American Composers Orchestra - Innovating Right Before Your Ears


 

 

 

 

 

 

For New York performances,
call CarnegieCharge at
212-247-7800
or buy tickets online

For Philadelphia performances, call Penn Presents at
215-898-3900
or buy tickets online

related stories

Neil Rolnick & Todd Reynolds on
their iFiddle Concerto collaboration

Five Years After 'Orchestra Tech'
by Frank J. Oteri

An Interview with DBR & The Team that Created Call Them All

home
concert schedule

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For New York performances,
call CarnegieCharge at
212-247-7800
or buy tickets online

For Philadelphia performances, call Penn Presents at
215-898-3900
or buy tickets online

related stories

Neil Rolnick & Todd Reynolds on
their iFiddle Concerto collaboration

Five Years After 'Orchestra Tech'
by Frank J. Oteri

An Interview with DBR & The Team that Created Call Them All

home
concert schedule
top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For New York performances,
call CarnegieCharge at
212-247-7800
or buy tickets online

For Philadelphia performances, call Penn Presents at
215-898-3900
or buy tickets online

related stories

Neil Rolnick & Todd Reynolds on
their iFiddle Concerto collaboration

Five Years After 'Orchestra Tech'
by Frank J. Oteri

An Interview with DBR & The Team that Created Call Them All

home
concert schedule
top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For New York performances,
call CarnegieCharge at
212-247-7800
or buy tickets online

For Philadelphia performances, call Penn Presents at
215-898-3900
or buy tickets online

related stories

Neil Rolnick & Todd Reynolds on
their iFiddle Concerto collaboration

Five Years After 'Orchestra Tech'
by Frank J. Oteri

An Interview with DBR & The Team that Created Call Them All

home
concert schedule
top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For New York performances,
call CarnegieCharge at
212-247-7800
or buy tickets online

For Philadelphia performances, call Penn Presents at
215-898-3900
or buy tickets online

related stories

Neil Rolnick & Todd Reynolds on
their iFiddle Concerto collaboration

Five Years After 'Orchestra Tech'
by Frank J. Oteri

An Interview with DBR & The Team that Created Call Them All

home
concert schedule
top

 

 

 

ACO Orchestra Underground
"Tech & Techno"

March 17 at Zankel Hall, NYC
March 18 at The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia

From "Call Them All". Videography by Janet Wong"Tech & Techno," the latest installment of American Composers Orchestra's cutting-edge Orchestra Underground series, comes to Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall on Friday, March 17, 2006 at 7:30pm, and the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia on Saturday, March 18, 2006 at 7:30pm. "Tech & Techno" explores the constantly evolving intersection of technology and new music with influences drawn from the dance club and DJ scene as well as the computer music lab.

The program features world premieres of four ACO-commissioned works. Electric violinist Todd Reynolds debuts Neil Rolnick's iFiddle Concerto. ACO will also premiere Daniel Bernard Roumain's new multimedia work, Call Them All, featuring collaborations with turntablist/laptopist DJ Scientific, filmmaker Janet Wong, and narration by Bill T. Jones. Also receiving premiere performances are Edmund Campion's Practice, and Justin Messina's Abandon. The New York premiere of Omnivorous Furniture by Mason Bates completes the program. ACO Music Director Steven Sloane conducts.

ACO's Orchestra Underground initiative stretches the definition of the symphony orchestra through non-traditional instrumentation, technological innovation, and multimedia collaborations. Since its inception, the series has made good on ACO's intentions to go where no symphony orchestra has gone before, focusing on an eclectic mixture of today's composers and artists, attracting new artists and listeners, and playing to sold-out houses. "We programmed 'Tech & Techno' in response to the dramatic changes in the way music is both created and consumed today," says ACO Music Director Steven Sloane. "With so many people today walking around with iPods and MP3 players -- creating a virtual soundtrack to their daily lives -- there are drastic changes in listeners' expectations and perceptions. Meanwhile composers are adopting new technological tools and blending new musical sources at an astonishing pace. We wanted a program that captures that confluence of these worlds -- in energy and excitement."


Mason Bates: Omnivorous Furniture
(New York Premiere)
Mason BatesRecently awarded a Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, Mason Bates is a highly unconventional composer. While his orchestral music has been performed in venues like Alice Tully Hall, The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital, and the Spoleto Festival USA, his DJ sets of trip-hop and funk have been heard on the electronica scene from Rome to Berlin to San Francisco. The San Francisco Chronicle has called his music "lovely to hear and ingeniously constructed."

