July 14, VIPA Concert 4: Mivos Quartet

mivos-composers-july14-1300px

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

a tree-sprout, a nameless weed (2016)* – John Liberatore (1984)
four miniatures for string quartet

Ignis fatuus (2016)* – Joungbum Lee (1986)
for string quartet

…y así será (Vidala de aire) (2016)* – Francisco del Pino (1980)
(for string quartet

Mandy’s Hummingbird (2015) – Shiuan Chang (1989)
for string quartet

A study of “Difference and Repetition” (2016)* – Shin Mizutani (1991)
for string quartet

Testimonies, Flaming Pasts (2016)* – Benjamin Zucker (1993)
for vocalizing string quartet & live electronics

Da Lontano (2016)* – Jorge Villavicencio Grossmann (1973)
for string quartet

* world premiere

Mivos Quartetmivos
Oliva De Prato, violin
Marco Fusi, violin
Victor Lowrie, viola
Mariel Roberts, cello

www.mivosquartet.com

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a tree-sprout, a nameless weed (2016)* – John Liberatore (1984)
four miniatures for string quartet

“Unstructured space is a deluge,” writes Margaret Atwood in her cycle of seven poems: Progressive Insanities of a Pioneer. The poems chronicle an unnamed protagonist’s efforts to assert order into disorder, and to draw meaning and affirmation out of an indifferent landscape. In the second poem, Atwood describes his futile attempt to coax seedlings out of the tilled soil:

“He asserted
into the furrows, I
am not random.

The ground replied
with aphorisms:

a tree-sprout, a nameless
weed, words
he couldn’t understand.”

pianoPortrait-HeadshotJohn Liberatore is a composer and pianist based in South Bend, IN. His music explores intersections between ancient and modern styles, as well as metaphors between music, poetry, and other art media. He endeavors to bring together seemingly contradictory aesthetic tendencies, and to find a symbiotic (rather than diametric) relationship between clarity and ambiguity. Described by critics as “enchanting” and “truly magical,” (Boston and New York Classical Review, respectively) his music has been performed in venues around the world: Carnegie’s Weill Hall, the Kennedy Center, the International Viola Congress, the Megaron Performing Arts Center of Athens, the American Cultural Institute of Peru, the historic Sint­Germanskurk of Belgium, the Four Seasons Centre of Toronto, and many other places. He has collaborated with ensembles such as Dinosaur Annex, Bent Frequency, Duo Damiana, the Cuoung Vu Trio, the Cleveland Contemporary Players, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the New York Virtuoso Singers, and the Washington National Opera. Recordings of his works are available on Centaur Records, with forthcoming recordings—supported by New Music USA and the Copland Fund—scheduled for release on Ravello, Innova, and Albany labels in 2017­18. Notable distinctions include a commission from the American Opera Initiative, a Tanglewood composer’s fellowship, two ASCAP Morton Gould Awards and the Brian Israel Prize. He has been invited to the I­Park Artist’s Enclave, the Brush Creek Artist’s Colony, and the VIPA, MusicX, and Bowdoin festivals. On a grant from the Presser Foundation, Liberatore spent the summer of 2012 in Tokyo studying with Jo Kondo, an experience and mentorship which made an indelible impression on his music. He holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music (PhD, MM) and Syracuse University (BM, summa cum laude). In 2015, he joined the faculty at the University of Notre Dame as Assistant Professor of Composition and Theory.

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Ignis fatuus (2016)* – Joungbum Lee (1986)
for string quartet

Revisiting my earlier orchestra piece “Broomstick, cracked bowl, straw shoes and fire poker” which is inspired by Korean ghostly light (Dokkaebibul), I was once more fascinated by the subject for this new string quartet. However, this time I was more interested in the actual phenomena of the Illusional Image rather than imagery of ghostly light, Will-o’-the-wisp or ignis fatuus in Medival Latin. In Gestalt psychology, the object which was only partially perceived is momentarily recognized as complete form by cognitive mechanisms. Due to this discrepancy, when we start to trace back the object in a dialectic manner, the object is now perceived in an incomplete form and one can realize the dissimilarity between actual form and misperceived form. In circumstances which our senses are limited to fully perceive a certain object, our first judgement of object is edited unconsciously and perceived as a final judgment which becomes an illusion. Depicting the phenomena into music, I used an embellishing force in the piece symbolizing this altered images that we initially perceive. The embellishing force later evolves into a more pronounced profile and it gradually deforms the entire structure. As the process of deformation continues, it becomes harder to discern the initial idea of the piece reflecting our limited senses. Towards the end, I implied the process of dialectic tracing back of the misperceived object and the awareness of one’s illusional state by recalling the previous musical materials in a reversed order against different surroundings.

