April 18 Program Notes

FACE OFF: JACK QUARTET + QUARTET NEW GENERATION

MESSAGE FROM DIRECTORS

The first night of the festival pits two extraordinary quartets: the JACK string quartet, (David Patrick Stearns (Philadelphia Inquirer) proclaimed their performance as being “among the most stimulating new-music concerts of my experience,” and NPR listed their performance as one of “The Best New York Alt-Classical Concerts Of 2010″; and Quartet New Generation, a recorder – yes, recorder! – collective, the likes of which you have not heard, hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “mind-blowing” and First Prize Winners of the 2004 Concert Artist Guild International Competition. MATA commissions two talented young composers: Huck Hodge, the 2011 Rome Prize winner, to write a new work from the JACK Quartet, and the Shanghai-based Qin Yi to write for QNG. We begin each night of the festival with one part of  Jacob Cooper’s newly-created hypnotic video series, Triptych.

+ = world premiere   ** = US premiere  * = NY premiere ^ = MATA commission

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Jacob Cooper, Triptych, I: Commencer Une Autre Mort

Triptych

I: Commencer une autre mort

II: Black or White

III: Alla stagion dei fior

 Each of the videos in Triptych uses pre-existing footage as source material. Commencer une autre mort “revises” the closing death scene in Bizet’s Carmen, while Alla stagion dei fior does the same for Puccini’s La Bohème. The source material for Black or White is not an opera, but rather a performance by Michael Jackson, a celebrity whose outsized life—and tragic death—trace a near-operatic arc.  Triptych undoubtedly relies on the artistry of the footage it adapts, and I am indebted to all who were involved in the original videorecordings.

I. Commencer une autre mort (2011)

In Carmen, just before Don José decides to kill his former lover, he begs her to come back to him, telling her that they can “commencer une autre vie.” He promises her a new life, but that of course never arrives. This video provides her with a new death instead.

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Qin Yi, Sound Shadow (2012),  QNG +^

sounds are shadows

shadows become sounds

are shadows of sounds across fingers

to pursuit those dancing sounds

Sound Shadow is supported by  the Construction Program for Innovative Research Team, Shanghai Institutions of Higher Education (2nd Phase)

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Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri, Untitled IV (atemlos) (2011-2012), QNG  with motor driven devices designed and built in collaboration with Swiss artist Pe Lang **

Conceived, directed and composed by Marianthi Papalexandri -Alexandri
Commissioned by QNG
Supported by the city of Berlin ( Berliner Kompositionsstipendien 2011) and Academy Schloss Solitude

Untitled IV (atemlos) (German for breathless) combines prepared recorders (with one end open and the other closed with an elastic membrane) connected by nylon lines to a motor driven mechanical device. The work can be presented both as a sounding sculpture-installation and as an instrument in the context of a live performance, thereby questioning the role of the performer and the difference between performing, playing and operating. Untitled IV (atemlos) combines prepared recorders (with one end open and the other closed with an elastic membrane) connected by nylon lines to a motor driven mechanical device. The sound is produced by the nylon line causing the membrane to vibrate by friction. The performer can influence the sound by manipulating the tension of the nylon lines, changing the speed of the motor, turning on and off the motors, depressing the membrane with the fingers while it is vibrating to vary the pitch or by opening and closing the recorder keys. Furthermore  Untitled IV (atemlos) expands on the idea of using devices that function both as sound sources and as active preparations determining the speed, rhythm, dynamics and other musical parameters. This process encourages the performer to listen proactively and become aware of the possibilities latent between him or her and the instrument.

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Huck Hodge, re[(f )use], (2012) JACK  +^

refuse (n.)
refuse (v.)
reuse (n.)
reuse (v.)
fuse (n.)
fuse (v.)
re-fuse (v.)

