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Posts tagged 'Rachel Lee Priday'

Christopher Cerrone's "The Pieces that Fall to Earth" Released on New Amsterdam Records

Christopher Cerrone's long-awaited album, The Pieces that Fall to Earth, has recently been released on New Amsterdam Records. This new album collects three vocal cycles, all performed by the Los Angeles-based collective Wild UpThe Pieces that Fall to Earth, with soprano Lindsay Kesselman; The Naomi Songs, sung by vocalist Theo Bleckmann; and The Branch Will Not Break, sung by a chorus of eight vocalists. 

The three vocal cycles collected on The Pieces that Fall to Earth each draw their text from different contemporary poets: Kay Ryan, Bill Knott, and James Wright. In each cycle, Cerrone activates the subtle and powerful affective worlds created through his setting of these poems to music, marrying the modernist and avant-garde sound-worlds of composers such as Luciano Berio and Morton Feldman with more traditional strophic settings of lush and memorable vocal melodies. 

Cerrone notes, “These authors profoundly inspired the music that I wrote. I feel that by setting their disparate languages, I have composed three works that are kindred spirits, but whose differences are as profound as their similarities.”

The blog I Care if You Listen recently premiered a music video for "Swept Up Whole," from the album's titular vocal cycle, featuring soprano Lindsay Kesselman. As Cerrone writes,

In “Swept Up Whole,” the narrator sings “You aren’t / swept up whole, / however it / feels. You’re / atomized. The wind / passes. You / recongeal. It’s a surprise.” This film, conceived of by Evan Chapman and Kevin Eikenberg of Four/Ten Media, takes this poem and reimagines its themes visually and chronologically.

The Pieces that Fall to Earth has already been celebrated with an album release concert in Los Angeles; on August 2nd, the album will see another release event at New York's Areté, featuring Theo Bleckmann singing The Naomi Songs in an arrangement for piano and voice, accompanied by Timo Andres, who also wrote liner notes to the album. Rachel Lee Priday will perform Cerrone’s Sonata for Violin and Piano with Andres, and percussionist Andy Meyerson of The Living Earth Show will play a solo version of Cerrone’s meditative A Natural History of Vacant Lots." Cerrone will also accompany soprano Alexandra Smither in his work "I will learn to love a person."

New Music from Christopher Cerrone

2015 has already been a busy year for PSNY composer Christopher Cerrone: a residency at EMPAC, a successful Kickstarter campaign with percussionist Owen Weaver, and on February 6th, the premeire of a new Violin Concerto at a new music venue in New York (new!) called Subculture. Jointly commissioned by violinist Rachel Lee Priday and pianist David Kaplan, with funding from the Fromm Foundation, this new piece will have its first performance on a program curated by Cerrone that centers around the relationship between contemporary music and 19th century Germany. Cerrone's work, a violin sonata, retains the formal sections of classical Sonata form while wildly reimagining its boundaries. Also on the program is Hannah Lash's Liebesbrief an Schumann which draws intertexts from Robert Schumann's Davidsbündlertänze [League of David Dances], instrumental works he wrote at the height of his compositional powers, which pit the fanciful league of David against the "Philistines"—Schumann's vision of (1830s) mass culture. Rounding out the program are new works by Samuel Carl Adams and PSNY's own Scott Wollschleger

Part of MATA's Interval series, the concert is jointly produced by Issue Project Room, and was curated by Cerrone. Check out a sneak preview of Priday and Kaplan rehearsing Cerrone's new sonata below. 

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