July 7, VIPA 2017 – Concert 5: Mivos Quartet

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

I if I (2017)* – Jacob Sachs-Mishalanie (USA, 1991)
for string quartet and electronics

Geologic Alchemy (2017)* – Zach Pierce (USA, 1994)

String Quartet no.5: Time Motor (2017)*Yip Ho Kwen Austin (Hong Kong, 1985)

In a Bamboo Grove (2017)* – Kai-Young Chan (UK, 1989)

Luminosity Etude (2017)* – Stephen Yip (USA, 1971)

Brunt (2017)* – Nathaniel Haering (USA, 1994)

* world premiere

Mivos Quartet
Oliva De Prato, violin
Marco Fusi, violin
Victor Lowrie, viola
Mariel Roberts, violoncello

_____________________________________________________________________

I if I (2017)* – Jacob Sachs-Mishalanie (USA, 1991)
for string quartet and electronics

I if I provides ground for an exploration of the differences in our interpretation of meaning and expression in acoustic and electronic sounds. Here are a few related questions: Is a recording merely an image of a past sound? Is an amplified sound less ‘real’ if the speaker is separated from the instrument? If we interpret a sound as ‘artificial,’ do we take it less seriously? Is there some space between ‘real’ and ‘artificial’?

Jacob Sachs-Mishalanie - MivosOriginally from Utica, NY, Jacob Sachs-Mishalanie is a Brooklyn based composer, songwriter, electronic musician, drummer, and teacher. His recent research and musical projects focus on ideas about recording and sampling, recursion, and algorithmic composition. This has taken shape in many forms, including acoustic & electroacoustic concert pieces, a stop motion music video & EP released by Newlywed Records, minimal chamber-pop, improvised ambient electronics, and performances pieces like “Counterpoint for Two Isolated Drumsets” and “Piece for Eight Microcassette Recorders.” Jacob is currently a PhD candidate in composition at the CUNY Graduate Center, and previously studied at SUNY Purchase. His primary teachers have been Jason Eckardt, Jeff Nichols, Suzanne Farrin, Du Yun, and Huang Ruo. As a teaching fellow and adjunct, he teaches Music Theory & Technology at Brooklyn College, and will be teaching Critical Thinking at LaGuardia CC through the CUNY Humanities Alliance beginning in Fall 2017.

_____________________________________________________________________

Geologic Alchemy (2017)* – Zach Pierce (USA, 1994)

Geologic Alchemy is my most internally controversial piece I’ve composed thus far.  After recently completing my undergraduate degree and wanting to explore aspects of music not yet ventured, I embraced composers such as Ondrej Adamek, Sam Pluta, Walter Piston and others, (composers I wouldn’t have admired until recently,) and began composing a work of art from a new perspective. While embracing these composers, I also found myself in the situation of not having a teacher to give me feedback and not having an academic institution for guidance, so I was truly alone in uncharted waters and it resulted in much “second guessing” of myself. Remembering knowledge learned from my previous instructor James M. David, all the while pushing myself to use unfamiliar musical vocabulary such as durational notation, extended techniques, etc. the result ended up being this piece.

Geologic Alchemy is loosely based on the naturally occurring Rock Cycle with each main section meaning to represent a part of the cycle. Metamorphic being the durational glissando section, Igneous being the following section and Sedimentary being the pizzicato, guitar pick section. This piece is dedicated to the incredible Mivos Quartet as their recordings and performances have been a true inspiration to be me as a composer, performer and DJ.

Zach Pierce - Mivos (better)Zach Pierce is an award-winning composer based in Fort Collins, Colorado. His music has been described as “tremendous instrumental color, beautiful textures and impressive formal structure” (Ablaze Records) and has been commissioned/performed by ensembles such as the Semiosis Quartet, The Meadowlark Saxophone Quartet, The Cortona Duo, The Colorado Middle School Outreach Ensemble, the CSU “ICB” New Music Ensemble and he has premiered many of his own solo percussion works.
Pierce recently completed his Bachelors in Music Composition at Colorado State University and is a published composer with Symphonic Pulse Percussion. His music has been performed at prominent festivals such as the Cortona Sessions for New Music and the North American Saxophone Alliance Regional Conference. Pierce has studied with notable figures James M. David and Eric Hollenbeck and additional studies with David Rakowski and Beth Wiemann.
Not limited to “classical” music, Pierce regularly performs as a DJ at numerous events across Colorado under the name “Spektral.”

