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Posts tagged 'The JACK Quartet'

New Music from Wollschleger, Hearne, and Balter

Scott Wollschleger's long-anticipated album, Soft Aberration, has just been released on New Focus Recordings. Featuring Brontal Symmetry, Soft Aberration, Bring Something Incomprehensible Into This World, and String Quartet No. 2 "White Wall", Wollschleger's new album features performances by soprano Corrine Byrne, trumpeter Andy Kozar, violist Anne Lanzilotti, cellist John Popham, pianist Karl Larson, the Mivos Quartet, and the Longleash trio. In a series of informative blog posts, Lanzilotti has written extensively on Wollschleger's concept of "brontal": 

a made up word that longtime collaborator Kevin Sims coined after making a series of pencil drawings on orange paper. The word now embodies Wollschleger’s aesthetic: the idea that we can create something very basic and human by discovering the sensation of an object. In doing this, we are making something unfamiliar very immediate. This process of discovery can be very focused and also, at times, very funny.

Check out Wollschleger's new album below. 

On October 21st at 7.30pm, the New World Symphony will premiere a new work by Ted Hearne entitled Miami in Movements. But while this piece was composed by Hearne, the musical material that Hearne had composed is made up of over 1,050 videos and audio recordings, made by the people of Miami, that record the feelings, impressions, and emotions they associate with their city. Working with videographer Jonathan David Kane, Hearne has created Miami in Movements for Project 305, a concert program by the NWS that features Hearne's new work in a free, public "wallcast" performance

Just as Miami in Movements was created specificly for the city of Miami, the Jack Quartet has put together a touring program of American string quartets from the 20th and 21st centuries, which they have titled "Soundscape America". Their program, which premieres on October 21 at Columbia University's Miller Theatre, includes classics such as Ruth Crawford Seeger's String Quartet 1931, as well as more contemporary works such as Marcos Balter'sChambers. This work, which was commissioned and premiered in 2011 by the Spektral Quartet, offers three movements that condense the different aspects of Balter's musical identity into a single work. Check out Spektral's recording, released on Parlour Tapes, below. 

Lei Liang Portrait Concert at Miller Theatre


(Lei Liang, photo: Howard Lipin)

On November 17th, Miller Theatre at Columbia University will present a Portrait Concert of composer Lei Liang. With performances by the JACK Quartet, loadbang, bassist Mark Dresser and with Steven Schick conducting, this concert will feature the New York premiere of Liang's concerto for double bass and ensemble Luminous (2014), as well as the World Premiere of Lakescape V, a new work commissioned by Miller Theatre and dedicated to loadbang. 

(Excerpt from Luminous, performed by Mark Dresser, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Steven Shick, conductor)

Liang's work is often influenced by traditional Chinese music—from Opera, to Mongolian throat singing, to instruments such as the guqin, an ancient zither—and brings these influences to bear on decidedly idiosyncratic, flexible concepts such as "one note polyphony", shadows, breathing, and transformation. As Paul Griffiths writes, "he breaths, so to say, from both of his lungs." The concert program features works from throughout Liang's career that illustrate and sonify these conceps, including Ascension, for brass quintet and percussion, and Serashi Fragments, for string quartet, along with Luminous and Lakescape V

                
(pages from Lei Liang's Luminous)

The Lakescape series encapsulates many of Liang's diverse interests. At a Mahayana Buddhist monastery in upstate New York, Liang observed a beaver swimming through a lake's placid surface; this led him to realize, in his words, that "underneath the music I write is a profoundly deep silence upon which I seek to inscribe my signature through sound."

In anticipation of the portrait concert, check out a video from the world premiere of Liang's recent string quartet Song Recollections, performed by the Formosa Quartet: 

Hannah Lash: Portrait Concert at Miller Theatre



The music of Hannah Lash is, as composer Martin Bresnick writes, infused with a "high seriousness"—a burning, disciplined seriousness, dedicated equally to the composition of new works and to the long musical tradition of the works' instruments, lineages, and intensities. An upcoming Portrait Concert at Columbia University's Miller Theatre features three works, two of which are world premieres. 

The program begins with the world premiere of Music for Eight Lungs, commissioned by the Miller Theatre and performed by loadbang. As the title would suggest, the performers in this ensemble—trumpet, trombone, bass clarinet, and baritone voice—are rendered as breathing bodies, each lung equal to the next regardless of instrument. (The voice, too, is an instrument here, woven in to the fabric of the piece.) The phonemic material of this composition is drawn from Purcell's aria, "When I am Laid in Earth" (known as "Dido's Lament," 1688).

Six Etudes and a Dream follows, written for and performed by pianist Lisa Moore. Each etude is dedicated to an aspect of Moore's piano playing, which Lash praises for its "musical laser focus." Check out a video of Lisa Moore, joined by cellist Ashley Bathgate, performing the first movement of Lash's Friction, Pressure, Impact:

The program will end with Lash, also an accomplished harpist, joining the JACK Quartet to perform Filigree in Textile, a work she composed for JACK and harpist Yolanda Kondonassis in 2011. This work shows Lash's capacity to work in several compositional paradigms, all of which have formed an integral part in the fabric of her compositional tradition—a metaphor implied by the piece's title and movement titles, each named after a material used in the weft of medieval tapestries. "Gold" features an organic, unfolding melodic "cell" which transforms throughout the movement; "Silver" is "a formal and somber dance in rhythmic unison"; "Silk" is through-composed, with the harp emerging as a figure against the ground of the ensemble. Check out an excerpt below.

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