July 2, VIPA 2017 – Concert 2: Ensemble Interface

Auditorio del Conservatorio Superior “Joaquín Rodrigo” – 19.30h. (7:30 PM)

I Watched the tealights hide (2017)* – Victoria Cheah (1988)
for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and electronic playback

Luce ignota della sera [after Robert Schumann: “Zwölf Vierhändige Clavierstücke für kleine und große Kinder,” op. 85 n. 12] (2015) – Stefano Gervasoni (Italy, 1962)
for piano and live electronics

Los Misterios de Mitra (2009) – Gregorio Jiménez (1960)
for flutes and electronics
La gruta – El toro – La corona y la espada

Spheres (2017)* – Christopher Mitchell (USA, 1983)
for flute, percussion, piano and cello

Soliloquios (2017)* – Jason Thorpe Buchanan (USA, 1986)
for flute, bass clarinet, percussion, piano, violin, cello and electronics

Wick (2012)** – Melinda Wagner USA, 1957)
for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion

* world premiere
** Spanish premiere
Carlos Amat, guest conductor

Ensemble Interface
Gregor Schulenburg, flutes
Anna d’Errico, piano
Andrea Nagy, clarinets
Agnieszka Koprowska-Born, percussion
Christophe Mathias, violoncello
Maiko Matsuoka, violin

_____________________________________________________________________

I Watched the tealights hide (2017)* – Victoria Cheah (1988)
for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and electronic playback

Victoria Cheah (New York, NY) is a composer working in multiple media and genres, including concert music and installation work. Cheah holds a B.A. in music from Hunter College / Macaulay Honors College and is currently pursuing a doctorate in composition at Brandeis University. In addition to her doctoral studies, Cheah has taught at Longy School of Music of Bard College, Harvard University, and Brandeis University. From 2011-2015, Cheah served as the founding executive director of the ensemble Sound Icon. She has also worked with new music organizations Manhattan Sinfonietta, Argento Chamber Ensemble, Composit, and others towards the realization of contemporary music events in production and administration roles. She is currently a co-director of Score Follower / Incipitsify.

_____________________________________________________________________

Luce ignota della sera [after Robert Schumann: “Zwölf Vierhändige Clavierstücke für kleine und große Kinder,” op. 85 n. 12] (2015) – Stefano Gervasoni (Italy, 1962)
for piano and live electronics

Stefano-GervasoniBorn in Bergamo in 1962, Stefano Gervasoni began studying composition in 1980 on the advice of Luigi Nono: this encounter, as well as others with Brian Ferneyhough, Peter Eötvös and Helmut Lachenmann, turned out to be decisive for his career. After attending the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi in Milan, Stefano Gervasoni went on to study with  György Ligeti in Hungary in 1990, and then, in 1992, he attended the Course in Composition and in Computer Music organised by Ircam in Paris. His first three years in France laid the foundations for an international career that eventually led him to be “lodged” at Villa Medici in 1995-1996.
With commissions from such prestigious institutions as the WDR, the SWR, the Orchestra Nazionale della RAI, the Festival d’Automne in Paris, Radio France, IRCAM, the Casa da Musica in Porto, the Festival Archipel in Geneva, the Divertimento Ensemble in Milan, the Ensemble Intercontemporain, the Ensemble Modern, the Ensemble Contrechamps in Geneva, the Maerzmusik festival in Berlin, the Ars Musica Bruxelles, the Festival Musica in Strasbourg, the French Ministry of Culture, Milan Teatro alla Scala and Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Stefano Gervasoni has established himself as one of the most important Italian composers of his generation. His catalogue – which includes chamber and vocal music, concertos, works for orchestra, for ensemble and an opera (Limbus-Limbo), commissioned for the 50th anniversary of the Percussions de Strasbourg (2012) – was first published by Ricordi, from 1987, and then, from 2000, by Suvini Zerboni.

_____________________________________________________________________

Los Misterios de Mitra (2009) – Gregorio Jiménez (1960)
for flutes and electronics
La gruta – El toro – La corona y la espada