In Omnivorous Furniture, Bates uses a laptop computer and drum pad to manipulate an electronic rhythm soundtrack, which ebbs and flows with the orchestral material. After receiving its premiere in Los Angeles last November, Bates has reworked the piece for this New York premiere, so the electronics flow more organically with the acoustic music. Omnivorous Furniture, he says, "exists at the junction between a world of morphing electronic beats -- and the rich and varied textures of a chamber orchestra. My activities in both have convinced me of some pregnant possibilities."



Neil Rolnick: iFiddle Concerto Neil Rolnick
(ACO Commission, World Premiere)
Since the late 1970s, Neil Rolnick's career has spanned many areas of musical endeavor, involving unexpected combinations of materials and media. Interactive computer processing has been the hallmark of his most recent composition projects, including The Shadow Quartet for string quartet Ethel, Body Work for vocalist Joan La Barbara, and Digits for pianist Kathleen Supové, among many others.

Rolnick's new iFiddle Concerto, an ACO commission and world premiere, reveals his penchant for juxtaposing a diversity of form and function. As he describes it, this concerto "explores a relationship between instruments and computer which uses the computer to expand the already substantial expressive abilities of virtuoso players." The soloist is Todd Reynolds, whose own deep engagement with the computer as a natural extension of his music making, makes it possible to consider the piece a concerto for a new kind of instrument -- the "iFiddle" -- as Reynolds and Rolnick have dubbed it. Rolnick calls the instrument "a cyborg violin that has been intimately joined with a computer." The iFiddle Concerto highlights the collaborative process between Rolnick and Reynolds, as they work together to discover new expressive possibilities, combining this "cyborg" with the familiar trappings of a concerto-style piece.

Todd Reynolds, electric violin
Todd Reynolds Todd Reynolds has been hailed by critics as "New York's reigning classical/jazz violinist." He is a fixture on New York's downtown scene, playing with the Bang On A Can All-Stars, the Steve Reich Ensemble, and as a founding member of the Mahavishnu Project. Mr. Reynolds is a co-founder of the New York-based string quartet known as Ethel, and he has premiered works by dozens of American Composers, including Michael Gordon, Steve Reich, David Lang, John King, Julia Wolfe, Elliot Sharp, and Randall Woolf. After studying under the legendary violinist Jascha Heifetz, and receiving degrees from the Eastman School of Music and SUNY Stonybrook, Reynolds served as Principal Second Violinist of the Rochester Philharmonic. His career has included performances, recordings, and collaborations with a huge and diverse list of prominent figures, like Yo-Yo Ma, Uri Caine, John Cale, Steve Coleman, Joe Jackson, Graham Nash, Marcus Roberts, Wayne Shorter, and Cassandra Wilson.

Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR): Call Them All: Fantasy Projections for Film , Laptop and Orchestra
(ACO Commission, World Premiere)

Described as "Beethoven meets Lenny Kravitz," Daniel Bernard Roumain(DBR) draws inspiration as much from the deep roots of his Haitian-American heritage as from his mastery of the rich traditions of classical music. His works seamlessly integrate funk, rock, hip-hop and classical music to create an exuberant new sonic experience. Roumain has collaborated with the likes of DJ Spooky and Cassandra Wilson. He is Music Director for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Assistant Composer-in-Residence at the Orchestra of St. Luke's, and leads his own band DBR & The Mission. In January 2000, ACO provided Roumain with his first orchestra commission and Carnegie Hall debut, with the premiere of Harlem Essay. About that piece, The New York Times said that Roumain is a "storyteller... The orchestra bubbles with energy. The loudness and bright colors get our attention, but there is a sophistication, invention and wry wit."

In the ACO-commissioned world premiere of Call Them All, Roumain joins forces with the turntablist-laptopist DJ Scientific to combine "old school" sounds of New York's club scene and soul music with an orchestral texture, all enhanced by a video created by Janet Wong featuring famed choreographer and dancer Bill T. Jones as narrator.

Bill T. Jones
Bill T. Jones is a world-renowned choreographer and dancer. He founded the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in 1982 with his late partner Arnie Zane, and has created more than 100 works for the company. Jones has also choreographed for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Axis Dance Company, Boston Ballet, Lyon Opera Ballet, Berlin Opera Ballet and Diversions Dance Company, among others. In 1995, Jones directed and performed in a collaborative work with Toni Morrison and Max Roach, Degga, at Lincoln Center's Serious Fun Festival. His collaboration with Jessye Norman, How! Do! We! Do! premiered at New York's City Center in 1999. Jones is the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius" Award as well as the Wexner Prize, the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement, a Harlem Renaissance Award, and the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize.

