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Lerdahl and Carrick Performed by Sound Icon in Boston

Fred Lerdahl, composer, music theorist, and long-time professor at Columbia University, will be the composer-in-residence at the Boston University Center for New Music twice in the upcoming season: first in September, and later in January 2017. To kick off the residency, Boston's new music sinfonietta Sound Icon will perform Ledahl's Time after Time in their season opening concert on September 30 at Boston University's CFA Concert Hall.

Bridge Records, which has released numerous recordings of Lerdahl's work, including Time after Time, calls Lerdahl "one of the least known among "major" American composers." Of his singular style, Bridge writes that "a Lerdahl composition might at any moment be tonal or atonal, it might luxuriate in Lerdahl's rich melodic and harmonic gifts, or it might make reference to various musics of our past." 

            
(pages from Time after Time)

Time after Time, scored for Pierrot ensemble (flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, percussion), was commissioned and premiered by the Washington Square Contemporary Music Society in 2000 and a finalist for the 2001 Pulitzer Prize in Music. The work employs Lerdahl signature "spiral form", in which simple ideas become deeply elaborated and more complex with each cycle. Listen to an excerpt:

Sound Icon's program also includes a performance of PSNY composer Richard Carrick's dark flow, a double quartet for saxophone, trombone, acoustic guitar, percussion, violin, piano, cello and cibalom. Carrick takes inspiration for this work from the "hypothetical and unexplained flow of galaxy clusters toward a particular point in deep space," a phenomenon described as "dark flow." Carrick elaborates: 

In astrophysics, dark flow refers to the hypothetical and unexplained flow of galaxy clusters toward a particular point in deep space.  Interestingly, some speculate this influence on galaxies comes from a part of the universe that no longer exists, but somehow still carries an influence on matter.  This "invisible pull" is something that exist deep in music as well, something strongly felt but not easily defined.


Check out a performance of dark flow with the Either/Or Ensemble: 



The program, presented by the Boston University Center for New Music on September 30, also includes performances of works by Rick Burkhardt and features soprano Jennifer Ashe.

Yale Choral Artists Perform Hannah Lash's "Requiem"



The "Western Canon", since its conception in the 19th century, has often aspired to the transcendence of music, drawing secular and "absolute" inspiration from often religious sources—embodied in the revival of figures like J.S. Bach, whose liturgical music joined these two worlds. Johannes Brahms, a major Bach scholar, decided in 1865 to rite a Requiem—a musical form that philologists had traced back to the 13th century (and earlier). But Brahms' Requiem, true to his secular and musical aspirations, was translated from Latin and sung in German, inheriting the text and form from liturgical tradition but attempting to universalize the form by making it secular. 

Hannah Lash echos this interest translation with her most recent work, a Requiem commissioned by Jeffrey Douma to be premiered by the Yale Choral Artists on September 24th in New Haven and September 25th in New York. Lash comments: "the interesting thing about this project is that I have no particular connection to the traditional Requiem text, so I found myself needing to rewrite it in such a way that it could beel more personal and more approachable to me." Lash's work sets texts of her own translation and interpretation, once again bridging the liturgical inheritance of the Requiem form and purpose into a new century of art music. 

Ann Cleare's "Mire |...| Veins" at the Festival of New Trumpet Music



New York's FONT - the Festival of New Trumpet Music - has been pushing the boundaries of brass music since 2003, and this year is no exception. In an abundantly-programmed concert on September 23rd at The New School, Michael Gurfield (principal trumpet for Signal Ensemble and Alarm Will Sound and co-founder of Deviant Septet) has chosen works by contemporary American composers Matt Marks, John Altieri, and Liza Lim, as well as Europeans Vinko Globokar and Mauricio Kagel. But we're most interested in his choice to present a work by a composer not so easily categorized— mire|...|veins, by Irish composer Ann Cleare


(audio: excerpt from mire|...|veins)

Commissioned and premiered in 2013 by Ensemble Apparat in Berlin, this work deconstructs the brass ensemble into three separate groupings that, in Cleare's words, "unknowingly amount to a ball of raucously unfolding moments." The French Horn, in a grouping of its own, "posseses an all-seeing, transmitting and connective capability" between the other players. The horn gradually unveils an extraordinary hybrid sound (mixing the instrumental tone with a whistle placed at the roof of the mouth), which infiltrates the ensemble.

    
(pages from mire|...|veins

Brooklyn Brass Quintet performs mire|...|veins as part of FONT at The New School on September 23. Cleare will also see a performance of her ensemble work Dorchadas in Ireland on September 20th, with Alan Pierson leading the Crash Ensemble as a part of "Composing the Island: Love and Death", a concert series presented by RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. 


(audio: excerpt from Dorchadas)

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