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Posts tagged 'MATA Festival'

Ann Cleare at the MATA Festival

Now in its seventeenth year, New York's MATA festival, founded by Philip Glass, Lisa Bielawa, and Eleonor Sandresky, has reached a new milestone as one of the worlds leading festivals of new music, with nearly a thousand submissions for composers around the globe. In addition to the dozens of works that were chosen from these submissions, MATA has also decided to commission new works by some of the most interesting composers under 40. 

The highlight of this year's round of commissions is Ann Cleare's eöl, a collaborative work between Cleare, sculptor Brian Byrne, and percussionist Alex Lipowski. Lipowski, who along with Anthony Cheung is a co-director of the Talea Ensemble, will be the featured soloist at the premiere of eöl on April 18th at The Kitchen, playing a unique metal sculpture-instrument by Byrne, and accompanied by clarinet, saxophone, accordion, cello and double bass.

What is the eöl, you might ask? Byrne's new instrument consists of a set of several objects created from various metals, worn and played by the percussionist. eöl refers both to the concept of the "Aeolian," music produced by nature without human intervention, and to Eöl the elf, a character in J.R.R. Tolkien's writings, who weaves metals into magical armor. As Cleare writes, "The ensemble enacts a similar type of sonic weaving, leading to the sonic and visual formation of the percussionist's metallic hands." Here's an image of the eöl; be sure to check out the World Premiere of Cleare's new composition to see this sculpture in action.

New Music from Christopher Cerrone

2015 has already been a busy year for PSNY composer Christopher Cerrone: a residency at EMPAC, a successful Kickstarter campaign with percussionist Owen Weaver, and on February 6th, the premeire of a new Violin Concerto at a new music venue in New York (new!) called Subculture. Jointly commissioned by violinist Rachel Lee Priday and pianist David Kaplan, with funding from the Fromm Foundation, this new piece will have its first performance on a program curated by Cerrone that centers around the relationship between contemporary music and 19th century Germany. Cerrone's work, a violin sonata, retains the formal sections of classical Sonata form while wildly reimagining its boundaries. Also on the program is Hannah Lash's Liebesbrief an Schumann which draws intertexts from Robert Schumann's Davidsbündlertänze [League of David Dances], instrumental works he wrote at the height of his compositional powers, which pit the fanciful league of David against the "Philistines"—Schumann's vision of (1830s) mass culture. Rounding out the program are new works by Samuel Carl Adams and PSNY's own Scott Wollschleger

Part of MATA's Interval series, the concert is jointly produced by Issue Project Room, and was curated by Cerrone. Check out a sneak preview of Priday and Kaplan rehearsing Cerrone's new sonata below. 

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