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Posts tagged 'String Orchestra of Brooklyn'

Phil Kline and Gregory Spears Premiere New Works with String Orchestra of Brooklyn

On June 8th, the String Orchestra of Brooklyn presents two world premieres of new works by Phil Kline and Gregory Spears, along with a new arrangement of Julius Eastman's classic Gay Guerilla. Vocalist Theo Bleckmann will perform four songs from his ongoing collaboration with Kline entitled Florida Man, so named after the enigmatic tales of people from that eponymous state which have long fascinated Kline. The composer writes: 

I began collecting Florida Man headlines a few years ago. Found texts fascinate me; they’re like secret messages not meant to be set to music. It was important to me that they were authentic, so I vetted them to see if there were actual news stories attached. Did this couple really sell golden tickets to heaven? No, they didn’t. Did this guy really get arrested for a joyride with an owl? Yes, he did! Interestingly, while the Florida Men were characteristically wacky, the Florida Woman stories were sadder. I was drawn into a kind of dialog with these characters, with whom I felt a kinship much keener than I would have imagined.

Bleckmann will perform four songs, including "Waffle House," and "Search and Destroy," which uses the lyrics from Iggy Pop's song of the same name, in honor of his recent residence in the Sunshine State. Florida Man, which is a song cycle in progress, will be published by PSNY upon completion. In the meantime, check out an excerpt from Kline's Exquisite Corpses below:

Spears will premiere a new concerto for two trumpets and string orchestra, performed by the SOB and soloists Brandon Ridenour and Andy Kozar. Spears takes common extramusical associations of the trumpet—the sounds of ceremony, war, and formality— and has composed a piece that he "had no narrative, and yet would play with those associations and let them interact with one another in unexpected ways." The texture of two trumpets against a string orchestra allows Spears to compose a contrapuntal concerto that evokes a pastoral and conversational quality.  

For a taste of Spears's instrumental writing, check out his 2010 String Quartet, Buttonwood

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:  

String Theories features Mincek, Soper and Cerrone

The String Orchestra of Brooklyn celebrates its fifth annual String Theories festival with three concerts at Roulette. From March 22nd to the 24th, the SoB will perform several world premieres, along with recent works from some of the most exciting composers of our time. 

On March 23rd, Alex Mincek's Ebb and Flow will begin the program—a piece commissioned by the String Orchestra of Brooklyn for their inaugural String Theories festival in 2011. The festival continues on March 24th with Kate Soper's Cipher for voice and violin, along with Christopher Cerrone's The Pieces That Fell To Earth, commissioned by the LA Philharmonic and premiering on the East coast for the first time. The program also includes music by Julia Wolfe and Alex Weiser. 

As a preview, check out Cerrone's 2013 commission from the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, High Windows

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