Fri., Jan. 29, 2010, Zankel Hall, NYC
Latin jazz star Paquito D'Rivera is featured in Conversations with Cachao, dedicated to the famed Cuban Mambo king. Two world premieres are on tap: Next Atlantis, a multimedia meditation on post-Katrina New Orleans by Sebastian Currier and Pawel Wojtasik; and the result of ACOs 2008 Underwood Emerging Composer Commission, Time Lapse by Roger Zare. Anne Manson conducts.
Orchestra Underground: Conversations is the title of ACOs concerts Friday, January 29, 2010 at 7:30pm at Zankel Hall, and Saturday, January 30 at 7:30pm at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. The concert features two world premieres by Sebastian Currier and Roger Zare, and a local premiere by famed composer/clarinetist/saxophonist Paquito DRivera. Anne Manson conducts.
Conversations with Cachao by Latin jazz innovator Paquito DRivera forms the programs centerpiece: a tribute to Israel "Cachao" López, the Havana bass player who made Cuban Mambo a worldwide phenomenon. The piece features DRiveras clarinet and alto sax in dialogue with the double bass, played by soloist Robert Black, recalling the style and personality of the man who served as friend and mentor to DRivera and many Cuban musicians.
Conversations, dialogues and dualities become the context for musical explorations in very distinct and diverse ways in the programs two featured world premieres:
Next Atlantis is a multimedia collaboration between composer Sebastian Currier and video artist Pawel Wojtasik. The piece is a meditation on an imagined future when New Orleans is but a collective memory, having been fully submerged by the rising sea. Juxtaposing water imagery and scenes of New Orleans with a string orchestra, enhanced with four-channel sampled and electronically altered sounds of water, the music becomes, "a dialogue between the strings and the liquid sounds."
Roger Zare, a young composer beginning to win awards and attract professional attention, offers Time Lapse, a piece commissioned by ACO as part of its Underwood New Music Readings and Commission. The work offers a different take on the relationship between the visual and the sonic, exploring alteration and manipulation of the sense of time. In the piece, Zare integrates techniques of time-lapse photography, in which the motion of slowly moving objects is sped up and large periods of time are reduced to seconds; and high-speed photography, in which the motion of a high-speed object is slowed down to become perceptible to our senses.
Paquito DRivera is one of todays giants of Latin jazz, celebrated for his soaring improvisations and technical mastery on clarinet and saxophone, as well as his vibrant energy-infused compositions that pulsate with the spirit of his native Havana, Cuba. His recordings include more than 30 solo albums and nine GRAMMY awards, and his highly acclaimed ensembles—the Chamber Jazz Ensemble, the Paquito DRivera Big Band, and the Paquito DRivera Quintet—have performed worldwide. At the age of 17 in Havana, DRivera became a member of the Cuban National Symphony and went on to found the Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna and the influential ensemble Irakere. As a composer, DRivera is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and has been commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Library of Congress, Turtle Island String Quartet, and Caramoor Festival.
Built on elements of Cuban traditional music, Conversations with Cachao is homage to DRiveras longtime friend and mentor, the bassist and founding father of Cuban Mambo, Israel "Cachao" López. The piece reflects Cachas extraordinary sense of humor, as well as the eclectic career of the bassist, who played everything from symphonies, operas, and ballets, to silent movies, Jazz, the circus, dance parties and nightclubs, and who helped spread Cuban music worldwide. The piece is a three-movement double concerto for the contrabass and clarinet/alto sax soloists. Filled with references to traditional Cuban music, it includes a bass "lick" (G-C-Bb-C) that was Cachaos signature, as well as improvised cadenzas. Robert Black will be the bass soloist in "conversation" with Mr. DRivera.
For more info visit: www.paquitodrivera.com
Robert Blacks performance spectrum is as wide as Cachaos, ranging from traditional orchestral and chamber music to solo recitals, collaborations with actors, music with computers, movement-based improvisations with dancers, and live action-painting performances with artists. He has commissioned, collaborated, or performed with musicians from John Cage to D.J. Spooky, Elliott Carter to Meredith Monk, Cecil Taylor to Paquito DRivera, as well as many young emerging composers. His recital activities frequently take him to five continents, and he has appeared at major festivals, on radio and television broadcasts, and as an artist-in-residence. Currently, he performs with the Bang on a Can All Stars, among others.
