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Posts tagged 'Scott Wollschleger'

PSNY Composers in Alex Ross' 2017 Top Ten Lists

As the year ends, critics are busy preparing their annual accountings of the very best music of 2017. Alex Ross, the classical music critic of The New Yorker, has deftly diversified his year-end top ten lists, counting his favorite notable performances and recordings from the year. At the top of these lists is Kate Soper'sIpsa Dixit, performed at Dixon Place on February 4th. Ross describes Soper as "one of the great originals of her generation—a maker of erudite entertainments that inhabit a self-invented realm halfway between opera and philosophy."

Next on Ross' list is Chaya Czernowin's opera, Infinite Now, which premiered on April 23rd at the Flemish Opera. Check out an interview with Czernowin about this work below. 

Annie Gosfield's new adaptation of War of the Worlds, presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and narrated by Sigourney Weaver, also made it to Ross' list of notable performances. Check back soon for the full score of Gosfield's War of the Worlds on PSNY. 

Ross has been a vocal proponent of the music of Scott Wollschleger, so it is no surprise that Wollschleger's recent album on New Focus Recordings, "Soft Aberration", made it to his top ten records of 2017. That album features many of Wollschleger's recent works, including Brontal Symmetry, Soft Aberration, Bring Something Incomprehensible Into This World, and String Quartet No. 2 "White Wall". Check out Brontal Symmetry below.

Last but not least on Ross' list of notable recordings is Gregory Spears'  "Fellow Travelers", the very first recording produced and performed by the Cincinnati Opera. Three pieces from this opera—"I worry, that's all"; "Last Night"; and "Our Very Own Home"—are available from PSNY. See a concert performance of this last piece below.

New Music from Wollschleger, Hearne, and Balter

Scott Wollschleger's long-anticipated album, Soft Aberration, has just been released on New Focus Recordings. Featuring Brontal Symmetry, Soft Aberration, Bring Something Incomprehensible Into This World, and String Quartet No. 2 "White Wall", Wollschleger's new album features performances by soprano Corrine Byrne, trumpeter Andy Kozar, violist Anne Lanzilotti, cellist John Popham, pianist Karl Larson, the Mivos Quartet, and the Longleash trio. In a series of informative blog posts, Lanzilotti has written extensively on Wollschleger's concept of "brontal": 

a made up word that longtime collaborator Kevin Sims coined after making a series of pencil drawings on orange paper. The word now embodies Wollschleger’s aesthetic: the idea that we can create something very basic and human by discovering the sensation of an object. In doing this, we are making something unfamiliar very immediate. This process of discovery can be very focused and also, at times, very funny.

Check out Wollschleger's new album below. 

On October 21st at 7.30pm, the New World Symphony will premiere a new work by Ted Hearne entitled Miami in Movements. But while this piece was composed by Hearne, the musical material that Hearne had composed is made up of over 1,050 videos and audio recordings, made by the people of Miami, that record the feelings, impressions, and emotions they associate with their city. Working with videographer Jonathan David Kane, Hearne has created Miami in Movements for Project 305, a concert program by the NWS that features Hearne's new work in a free, public "wallcast" performance

Just as Miami in Movements was created specificly for the city of Miami, the Jack Quartet has put together a touring program of American string quartets from the 20th and 21st centuries, which they have titled "Soundscape America". Their program, which premieres on October 21 at Columbia University's Miller Theatre, includes classics such as Ruth Crawford Seeger's String Quartet 1931, as well as more contemporary works such as Marcos Balter'sChambers. This work, which was commissioned and premiered in 2011 by the Spektral Quartet, offers three movements that condense the different aspects of Balter's musical identity into a single work. Check out Spektral's recording, released on Parlour Tapes, below. 

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.  

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