Daily Music Post

Today, we are featuring not one but two composers who specialize in electronic music and sound installations - Cenk Ergun and Sudhu Tewari. "Wobble Vision," Check it out:

About the artists:

This is a really interesting site: http://cenkergun.com/

Sudhu Tewari is an electro-acoustic composer, improvisor, and tinkerer in sound, kinetic and interactive art.

He has been called a professional bricoleur,
junkyard maven and young audio-gadgeteer.

An early interest in disassembling alarm clocks and coffee makers gave rise to electro-acoustic instruments constructed with the remains of discarded stereo equipment, kinetic sculptures and sound installations. Sudhu builds audio electronics, acoustic instruments, kinetic sculptures, interactive installations, wearable sound art and recently began working with bicycles with wide variety of end results.

Highly educated at Mills College in electronic music, Tewari has been seen performing improvised music in various configurations with the likes of Fred Frith, Cenk Ergun, Mark Bartscher, Tadashi Usami, Gunda Gottschalk, Eric Glick-Rieman and Shelley Burgon.

In October 2006 Sudhu spent four months at the Artist in Residence program at the San Francisco Dump, crafting interactive installations, kinetic sculpture, lamps, and objects d’art from other people’s trash. The residency culminated in a gallery show in January 2008. Since then, Tewari's visual and interactive art has been exhibited at Swarm Gallery, 21Grand, ProArts and FLOAT Gallery in Oakland, California, Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, California, at UC Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, California and at PROGR in Bern, Switzerland.

In 2007, Tewari collaborated with percussionist Kelvin Underwood on a project that integrated Taiko drumming with electronics, noise and chaos and incorporated Capoeira and Maculele movements.

Sudhu has been seen performing as a modern dancer with GroupA , the brainchild of choreographer Alyssa Lee Wimot. Tewari also collaborates with Alyssa Lee to create light installations, costumes and wearable sound art devices for GroupA performances.

In 2008 Tewari joined forces with Nuria Bowart and Melissa Crago to form SuDoNu, a performance art company focusing on developing new forms of movement and interaction arising from improvised play and spontaneous ritual to create meaningful interactions with an audience.

Tewari spent the majority of 2008 in Switzerland, working as project manager for Radio Village Nomade an online sound project of Laboratoire Village Nomade culminating in a sound play aired on Bavarian National Radio. During his residency Sudhu also participated in several collaborative art residencies with artists from around the world.

In 2010 Sudhu collaborated with sculptor Bryan Tedrick to create an interactive light and sound installation to “breathe life” into Tedrick’s 50 foot tall climbable steel sculpture, Minaret. The Minaret was installed at Burning Man 2010 and well received. Tewari’s installation took input from climbers on (and inside) the Minaret via microphones, light sensors and motion detectors and used the movement and interactions of climbers to control the lighting on the exterior of the Minaret. Sound elements, pre-recorded sound/music and electro-acoustic instruments in the base of the Minaret, were also controlled by the actions of climbers.

Tewari is currently a graduate student at UC Santa Cruz in the Cultural Musicology PhD program and the Digital Art and New Media MFA program. Tewari has also been working as a project manager for UCSC’s OpenLab, a network for collaborative discourse fueled by academic communities, arts and science communities, and industry. Tewari also leads AUX, a collaborative research group focused on sound producing kinetic art and works with the Mechatronic project group in the DANM department.

Most recently Sudhu spent most of a week in a tree creating a site-specific interactive, kinetic sound installation at Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, California and has been collaborating on a series of sculptures for an interactive sound garden with Liz Judkins, Daniel Yasmin and Chris Cravey
.

Daily Music Post

Today's music from Princeton Composer Dan Trueman with the Yurodny Ensemble. Enjoy "Haivka."

