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Posts tagged 'Present Music'

"The Branch Will Not Break" at Present Music

"Upshore from the cloud— / The slow whale of country twilight— / The spume of light falls into valleys / Full of roses." Thus begins James Wright's "By A Lake in Minnesota" from his 1963 book of poetry, The Branch Will Not Break. Wright's evocation of a solitary existence in the wonders of the natural permeates the book, which Christopher Cerrone has used as inspiration for his new work, The Branch Will Not Break, for vocal ensemble and ten instruments, which will premiere at Present Music's annual Thanksgiving concert.

Wright writes about the Upper Midwest as a home tinged with sadness. Speaking to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about Thanksgiving, Cerrone says "It's a complicated holiday [...] You want to return to the place you're from. It's a time to reflect and it can be sort of melancholy." Returning to the cold Midwest from his tenure at the American Academy in Rome, Cerrone will be present at the November 22 premiere of his new work, and will also give a pre-concert talk (sponsored by Milwaukee's own Colectivo Coffee about the poetic world of this piece. 

Cerrone's works that set poetry are numerous and powerful; his settings of Tao Lin can be heard in I Will Learn To Love A Person, of Bill Knott in The Naomi Songs, and of Ryōkan in Not One Word. Check out some recordings below to get a feeling of Cerrone's poetic settings: 

Ince By Ince

Milwaukee's Present Music, one of the leading new music ensembles in the Midwest and in the United States, presents a concert on August 30th with a composer who has become a perennial favorite: Kamran Ince. Dubbed "Ince by Ince", this concert — which is a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's critic's pick — features five works by Ince, three of which will be US Premieres. The concert will be recorded for Present Music's 10th CD release on Innova, and features a slew of other activities: a Turkish Bazaar-style celebration before the concert, and a free pre-concert workshop on Turkish instruments and music with Dr. Mehmet Sanlikol

The program features Ince's Dreamlines, Zamboturfidir, Partita, Asumani, and Two-Step Passion

In the Washington Post, Stephen Brookes writes: "'Ausmani,' a 2012 work for flute and cello by the gifted Turkish-American composer Kamran Ince [...] builds spare, questioning music gestures — flavored with microtones and other 'extended' techniques' —into a radiant climax, before dissolving again into silence."

Ince has been a long-time collaborator with Present Music, who have commissioned him to compose over a dozen works since the 1990's. In a recent feature in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Ince says, "We're like family in a way [...] I can try various different things, change things, play with things and they are open to it all. They are such eager musicians [...] I really know them, and I can really be free."

Check out a performance of Ince's Dreamlines below, and be sure to catch Present Music on August 30th!  


Introducing the PSNY Greenroom

We're thrilled to announce the launch of the PSNY Greenroom; a new series which makes it easier than ever to discover new music and see what ensembles across the country are listening to and performing.

The Greenroom highlights the ensembles and artists who are defining the landscape of contemporary music. Each month, an ensemble or artist will select works from the PSNY catalogue that they are excited about performing, listening to, or both. The Greenroom is your backstage pass into the ears and creative minds of your favorite artists; a place of discovery for anyone interested in contemporary music, driven by artists, for artists. 

Our first visit to the Greenroom is with Present Music, and features director Kevin Stalheim's favorite selections from the PSNY catalog. Based in Milwaukee since 1982, Present Music has just been awarded an NEA Art Works grant for its 32nd season finale concert, Home Place, in collaboration with Milwaukee artist Reginald Baylor's Typeface Project. As part of Home Place, Present Music partners with Milwaukee Opera Theatre to present a major public concert event on June 21, featuring Shelter by David Lang, Julia Wolfe, and Michael Gordon, which is accompanied by a film by Bill Morrison. The concert also includes a performance of Ahyem by Bryce Dessner, as well as a performance of original music and art by students and senions in Milwaukee. 

So, needless to say, Present Music is on the cutting edge of commissioning new music, along with developing innovative performance opportunities that reach out to the wider community. Have a listen to director Kevin Stalheim's favorite PSNY works below, and stop by the Greenroom to read more about his selections. 

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