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Posts tagged 'EMPAC'

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:

Kate Soper's "Ipsa Dixit" Premieres at Dixon Place

For six years, Kate Soper has been developing Ipsa Dixit ["She, herself, said it"]: an evening-length work that brings together her voice and instrumentalists of the Wet Ink Ensemble for an evening-length, staged work that explores the intersections between music, language, and meaning. Bringing together texts by Aristotle, Lydia Davis, Freud, and Plato, Ipsa Dixit addresses questions long avoided by philosophers and music theorists alike: is music a language? What, exactly, does it communicate? And who—body, voice, or instrument—is speaking?

Ipsa Dixit began when Soper realized that several of her works for voice and instruments—including Only the Words Themselves Mean What They Say (2010-11) and cipher (2011)—shared several theoretical and musical correspondences, and ought to be developed into a single, multi-movement work. Through the past six years, Ipsa Dixit has developed into an evening-length work, with workshops and performances around the country, featuring Soper and Erin Lesser, Ian Antonio, and Josh Modney from Wet Ink. During a week-long residency at EMPAC in 2016, the piece developed into its final, fully-realized form, with the addition of director Ashley Tata, lighting designer Anshuman Bhatia, and projection artist Brad Peterson. 

Now, on February 3rd and 4th at Dixon Place, Ipsa Dixit is set to premiere in its most evolved form. (Dixon Place also saw the premeire of another of Soper's theatrical works, Here Be Sirens, in 2014.) If you're in New York, be sure to be there! 

Christopher Cerrone in Los Angeles, Albany, Charleston, and more...

Just after being awarded this year's prestigious Rome Prize, PSNY composer Christopher Cerrone has a slew of performances and premieres throughout the US before heading off to Italy. Last Friday, May 15th, saw the premiere of Cerrone's Four Naomi Songs at EMPAC, as a part of the composer collective Sleeping Giant's residency. Performed by The Dogs of Desire, the Albany Symphony Orchestra's resident new music ensemble, along with vocalist Theo Bleckmann, Cerrone's songs were accompanied by contributions from the other composers in the collective—which includes Timo Andres, Andrew Norman, Ted Hearne, Jacob Cooper, and Robert Honstein. Check out a preview of the Naomi Songs, with Cerrone, Bleckmann, and Andres, here: 

Coming up next is Cerrone's premiere of The Pieces That Fall to Earth by the LA Philharmonic on May 26th. Commissioned by the LA Philharmonic, the piece is a symphonic setting of poems by Kay Ryan. The premiere takes place as part of the LA Phil's Green Umbrella series and will be conducted by John Adams with soprano Hila Plitmann as soloist. 

Rounding out Cerrone's activities in May, The Living Earth Show will be performing his Double Happiness, along with Timo Andres' You Broke It, You Bought It and Adrian Knight's Family Man at the Spoleto USA Festival on May 28th. Check out the band performing Andres' piece at San Francisco's Mission Science Workshop below. 

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