 

About the composer:

     

Dan Trueman is an American composer, fiddler, and electronic musician. He began studying violin at the age of 4, and decades later, after a chance encounter, fell in love with the Norwegian Hardanger fiddle, an instrument and tradition that has deeply affected all of his work, whether as a fiddler, a composer, or musical explorer. With the Hardanger fiddle, and his new 5-string Hardanger-inspired "5x5 fiddle," Dan has performed his music with many groups and musicians, including Trollstilt and QQQ, the American Composers Orchestra, So Percussion, the Brentano and Daedelus string quartets, the Crash Ensemble, many wonderful fiddlers, and others, and has performed across America, Ireland, and Norway. But his explorations of musical instruments have extended beyond the fiddle into new technologies; Dan is the co-founder and Director of the Princeton Laptop Orchestra, the first ensemble of its size and kind that has led to the formation of similarly inspired ensembles across the world, from Oslo to Dublin, to Stanford and Bangkok. Dan's compositional work reflects this complex and broad range of activities, exploring rhythmic connections between traditional dance music and machines, for instance, or engaging with the unusual phrasing, tuning and ornamentation of the traditional Norwegian music while trying to discover new music that is singularly inspired by, and only possible with, new digital instruments that he designs and constructs. Dan's work has been recognized by grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundations, among others, and he teaches at Princeton University. His music is published by Good Child Music.

About the Ensemble: 

Founded in 2007 by saxophonist and composer Nick Roth, the Yurodny Ensemble perform contemporary interpretations of traditional music from around the world alongside new works by composers inspired by these traditions.

"Music sans frontières...exhilarating perfection."

(The Journal of Music)

"Evenset is surely one of the most significant records to come out of Ireland in decades."        

(AllAboutJazz)

"One of the best and most adventurous world music discs I've heard in a long while."

(Downtown Music Gallery, NYC)

"The music emerged triumphant, vibrant and irresistable!"

(The Irish Times)

Yurodny have released two critically acclaimed albums on the Diatribe label, and performed at numerous major international festivals and venues across Europe. Their music was featured on the IASCA compilation presented to cultural delegations from Barack Obama and HM The Queen and has been played on most major European and North American radio networks.

Recent projects include a world premiere of Japanese composer Mamoru Fujieda's micro-opera 'Hi-Miwari' from his Patterns of Plants series; 'Sci-Lens' featuring world-leading computer music expert and hardinger fiddle player Dan Trueman and a collaborative exchange project with the award-winning Hezarfen Ensemble, featuring Irish and Turkish composers Onur Turkmen, Ed Bennett, Adrian Hart and Kamran Ince, premiered at the Akbank Jazz Festival, Istanbul. As part of the EU Presidency Award Yurodny played a Scandinavian Tour and key performances in Switzerland and at London's Kings Place as part of the Songlines Encounters Festival in 2013.

Upcoming projects for 2014 include collaborations with Stian Cartsenson in Norway, and a new album recording 'Haivka' with Ukranian electroacoustic composer Alla Zagaykevych.

 

 

Daily Music Post

Do you enjoy your Americana music with some jazz and light electronics? Then you will most likely enjoy "The B Sides" as performed by Mason Bates and the DSO.

 

About the piece:

It was between Tchaikovsky and Brahms that Michael Tilson Thomas, surprisingly mellow in his dressing room during one intermission, broached the idea of a new work. Fresh off the podium after the concerto, and apparently undistracted by the looming symphony in the second half, he suggested a collection of five pieces focusing on texture and sonority - perhaps like Schoenberg's Five Pieces for Orchestra. Since my music had largely gone in the other direction - large works that bathed the listener in immersive experiences Ñ the idea intrigued me. I had often imagined a suite of concise, off-kilter symphonic pieces that would incorporate the grooves and theatrics of electronica in a highly focused manner. So, like the forgotten bands from the flipside of an old piece of vinyl, The B-Sides offers brief landings on a variety of peculiar planets, unified by a focus on fluorescent orchestral sonorities and the morphing rhythms of electronica.

The first stop is the dusky, circuit-board landscape of "Broom of the System. To the ticking of a future clock, our broom - brought to life by sandpaper blocks and, at one point, an actual broom - quietly and anonymously keeps everything running, like a chimney-sweep in a huge machine. The title is from a short-story collection by David Foster Wallace, though one could place the fairy-like broom in Borges' Anthology of Fantastic Zoology.