jimenezBorn in Valencia, Spain, composer Gregorio Jiménez was the founder of the Electroacoustic Music Laboratory from the Valencian Music Conservatory (LEA) and has been its director since 1996. He is a professor of electroacoustic composition and music technology in this centre. He was president of Spain’s Electroacoustic Music Association, as well as the CIME secretary. His works have been presented at various events in Spain, including the following: Granada International Festival; Alicante International Music Festival; Ensems (Valencia); JIEM (Music IT and Electronics Conferences – Madrid); Nits d’Aielo (Valencia); Meeting Point (AMEE); Spanish National Radio (Ars Sonora),etc.
In other countries: Futura Festival (Crest-France); the 1st Symposium on Computer Music (Corfu, Greece); Electroacoustic Spring in La Habana (Cuba); University of Campinhas (Brazil); Next Wave Festival (Australia) and Noise Festival (Mexico City); Synthèse de Bourges Festival (France); NWEAMO Festival (San Diego, USA); Cervantes Institute (Paris); Audio Art Festival (Krakow, Poland); Sound Visions (Morelia, Mexico), etc. He has been comissioned from the Valencian Institute for Music, the Spain Ministry of Culture, the Electroacoustic Music Institute in Bourges, and was a guest composer at EMS in Stockholm. He was elected by the SGAE to represent Spain in the Spring Festival in La Habana 2000, and has composed music for other media such as theatre, television and dance. Particularly noteworthy is the series “Vent de Mar” broadcast by RTVV-Channel 9.

_____________________________________________________________________

Spheres (2017)* – Christopher Mitchell (USA, 1983)
for flute, percussion, piano and cello

The shape of the sphere is universal. Our eyes, the earth we live upon, the sun that we revolve around with the other planets and moons, all of these things are in the shape of a sphere. On our tiny blue dot in a distant corner of the galaxy amongst the other billions of galaxies, we spin year after year in a circle, completely unaware of the true vastness of space while living a life of running around in desperate, chaotic circles amongst each other. While destroying our planet and our own species, the spheres of the universe continue to revolve, completely unaware of our existence and purpose. The composition Spheres attempts to capture the essence of our purpose in life in an unforgiving universe.

The music of Christopher Mitchell has been described as “raw with emotion and honesty” and “abstract yet accessible.” Christopher earned his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Southern Illinois University with his primary focus in music theory/composition with Frank Stemper, Kathleen Ginther and Eric Mandat. Christopher studied piano performance with Wilfred Delphin, Sandra Wright Shen and Heidi Louise Williams and has performed in numerous recitals, concerts and master classes specializing in music of the 20th/21st centuries. His compositions have been performed by both graduate level performers and professionals at the Outside the Box New Music Festival (SIUC), the Charlotte New Music Festival, New Mexico State University and Arizona State University, where he has received numerous commissions. He is currently in the process of earning a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition at Arizona State University.

_____________________________________________________________________

Soliloquios (2017)* – Jason Thorpe Buchanan (USA, 1986)
for flute, bass clarinet, percussion, piano, violin, cello and electronics

Soliloquios del viento was commissioned by Royaumont Académie Voix Nouvelles, written in August of 2016 and premiered by the Talea Ensemble & EXAUDI on September 9, 2016, conducted by James Baker. This fourteen-minute work is a meditation on eight poems of Pablo Neruda, reflecting love, distance, and despair. Six singers are set against eight instrumentalists whose fragile and often voiceless sonorities gently color and obscure the murmuring of the text and pointillistic vocal material. The Spanish text is predominantly unintelligible, with the content of Neruda’s words instead conjured by the composite texture. He writes of two lovers, their romance characterized by abrasion – a rendezvous between two scorched, ascetic souls, who consume and destroy one another, entangled yet divided by both sublime transfiguration and inexorable chaos. This revised version for sextet and electronics was completed in May 2017 for Ensemble Interface’s premiere at the 2017 VIPA Festival.

Neruda’s texts evoke not only the conflict between darkness and light in both persons, but through this lens, the experience of being confronted with the subjectivity of another’s consciousness. That otherness is manifest in lurid, destructive passions, revealing mutual incoherence, frailty, and sophism beyond endurance. Each poem seems to present discrete, parallel scenarios, some in which each is awoken by their confrontation rather than destroyed – in others suffering to the point of intolerable anguish and desolation. Eroticism and sunderance run throughout Neruda’s powerful imagery, his lover depicted as an enemy with whom he pleads for voice – who has disgraced their love. For the poet, love is the sole means with which two people may “weather” one another. A source of both euphoria and utter devastation, there is a vastness that is evoked in his texts, an attempt to span immeasurable time and distance. Each braves the other, an intimacy and corrosive embrace that both breaks and absolves each person.

