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Posts tagged 'Morton Subotnick'

Vijay Iyer and Morton Subotnick at Big Ears

The Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, Tennessee, draws together musicians operating within different styles, genres, scenes, and social communities; for a magic weekend, this year from March 30th through April 2nd, audiences can expand their ears in twelve venues across the city. 

The composer, pianist, and scholar Vijay Iyer will perform in three separate configurations that highlight his versatility as a composer and performer. On Thursday, March 30th, Iyer, along with bassist Linda May Han Oh and drummer and composer Tyshawn Sorey, will play in a trio formation; this is the same trio which recorded Iyer’s recent ECM album Uneasy, which was described by Jazz critic Nate Chinen as “taut and enveloping” in his review for Pitchfork.

The following day, Iyer will perform in a different trio, with Pakistani-American vocalist Arooj Aftab and longstanding creative multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily, in support of their upcoming album Love in Exile. Iyer first performed with this trio in 2018, and through subsequent improvised performances, the trio developed an emergent, crystalline, otherworldly sensibility; their performance at Big Ears will be their first after the release of Love in Exile on Verve Records on March 24th. 

Finally, on Saturday, April 1st, Iyer will join the Parker Quartet in a presentation of his composed works, including works for solo piano, piano quartet, and more. Check out his Mozart Effects with the Parker Quartet below. 

Closing out the festival on Sunday, April 2nd, Morton Subotnick will perform his newest work, As I Live and Breathe, with his longtime collaborator, the Berlin-based visual artist Lillevan. Subotnick writes:  

 “As I Live and Breathe features live and sampled vocalizing along with some of my most advanced electronic performance techniques. At last, some Buchla modules are now digital plugins and Ableton Live has evolved into a form that will allow me to create a technological environment that I never expected, in my lifetime, to experience. It starts with my breath, moves through a vocalizing cadenza of vocal gestures and ends with a tender and simple use of gentle rhythms and melodic fragments."

Watch an excerpt of Subotnick and Lillevan's recent performance below. 

Greenroom Composer Spotlight: Morton Subotnick's "Crowds and Power"

When Nonesuch Records released Morton Subotnick's Silver Apples of the Moon in 1967, it was the first electronic record ever to be commissioned by a classical record label. Recorded on a Buchla synthesizer, Subotnick developed a provocative and unfathomably original work the likes of which had never been heard before.

Now 50 years following that release, Subotnick is the subject of a new documentary film and the centerpiece of a three-night series of live performances at Lincoln Center Festival, including Silver Apples as well as the world premiere of a bold new work, Crowds and Power. Musicologist Ted Gordon explores Subotnick's legacy and takes an early look at his newest composition in a new PSNY Greenroom feature. Read the feature here.

Joan La Barbara Performances in Zurich and Montréal

(Joan La Barbara, photo: Aleksandar Kostic)

Joan La Barbara
continues to be one of the busiest musicians working in the field of new music, both as a composer and a performer. And this work consists not only of commissions and performances, but also actively expanding the reach of her music to audiences around the globe. In October, La Barbara was involved with two festivals that emphasize the paths her work traces between seemingly different worlds. 

La Barbara's month kicked off with several performances and a master class at the Zürcher Hochschule der Kunste in Zurich, Switzerland, to celebrate the 85h birthday of her longtime friend and collaborator Alvin Lucier. Over the course of the four-day festival, La Barbara performed Morton Feldman's Only, Lucier's recent work Palimpsest (with text by Lydia Davis), and Double Rainbow, a new work for voice and oscillator. La Barbara also gave a master class and participated in a symposium with festival participants. Check out the full program here, and an excerpt of La Barbara performing Lucier's Palimpsest below: 

Across the Atlantic, La Barbara brought her mastery of the human voice to another venue: the Montreal Planetarium. La Barbara's pioneering compositional and performing voice has also reached new audiences in the electronic music community, including recognition from Red Bull Music Academy. RBMA, which has featured interviews with La Barbara and Morton Subotnick, presented a sold out concert featuring La Barbara, Pauline Oliveros, Lucrecia Dalt and Pan Daijing. La Barbara was also featured on RBMA's "Fireside Chat" radio interview series, with an episode airing on November 1, 2016 at 8pm CDT.  

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