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Posts tagged 'solo cello'

Seth Parker Woods Plays Alvin Singleton's "Argoru II"



Cellist Seth Parker Woods has risen to the top of his generation: a virtuoso cellist who knows no boundaries, Woods easily travels between (and indeed blurs the differences between) the worlds of new music, improvisation, performance art, and electro-acoustic experimentation. On June 1st in Athens, Greece, as a part of Documenta 14, Woods will perform Alvin Singleton's Argoru II, alongside George Lewis' Not Alone and Pierre Alexandre Tremblay's asinglewordisnotenough (invariant), in a concert that also features veteran composer, performer, and instrument designer Peter Zinovieff

Argoru II forms part of Singleton's Argoru series of compositions for solo instruments. "Argoru", in the Twi language spoken in Ghana, means "to play". As Carman Moore writes,

In Argoru II the composer constructs a world of "strange characters" for whom he seems to have created an original language which they use to scream out, cajole, shout, mumble, and chuckle. Single powerful shots alternate with long phrase ultra-soft scramblings. This is the theatre of sound."

Check out a recording of Argoru II, performed by Ronald Crutcher, below.

Sleeping Giant at Carnegie Hall and Le Poisson Rouge

On January 18th, the members of the composer collective Sleeping Giant premiered a new work, Hand Eye, commissioned for the Grammy-award winning sextet eighth blackbird, at Carnegie Hall. Each composer—including PSNY composers Timo Andres, Andrew Norman, Ted Hearne, Christopher Cerrone, in addition to Robert Honstein and Jacob Cooper—composed a piece inspired by a work of art in the collection of the Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation. The works they chose ranged from painting to sculpture, resulting in compositions ranging from Hearne's By-By Huey, which meditates on the murder of Huey P. Lewis, to Andres' Checkered Shade, which draws inspiration from Astrid Bowlby's pen and ink drawings

Earler in the month, Sleeping Giant also premiered six new works for cellist Ashley Bathgate, inspired by Bach's suites for solo cello. Perhaps the most paradigmatic set of compositions for solo cello, Bach's suites have become canonical repertoire in the 20th century, and have served as models for many contemporary composers. Sleeping Giant continues this tradition by composing six new movements that form Ashgate's evening-length performance, Bach Unwound. Check out Bathgate performing Jacob Cooper's Arches with the Bang on a Can All-Stars in 2015 for a taste of her playing.  

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