Jason Thorpe Buchanan is an American composer, Artistic Director of the [Switch~ Ensemble] and Executive Director of the VIPA Festival. Commissioned and performed internationally by ensembles such as Alarm Will Sound (USA), Talea Ensemble, Ensemble Interface, Ensemble Nikel, Ensemble Linea, Insomnio Ensemble, EXAUDI Vocal Ensemble, Slagwerk Den Haag, Eklekto Percussion, Mivos Quartet, Nonsemble 6, IKTUS Percussion, The Industry, wild Up, the [Switch~ Ensemble], OSSIA, FÜNF+FÜNF Festival, and the Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble, among others. Nominated for the Gaudeamus Prize, three works were presented at Gaudeamus Muziekweek in 2015. Scenes from his multimedia opera Hunger have received performances at Darmstadt (2014), The Industry’s FIRST TAKE in L.A. (2015), and the MATA Interval Series in NYC with the [Switch~ Ensemble]. “Hunger is a kind of training session in mental disintegration… An ungodly opera needs ugly music, singers who produce primal sounds, an electric guitar that sounds scraped raw, a wailing orchestra effects, cuts the ear like a knife. Buchanan delivers.” – LA Times. Honors and awards include a Fulbright Fellowship (2010-11) in Hamburg (Germany), a fellowship and commission from Royaumont Académie Voix Nouvelles for Talea+Exaudi (2016), Artist-in-Residence USF Verftet/City Council of Bergen, Norway (2015), American-Scandinavian Foundation Grant, ASCAP Morton Gould Award (2014 & 2015), Howard Hanson Orchestral Prize, Winner of Iron Composer (2014), Winner of newEar Composer’s Competition, commissions from Mizzou International Composers Festival, International Horn Society, Tzlil Meudcan Festival (Tel Aviv), Chamber Music Campania (Italy), German/American Fulbright-Kommission, Gaudeamus Muziekweek (Netherlands), Eklekto Percussion (Switzerland), NY Virtuoso Singers, BlueWater Chamber Orchestra, and others. He has served as course instructor in electronic music and composition, as well as assistant conductor for the Musica Nova Ensemble with Brad Lubman as a Ph.D. candidate at the Eastman School of Music.

_____________________________________________________________________

Wick (2012)** – Melinda Wagner USA, 1957)
for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion

Completed in March 2000, Wick is a one-movement work composed with great pleasure for The New York New Music Ensemble.
In the broadest sense, the piece can be said to contain three main sections: an extended introduction leading to a “big tune,” a quiet, more lyrical section, and finally, a return to faster material, including a brief recapitulation and coda. I didn’t plan it this way, however, nor did I view the piece as a ternary structure as I was going along. Actually, the process of composing became one of collecting, or gathering up, increasing amounts of energy at various points, then finding ways (this I found to be quite challenging) of “releasing” the music. Sometimes the energy scatters into fanciful cadenza-like solos; sometimes it is absorbed or disguised by overlapping descending waves moving in slow motion thrown into second gear, so to speak. At the end of the work the musical energy is released through the performers? voices as the entire ensemble, including conductor, intone the pitch D.
Wick is dedicated, with great admiration and heartfelt gratitude, to Jayn Rosenfeld and NYNME.

Celebrated as an “…eloquent, poetic voice in contemporary music…” [American Record Guide], Melinda Wagner’s esteemed catalog of works embodies music of exceptional beauty, power, and intelligence. Wagner received widespread attention when her colorful Concerto for Flute, Strings and Percussion earned her the Pulitzer Prize in 1999. Since then, major works have included Concerto for Trombone, for Joseph Alessi and the New York Philharmonic, a piano concerto, Extremity of Sky, commissioned by the Chicago Symphony for Emanuel Ax, and Little Moonhead, composed for the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, as part of its popular “New Brandenburgs” project. Noted for its “…prismatic colors and…lithe sense of mystery…”[Washington Post], Extremity of Sky has been performed by Emanuel Ax with the National Symphony (on tour), the Toronto and Kansas City Symphonies, and the Staatskapelle Berlin. Championed early on by Daniel Barenboim, Wagner has received three commissions from the Chicago Symphony; the most recent of these, Proceed, Moon, is to be premiered by the CSO under the baton of Susanna Mälkki in 2017. Other recent performances have come from the American Composers Orchestra, the United States Marine Band, BMOP, the American Brass Quintet, the Empyrean Ensemble, and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. Among honors Wagner has received is a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, and awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and ASCAP. Wagner was given an honorary doctorate from Hamilton College, and a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003. A passionate and inspiring teacher, Melinda Wagner has given master classes at many fine institutions across the United States, including Harvard, Yale, Eastman, Juilliard, and UC Davis. She has held faculty positions at Brandeis University and Smith College, and has served as a mentor at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Wellesley Composers Conference, and Yellow Barn. Ms. Wagner currently serves on the faculty of the Juilliard School of Music.