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Momenta Quartet Champions Alvin Singleton's String Quartets

Alvin Singleton'sSomehow We Can was commissioned in 1994 by the Eastman School of Music in memory of the celebrated contralto Marian Anderson, and has been recorded and released by Tzadik Records on an eponymous album from 2002. Now, Somehow We Can has become recently celebrated as a repertoire staple by the Momenta Quartet, which has also performed Singleton's earlier quartet, Secret Desire to be Black. On November 19th, Somehow We Can saw its Philadelphia premiere, and as Momenta violinist Emile-Anne Gendron notes, Momenta is dedicated to incorporating this work as an "important addition to the string quartet canon."

The free improviser Eugene Chadbourne writes of Somehow We Can:  "The composer effectively uses the instruments to create an impression of the human voice, sometimes speaking alone, sometimes raised in a kind of aggressive rabble. Wonderful moments of melody float through, bringing to mind Duke Ellington's quote about grey skies being 'clouds passing over.'"

Singleton's work is also becoming a staple of cellist Seth Parker-Woods, who has incorporated Argoru II into his concert repertoire. Parker-Woods will perform the Seattle premiere Argoru II in an upcoming concert on December 9th.

Argoru II, as well as Secret Desire to be Black, will soon be published by PSNY, available as digital and hard-copy editions. Check out Momenta's performance of Secret Desire to be Black below. 

Annie Gosfield's "The War of the Worlds" Premieres at LA Phil

On November 12th and 18th, PSNY composer Annie Gosfield's new multi-location opera, The War of the Worlds, will premiere at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, as well as three remote "siren sites" situated throughout Downtown LA. Performed by the LA Phil New Music Group, The War of the Worlds is directed by Yuval Sharon, and is co-produced by The Industry and Now Art. It will be narrated by Sigourney Weaver, whose voice will reverberate throughout downtown LA via three revamped WWII-era sirens, broadcasting her narration and the orchestra's music. 

The War of the Worlds takes its name and libretto from Orson Welles' 1938 radio broadcast, which blurred the lines between news reporting and storytelling. Through Yuval's libretto and direction, Gosfield updates this drama's focus on media, technology, and broadcasting by placing three of the main characters at remote "siren" locations interspersed througout the city, as well as incorporating radio sounds into her composition. Gosfield has worked extensively with radios in her compositional work, including Long Waves and Random Pulses, for violin and jammed radio signals. Check it out below.

The War of the Worlds will be published by PSNY after its premiere. Check back soon for the full score!  

New Works from Richard Carrick, Anthony Cheung, and Christopher Cerrone

On October 27th, Richard Carrick will see the world premiere of his new work, sandstone(s), at the Pacific Rim Festival in Santa Cruz, CA. Pairing flute, violin, and cello with traditional Korean instruments, sandstone(s) is inspired by the temporary, unstable structures created by sand, which the composer explored making at Kenya's Diani Beach during his residence in Rwanda in 2016. Sandstone(s), which will be published by PSNY, is inspired by Carrick's involvement with different iterations of traditional Korean pansori, which he has explored in his solo violin work Seongeum, published by PSNY. It will be premiered by the New York New Music Ensemble alongside the Gugak Contemporary Orchestra of Seoul. For a taste of Carrick's relationship with traditional Korean music, check out a recording of Seongeum below.

On November 18th, Anthony Cheung, in collaboration with Wang Lu, will see a new work for solo piano premiered by Joel Fan at the Open Source Music Festival at New York's Abrons Art Center. A few weeks later on November 29, the Longleash piano trio will perform a new version of Cheung's 2006 work, Flyaway Detours, in addition to the US premiere of Ann Cleare's 93 Million Miles Away. To get a sense of Cheung's writing for solo piano, check out his performance of his own work, Running the (full) Gamut), from 2008.

In addition to performances of his work across the country, Christopher Cerrone will see the world premiere of his new string quartet, can't and won't, on December 7th at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Co-Commissioned by the LA Phil and the Calder Quartet, this new work is Cerrone's second string quartet, after 2016's How to Breathe Underwater, which was originally written for male voice, bass clarinet, trumpet, trombone, and electroincs, in 2011.

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