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Information Regarding COVID-19

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Please note:

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Weekly Playlist: Scott Wollschleger

Scott Wollschleger has long been interested in the end of the world—or a world. The processes of ending, transformation, and becoming are enacted in many of his works, which often bear witness to the subtle transmutation of musical material through slow, meditative interactions between musician and instrument. In a recent interview with Steve Smith about his longstanding collaboration with pianist Karl Larson, Wollschleger says: 

But world is a created idea, and I get inspiration from the feeling of not holding onto this idea of the past, in a certain way. So when I say I write music for the end of the world, it’s more of a letting go of these things, that structure, the world that we hold onto from the past. I’m looking for a way to make a structure of the world that’s not determined on something from the past. 

Some of Wollschleger's works are more explicit about this new structuring, such as 2015's Bring Something Incomprehensible Into This World!whose title is excerpted from an essay by Heinrich von Kleist. But others are more mutable in their worldmaking. This week, we celebrate recent performances of Wollschleger's works that investigate such sonic possible worlds. 

1. Lost Anthems, Wollschleger's 2019 work for viola and piano, composed for violist Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti's multifaceted 20/19 commissioning project. The UK premiere performance, at the Turner Contemporary (alongside commissions by Andrew Norman and Anna Thorvaldsdottir), was filmed by Will Dutta, and is now available to stream:

2. Dark Days, a 2017 work for solo piano written during the early tenure of America's current president. This work was recently performed by pianist/composer Timo Andres, paired with Aaron Copland's Story of Our Town, for the Metropolis Ensemble's House Music Series, which feature intimate performances at home during our current dark days. 

3. American Dream (for piano, contrabass, and percussion, 2017). This work, commissioned and premiered by the trio Bearthoven, was recorded and released in 2019 on Canteloupe Music, and was more recently performed at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute. Wollschleger and the members of Bearthoven (Karl Larson, Pat Swoboda, and Matt Evans) were interviewed by Avaloch's Michael Compitello, and their discussion of this work can be seen here.

4. We Have Taken and Eaten, a 2015 monodrama for solo percussionist. This heterodox work places a percussionist—Kevin Sims—as the protagonist of an operatic work, in which, Wollschleger writes, "I tried to construct a musical language that was composed of sound materials that might have been left over in the dustbin of history." As featured on NPR's "Arts & Letters" program, We Have Taken and Eaten "attempts to create a new narrative for ourselves as we move into an uncertain future." 

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