The ensuing "Aerosol Melody (Hanalei)" blooms on the Northshore of Kauai, where a gentle, bending melody evaporates at cadence points. Djembe and springy pizzicati populate the strange fauna of this purely acoustic movement, inspired by several trips with the Fleishhacker family. The lazy string glissandi ultimately put the movement, beachside, to sleep.

"Gemini in the Solar Wind" is a re-imagination of the first American spacewalk, using actual communication samples from the 1965 Gemini IV voyage provided by NASA. In this re-telling, clips of words, phrases, and static from the original are rearranged to show Ed White, seduced by the vastness and mystery of space, deliriously unhooking from the spacecraft to drift away blissfully.

His final vision of the coast of Northern California drops us down close to home. The initial grit of "Temescal Noir," like the Oakland neighborhood of the title, eventually shows its subtle charm in hazy, jazz-tinged hues. Unbothered by electronics, this movement receives some industrious help in the rhythm department by a typewriter and oil drum. At its end, the broom returns in a cameo, again altering the tempo, and this propels us into "Warehouse Medicine." An homage to technoÕs birthplace - the empty warehouses of Detroit - the final stop on The B-Sides gives no quarter. Huge brass swells and out-of-tune pizzicati emulate some of the visceral sonorities of techno, and on this pounding note The B-Sides bows out.

The work is dedicated to Michael, whose impromptu composition lessons informed the work to an enormous degree, in addition to the countless concerts I have experienced while living in the Bay Area. Many thanks, as well, to the wonderful musicians who have brought this to life.

About the composer:

Mason W. Bates (born January 23, 1977) is an American composer of symphonic music. Distinguished by his innovations in orchestration and large-scale form, Bates is best known for his expansion of the orchestra to include electronics. One of the most-performed composers of his generation, he has worked closely with the San Francisco Symphony and currently holds the position of composer-in-residence with the Chicago Symphony.

Daily Music Post

Today's music comes from Kati Agócs, a composer on faculty at NEC. Here's "Supernatural Love" performed by Duo Concertante.


 

Here's some excerpts of reviews of this work:

"The music speaks of loss and redemption...The moods vary throughout the movements. The first is spectral, wounded, desolate, and cold. The second is open, warm, rhapsodic and elegant. The third is emancipated, explosive, monolithic, nattering frantically like music from a charnel ground. Vivid and strong work."-SHOWTIME.CA, Review of Duo Concertante, Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, August 2008 (Stanley Fefferman)

"Melting, ice-like, high-register piano notes open Kati Agócs's Supernatural Love, followed by beams of sunlight in the violin. A slowly evolving urgency characterizes the next movement. The third movement begins with racing chords on the piano, echoed by counterpoint in the violin. The duet takes on a masculine-feminine argument, along with simultaneous pizzicato violin with percussive single-note piano. The overall effect is serene and unworldly, exploring space with sound in away that seems to evoke the time before the universe hosted life."
-FANFARE MAGAZINE, Review of CD 'Boston Diary' by Ibis Camerata, July/August 2010

"Supernatural Love began with silent, haunting keys accompanied by sad strokes on the violin. The strokes of sorrow tied together as the piano chimed. Nancy Dahn used her violin to amplify an inner, womanly call, gradually slowing the music to a still point. Then, the composer created a music of “empty sound.” It was an extraordinary moment, showing emptiness, or loss, as a triumph over sorrow, clearing away an obstruction to life. There lies the Supernatural Love.”
-THE VERNON MORNING SUN, Review of Duo Concertante, North Okanagan Concert Association, Vernon, British Columbia, 20 April 2008

About the composer:

Performed by leading musicians and ensembles across the globe, the music of Kati Agócs merges lapidary rigor with sensuous lyricism. The New York Times has characterized her chamber music as "striking", her orchestral music as "filled with attractive ideas", and her vocal music as possessing "an almost 19th-century naturalness," while The Boston Globe has described it as "music of fluidity and austere beauty."  Fanfare magazine hailed her violin-piano duet Supernatural Love as "serene and unworldly, exploring space with sound in a way that seems to evoke the time before the universe hosted life." A citation from the American Academy of Arts and Letters praised the "melody, drama, and clear design" of her music, citing its "soulful directness"  and "naturalness of dissonance." " Born in 1975 in Windsor, Canada, of Hungarian and American background, Kati Agócs is a 2013 Composition Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. She been a full-time member of the composition faculty of the New England Conservatory in Boston since 2008.