JB 01Joungbum Lee is a Chicago-based composer of chamber, electronic, film and orchestral music. Poetry, Visual art, the nature and Eastern/Western philosophy are all elements that influence Lee’s works. He completed a Bachelor Degree at Eastman School of Music and Masters at Rice University. His main composition teachers have been Carlos Sanchez-Guitierrz, David Liptak, Ricardo Zohn Moolden, Pierre Jalbert, Shih-Hui Chen, Shulamit Ran and Anthony Cheung.

Joungbum’s music has been performed nationally and internationally by various groups and individuals such as Amy Briggs, MingHuan Xu, Rochester chamber music society, NME ensemble, Seoul Art Festival/Dimension, Musiqa modern ensemble, Mivos Quartet, Eighth Blackbird, Quince vocal ensemble, Spektral Quartet and Dal Niente. He also received awards and recognitions such as 1st prize in Journal of Music composition competition 2004, Belle S. Gitelman Award, Bernard Rogers Prize (2008) at the Eastman School of Music, 1st prize in Rochester Chamber Music composition competition 2009, New York State regional winner of the annual SCI/ASCAP Composers Competition (2009), 23rd IBLA Grand Prize 2014 special mention and Sejong International composition competition 2014 honorary mention.
Joungbum is also actively premiering his compositions at numerous music festival such as Bowdoin International Music Festival (2007), Atlantic Music Festival (2010), SoundSCAPE (2016), VIPA (2016) and June in Buffalo (2016). Recent project includes Chicago Civic Orchestra/Composers project 2016 performance of his chamber orchestra piece “Information” conducted by Michael Lewanski. Joungbum is currently pursuing PhD degree in University of Chicago.

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…y así será (Vidala de aire) (2016)* – Francisco del Pino (1980)
for string quartet

This piece takes its main material from an anonymous vidala which appears in the book El Folklore Musical Argentino by the Argentinean­ Venezuelan musicologist Isabel Aretz (Ricordi Americana, Buenos Aires, 1952). The vidala is a traditional, very antique musical form of the Argentine northwest, typically sung by one solo voice or duplicated in parallel thirds, and usually accompanied by sparse percussion. Its character is usually sad, or expresses nostalgia for something lost, and is one of the few Argentine traditional folk genres which does not possess a dance form. The name “Vidala de aire” is a modification of the expression “aire de…” (vidala, or chacarera, or zamba, etc.), which is commonly used in South America to refer to a piece of popular music which is not ‘original’ but to some extent derived or deviated from a traditional folkloric musical form. In this work, the presence of the vidala is so elusive that it is not really ‘there’, but ­at the same time­ it ‘is’ there pervading the whole atmosphere. Thus, one can say it’s also ‘in the air’.

francisco_del_pino7Francisco del Pino is an Argentine composer born in Buenos Aires in 1980. His work spans from solo to symphonic music and draws strong influence from fields like literature, poetry, hypertextuality and the plastic arts. He has been awarded several national and international prizes, among which stand out the 2nd Prize at the Jean Sibelius Composition Competition, Finland (2015); 1st Prize at the Viola’s 2014 Composition Contest, Paris (2014); 1st Prize at the Sorodha Composition Competition, Anvers, Belgium (2014); and Prize “Best piece for solo marimba” at the Moscow Conservatory International Composition Competition, Russia (2013). He studied composition in Argentina with Fernando Maglia and Gerardo Gandini, and also took private lessons, participated in composition workshops and/or attended master­classes conducted by Guillermo Pozzati, Mariano Etkin, Andrea Portera, Detlef Heusinger and Claus­Steffen Mahnkopf. In addition to his studies in music, he took part in workshops on literature with the Argentine writer Ricardo Piglia. (Website: www.franciscodelpino.com)

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Mandy’s Hummingbird (2015) – Shiuan Chang (1989)
for string quartet

Hummingbirds are the smallest birds in the world, that most species measuring in the 7.5–13 cm (3–5 in) range. They are known as hummingbirds because of the humming sound created by their beating wings which flap at high frequencies audible to humans. They hover in mid­air at rapid wing­flapping rates, typically around 50 times per second, allowing them also to fly at speeds exceeding 15 m/s (54 km/h; 34 mph), backwards. I recognize that the surplus impressions from one’s voice are rarely constructed by solely the words one speaks, but rather constructed by the emotional spectral graph, that including overtones and subtones, delivered over times. (Though here I don’t intend to use any spectral theory.) To be able to demonstrate this idea, the hummingbirds’ voices and image are diluent and being presented fragmently, slowly evolving through time untill the second part of the piece, where the emotional spectral graph and the birdsongs finally merge together.

2015-03-30 22.10.27-1I love lake, mountains, and Tai Chi, though… I dream everyday.