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Hugi Gudmunsson, Matins (2010), JACK *

Matins is a crisp Icelandic spring morning where it takes an eternity for the sun to rise from behind
the mountains. In the distance all the city’s church-bells start to chime simultaneously.
The piece was commissioned by Messerkvartetten in collaboration with Earunit Denmark with support from The Danish Arts Foundation. Tonight will be a US premiere (it has been previously performed in Denmark and Sweden).

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INTERMISSION

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Oscar Bianchi, Crepuscolo (2004), QNG (Susanna Froehlich) **
 
 

Crepuscolo is one of my earlier landmark works, written at IRCAM in 2003-2004 it explores the richness and immense potentiality of contrabass Paetzold recorders, a relatively new type of recorder invented in 1970 by Joachim Paetzold, lately acquiring much popularity within the contemporary music world. This instrument has been faithfully employed into later major projects, such as in MATRA (as a soloist part in this cantata’s trio concertante) and in my first opera Thanks to my Eyes (as part of the instrumental ensemble).
In Crepuscolo, this unique and inspiring instrument is largely explored in its thousand timbric details along with an extensive research of spatialisation techniques. The first version of this work, premiered att IRCAM in 2004, used a three dimensional spatialisation algorithm embodying the composer wish to explore an often forgotten dimension of spatialisation: the vertical axis.

When the sun has not yet already risen nor set, twilight (“crepuscolo” in Italian) shows day and night simultaneously.  At this juncture, the space of daylight’s sky, which we perceive as ‘near’ merges with that stellar ‘distance’ of the night. This ambiguity can portray the iridescent, the kaleidoscope of light, and the degrees of intensity. All this is contained in the glow of twilight, in the context of a space that is as changeable as the origins of its own light. Crepuscolo renders homage to this suspension of space and time.

The performance of this piece is made possible with support of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.

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Gordon Beeferman, Passages (2006), QNG
commissioned by Concert Artists Guild for Quartet New Generation

The title “Passages” refers to various aspects of the work: passages in the musical sense, clearly defined sections of distinct sound-worlds; passages in the sense of journeys, movement, the process of change; and of course the passage of time. The work focuses particularly on transformation, the rite of passage: the inevitable change from section to section, taking us through closely related but ultimately wide-ranging musical territories, ultimately bringing us to a very different place, far from where we started.

“Passages” is written in memory of my grandmother Shirley Beeferman, and is dedicated to my parents.

 

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Yotam  Haber, Estro poetico-armonico (2012) for JACK and QNG +

A transcription of a transcription, in a sense. I have taken the 50th and last psalm setting by Benedetto Marcello (1686-1739) – who transcribed and arranged what he heard in Venetian synagogues – and passed it through yet one more filter, one more telephone-game. Visualize an oil painting left out in the rain before it yet has a chance to dry, colors bleeding. I have turned this image into its musical counterpart.

Estro poetico-armonico was commissioned by the Adele and John Gray Endowment Fund.

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MATA is a non-profit organization that has, since 1996, been dedicated to commissioning and presenting works by young composers from around the world. MATA’s directors are motivated by a desire to create community among young musicians, especially those whose work defies definition and doesn’t fit into existing institutions. By providing young composers with a professional performance of their work, access to first-rate performers and valuable connections to colleagues, MATA nurtures their entry into American musical life.  To learn how you can become more involved in MATA, please visit www.matafestival.org, or contact us at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

MATA gratefully acknowledges the support of the

following individuals and organizations:

Sponsors (10,000 +)
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs

Meet the Composer’s Cary New Music Performance Fund

Cheswatyr Foundation
Patrons (4,000—9,999)                                   
Aaron Copland Fund for Music

Amphion Foundation

BMI Foundation

Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation

Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation

New York State Council on the Arts

Founders (1,000—3,999)

ASCAP

Mary Cronson

Alice M. Ditson Fund

The Randy Hostetler Living Room Fund

Foundation for Contemporary Arts

Myriam Ghazi

Nicholas and Ellen Hughes

Fund of the Foundation for Enhancing Communities on behalf of Ellen Brody Hughes

Ralph Jackson

Linda and Stuart Nelson

James R. & Frederica Rosenfield Foundation

 