Current commissions include a work for the Boston Symphony Chamber Players for their Fiftieth Anniversary; a large-scale work for Boston Modern Orchestra Project commissioned by the Jebediah Foundation as the final work on a CD of her orchestral works on the BMOP/Sound label; a work for two sopranos and percussion, commissioned by the Canada Council for the Arts; Crystallography, commissioned by Standing Wave Ensemble in Vancouver; and Saint Elizabeth Bells, a cello-cimbalom duet commissioned by cellist Andre Emelianoff.  Her orchestral works have been programmed by many orchestras across Canada and the U.S. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra recently gave two performances of Shenanigan,  commissioned in 2011 by James Sommerville for the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra in Hamilton, Ontario. The Toronto Star called Shenanigan "a whirl of symphonic fun....a burst of party energy", while Musical Toronto called it "a fun, accessible piece that shows off a symphony orchestra's full breadth, and deserves to be heard again." Her Perpetual Summer in a new revised version was a winner of the Minnesota Orchestra's 2012 Composer Institute competition.

Recent orchestral commissions include Vessel for Metropolis Ensemble, commissioned by Meet the Composer for their 2011 Three-City Dash Festival at Symphony Space in New York; Elysium for the National Arts Centre's Cultural Olympiad in Vancouver, Perpetual Summer for the National Youth Orchestra of Canada's 50th Anniversary, Requiem Fragments for the CBC Radio Orchestra; Pearls for the American Composers Orchestra, and By the Streams of Babylon for the Albany Symphony Orchestra. Recent chamber music commissions include I and Thou for the Chamber Ensemble of the Orchestra of St. Luke's (New York), Immutable Dreams for the Da Capo Chamber Players (New York), Division of Heaven and Earth for pianist Fredrik Ullén (Stockholm, Sweden), Supernatural Love for Duo Concertante (St. John's, Newfoundand), and As Biddeth Thy Tongue for saxophonist Timothy McAllister.

Kati Agócs was Composer-in Residence with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada for their Fiftieth Anniversary Season in 2010, and with the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra, through the 'Music Alive: New Partnerships' program of Meet the Composer and the League of American Orchestras. The Grammy-winning ensemble Eighth Blackbird toured across the U.S. with her quintet Immutable Dreams. More than eight different ensembles have performed the work since its 2007 premiere, including the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York, Xanthos Ensemble in Boston, Lontano in London,U.K., and Vancouver’s Standing Wave. Agócs was a Composer-in-Residence at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival in 2009, and performed as soprano soloist in her own Awakening Galatea both there and on the New England Conservatory's 'First Monday' series. She also sang in her own By the Streams of Babylon, together with soprano Lisa Bielawa and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project with Gil Rose conducting. Time Out New York featured the premiere recording of Every Lover is a Warrior, on harpist Bridget Kibbey's debut CD, Love is Come Again, as one of its top ten recordings of 2007, describing the work as "a powerful, ruminative suite" and Agócs as an "innovative" and "promising" composer.

