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Posts tagged 'Miller Theatre'

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. 

Christopher Cerrone Portrait Concert at Columbia's Miller Theatre

Christopher Cerrone has taken inspiration for many of his works from the worlds of literature and poetry; on March 29th, he will see the premiere of a new work entitled "A Natural History of Vacant Lots" that instead draws from the poesis of the urban landscape.

Echoing the etymological root of the term "poesis" (ποίησις)—to bring something into existence that did not exist before—Cerrone's new piece takes inspiration from a 1987 book that surveys the life that emerges from vacant city lots, a cyclical process that unfolds organically and that can create surprising results. As Cerrone told Broadway World, "Though the growth of the material is extremely gradual, the things that emerge from the cycle of chords are sometimes surprising and veer quite far from the original material." This material is heard developing around the audience in a dimly-lit concert hall, emerging from two vibraphones and several loudspeakers into what New York Magazine calls a "dense sonic tangle."

A Natural History of Vacant Lots will be performed by Third Coast Percussion, with whom Cerrrone has worked extensively, and who co-commissioned the work along with Miller Theatre. Third Coast will also perform Cerrone's 2016 Goldbeater's Skin, accompanied by the soprano Rachel Calloway, and his 2012 work Memory Palace, arranged for percussion quartet. Check out the solo version of Memory Palace below. 

New Music from Wollschleger, Hearne, and Balter

Scott Wollschleger's long-anticipated album, Soft Aberration, has just been released on New Focus Recordings. Featuring Brontal Symmetry, Soft Aberration, Bring Something Incomprehensible Into This World, and String Quartet No. 2 "White Wall", Wollschleger's new album features performances by soprano Corrine Byrne, trumpeter Andy Kozar, violist Anne Lanzilotti, cellist John Popham, pianist Karl Larson, the Mivos Quartet, and the Longleash trio. In a series of informative blog posts, Lanzilotti has written extensively on Wollschleger's concept of "brontal": 

a made up word that longtime collaborator Kevin Sims coined after making a series of pencil drawings on orange paper. The word now embodies Wollschleger’s aesthetic: the idea that we can create something very basic and human by discovering the sensation of an object. In doing this, we are making something unfamiliar very immediate. This process of discovery can be very focused and also, at times, very funny.

Check out Wollschleger's new album below. 

On October 21st at 7.30pm, the New World Symphony will premiere a new work by Ted Hearne entitled Miami in Movements. But while this piece was composed by Hearne, the musical material that Hearne had composed is made up of over 1,050 videos and audio recordings, made by the people of Miami, that record the feelings, impressions, and emotions they associate with their city. Working with videographer Jonathan David Kane, Hearne has created Miami in Movements for Project 305, a concert program by the NWS that features Hearne's new work in a free, public "wallcast" performance

Just as Miami in Movements was created specificly for the city of Miami, the Jack Quartet has put together a touring program of American string quartets from the 20th and 21st centuries, which they have titled "Soundscape America". Their program, which premieres on October 21 at Columbia University's Miller Theatre, includes classics such as Ruth Crawford Seeger's String Quartet 1931, as well as more contemporary works such as Marcos Balter'sChambers. This work, which was commissioned and premiered in 2011 by the Spektral Quartet, offers three movements that condense the different aspects of Balter's musical identity into a single work. Check out Spektral's recording, released on Parlour Tapes, below. 

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