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Posts tagged 'Alan Pierson'

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)

Ted Hearne Joins PSNY!

We're thrilled to announce that PSNY now represents several works by the brilliant, powerful, and politically-minded composer Ted Hearne. Active as both a composer and a performer, Hearne's output ranges from his noise-pop duo R We Who R We (with Philip White), to his powerful Katrina Ballads, a song cycle based on primary source texts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, as well as dozens of works for orchestra, chamber ensemble, and soloists. Hearne now has three works available from PSNY: 

The first is Consent, a powerful piece for 16 voices. This piece illustrates the idea of a "desiring machine": the impulse of desire, "I want you/I want to" becomes the productive force for a swarm of textual and harmonic fragments that illustrate the way one body wants another in the age of late capitalism. The multiplicity of voices enters the listener's brain all at once, as if vocalizing a rapid-fire succession of thoughts coming into being, at once contradictory, disturbing, heart-felt. "All of it shall be mortgageable and bound as security"/"it can be taken from me - even from the shirt on my back". Hearne mixes text fragments from his own love letters, his father's love letters, the Catholic and Jewish rites of marriage, and text messages used in evidence in the Steubenville Rape trial of 2013. Consent premiered at the 2014 International Festival of Arts and Ideas with Jeffrey Douma leading the Yale Choral Artists:


Next is 
But I Voted for Shirley Chisholm, for 11 instruments and fixed electronics, which was commissioned and premiered by Alan Pierson and the Brooklyn Philharmonic. Shirley Chisholm, a congresswoman from Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, was the first African-American to run for the President of the United States on a major party ticket, in 1972. Hearne's work recalls lyrics from rapper Biz Markie's 1988 track "Nobody beats the biz:" "Make you co-operate with the rhythm / that is what I give 'em / Reagen is the Prez' but I voted for Shirley Chisholm." Sampling and cutting up Biz Markie's track, Hearne re-purposes and re-imagines this song in an orchestral setting, layering samples over orchestral writing and vice-versa. 


Furtive Movements
,
for cello and percussion, continues Hearne's explorations of the intersections between politics and music. The phrase "furtive movements" is one of the most commonly used justifications by the New York Police Department for their controversial "stop and frisk" policy, where "suspicious" (or "furtive") individuals are stopped, frisked, and often detained by the police. Hearne argues that this phrase says more about the expectations of the police officer than the guilt of the "suspect;" he writes, "my challenge in writing Furtive Movements was to call [the performers'] assumed identities into question, and to try and blur the lines between their musical roles." Check out a performance of Furtive Movements featuring cellist Ashley Bathgate and percussionist Ron Wiltrout: 

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