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Posts tagged 'Yarn/Wire'

Sound American Releases Alex Mincek Portrait Album "Torrent"



On April 26th, Sound American releases a new album, Torrent, featuring the music of Alex Mincek—the composer's first solo album since 2011's self-titled release on Carrier Records. Torrent collects recordings of several new works for ensemble alongside extensive interviews and wrtitings on Mincek into a 28-page art-object, and is the first of Sound American's "Young Composer Portrait series".

Torrent includes recordings of several works performed by members of the Wet Ink Large Ensemble, Yarn/Wire, and the Mivos Quartet. These works were all composed in the past seven years, and include Pendulum VII, which is available from PSNY. Check out an excerpt below: 

In a special issue devoted to the music of Alex Mincek, Sound American offers several interviews between Mincek, the Wet Ink ensemble, Nate Wooley, and Jeremiah Cymerman. On the works collected and recorded on Torrent, Eric Wubbels notes:

"Each piece is a balance between objects and ideas that have been thoroughly tested and developed in previous pieces and new, exploratory, or experimental ideas (sounds, objects, forms). In any given piece, if the new ideas work well, they might find their way into the next piece, and so on... As a result, I see a kind of slow evolution and refreshing of the musical language within a style that maintains a strong profile and internal consistency."

For more critical analysis of Mincek's recent work, check out George Grella's long-form article on Mincek in Music and Literature, which describes him as "on the outside, looking out."

Alex Mincek Portrait Concert at Miller Theatre



Alex Mincek
—the composer and performer dubbed "the new guard of the New York avant-garde" by the The New York Times—will see his music featured in a Composer Portrait Concert at Columbia University's Miller Theatre on February 25th. The portrait features the piano/percussion quartet Yarn/Wire and the Mivos Quartet in the premiere of two new works: Torrent, an octet for two pianos, percussion and string quartet, commissioned by the Miller Theatre, and Images of Duration (In homage to Ellsworth Kelly), for Yarn/Wire. To compliment these new works, Yarn/Wire will perform Mincek's Pendulum VI: Trigger, composed in 2010, and the Mivos Quartet will perform String Quartet No. 3 ("lift – tilt – filter – split")

Mincek's Images of Duration, for Yarn/Wire, references the sequence of images that Kelly planned as a book in 1951: Line Form Color. He elaborates:

"In Kelly's work a succession of images proceeds from one to many lines, then grids, then primary color fields, then mixed color fields, and finally shapes embedded in color. My own work follows roughly the same strategy, applied to sound, in various reorderings, and emphasizes, like the Kelly, the futility of fully separating the experience of color from that of shape/gesture and how the order, or 'form' of the successions can intensify or dilute the perception of each." 


Pendulum VI: Trigger
 is part of Mincek's Pendulum series of compositions, which deal with the constantly-changing nature of pendulum swings. Mincek writes, 

"As a pendulum swings, it repeatedly passes smoothly through all the space and time between extremes without becoming fixed on any single position. The 'Pendulum' series presents a catalog of musical extremes, but like a pendulum, does not become fixed on any one musical position. Instead, it represents a refusal to choose any one side. Both sides of multiple polemics are treated as equals and are mediated by alternating in constant succession from one to the other, in an attempt to represent the futile insistence of having both, many, and all at once."

Check out an excerpt from Pendulum VI below: 

String Quartet No. 3 ("lift – tilt – filter – split") also plays with constantly-changing musical flux, though more akin to a Foucault Pendulum, which shows both its own oscillations and that of the constantly-rotating earth. This piece allows multiple points of entry, using constantly-changing textures to represent dynamic systemic changes. Check out a preview of the Mivos Quartet performing Mincek's String Quartet No. 3

Ann Cleare's "I should live in wires for leaving you behind" on PSNY and Yarn/Wire/Currents

We are thrilled to announce the addition of Ann Cleare's I should live in wires for leaving you behind to the PSNY catalogue. Scored for piano (two players) and two percussionists, the piece is full of intricate and beautiful notation. With extensive playing inside the piano along with a unique selection of percussion, this is arguably Cleare’s most percussive work yet. Cleare writes,

The piece simultaneously traces two processes: one of growth and one of evanescing, and aims to sonically and visually depict the energy and psychology between these transformative states.
 

Percussion is a fitting instrumentation for exploring sonic and dramatic elements. With percussion’s natural choreographic dimension, the visual energy is apparent. The use of a "prepared" salad spinner filled with loose marbles, coins, and nails surprisingly and brilliantly explores the growth and evanescing of timbre and visual/aural drama. There are moments of beauty and stillness throughout as well. Cleare imagines the colorful sounds of glass bowls placed on the strings of the piano during the beginning of her piece as “an organ made of crystal. 

I should live in wires for leaving you behind was commissioned by Issue Project Room and the ensemble Yarn/Wire who gave its premiere in October 2014 at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn, NY. In conjunction with the publication of the work on PSNY, Yarn/Wire has featured Cleare’s piece as part of the digital release of Yarn/Wire/Currents Volume 2. The series, inaugurated at Issue Project Room in 2013, serves as an incubator for new experimental music and explores the intersections of composition, technology, installation, live performance, music theater, and more. Visit Yarn/Wire's Currents Volume 2 album page and check out their recording of Ann Cleare's I should live in wires for leaving you behind:

 

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