30, 2009, 7:30 PM Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, NYC
Traditions & Transmigrations celebrates the blending and juxtaposition of traditions, and the journey involved in any exploration of new musical territory. The concert showcases the diversity of today's American composers: Curt Cacioppo's new work is an homage to the Navajo people of Canyon de Chelly; composer and pianist Donal Fox brings his signature method of pairing an improvised solo part with notated orchestral writing; Erin Gee's piece places the orchestra as the fulcrum for a multi-media performance that melds video created by her brother Colin Gee (an actor who will also perform live on stage) with Ms. Gee's unusual vocal techniques utilizing two microphones with live computer processing; and Chinese-American composer Huang Ruo combines Chinese folk singing with vibrant orchestral colors. Charles Ives' Tone Roads Nos. 1 and 3 provide a touchstone of iconic Americana. The concert spotlights composers who are also performers—Curt Cacioppo (voice and percussion), Donal Fox (piano), Erin Gee (vocalist), and Huang Ruo (vocalist) will all perform as soloists in their own pieces. Guest conductor Stefan Lano makes his ACO debut on this concert.
Erin Gee: Mouthpiece XIII: Mathilde of
Loci, Part 1
Listen to an excerpt from Erin Gee's Mouthpiece IX Part 1
perf. Erin Gee with Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna, cond. Martyn Brabbins
Erin Gee lives in Austria and is currently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the Montalvo Arts Center. She makes her ACO debut with the world premiere of Mouthpiece XIII: Mathilde of Loci, Part 1, a work she is creating with her brother, Colin Gee. Mouthpiece XIII is based on a fictionalized account of the life of Matteo Ricci, proponent of the Memory Palace or the Method of Loci, a mnemonic technique. For the premiere, Ms. Gee will perform as vocalist and will use an original vocal technique using two microphones and live computer processing. Mr. Gee, writer and director, will also perform as an actor onstage and created the video portion of the work. The commission and performance of Erin Gee's new work is made possible by a new collaboration between ACO and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton Inc., which shares ACO's commitment to emerging American artists.
Trained as an actor, Colin Gee was a principal clown for Cirque du Soleil from 2001 to 2004 in the touring production, Dralion, and appeared in the company's television program Solstrom (2003). He is currently the founding artist-in-residence at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and a visiting artist-in-residence at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. His film Dakota (2006), with live solo performance and music by Erin Gee, was presented at P.S. 122, Diskurs '04 Giesen, Wexford Arts Center, 4020 Festival, and received the Best Male Performer award at the 2006 Dublin Fringe Festival.
Fox: Peace Out
for Improvised Piano
Curt Cacioppo is Ruth Marshall Magill Professor of Music at Haverford College in Pennsylvania. He makes his first appearance with ACO in the premiere performance of When the Orchard Dances Ceased, an homage to the Navajo people of Canyon de Chelly. In the mid 1800s, the U.S. army drove the Navajo out of their ancestral lands in the Canyon, where they had cultivated thousands of peach trees for generations. In his work, Cacioppo conjures the melodies and instruments of the Navajo, a popular Irish tune of the time, and U.S. military marches. The work includes parts for Native American folk voice and percussion instruments, both of which will be performed by the composer.
Originally from Hainan, China, Huang Ruo first came to the attention of ACO in 2004 when his City of Solace was selected to be read in the New Music Readings. His work Leaving Sao is written for soprano or high male voice in folk style and chamber orchestra in memory of his grandmother. Sao in Chinese means sorrowful predicament. This title was taken from a poem written by poet Qu Yuan (fourth century B.C.) from the ancient kingdom of Chu. Instead of setting Qu Yuan's poem, Huang wrote an original new poem with the same title in a modern form and literal use of word.
Charles Ives: Tone
Roads No. 1 & 3
Charles Ives' Tone Roads are thought to be a musical depiction of various journeys humans take through life, our individual differences converging to create the fabric of a larger community. He wrote in his Memos, "The Tone Roads are roads leading right and left—'F.E. Hartwell & Co., Gents Furnishings'—just starting an afternoon's sport. If horses and wagons can go sometimes on different roads (hill road, muddy road, rocky, straight, crooked, hilly hard road) at the same time and get to Main street eventually, why can't different instruments on different staffs? The wagons and people and roads are all in the same township, same mud, breathing the same air, same temperature, going to the same place, speaking the same language (sometimes), but not all going on the same road, all going their own way, each trip different to each driver, different people, different cuds, not all chewing in the key of C—that is not all in the same key—or the same number of steps per mile."
This concert will be Stefan Lano's first appearance with ACO. Music Director of the Teatro Colón from 2005 to 2008, Lano began conducting through his work as composer and after an extensive tenure on the music staff of the Vienna State Opera. He made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera conducting The Rake's Progress in 1997, where he also prepared the Met production of Arnold Schoenberg's Moses und Aron. In 2010, he will conduct a reprise of Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking for the Semper Oper Dresden.
Tickets & Info
ACO performs at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall Friday, November 30, 2009, at 7:30pm. Tickets are $38 and $48, and may be purchased through CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, by visiting Carnegie Hall's website at www.carnegiehall.org, or at the Carnegie Hall box office, 57th Street at 7th Ave.