_____________________________________________________________________

String Quartet no.5: Time Motor (2017)*Yip Ho Kwen Austin (Hong Kong, 1985)

Time Motor is inspired by the concept of time perception, which refers to the subjective experience of time. Time could be frozen, or could pass by very quickly—it all depends on the listener’s perception.

austinyipAs an aspiring composer, violinist, and tenor, Yip Ho Kwen Austin is one of the most active musicians from the new generation of contemporary music and music performances in Hong Kong. Having received his Bachelor of Arts (Music) degree at the University of California, Berkeley with a “high distinction in general scholarship” and his Master of Philosophy (Music Composition) degree at the University of Hong Kong, Yip is currently a PhD (Music Composition) candidate at the University of Hong Kong under the supervision of Dr. Joshua Chan with the support from the University Postgraduate Fellowship.

Yip’s works have been performed by both internationally and locally renowned ensembles and performers, to name a few, the Ensemble Modern (Germany), Ensemble Duo Plus (Germany), Opus Two (US), Vox Humana (Japan) and Hong Kong New Music Ensemble. Yip’s works have recently been performed in Intimacy of Creativity, Le French May, Hong Kong Arts Festival, HellHOT! New Music Festival, 6×6 Media Arts Events (US), ISCM Sydney (Australia), ACL Japan (Tokyo, Japan), Yogyakarta Contemporary Music Festival (Indonesia), Shanghai Conservatory of Music New Music Week etc. Yip is the holder of James Kitagawa Memorial Music Scholarship, Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholarship, Henry Holbrook Scholarship, James King Scholarship, Eisner Prize, Milton C. Witzel Memorial Prize, University Postgraduate Studentship and Rayson Huang Scholarship.

_____________________________________________________________________

In a Bamboo Grove (2017)* – Kai-Young Chan (UK, 1989)

In a Bamboo Grove, or “Yabu no Naka”, takes inspiration from Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s short story of the same name (on which Akira Kurosawa based his classic film Rashomon). The story consists of varying accounts of a murder case that took place in a bamboo grove. Each statement – from the murderer, the dead warrior (through a shaman), the warrior’s wife, and others – has both complementary and contradicting information, simultaneously clarifying and obscuring what actually took place in the grove. Either some witnesses are lying, or the truth is deformed as it propagates through the bamboo grove, a labyrinth where brightness is in constant shift with darkness, and clarity with obscurity.

It is not my intention to create a programmatic piece of the murder case; rather, I have borrowed the story’s mode of narration: varying accounts of the same kernel idea. The “truth” obscured by the grove in my piece is a harmonic canvas that unfolds and restarts with changing speed and shuffling characters of parameters in different sections, where one could find solid, expressive lines juxtaposed with pointillistic shimmering, as well as musical shapes and gestures recast at in various forms and scope.

Kai-Young Chan - MivosKai-Young Chan is drawn to assimilating the musicality of ancient Chinese literature in his works, which are performed worldwide by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Albany Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, PRISM Quartet, Daedalus Quartet, among other prominent performers. His music is featured on international stages, including ISCM World New Music Days Days, International Rostrum of Composer, International Forum of New Music in Mexico, soundSCAPE festival.org, and Internationalen Ferienkurse Darmstadt. He was part of the first artist delegation of the American Composers Forum to the Havana Contemporary Music Festival in Cuba, a historic tour documented by the National Public Radio. Chan’s works are released on Ablaze, Navona, and Innova Records, with scores published by Editions Peters (London). After earning a Ph.D. in Music Composition from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied with Jay Reise, James Primosch, and Anna Weesner, he joined the composition faculty at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