Awards include the 2013 Composition Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, an inaugural 2009 Brother Thomas Fellowship from the Boston Foundation, a 2008 Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the ASCAP Leonard Bernstein Fellowship at the Tanglewood Music Center in 2007, multiple commissioning grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, a Fulbright Fellowship to the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, Jacob K. Javits Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education, a New York Foundation for the Arts Composition fellowship, a Jerome Foundation commission, Presser Foundation Award, and honors from ASCAP in their Morton Gould Young Composer Awards. Perpetual Summer was the runner-up for ASCAP's Rudolph Nissim Prize for 2011, one of only two works selected by a jury of conductors out of over 260 anonymously-submitted new orchestral scores. (The work has since been revised, with the revised version yet to be premiered). Fellowships and residencies include the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival (Yale Summer School of Music), The Aspen Music Festival, The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Dartington International Music Festival (U.K.), and the Virginia Arts Festival. She has written on recent American music for Tempo, and wrote a candid inside glimpse into the new-music scene in Hungary for The Musical Times in 2005. She had previously spearheaded an exchange program between Juilliard and the Liszt Academy in Budapest. As a result of these activities, the progressive Vienna-based Hungarian publication Bécsi Napló credited her with raising the visibility of Hungarian composers abroad.

Kati Agócs earned the Doctor of Musical Arts and Masters degrees in Composition from The Juilliard School, where her principal teacher was Milton Babbitt. She is also an alumna of the Aspen Music School, Tanglewood Music Festival, Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific (one of the United World Colleges, where she represented the province of Ontario), and Sarah Lawrence College, all of which she attended on full scholarship. From 2006 through 2008 she taught at the School of Music, Memorial University of Newfoundland. She maintains a work studio in the village of Flatrock, near St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.

Daily Music Post

Here's a little piece from composer/improvisor Douglas Ewart to start your day off right. Enjoy "Red Hills" as performed by N.S.A Ensemble.

About the composer: 

Perhaps best known as a composer, improviser, sculptor and maker of masks and instruments, Douglas R. Ewart is also an educator, lecturer, arts organization consultant and all around visionary. In projects done in diverse media throughout an award-winning and widely-acclaimed 40-year career, Mr. Ewart has woven his remarkably broad gifts into a single sensibility that encourages and celebrates--as an antidote to the divisions and compartmentalization afflicting modern life-the wholeness of individuals in culturally active communities.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1946, Douglas R. Ewart immigrated to Chicago, Illinois in the United States in 1963. His travels throughout the world and interactions with diverse people since then has, again and again confirmed his view that the world is an interdependent entity. An example of his efforts both to study and to contribute to this interdependence is his use of his prestigious 1987 U.S.-Japan Creative Arts Fellowship to study both modern Japanese culture and the traditional Buddhist shakuhachi flute, and also to give public performances while in Japan.

In America, his determination to spread his perspective is part of the inspiration behind his often multi-disciplinary works and their encouragement of artist-audience interactions. It is also the basis of the teaching philosophy with which he guides his classes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he has taught since 1990, and the basis of the perspective he has brought to his service on advisory boards for institutions such as The National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer (New York City) and Arts Midwest. Mr. Ewart uses his past experience as chairman of the internationally renowned Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) to celebrate and build upon the history and achievements of the organization, and is from this perspective a natural extension of the activities he has been engaged in for the past four decades.

His administrative, teaching and other duties have not prevented Ewart from maintaining several musical ensembles, the Nyahbingi Drum Choir. the Clarinet Choir, Douglas R. Ewart & Inventions, Douglas R. Ewart & Quasar and Douglas R. Ewart & Stringnets. Nor has it prevented him from releasing some of the resulting music on his own record label, Aarawak Records (founded in 1983), which has released his Red Hills and Bamboo Forest, Bamboo Meditations at Banff, Angles of Entrance, New Beings, and Velvet Fire.
Always seeking new ways to be an agent of transformation, and convinced that compositions should change, just as their performers do, Ewart has created new or revised musical forms, such has his suite “Music from the Bamboo Forest,” which is in a state of constant evolution (its score currently comprises six movements employing a cornucopia of flutes, reeds, percussion instruments--many of them handmade -- and significant audience participation). Each performance or production by Ewart reflects time-tested structures, but each also incorporates his most immediate experiences of America and the world, and taps his many creative engagements with collaborators such the master musicians as Muhal Richard Abrams, Amina Myers, Beah Richards, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Anthony Braxton, Alvin Curran, Anthony Davis, Von Freeman, Fred Anderson, Joseph Jarman, Yusef Lateef, Roscoe Mitchell, Ajule Sonny Rutlin, Rita Warford, Dee Alexander, Robert Dick, George E. Lewis, James Newton, Cecil Taylor, Richard Teitelbaum and Henry Threadgill.

