European American Music Distributors Company is a member of the Schott Music Group
Soper IPSA banner USE
Subotnick Greenroom banner
Young joins
Norman Trip to the Moon Greenroom
La Barbara banner

Composers

Blog Archive

2017201620152014201320122011

Newsletter

Posts tagged 'A Far Cry'

Vijay Iyer Premieres "City of Sand" with A Far Cry and Silk Road Ensemble

The city of Dunhuang, located in modern China's Northwestern province of Gansu, was for centuries a major landmark in the silk road that connected dozens of cultures across two continents. Known in early Arabo-Persian as "Saju", or "Shazhou", this "city of sand" has inspired Vijay Iyer to compose an eponymous piece for the Silk Road Ensemble and A Far Cry, which will premiere in Boston on May 26th.


(photo: Bart Babinski)


City of Sand
,
which was co-commissioned by the Silk Road Ensemble and A Far Cry, takes inspiration from millenia-old caves found in Dunhuang, which contain what Iyer calls a "deliriously hybrid Buddhism informed by Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, early Islam, Taoism, Confucianism, and Manichaeism." Iyer cites this cave's "organic globalism" as inspiration for his new piece, which uses improvisation to "help us make the most of our shared presence."

Iyer's new work is scored for clarinet, tabla, pipa, percussion and string orchestra. The performance features soloists from the Silk Road Ensemble, including Kinan Azmeh (clarinet), Sandeep Das (tabla), Wu Man (pipa), and Joseph Gramley (percussion).

A live-stream of the sold-out concert will be available at A Far Cry's website. Check out Iyer discussing his previous collaboratin with the Silk Road Ensemble—2013's Playlist for an Extreme Occasion—below. 

"Law of Mosaics" Live with A Far Cry at the Gardner Museum



A Far Cry
's acclaimed 2014 album The Law of Mosaics pairs two works by Andrew Norman and Ted Hearne: Norman's A Companion Guide to Rome and Hearne's Law of Mosaics. Both works are synoptic: they stitch together the composer's experience with some kind of landscape (or soundscape), creating compositional wholes that are greater than the sum of their parts.

In an interview with musicologist Ryan Dohoney from the liner notes to the album, Norman writes: 

I really like the idea that music can contain layer upon layer of refer­ence, and that those references can add up to a potentially rich experience that goes beyond the notes and rhythms on the page. I think this is something I share in common with Ted, though I’m not using direct quotation and sampling to create that web of reference in the way that he does.

Similarly, Hearne notes:

I wanted to play with sampling’s ability to access our shared histories in different ways. […] And by giving the movement an arbitrary formal restraint (“Palindrome’’), I hoped to create a space where the listener could hear each sample in a new context while still interacting with their historical ramifications.

A Far Cry will perform the album in its entirety at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum on April 6th, a rare opportunity to hear what WQXR calls "an aural View-Master worth peering through". Above, check out Hearne's "Palindrome for Andrew Norman", a movement from Law of Mosaics that uses Norman's music as its source material. You can find A Far Cry's album via Crier Records.

Ted Hearne's "Law of Mosaics" in Chicago; "The Source" CD Release

Ted Hearne is not a composer to shy away from the real world. From his now-canonical Katrina Ballads, which sets texts related to the 2006 Hurricane of the same name, to his modern-day oratorio project The Source, which sets texts surrounding Chelsea Manning and WikiLeaks, Hearne's music draws from the complexities of politics and recreates similar tensions and complexities within his music.

Hearne's 30-minute work for string orchestra, Law of Mosaics, is no exception to this rule. Hearne borrows the title from a passage in David Shields' Reality Hunger: "The law of mosaics: how to deal with parts in the absence of wholes." Commissioned in 2013 by A Far Cry, and released on CD alongside Andrew Norman's The Companion Guide to Rome in 2014, Law of Mosaics can be read as an essay in five parts. Picking up on Shield's metaphor of weaving a fabric between digital and analog media and culture, Hearne crafts a loosely-knit pattern of musical references and inspirations; if these form the weft of his weaving, then his own compositional voice constitutes its warp. In the end, the "patterns" woven together by Hearne resemble less a tightly-knit pastiche than performative absence of seamlessness, a reminder of the gaps and voids that constitute our everyday lives. 

Law of Mosaics will be performed as a part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's MusicNOW series, co-curated by Elizabeth Ogonek and Samuel Adams, on November 23rd at Chicago's Harris Theater. 

Hearne's critically-acclaimed project The Source, which premiered at the 2014 Next Wave Festival at BAM, is also newly available as an audio recording on New Amsterdam Records. Writing in Pitchfork, Seth Colter Walls calls it "some of the most expressive socially engaged music in recent memory—from any genre." Check out a video excerpt of its premiere at BAM below. 

 

Tag Cloud