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Posts tagged 'Bang On A Can Festival'

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:  

Theory in Practice

Well, it looks like the legitimacy of digital sheet music has finally been made official: Daniel Wakin's article in the New York Times has brought the practice of reading music from a screen, rather than paper, to readers across the world. It's something we've been pushing for from the start, and something that many of our composers and performers of their work have been doing for a good while now. 

When we launched, Nicholas Kitchen of the Borromeo String Quartet was nice enough to give us some excellent praise: "[PSNY] expands and builds upon the already-productive synergy among players, composers, and publishers, strengthening the necessary structure for musical partnerships.  Expanding the medium to the readable and changeable form of computer files will amplify the collaboration, and open countless doors for all of us."

And if you haven't seen how the Borromeo Quartet uses technology, here's a clip from a live broadcast on WNYC (consider this our plug for Beethoven Awareness Month!:

Chamber music is a natural fit for digital editions: a solo performer can easily read music from an iPad or any other tablet or laptop. Our composer Timo Andres has been an early advocate of the practice - he can often be seen performing with an iPad perched on the piano, turning pages with a nifty pedal. Here he is performing "At The River" at the Bang on a Can Festival in 2011:

(Photo by Jon Hurd on flickr)

And of course, several of our composers have been incorporating technology and non-paper notation for years: Morton Subotnick and Alvin Singleton, for example. 

Reading music from a screen, like reading a book from a screen, might not be for everyone, and of course we offer print-on-demand editions of all of our works. But for the adventurous, digital music is becoming an increasingly appealing solution.

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