Beyond sound itself, Ewart’s music finds natural extensions (in every sense of the word) in the instruments he makes, which run the gamut from unique wind instruments to percussion instruments. Beyond these are sculptures, sound sculptures, and individually handcrafted masks that have been exhibited at Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others. All these elements of his art are on display every year in Chicago and in other cities in stagings of “Crepuscule,” which in Ewart’s own opinion best represents his celebratory spontaneity and commitment to organic inclusivity. A massive collective composition, “Crepuscule” is a celebration of sunset that brings together diverse musical groups, dancers, artists and activist for a musical and visual event that has become one of the signature programs of the Jazz Institute of Chicago, being held annually at the city's Washington Park. Ewart improvises with the scores of other performers who come together for “Crepuscule” by using not only well-known wind instruments but also his own wondrously inventive percussion instruments (crutches, oars and skis transformed by cymbals and bells). In addition to having been adopted as an annual ritual in Chicago, “Crepuscule” has been performed in Philadelphia, PA and Minneapolis, MN, and employed by the Banlieues Bleues Festival in Paris, France to unite the diverse artistic and ethnic cultures of Paris’ inner city communities.

Ewart is the winner of the Bush Artists Fellowship (1997), Minnesota Composers
Forum/McKnight Foundation fellowships, Jerome Foundation grants, Mayor Harold Washington's Outstanding Artist Award and a Naropa Institute residency among many other honors. He has performed at the Moers International Festival (Germany), at the University of Puerto Rico San Juan, throughout Brazil, in Tokyo, Perth, Havana, Paris, Stockholm, London, Düsseldorf and Berlin; in the U.S. he has performed at Mobius (Boston), The Contemporary Art Center (New Orleans), the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), the Science Museum (St. Paul), 1750 Arch Street (Berkeley), Painted Bride (Philadelphia), Creative Arts Collective (Detroit), Lincoln Park Zoo and the Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago), Merkin Hall, the Public Theater, The Kitchen and Carnegie Hall (New York). He has led workshops and lectured at Louisiana Nature Center (New Orleans), University of Illinois Unit One (Champaign), the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC.), Northwestern University (Evanston), University of Chicago and the Banff Center for the Arts (Alberta, Canada). 

Here's a link to an interview with the composer about his process: 

click here

 

Daily Music Post

Here's a dark, little piece from Argentinian composer Luis Naón, "Around the Bell" as performed by Moscow Studio For New Music Ensemble (that groups name that could not sound more Russian in my head if it tried).

 

About the composer:

Luis Naón is an Argentine composer, born in 1961 in La Plata. After completing his music studies at the University of Buenos Aires, Luis Naón settled in Paris in 1981. He attended advanced classes at the Conservatoire de Paris with Guy Reibel, Laurent Cuniot (1982-1985), Daniel Teruggi, Sergio Ortega and Horacio Vaggione and was awarded a doctorate at the University of Paris 8.

A teacher of composition and new technologies at the Conservatoire de Paris since 1991, he also teaches in Barcelona and at the Geneva Universiy of Music. He is a member of the ensemble Diagonal. Since Final del Juego (1983) and Tango del desamparo (1987), he has sought to express dualities of culture (Franco-Argentinian), of writing (spectral-combinatory), of genre (acousmatic-instrumental) and of discipline (painting-music-theatre), collaborating with Abel Robino (Alto Voltango, 2001), Yves Pagès (Les parapazzi, 1998), François Wastiaux and the company Valsez-Cassis (Hamlet, 1994).

Many of his works form part of Urbana, a cycle of 24 pieces that include Speculorum memoria (1993), Requiem pour un bookmaker chinois (1996), Sendero...que bifurcan (2003), Lascaux urbana (2004), Orbetura urbana (2004) and Six caprices (2007). His works have been played in prestigious concert halls and festivals in Europe, America and Asia.