Winner of the 2013 New England Conservatory Honor competition, 2015 Earplay Donald Aird Composition Competition, and 2016 Nief-Norf Composition Competition, Shiuan believes that music is the map of logical sound being performed lively during the specific time and space by both audiences and the performers. He views that the performance is birth; the following applause is death, and the performers’ acknowledge bow is reincarnation. Shiuan Chang’s music has been performed nationally and internationally including Suntory Hall, Jordan Hall, Merkin Hall, Bartok Hall, ODC theater, Tenso Music Days in Belgium, Boston Early Music Festival, Mise-En Festival, June in Buffalo, YCM, Serga Festival, Composit Festival, and the Bartok festival. He has also worked with Ensemble Multilaterale, Ensemble Musicatreize, Divertimento Ensemble, Earplay Ensemble, signal ensemble, Antico Moderno, Mise-En Ensemble, Neue Vocalisten Stuttgart, Princeton Singers, Orkest de Ereprijs, and Alter Ego.

As an avid pianist, Shiuan has won the first prize Taipei City competition and second prize in the 2003 Taiwan national piano competitions (high school division). He enjoys working as a conductor, he has worked with Divertimento Ensemble, Dedalo Ensemble, and Hai-Dao Ensemble. In addition, Shiuan is active in outreach programs. He has produced a full-length show to support the Genesis Social Welfare Foundation, and written film music for the Children Are Us Foundation twenty-years anniversary documentary film. For the upcoming commissions, he is writing a solo work for Percussionist Tom de Cock, Music&Art commission by Bolek, and piano solo to be premiered in Carnegie Hall in the end of 2016.

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A study of “Difference and Repetition” (2016)* – Shin Mizutani (1991)
for string quartet

These days, I’m not treating music as a static “piece” but something progressing that gradually continues to nature, society and history. My “pieces” are notations, that might be thought as a time polluted by “ecriture” on the meaning of Jacques Derrida, however this ecriture is simultaneously is possible to be said as a parole of “Grand Autre” in context of history. In the final analysis, that is a quantity (not quality) value measured by social being on the meaning of Marx. The problem is that if we composers, audiences and all human being in the society would be possible to chose our own criterion. To discuss this matter, as Stalin lighted up the absence of class substance and re­defined language as non­superstructure and a “transportation tool” on his treatise “Marxism and Problem of Linguistics”, and also by the fact of music that is related to the expression of language, analyzing music as a boundary expression should be needed. To do this, instead of returning the conflict of Platon and Aristoteles, or idiom of “dynamic quality” by Zuckerkandl, it is needed to do several considerations of musical form. That takes three steps: analysis of components of surface on “sound” in the classification of time as a format of consciousness, then the dialectical relationship of them in the form of micro-macro structure, and the last analysis should be the memory and history. On this piece, I tried to do an experiment of the first step i.e. the re­construction of the musical consciousness, an experiment of parametric division and synchronization. On this piece, the parameter of each instrument is divided into three dimensions i.e. left hand motions, vertical bow position and horizontal bowing. Each of them follows independent rhythm and creates intensional polyphony, and is synchronized with a different parameter of other instruments and extends the idea of extensional dialectical relationship. The form of each section is constructed by different ways. In the last section, “Shepard Tone” effect will be represented.

profpicShin Mizutani is a composer born in 1991, studied composition/electronic music with Rene Uijlenhoet and music theory, analysis, harmony and counterpoint with Rijnhert Bokelmann at Codarts/Rotterdam Conservatorium. Currently studying composition with Richard Barrett, philosophy and music aesthetic with Tom Dommisse at Royal Conservatory of the Hague. Attended a conversation with Helmut Lachenmann, working as an orchestral arranger for The Piano Teacher’s National Association of Japan.

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Testimonies, Flaming Pasts (2016)* – Benjamin Zucker (1993)
for vocalizing string quartet & live electronics

The various hymn-tune collections that make up the tradition of American shape-note singing are a deep source of powerful sound: many singers vocalizing at full force, in numerous parallel harmonies, for me has often felt like a richly physical presence (the way trumpets destroyed the walls of Jericho). It goes well with the striking imagery of many texts, which are often concerned with the grandiose passage of this world to the next, such as this fragment of the last verse of “The Turtle Dove” from the Southern Harmony:

When sun and moon shall darkened be,

And flames consume the land and sea,

When worlds on worlds together blaze,

We’ll shout, and loud hosannas raise.

But for all its apocalyptic evocations, the meaning is ultimately interior: have I lived in a way that I can rest easy with for all eternity? Should I be cleansed in a great wash of awe in the form of sound?

