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Posts tagged 'Mario Diaz de Leon'

Mario Diaz de Leon Premieres "Sacrament" with Talea Ensemble

New York's Talea Ensemble, co-directed by PSNY composer Anthony Cheung, will premiere a new work by fellow PSNY composer Mario Diaz de Leon, entitled Sacrament, at National Sawdust on February 17th. Commissioned by Talea, Sacrament is scored for ensemble and electronics, bringing Diaz de Leon's signature fire and intensity to a concert program that also includes premieres by Jason Eckhardt and Joshua Fineberg. Diaz de Leon and Talea have worked together before: they commissioned his 2013 work The Chapel Abyss, and performed Trembling Time II with the Cairn String Trio. Check out that performance below. 

Vijay Iyer's "Flute Goals (Five Empty Chambers)" Debuts at Claire Chase's "Density 2036" Series

Claire Chase's density 2036 series is perhaps one of the most ambitious commissioning projects of the 21st century: beginning in 2014, Chase has commissioned 60 minutes worth of compositions for solo flute, and will contintue to do so until 2036—the 100th anniversary of Edgard Varèse's Density 21.5. That means 22 years of commissions, which totals to 1320 minutes of music, and at least 100 new works. 

Chase's density 2036 commissions have already resulted in new works from Marcos Balter (Pessoa for six bass flutes), Mario Diaz de León (Luciform, for flute and electronics), and Matthias Pintscher (Beyond for solo flute). And for the fourth installment in 2016, Chase commissioned Vijay Iyer to compose Flute Goals (Five Empty Chambers), a piece for fixed media / pre-recorded flute sounds. To make this piece, Iyer asked Chase to send him recordings of her improvising, and Iyer used these recordings to compose his piece. The resulting work consists entirely of non-pitched sounds recorded by Chase on five different flutes (contrabass flute, alto flute, flute, piccolo, and ocarina). Iyer explains:

[Chase] displayed a different personality on each instrument; it was like listening to a cypher of whisper-quiet battle emcees, or perhaps a series of encounters with various insect-robots, whirring and buzzing in the air in front of you. I decided I would treat each of her improvisations as an episode. I built a specific environment around each one, and ran them through effects so that her extemporaneous rhythms were triggering other sounds.


Writing in the Village Voice, critic Alison Kinney notes that "Claire Chase wants to show us what solo flute music sounds like when you take away the flute and the soloist. Or when the score is danced, the sound engineer performs, and the flute is played as a drum set."

Iyer's Flute Goals (Five Empty Chambers) reconfigures the roles of composer, performer, and engineer — a true collaboration between musical minds.

New Works by Kate Soper and Mario Diaz de Leon at the LA Phil


(photo: Kate Soper: © The New Yorker; Mario Diaz de Leon: © Katrin Albert)

The Los Angeles Philharmonic's Green Umbrella series has become a vital part of America's New Music landscape, commissioning and featuring composers and performers from around the country. On Saturday, October 1, Green Umbrella presents a "composers-as-performers" concert, featuring World Premieres of new works by PSNY Composers Kate Soper and Mario Diaz de Leon, along with PSNY composer Timo Andres performing a new work written for him by Ingram Marshall.

Soper will perform her new work, The Ultimate Poem is Abstractwritten for soprano and ensemble—alongside the LA Phil's New Music Group, conducted by John Adams. This work questions the relationship between voice, text, music, and abstraction, setting texts by Soper, Wallace Stevens, and many other contemporary writers in a work that points toward vocal experience over vocal description. To get in the spirit, check out a performance of Soper's Cipher with the composer joining recent PSNY Greenroom artist violinist Josh Modney:

Diaz de Leon's new work, Lightmass, for brass ensemble and electronics, is a three-movement work that turns these two concepts—light and mass—into a descriptive and narrative musical dialectic. The three movements are inspired by urban spaces and architecture; in Diaz de Leon's words, "outward manifestations of inner experience, a living building as a divine body." Listen to a performance of de Leon's Trembling Time II by the Talea Ensemble:

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