Supporters (100—999)

 

Lisa Bielawa

Jason Andrew Brown

Claire Chase

Nicholas Croft

Alex Freeman

Patrick Grant

Ara Guzelimian

Marilyn Heller

Linda Higgins

Grethe Holby

Kenchiro Hoshino

Jerry Howett

Ellen Hughes

Robert Hurwitz

Barbara Kaslow

Frances Kazan

Aaron Jay Kernis

Kristina Kinet

Jeffrey Lynch

Andrew Marchesin

Missy Mazzoli

Christopher McIntyre

Zizi Mueller

Susan Narucki

Roy Niederhoffer

Frederick Peters

Jesse Rosen

Eleonor Sandresky

Steven Schick

George Schwartz

Melanie Shorin

Patricia and David Specter

Katy Tucker

Solomon and Barbara Wank

Susan West

Bonnie Wright

 

Friends

Gordon Beeferman

Ryan Brown

Karen Chester

Andrew Cyr

Color Field Ensemble

Composers and Schools in Concert

Liz Farid

Katie Geissinger

Greta Gertler

Martin Goldray

Robert Hammond

Jeff Herriott

Hotel Elefant

Luke Jaaniste

Scott Jeffrey

John Kennedy

Richard Kessler

Mary Kouyoumdjian

Tania Leon

Kristin Marks

Zibuokle Martinaityte

Priscilla Morgan

Mark Movic

Timothy Munro

Dustin Luke Nelson

Nouveau Classical Project

Mike Plotkowski

Paola Prestini

Kendel Ratley

Bajinder Sekhon

Yuval Sharon

Aaron Siegel

Rand Steiger

Miranda T.

Philippa Thompson

Elizabeth Van Cleve

Leaha Maria Villarreal

 

Special Sponsorship

Composer Receptions have been underwritten by Ralph Jackson

Equipment Rental has been underwritten by Lisa Bielawa, Ellen Hughes and Joan La Barbara

Francesco Filidei’s commission has been underwritten by Myriam Ghazi

Guest housing has been provided by Eleonor Sandresky and Ted Wiprud

JACK Quartet’s Performance has been underwritten by Jim Rosenfield

Performer housing has been underwritten by Ted Wiprud

Piano Tuning has been underwritten by Jason Masimore

Refreshments for opening night party have been underwritten by Pamela Stein and Kristina Kinet

Refreshments for performers have been underwritten by Missy Mazzoli and Christopher McIntyre

Rehearsal Space donated by the Family Opera Initiative and the New Spectrum Foundation

Ensemble Signal’s performance has been underwritten by Amanda Ambrose

Ensemble Signal’s travel has been underwritten by Eleonor Sandresky

Yotam Haber’s work commissioned by the Adele and John Gray Endowment Fund

Oscar Bianchi’s travel has been supported by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.


Kickstarter Alumni Composers

 

Timo Andres

Ryan Carter

Corey Dargel

Richard Einhorn

Annie Gosfield

Patrick Grant

Yotam Haber

Ted Hearne

Gabriel Kahane

Lukas Ligeti

David T. Little

Zibuokle Martinaityte

Missy Mazzoli

Ned McGowan

Nico Muhly

Andrew Norman

Angélica Negrón

 

Special Thanks

Maya Beiser

Oscar Bettison

Nathan Davis

Erin Gee

David Lang

Andrew McKenna Lee

Eileen Mack

Roulette

Anna Schuleit

The New Music Bake Sale

 

Leadership support for New Music USA’s MetLife Creative Connections program is generously provided by MetLife Foundation. Additional support is provided by ASCAP, BMI Foundation, Inc., Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc., The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, Jerome Foundation, mediaThe foundation, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, The Rodgers & Hammerstein Foundation and the Virgil Thomson Foundation, Ltd.

 

Made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the city council.

 

 

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