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Posts tagged 'Mivos Quartet'

Sound American Releases Alex Mincek Portrait Album "Torrent"



On April 26th, Sound American releases a new album, Torrent, featuring the music of Alex Mincek—the composer's first solo album since 2011's self-titled release on Carrier Records. Torrent collects recordings of several new works for ensemble alongside extensive interviews and wrtitings on Mincek into a 28-page art-object, and is the first of Sound American's "Young Composer Portrait series".

Torrent includes recordings of several works performed by members of the Wet Ink Large Ensemble, Yarn/Wire, and the Mivos Quartet. These works were all composed in the past seven years, and include Pendulum VII, which is available from PSNY. Check out an excerpt below: 

In a special issue devoted to the music of Alex Mincek, Sound American offers several interviews between Mincek, the Wet Ink ensemble, Nate Wooley, and Jeremiah Cymerman. On the works collected and recorded on Torrent, Eric Wubbels notes:

"Each piece is a balance between objects and ideas that have been thoroughly tested and developed in previous pieces and new, exploratory, or experimental ideas (sounds, objects, forms). In any given piece, if the new ideas work well, they might find their way into the next piece, and so on... As a result, I see a kind of slow evolution and refreshing of the musical language within a style that maintains a strong profile and internal consistency."

For more critical analysis of Mincek's recent work, check out George Grella's long-form article on Mincek in Music and Literature, which describes him as "on the outside, looking out."

Katherine Young Joins PSNY


(Katherine Young; photo: Peter Gannushkin)

We're thrilled to welcome composer and bassoonist/improviser Katherine Young to our roster of PSNY composers! Young's compositions exemplify the attention, intuition, embodied knowledge, and indeterminacy that comes from a deep understanding of instrumental possibilities, and her activities over the past ten years show a musical mind open to all of the possibilities of sound.

Young's music can actually proclaim that it is, in fact, "new"—not only new in aesthetic, organization, and style, but also in instrument, performance, and authority. Her scores call for techniques to extend the sonic possibilities of the instruments, and indeed often turning them into systems of body, wood, metal, and electronics. From her experience as a composer, performer, improviser, and collaborator, Young's work manages to be all of these things at once: intentional composition, intuitive improvisation, and close collaboration with performers. We're proud to offer three of Young's works written within the past eight years, each with its own unique sonic world. 

Composed in 2008, Underworld (Dancing) is written for tuba and Wurlitzer electric piano, with each instrument making space for the other within the dimensions of timbre and pitch. The score, which instructs each player within these dimensions, contains gestrual writing, graphic notation, and other innovations designed to allow the "work" to unfold as it is "worked" by the performers, with the instrumentalists reacting both to each other and to each other's instruments. The result is an aural game played between all of these actors, linked by Young's network of associations and resonances. 

Puddles and Crumbs, written in 2014-15 for solo trombone and electronics in collaboration with trombonist Weston Olencki, folds this instrumental dialogue onto itself, augmenting the trombone with electronic effects: reverberation, pitch-shifting, and distortion. A common technique of solo improvisers, routing the signal of an instrument through a chain of effects here actually creates four voices: composer, performer, instrument, and instrumental signal. Young writes that Puddles and Crumbs is a "loving embrace of the by-products, side effects, and detritus of performance." But we could also say that Puddles and Crumbs forces a re-evaluation of "performance" and "side effect", drawing the listener's attention to the middle ground between the two. 

slam creak bzzz, composed in 2012 and revised in 2015, is a string quartet, amplified and augmented to evoke the sound-worlds of mid-century epic cinema. Young translates the phantasmagoric sensory experience of the movie theater into the concert hall, mirroring the effects of cinematic sound design in her composition, which calls on the musicians to play the entire instrument's body, as well as the performer's own human bodies. Check out a recording of slam creak bzzz featuring the Mivos Quartet:

Josh Modney in the PSNY Greenroom

The PSNY Greenroom is where we ask today's top artists and ensembles to share the music that they're most excited about—the works they keep coming back to, that form their core repertory. Present Music, the Talea Ensemble, and the JACK Quartet have all shared their stories in the Greenroom, giving you a rare backstage glimpse of the music that fuels their innovative, passionate, and groundbreaking performances.

(photo: Josh Modney; credit: Edgar Hartung, edited by Michiko Saiki) 

We're thrilled to feature one of the hardest working people in New Music for a new Greenroom edition: the violinist, violist, and improviser, Josh Modney. As the executive director of the Wet Ink Ensemble, Modney manages one of the most vital new music ensembles in New York; Modney also is a member of the Mivos Quartet, and has performed extensively with the International Contemporary Ensemble. Collaborations with composers such as Kate Soper, Alex Mincek, Scott Wollschleger, and Mario Diaz de Leon, have led to powerful new works that exist equally as much in performance as they do on the page. And performance is what Modney does best, in every sense of the word. 

So what does Modney think about when he's in the greenroom, about to go on stage and perform? Head over to the Greenroom to see the full story of Modney's favorites on PSNY. Or, if you're in New York, be sure to stop by St. Peter's Church on June 10th, when the Wet Ink Ensemble will perform Erin Gee's Mouthpiece X, featuring fellow PSNY composer Kate Soper as solo vocalist.

Modney's PSNY Greenroom "Picks" include Alex Mincek's Color-Form-Line, Kate Soper's Cipher, Scott Wollschleger's Soft Aberration no. 2, Erin Gee's Mouthpiece: Segment of the 4th Letter, and Mario Diaz de Leon's Trembling Time II. Watch an excerpt of the Wet Ink Ensemble performing Mincek's Color-Form-Line, and visit Modney's Greenroom spotlight for more on his "picks". 



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