of nature, Wollschleger links it to cryptic and contingent compositional practice, a repetition that spins out in his music from the middle to both beginning and end. Wollschleger describes Brontal Symmetry as a kind of static unfolding of brontal musicality, with the composer directing the listener to hold micro- and macro-levels of attention throughout the piece. Yet the kind of repetition in this piece doesn't only happen in the dimensions of pitch and timbre; Wollschleger's "Brontal" repetition emerges in performance as fragmentary, and leaves the listener with a similarly fragmented memory.  

New York Festival of Song Features Christopher Cerrone & Friends

Now in its 29th year, the New York Festival of Song will present an evening of music and poetry curated by PSNY composer Christopher Cerrone. Hosted at National Sawdust on December 8th, 2016, this evening features music by Cerrone, along with works by Timo Andres, Ted Hearne, Erin Gee, and Scott Wollschleger, setting poetry by GC Waldrep, Bill Knott, Dorothea Lasky, and Andrea Cohen. 

Vocalist Theo Bleckmann will perform the New York debut of Cerrone's The Naomi Songs, which he premiered at EMPAC in 2015. Cerrone will also preview a new composition, Apocatastasis, which sets the poem of the same name by G. C. Waldrep. Also previewed this evening will be Three songs based on Lasky poems, by Ted Hearne. 

Timo Andres will join Bleckmann as pianist for his recently-premiered Mirror Songs, and the program also features two of Erin Gee'sMouthpiece works, as well as Scott Wollschleger's Fragment on Fragments.  

Check out an excerpt of Cerrone's The Naomi Songs below. 

Scott Wollschleger: New Works and Performances

"What kind of music would we create after everything was over?" Scott Wollschleger asks this crucial question in an interview on Arts & Letters, produced by the University of Arkansas' KUARIn his monodrama for solo percussionist, We Have Taken and Eaten, Wollschleger creates music using a sonic language from "the dustbin of history." Wollschleger's music often theorizes and sonifies the presence of the not-quite-real, playing with time, gesture, and semiotic codes of tonality to evoke absence, silence, or non-being—what he often calls "dust." Two new works and two high-profile performances of Wollschleger's work in the coming weeks prove that more and more musicians are beginning to wonder about what happens "after". 

(above score excert from "The Heart is No Place for War") 

Ethan Iverson (of the noted trio The Bad Plusrecently wrote that "Wollschleger has become one of my favorite contemporary composers". On July 15th, from 5-10pm, he will perform a program in New York's Bryant Park, including Wollschleger's solo piano work, Music Without Metaphor, which has been recently published on PSNY. Wollschleger dedicated this piece to pianist Ivan Illić, who premiered it in 2013, calling it "beguiling" and "improvisatory". Check out Illić's recording below: 

The very next day, pianist Karl Larson will perform Wollschleger's piano concerto Meditation on Dust at Mass MoCA, as a part of the Bang on a Can Summer Festival. Commissioned and premeired by Larson and the String Orchestra of Brooklyn in 2015, this piece imagines what a Strausian tone-poem would sound like after drying out in the desert for a thousand years. In this piece, tonality is granulated, rendered simultaneously present and absent, ephemeral. Check out a video of the premiere below: 

Indeed, as Alex Ross writes, this weekend will be a "Wollschleger Moment". Wollschleger's The Heart is No Place for War, for two pianos and two vibraphones, asks the instrumentalists to time the work to their heartbeats; after hearing this piece, Ross wrote that Wollschleger has "become a formidable, individual presence." Check out the recording from the premiere at Brooklyn's Firehouse Space below:  

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