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Posts tagged 'EMPAC'

Kate Soper's "Ipsa Dixit" Album Release and Portrait Concert

"[T]hat’s something that happens in a lot of my work lately: I’m trying really hard to tell you something, and you know that I’m trying, and you’re getting something out of it, but basically we’re both aware of the fact that that’s not possible. And I think the texts that I feel really drawn to have something of that in them."

For the past eight years, Kate Soper has been testing, and playing, with the liminal space between music, text, and language. This study has produced, among other works, the evening-length "philosophy-opera" Ipsa Dixit, a recording of which will be released on New World Records on October fifth, featuring the many people with whom Soper has worked closely over to produce this work—including flutist Erin Lesser, violnist Joshua Modney, and percussionist Ian Antonio, all of the Wet Ink Ensemble.

But Ipsa Dixit is much more than a recording: it has also existed as a staged performance, with lighting, projection, and costumes, and its individual movements also function on their own.  These movements—Poetics, Only the Words Themselves Mean What They Say, Rhetoric, The Crito, Metaphysics, and Cipheralso function on their own, and indeed have been performed by Soper and her collaborators since 2010. In each, Soper offers a multi-faceted exploration of fundamental questions of textuality, communication, and sound, through setting texts by Aristotle, Guido d'Arrezo, Lydia Davis, Michael Drayton, Robert Duncan, Plato, Sigmund Freud, Jenny Holzer, Sophocles, Sarah Teasdale, and Ludwig Wittgenstein.  

All of this led to Ipsa Dixit being a finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Music, whose committe described it as "a breakthrough work that plumbs the composer’s fertile musical imagination to explore the relationships between idea and expression, meaning and language."

Ipsa Dixit will also be performed live, by Soper, Lesser, Antonio, and Modney, at a Portrait Concert at Columbia University's Miller Theatre, on October 27th. This performance, directed by Ashely Tata, will feature costumes, lighting, and projection, by the same creative team that premiered the evening-length work in 2016 at EMPAC. Check out a video recording of Poetics from that performance below. 

Kate Soper's "IPSA DIXIT" Now Available on PSNY

Kate Soper's ambitious and multi-faceted project, IPSA DIXIT ["She, Herself, Said It"] is now available on PSNY. A finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer PrizeIPSA DIXIT is a six-movement chamber music theater work for soprano, flute, violin, and percussion that explores the intersections of music, language, and meaning. In addition to being performed as a full work, each of the movments may be performed as a standalone piece, or in any combination with each other. 

The work was developed by Soper with musicians from the Wet Ink Ensemble during a residency at EMPAC, and later premiered in a fully staged version at Dixon Place. Writing in the New Yorker, Alex Ross calls IPSA DIXIT a "twenty-first century masterpiece", and an example of Soper's unique genre of "philosophy-opera."

Steve Smith reviewed the work's premiere at Dixon Place as "a dazzlingly varied six-part sequence of quartets and duets spanning a stylistic range best described as broad and eclectic, but never unapproachable, employing texts concerning matters of intellect and sentiment, cognition and persuasion, perception and awareness."

Now, in addition to the full score and performance materials, each individual movement of IPSA DIXIT is also available on PSNY: Poetics, Only the Words Themselves Mean What They Say, Rhetoric, The Crito, Metaphysics, and Cipher

A complete studio recording of the six movements of IPSA DIXIT is forthcoming, so stay tuned for more news!

Check out video excertps of each movement below. 

Kate Soper's "Ipsa Dixit" Named Finalist for Pulitzer Prize



Kate Soper
's Ipsa Dixit has been named a Finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Music, along with winner Du Yun for her work Angel's Bone and fellow finalist Ashley Fure for Bound to the Bow.

Ipsa Dixit, which synthesizes several of Soper's compositions into a seamless theatrical performance, was developed during a residency at EMPAC, and premiered in a fully-staged version this February at Dixon Place. The piece, as Alex Ross writes in The New Yorker, is a "twenty-first century masterpiece" and "an awesomely wide-ranging intellectual journey." Soper's nomination also marks an important event in the seventy-four year history of the Pulitzer Prize: it is the first time that all three nominees are women. 

Three of the movements of Ipsa Dixit are available on PSNY, and each can also be performed as a standalone work: Cipher, for soprano and violin; Only The Words Themselves Mean What They Say, for soprano and flute; and Rhetoric, for soprano, flute, violin, and percussion. The remaining movements will be published soon, making each individual movement available for study and performance, as well as a score and set of parts for Ipsa Dixit in its entirety.

Below, check out an excerpt from Ipsa Dixit from the recent live staged performance at EMPAC with Soper and the Wet Ink Ensemble:

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