For more info visit: www.robertblack.org
Sebastian Currier: Next Atlantis
Sebastian Curriers music has been performed at major venues worldwide. His last outing with ACO was Microsymph, commissioned by ACO and premiered at Carnegie Hall in 1997. Since then he has gone on to win the 2007 Grawemeyer Award and has also won the Berlin Prize, Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Next Atlantis is inspired by New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina—a new Atlantis, not of the mythic past, but one of the too-possible future. Originally conceived as a work for string quartet, the piece has been expanded into a multimedia collaboration for strings, four-channel sound and video, with video artist Pawel Wojtasik. Next Atlantis weaves together sounds of water and elegiac strains, with murmurings of Dixieland. Currier says, "Ive always loved the sound of water and have had in mind for some time to write a piece that weaved water sounds into a musical fabric. And here the sound of water is especially poignant, because for New Orleans water is both the life-blood of the city and its potential destroyer."
For more info visit: www.sebastiancurrier.com
Born in Lodz, Poland, educated at Yale, and now living in Brooklyn, Pawel Wojtasik creates documentary-style video that explores society's obsessions with rapid consumption, industrial overproduction, and its environmental impact. His videos are meant to take us behind the scenes of our "throw away" society, providing visceral experiences that can be both beautiful and horrific. Firehole (2005) was set in an automobile junkyard, while Dark Sun Squeeze (2003-04) was shot at a sewage treatment plant. Wojtasik has had exhibitions and screenings at Smack Mellon, MASS MoCA, Anthology Film Archives, the New York Armory Show, Art Basel/Miami, and PS1, among many others. He is represented by Martos Gallery in New York and Jail Gallery in Los Angeles.
For more info visit: www.pawelwojtasik.com
In 2008, Roger Zare was one of six young composers selected for ACOs Underwood New Music Readings. His work Green Flash garnered that years Underwood Commission prize, with composer-mentor Christopher Rouse saying, "Roger Zare writes for orchestra like a real natural. Its a medium that seems to be in his blood." Zares newly commissioned work, Time Lapse, reunites the composer with conductor Anne Manson, who conducted the 2008 Underwood Readings. Manson calls Zare "an exciting and sophisticated young composer and a wonderful orchestrator."
Time Lapse is an essay for orchestra focusing on coloristic possibilities and dramatic gestures when the techniques of time-lapse (the speeding up of slowly moving objects) and stop-action (the slowing down of extremely high-speed motion) photography are applied to musical motives. Exploring these two modes of temporal perception, concise motivic ideas are developed into sweeping gestures through expansion and contraction, giving the listener a sense of timeless expanse.
Roger Zare received a BMI Student Composer Award in 2007 and 2009, and the ASCAP Rudolf Nissim Prize in 2009. Originally from Sarasota, FL, Zare started composing at age fourteen. His music has been performed by the Minnesota Orchestra, the Sarasota Orchestra, ensembles at the Sarasota Music Festival, the Santa Monica Symphony Wind Quintet, and the USC Thornton Symphony and Wind Ensemble. He holds a B.M. in composition from the University of Southern California and an M.M. in composition at the Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with Christopher Theofanidis. Currently, he is a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan.
For more info visit: http://rogerzare.com
Anne Manson previously conducted ACO during the 2008 Underwood New Music Readings and makes her Orchestra Underground debut on this concert. She is music director of the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, with whom she has led two hugely successful tours, one with world famous soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian that comprised appearances in San Francisco, Orange County, Vancouver, Toronto, Boston and Carnegie Hall. In September she conducted the orchestra in a Canadian tour with percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie. She was the first woman to conduct at the Salzburg Festival, where she led the Vienna Philharmonic and a cast that included Samuel Ramey and Philip Langridge in a production of Boris Godunov, which met with great critical acclaim. Ms. Manson is one of only three women to have been appointed music director of a leading American symphony orchestra, having served in that role with the Kansas City Symphony from 1999 to 2003. She launched her career in 1988 as music director of the London-based Mecklenburgh Opera, where over a span of eight years she programmed operas ranging from Mozart to 20th-century rarities, while commissioning world premieres from a host of contemporary composers. A reputation for excellence in the central German repertory, combined with a passionate advocacy of music of the present, has led to invitations to leading orchestras worldwide: she has conducted Paris’ Ensemble Intercontemporain, the London Philharmonic, the Royal National Scottish Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Orchestra, the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, the Leipzig Radio Orchestra, and the Residentie Orchestra of The Hague. In America her engagements include the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Houston Symphony, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
For more info visit: www.annemanson.com
Tickets & Info
Tickets for the January 29 performance in
Zankel Hall are $38 and $48 and can be purchased via CarnegieCharge at
212-247-7800, www.carnegiehall.org, or at the
Carnegie Hall Box Office.