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Posts tagged '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". 



Upcoming Performances of Wollschleger, Cerrone

Schumann's Dichterliebe famously begins: "Im wunderschönen Monat Mai"—in the wonderful month of May. What follows is a masterful collection of discrete, yet interrelated compositions: a chain linked by its proximity to rebirth and spring. Schumann's song cycle is nice metaphor for what's happening with two of our PSNY composers this month: over the next few weeks, Scott Wollschleger and Christopher Cerrone will see a blooming and bountiful group of performances, all up and down the East coast. A wonderful month of May, indeed! 

Kicking things off in a lower register, Scott Wollschleger's trio for marimba, bass clarinet, and bassoon, Density is a Kind of Love, will see its New York Premiere at ShapeShifter Lab on May 9th, performed by Transient Canvas and Chris Watford. Keep an eye out for Density is a Kind of Love, which will soon be published on PSNY. 

Watford will also be performing Timothy McCormack's monumental BODY MATTER, which Watford commissioned in 2015—a nearly thirty-minute long exploration of the bassoon that pushes the instrument and its player to their limits. 

The very next day, Wollschleger's second string quartet, "White Wall", will be performed by the MIVOS Quartet alongside Helmut Lachenmann's String Quartet No. 3 ("Grido") at Roulette, as a part of the Darmstadt Institute New York's 70 Year Anniversary Celebration. Performing on a packed program that also includes the International Contemporary Ensemble performing works by Ashley Fure, Chaya Czernowin ,and Luigi Nono, MIVOS's performance of "White Wall"—a piece they commissioned from Wollschleger—will offer a "brontal" meditation on the process of becoming-sound, with quiet but intense energies circulating among the quartet members, sounding their own time. Check out MIVOS performing the first half of this quartet: 

If Wollschleger's "White Wall" plunges us into the sound-world of the instruments themselves, Christopher Cerrone's "Memory Palace", which sees two performances in the same week, brings us to the sound-world of the composer firmly rooted in space. Or, more properly, as the movement titles suggest, spaces: Harriman, the Long Island Expressway, Foxhurst. On May 8th, the Metropolis Ensemble, featuring percussionist Ian Rosenbaum, performs the Washington, DC premiere of "Memory Palace" at the Phillips Collection. Moving up the coastline, Rosenbaum will also perform the work in Baltimore at An Die Musik on May 10th, with Cerrone giving engaging in an intimate pre-concert conversation. The following week, on May 16th, Rosenbaum will again perform "Memory Palace" at the American Irish Historical Society—an innovative concert program that asks, "what would a house sound like if it could sing?". Check out Rosenbaum performing "Memory Palace" below. 

Alex Mincek Portrait Concert at Miller Theatre



Alex Mincek
—the composer and performer dubbed "the new guard of the New York avant-garde" by the The New York Times—will see his music featured in a Composer Portrait Concert at Columbia University's Miller Theatre on February 25th. The portrait features the piano/percussion quartet Yarn/Wire and the Mivos Quartet in the premiere of two new works: Torrent, an octet for two pianos, percussion and string quartet, commissioned by the Miller Theatre, and Images of Duration (In homage to Ellsworth Kelly), for Yarn/Wire. To compliment these new works, Yarn/Wire will perform Mincek's Pendulum VI: Trigger, composed in 2010, and the Mivos Quartet will perform String Quartet No. 3 ("lift – tilt – filter – split")

Mincek's Images of Duration, for Yarn/Wire, references the sequence of images that Kelly planned as a book in 1951: Line Form Color. He elaborates:

"In Kelly's work a succession of images proceeds from one to many lines, then grids, then primary color fields, then mixed color fields, and finally shapes embedded in color. My own work follows roughly the same strategy, applied to sound, in various reorderings, and emphasizes, like the Kelly, the futility of fully separating the experience of color from that of shape/gesture and how the order, or 'form' of the successions can intensify or dilute the perception of each." 


Pendulum VI: Trigger
 is part of Mincek's Pendulum series of compositions, which deal with the constantly-changing nature of pendulum swings. Mincek writes, 

"As a pendulum swings, it repeatedly passes smoothly through all the space and time between extremes without becoming fixed on any single position. The 'Pendulum' series presents a catalog of musical extremes, but like a pendulum, does not become fixed on any one musical position. Instead, it represents a refusal to choose any one side. Both sides of multiple polemics are treated as equals and are mediated by alternating in constant succession from one to the other, in an attempt to represent the futile insistence of having both, many, and all at once."

Check out an excerpt from Pendulum VI below: 

String Quartet No. 3 ("lift – tilt – filter – split") also plays with constantly-changing musical flux, though more akin to a Foucault Pendulum, which shows both its own oscillations and that of the constantly-rotating earth. This piece allows multiple points of entry, using constantly-changing textures to represent dynamic systemic changes. Check out a preview of the Mivos Quartet performing Mincek's String Quartet No. 3

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