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Posts tagged 'Ken Ueno'

Hannah Lash's "Beowulf" Premiered by Guerilla Opera

Hannah Lash's latest operatic project, Beowulf, will be premiered on May 20th by  Guerilla Opera in Boston. Though it's title references the great Anglo-Saxon epic, Lash's opera—for which she wrote both the socre and the libretto—tells her own unique story. In an interview with Guerilla Opera's Board Director Susan Larson, Lash writes: "I wanted to make a story about a hero who was suffering, a monster who was a situation, and a situation which was tragic, beautiful, full of love and loss." Lash picks up on the long tradition of "total works of art", crafting nearly every aspect of this deeply personal narrative: its characters, scenario, dialogue, and music. 

Already highly anticipated by such media outlets as the Boston Globe, Beowulf—directed by Andrew Eggert—will run for two weekends on May 20/21 and 26/27, including a talk-back session with the composer on May 22nd. Guerilla Opera is one of the most highly regarded opera companies in Boston, and is not afraid to take on powerful, adventurous new works, such as Ken Ueno's Gallo, which premiered in 2014. 

Check out OPERA America's exclusive interview with Lash on her compositional process below. 

Marilyn Nonken Debuts Richard Carrick's "la touche sonore sous l'eau"

Debussy's solo piano works and Korean pansori singing might not be the most related styles of music. But in the hands of Richard Carrick, the melodic nuances of these two styles come into a stark symmetry, with the addition of Carrick's own signature compositional voice.

Carrick's newly commissioned work for pianist Marilyn Nonkenla touche sonore sous l'eau, is the first movement of a projected suite, and was premiered at the University of Pennsylvania on January 27th. Nonken will tour the work around the country, with performances at le poisson rouge, Tufts University, the University of Pennsylvania, and more. Carrick conceptualizes "la touche sonore" [sonorous touch] on the piano, leading to new possibilities in the dynamic of melody and harmony. The work is based on "a harmonic/melodic reduction and re-understanding of Claude Debussy's compositional lightness," specifically Debussy's Jeux

On May 19th (at Tufts University) and 23rd (at Brooklyn's Roulette), Nonken will debut a new solo work by Carrick, in memoriam of Gerard Grisey. The performances will take place alongside Gerard Grisey's Vortex Temporum, performed by Sound Icon.

Carrick's recent work for solo violin, Seongeum, translates another aspect of physicality into music. This work is inspired by pansori singing, a Korean folk style that is intertwined with storytelling and drumming. Carrick writes,

I hear the violin as a similarly expressive instrument, where the sonic nuances of bow articulations and finger techniques (glissandi, trill, etc) are the primary sources of its expressivity, with notes a distant second. Therefore, I was interested in translating Pansori vocalizations to the violin.

Carrick's work joins Ken Ueno'si screamed at the sea... as the second work on PNSY inspired by pansori. Violinist Lauren Cauley debuts Seongeum on February 18 at GK Arts Center in Brookyln, NY as part of a collaboration with choreographer Miro Magliore. 

 

Sound Icon Performs Ken Ueno's "Zetsu"

Sound Icon, Boston's acclaimed contemporary music sinfonietta, gives the East Coast premiere of Ken Ueno's Zetsu on November 12th at Boston University's CFA Concert Hall, presented by Boston University's Center for New Music. The performance features violinist Gabriela Diaz, for whom Ueno originally wrote this "person-specific" piece, and who premiered the piece along with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players in February 2015. Zetsu is inspired by the ceramics of Nishida Jun, whose works are in the collection of Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. Like Jun's ceramics, Zetsu attempts to analogize the creation of a protean form of music, which Ueno accomplishes by crafting both new ways of playing instruments and new instruments themselves, such as percussion idiophones using microtonal tunings specific to the harmonic spectrum of the piece, and the "Hookah Sax"—a saxophone augmented with a 7' length of plastic hookah tubing: 



Ueno writes that, formally, the piece "pushes and pulls gestures and textures to extremes: the slowly evolving shimmer in the solo violin of the opening gives way to discrete, rhythmically clarified polyphony for the ensemble. The soloist returns with an intricate part ranging widely in articulation and tessitura, microtonal contours lending an organic, improvised, very human intensity."

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