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Posts tagged 'String Orchestra of Brooklyn'

New Works on PSNY: Wollschleger, Ueno and Cerrone

PSNY is pleased to announce the addition of several major works from three of our composers, ranging from pieces for solo clarinet to a new work for piano and string orchestra. Four of these new works by Scott Wollschleger, Ken Ueno and Christopher Cerrone were composed and premiered within the past year. 

Scott Wollschleger's Soft Aberration No. 2, for piano and viola, explores Wollschleger's concept of a "broken echo"—imitation between instruments that is refracted and softened by the act of communication in performance. Meditative and insightful, this work illustrates the diffusion of tonality with expressive, lyrical harmonies in the piano that are echoed in the viola's muted melodies. 

As in Soft Aberration No. 2, Wollschleger's Meditation on Dust presents the listener with a transfigured aural landscape of tonality through expressive, gestural motifs—though in this piece the piano is accompanied by a full string orchestra. Wollschleger imagines Straussian tone-poems petrifying in the desert, taken out of their fin-de-siècle Viennese context and into the future, where they still sound through a layer of dust. This isn't a "dusting" of tonality; rather, it is expressive tonality rendered into granules—pulverized, decayed, transfigured into an enigmatic refrain. Check out a video of pianist Karl Larson with the String Orchestra of Brooklyn premiering the work in June: 

In addition to these works by Wollschleger, we're very happy to make available three works by Ken Ueno, all of which embody Ueno's innovative use of extended techniques, multiphonics, and bold compositional voice. Ueno's Watt, for baritone saxophone, percussion, and CD Boombox, is an early example of Ueno's journey into multiphonics. Taking inspiration from John Coltrane's late albums such as Interstellar Space (1967), Watt shows Ueno's reconciliation of multiple symbolic, timbral, and functional systems into a kind of "flow", which he likens to a "manifold—like playing Scrabble and Mahjong at the same time."

Another work that features a reed instrument, this time a solo amplified Bb clarinet, is I screamed at the sea until nodes swelled up, then my voice became the resonant noise of the sea. The title of this piece comes from lore from the Korean tradition of Pansori singing, in which it is said that singers develop their trademark vocal timbre by screming at the sea until they develop nodes in their vocal chords. Ueno's work explores this idea through the clarinet, developing new techniques for overblowing, multiphonics, and the limits of humans and machines. 

Ueno's interest in reed instruments, multiphonics, extended techniques, electronics, and the limits of sound, all come together in his stunning 2015 concerto for violin and chamber ensemble, Zetsu. This work not only asks its performers to push the boundaries of what is possible with their instruments—it also asks them to play new instruments designed by the composer, such as percussion idiophones tuned to the microtonal intervals particular to the piece's harmonic spectrum, and the "hookah sax"—a saxophone with a 7-ft length of plastic tubing that extends its range. Check out a video of the premiere below:  

Finally, we are pleased to publish Christopher Cerrone's new song cycle, The Naomi Songs, in two versions: for voice and piano, and voice and 11 players. This cycle sets the poetry of Bill Knott, an enigmatic poet whose works were often short, metrical, and deeply self-depricating. In 1968, two years after announcing his own death, he published The Naomi Poems, a short volume that he often gave away for free and circulated via mimeograph. Cerrone's settings of these deeply personal poems matches their affect: the Naomi Songs are unified by the key of F, though their mode switches, and each song expresses a different aspect of joy, melancholy, longing, and desire. Check out an excerpt below: 

World Premiere of Scott Wollschleger's "Density Is A Kind Of Love" in Boston

On June 1, Boston's Equilibrium Concert Series closes its season with a concert of works for bassoon, bass clarinet and marimba, including the world premiere of Scott Wollschleger's Density Is A Kind Of Love featuring bassoonist Chris Watford and the Transient Canvas duo (Amy Advocat, bass clarinet; Matt Sharrock, marimba). Density Is A Kind Of Love, which was commissioned by Watford and Transient Canvas, reveals surprising new sonic landscapes between the three instruments and transforms them in strange and uniquely expressive ways. The work explores the wide timbral landscape of the bassoon and bass clarinet by weaving together complex multiphonic textures within a haze of bowed marimba, resulting in a unique, dance-like tapestry that Wollschleger describes as "an erotic soup of structured sound". He writes:

The marimba, which in some ways has nothing in common with the two wind instruments, finds a way to both interact with them yet also break free from their dance until all three instruments find a surprising and dramatic new configuration. I think of the work as a kind of choral love song. 

The program takes place at the Davis Square Theatre in Somerville, MA and also includes the premieres of Lattices of Blooms for bass clarinet and marimba by Zach Sheets and Timothy McCormack's BODY MATTER for solo amplified bassoon. 

Later this summer, Wollschleger sees the premiere of a new concerto for piano and string orchestra, Meditation on Dust, with the String Orchestra of Brooklyn and pianist Karl Larson. The concert will take place at Roulette in Brooklyn, NY on June 25 in a program including Feldman's Rothko Chapel and Penderecki's Dimensions of Time and Silence. Check out a video of Wollschleger's White Wall, performed by the Mivos String Quartet

Richard Carrick Named 2015 Guggenheim Fellow

Richard Carrick has been named a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow in Music Composition, joining the historic ranks of fellow composers such as Aaron Copland, George Antheil, and countless other American composers throughout the years. Carrick has been hard at work in the past year, releasing a new album on New World Records entitled "Cycles of Evolution", which features instrumentalists from a who's who of contemporary music ensembles in New York: the New York Philharmonic, Either/Or, Hotel Elefant, the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, and the Toomai String Quartet. The album features several works available through PSNY, including Sub-merge and Adagios, in an arrangement for string orchestra. Check out the String Orchestra of Brooklyn performing Adagios live at St. Ann's Church: 

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