_____________________________________________________________________

Luminosity Etude (2017)* – Stephen Yip (USA, 1971)

Luminosity Etude was written for Mivos String Quartet and premiered at the Valencia International Performance Academy and Festival, Spain in 2017. Composer found the inspiration from a 19th century architect, Antoni Gaudi’s unfinished masterwork, Basilica of Sagrada Família. At the narthex of the Basilica, Gaudi intended to provide a great visual point for people to view the vaults of the nave, crossing, and apse. The interior design of the various geometric forms provided the graduated increase in vault loft and the central vault reaches 200 feet height. The two-side of columns was planned as a notion of mirror trees and branches, which is the one of the symbols of catholic practice.

The study of sound spectrum and luminous intensity were the first motivation in composing this piece. Composer found many interest in searching out several high partial natural harmonics on strings as his one of the major elements. There were various performing techniques of harmonic sound such as harmonic trills, string multi-phonic sound and glissando were employed in this piece. To explore new sonic resonance capacity on strings was one of the procedures to achieve the spiritual delight. Beauty was created the natural light through the coloration of the mosaic stained glass. Transformation of a decayed structure into a new environment and the collection and preservation of stained glass

Version 3Stephen Yip was born in Hong Kong and is now living in the USA. He received his doctor of musical arts (D.M.A.) at Rice University and bachelor of fine arts (B.F.A.) at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. His mentors include Wing-fai Law, Clarence Mak, Arthur Gottschalk and Ellsworth Milburn. Yip’s works have been performed in the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, Israel, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Germany, Italy, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and Philippines. He has received several composition prizes, including the Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition Award, the Taiwan Music Center International Composition Prize, the Singapore International Composition Competition for Chinese Orchestra, and the Haifa International Composition Prize.

_____________________________________________________________________

Brunt (2017)* – Nathaniel Haering (USA, 1994)

Brunt is defined as “the principal force, shock, or stress (as of an attack).” This piece is structured around a series of staggering arrivals and unified visceral strikes alongside genuinely vulnerable respites. Stochastic processes are employed throughout to create a series of hit points and collisions, increasing exponentially in their frequency as time progresses. The pitch material of the work is derived from a series of inharmonic spectra generated through the manipulation of frequency modulation. The resulting spectra are used to create sections of expansion and contraction of pitch, as if playing with the modulation index of a FM synthesizer. These delicate sparkling modulation based sections directly contrast and are juxtaposed with the opening collision based material. Their relative proportions are strictly controlled throughout and drive the piece with their rapid exchange and contracting/expanding observances.  Ideas throughout the piece often develop and are presented in a non-linearly fashion, recurring and resurfacing in different stages of their development.  In this way, brief moments act as potent foreshadowing for fully developed explorations, regardless of when and if that ideal is achieved within the temporal bounds of the piece and creating a sense of multiply-directed linear time.

Nathan Haering - MivosNathaniel Haering is deeply interested in the use of live electronics to expand the artistic capabilities of traditional instruments and augment their timbral horizons while enriching their collaborative and improvisational possibilities. He has collaborated with and had works performed by Grammy Award-winning Vietnamese performer Vân Ánh Võ, Ensemble Mise-En, members of WasteLAnd, and Ensemble Dal Niente. His pieces have recently been featured at the Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium in Toronto Canada, SEAMUS 2016 Conference in Statesboro Georgia, Electronic Music Midwest in Kansas City, Root Signals electronic music festival in Jacksonville Florida, SPLICE Institute in Kalamazoo Michigan, N_SEME at Louisiana State University, and NYCEMF in New York City. This summer he will be working with Master Artist John Gibson at the Atlantic Center for the Arts Residency in Smyrna Beach Florida. Nathaniel is a Masters student at Bowling Green State University studying with Dr. Elainie Lillios and Dr. Mikel Kuehn.