DJ ScientificDJ Scientific, laptop/turntables; Janet Wong, video
A seasoned producer, engineer, laptopist and DJ, DJ Scientific attended the School of Audio Engineering in New York, then became prominent performing at New York clubs and high-end social events. Since 2003, DJ Scientific has collaborated extensively with Daniel Bernard Roumain, as a member of Roumain's band DBR & The Mission, where he has helped develop a unique, amplified, hip-hop-inspired soundscape with a string quartet, laptops, drum-kit, keyboard and vocals. DJ Scientific has appeared at The Cerritos Center and Yerba Buena Center in California, the Kennedy Center in Washington, Williams College, Montclair State University, and the Sound Unseen Film and Music Festival in Minnesota. He recently designed sound installations for the Studio Museum of Harlem, and founded a DJ collective, C.O.S. Productions.

Janet Wong is a videographer and frequent collaborator with Bill T. Jones, serving as Rehearsal Director of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.

Edmund Campion: Practice
(ACO Commission, World Premiere)
Edmund Campion was raised in Dallas, Texas, and fell easily into American experimental music traditions. His studies included work with composer Gerard Grisey and then at Boulez's computer music center, IRCAM. Edmund Campion is now a professor of composition at the University of California, Berkeley, where he directs Music Composition and Pedagogy at the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies.

Campion is known for his shape-shifting, quixotic music. In Practice, an ACO-commissioned world premiere, Campion has teamed with ACO and the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies at the University of California, Berkeley to build a new computer-based keyboard instrument whose core sound is born from hybrids of traditional orchestral triangle tones. In the music, we hear "the metal of the industrial revolution give way to the hyper-metallic noisy bazaar of our contemporary moment." For Campion, "the fruits of experimentation are not to be discarded, they are to be formed into 'practice', even when that practice is uneven, imperfect, impractical and often improbable."

 
Justin Messina: Abandon (ACO Commission, World Premiere)
Justin Messina Justin Messina credits composers Miguel del Aguila, Don Freund, P. Q. Phan, Eugene O'Brien, Sven-David Sandström, and Christopher Rouse with fostering his early interest in music. Messina studied at Indiana University, where he was active as a composer and a pianist. Messina's works have been performed at Alice Tully Hall in New York City, Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, Duke's Hall in London, Indiana University, CalArts, The University of Illinois and the Aspen and California Summer Music Festivals. He is presently completing his Doctorate at the Juilliard School.

In Abandon, another ACO-commissioned world premiere, Messina engages the same DJ techniques and attention to sound that one finds in albums by dance music pioneers Carl Craig, Kenny Larkin and Richie Hawtin to explore what the idea of abandon means and where it comes from. Influenced by Techno music of the early 90's Detroit, itself an "abandoned city," Messina seeks in his new work to "create an acoustic counterpart to this purely electronic art form."



Tickets & Information

ACO performs "Tech & Techno" at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall Friday, March 17, 2006 at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $27 and $35, and may be purchased through CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, by visiting Carnegie Hall's website, or at the Carnegie Hall box office, 57th Street at 7th Ave.

On Saturday, March 18 at 7:30pm the concert comes to the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, at 3680 Walnut Street in Philadelphia. Tickets at Annenberg are $23 and $33 and available by telephone at 215-898-3900, or online at www.pennpresents.org.

Orchestra Underground is made possible by The Argosy Foundation Contemporary Music Fund and The Philadelphia Music Project, an artistic initiative of the Pew Charitable Trusts administered by The University of the Arts. ACO's emerging composers program is made possible by the Jerome Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Additional support provided by Meet the Composer Creative Connections Program.

Major support of American Composers Orchestra is provided by American Symphony Orchestra League, Amphion Foundation, Anncox Foundation, Arlington Associates, ASCAP, ASCAP Foundation, The Bagby Foundation for the Musical Arts, Bodman Foundation, Booth Ferris Foundation, BMI, BMI Foundation, Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, Citigroup Foundation, Edward T. Cone Foundation, Consolidated Edison, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Fidelity Foundation, Fromm Music Foundation, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, The Estate of Francis Goelet, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Irving Harris Foundation, Henfield Foundation, Victor Herbert Foundation, Jephson Educational Trust, John and Evelyn Kossak Foundation, Helen Sperry Lea Foundation, Neil Family Fund, The New York Community Trust, Bay and Paul Foundations, PricewaterhouseCoopers, The Rodgers Family Foundation, The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, The Susan and Ford Schumann Foundation, Smith Barney, the Virgil Thomson Foundation, The Isak and Rose Weinman Foundation, Paul Underwood Charitable Trust, The Watchdog and Sonata Charitable Trust and The Helen F. Whitaker Fund. ACO programs are also made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

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