This work is in no way an approximation or substitution for the experience of shape-note singing (I can’t recommend enough seeking out the many weekly gatherings or conventions), but the material and thematic concerns are perhaps akin. Spoken texts derived from interior reflections on these words, an idiomatic tune I wrote a long time ago, and the reverberation and retuning of instruments as their own little Revelations. A space will open up, and its long echoes will linger in time for us to begin the journey towards, if we feel right enough to do so.

zuckerBen Zucker is a composer, improviser, sound designer, and multi- instrumentalist. Recent phrases he has begun using in describing his work include “object relations”, “situation creation”, and “human algorithms”. Said work includes chamber music, improvisation, electronica, songwriting, and performance art, which has been premiered all over the world, including the Audio Branding Academy Congress, Northwestern University, CSU Long Beach, and the Banff Centre, among many others. He has also collaborated with numerous creative individuals in over a dozen films, plays, and dances, including music for the world premiere of The Last Days Of The Old Wild Boy by Rinde Eckert, and multi-media “vocal theatre” with the Analema Group at the Roundhouse and Baltic Art Form. Wherever he can, Ben likes to perform as a percussionist, pianist, singer, and brass player, which has lead to performances as a founding member of The Improvisers Choir, Don Froot, Arcadio, and Ensemble Apres-Garde, and with the Vocal Constructivists, Entropy Ensemble, with Jen Shyu and Matana Roberts, and solo in NYC, London, Berlin, Oakland, and Canterbury. Ben is a recent graduate of Wesleyan University, where he studied composition with Anthony Braxton, David Behrman, Paula Matthusen, and Neely Bruce, and vibraphone with Jay Hoggard, and received the Leavell Memorial Prize for “outstanding work in music”. Currently, he resides in London, where he completing an MA with Jennifer Walshe, Christopher Fox, and Peter Wiegold at Brunel University.

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Da Lontano (2016)* – Jorge Villavicencio Grossmann (1973)
for string quartet

Jorge Villavicencio Grossmann’s music has been performed throughout the United States, Latin America and Europe by ensembles such as the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, National Symphony Orchestra of Argentina, Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá, Peruvian National Symphony, New England Philharmonic, Aspen Sinfonia, Orquesta Juvenil Teresa Carreño (Venezuela), Kiev Camerata, Boston Musica Viva, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Da Capo Chamber Players, Pierrot Lunaire Ensemble Wien®, Seattle Chamber Players, Talea Ensemble, ALEA III and the Arden, Amernet, Borromeo, Mivos and JACK quartets. His awards include a 2016 Fulbright Scholar grant, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship, Fromm Music Foundation Commission (Harvard U.), the Aaron Copland Award, Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship, Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a fellowship from Vitae – Associação de Apoio à Cultura (Brazil). He has been in residence at the Copland House, MacDowell Colony and Atlantic Center for the Arts. His orchestral work Pasiphaë has been a recipient of the Jacob Druckman Award from the Aspen Music Festival, a winner of the New England Philharmonic Call for Scores and received honorable mention in the Lepo Sumera Orchestral Competition, in Estonia. He has also received grants from the American Music Center, St. Botolph Club Foundation, Meet the Composer, Nevada Arts Council and New York State Council for the Arts. His guest-composer appearances include Festival Latinoamericano de Musica, Festival Internacional de Chihuahua, Mexico; Festival Internacional de Música Clásica Contemporánea in Lima, Peru (where he is a regular guest); Festival of the Arts in Colorado Springs, “Musical Premieres of the Season” in Kiev, Festival de Inverno de Campos do Jordão, New Music Miami-ISCM, and SLAM, Seattle Latin American Music Festival, where he was the composer-in-residence for 2008.

He periodically presents clinics at institutions in the U.S. and abroad having been guest composer/lecturer at institutions in Spain, Turkey, Russia, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil and throughout the continental United States. Recent commissions include the Society for New Music, Projeto GreCo of Sao Paulo, Brazil; National Symphony Orchestra of Peru for his Piano Concerto and Sao Paulo Symphony for a new orchestral work to be premiered by Marin Alsop at the Festival de Campos de Jordao in 2016. Jorge Villavicencio Grossmann was born in Peru in 1973. During Peru’s war against terrorist movements ‘Shining Path’ and MRTA in the 1980s, Jorge’s family immigrated to Brazil, where he was able to continue his musical studies in violin and composition. Upon his graduation with a degree in violin performance from Faculdade Santa Marcelina, he decided to focus entirely on composing. In 1998, he moved to Miami enrolling as a graduate student at Florida International University, where he received a master’s degree in composition as a student of Fredrick Kaufman. In 2000, he moved to Boston to study with John Harbison and Lukas Foss at Boston University, where he earned a  doctorate in composition in 2004. He identifies Lukas Foss, with whom he studied for three years, as one of his most important musical influences. From 2004 to 2010 he served as assistant professor of theory/composition at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he became founder and co-director of N.E.O.N., Nevada Encounters of New Music. In 2010, he joined the composition faculty at Ithaca College, where he teaches composition and directs the Ithaca College Contemporary Ensemble. He is currently director of áltavoz, a Latin American composer consortium.