Opens ACO’s Orchestra Underground
at Zankel Hall Friday, October 13
Focus on Composer-Performers with four world premieres
American Composers Orchestra opens its 30th season Friday, October 13, 2006 at 7:30pm in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, with its first Orchestra Underground “Composers OutFront!” concert. The program kick-starts a season-long focus on composer-performers. Four world premieres are on tap with music from: Underwood Emerging Composers Commission-winner Michael Gatonska, composer-bass clarinetist Evan Ziporyn, composer-conductor Brad Lubman, and composer-singer Corey Dargel, as well as inventive music by Michael Gandolfi, Susie Ibarra, and the ever-surprising Charles Ives. Continuing ACO’s forays into multimedia collaboration, the concert includes contributions from video artists Ean White and Boom Design Group, as well as amplified cello soloist Lauren Radnofsky. In addition to being featured as composer, Brad Lubman conducts, in his ACO debut.
Since ACO launched Orchestra Underground in 2004, the series has played to sold-out houses, attracting new listeners, as it has stretched the definition of the symphony orchestra through non-traditional instrumentation and spatial orientations, technological innovation, and multidisciplinary collaborations. The October 13 performance takes ACO’s exploration in a new direction with a range of energetic composer-performers, and more flexibility in performance format and sonic textures. Music will range from orchestral to amplified, to computer-generated, with solo “spotlights” on composer-performers. The use of video will be expanded to include new videotaped composer interviews by videographer Jeremy Robins.
Music Alive Composer in Residence Derek Bermel, who advises the orchestra on programming explains, “There is something very entrepreneurial and very American about the way many composers today pursue their careers, combining disparate elements&ldots; composing, playing, singing, conducting, gigging around in different milieus. We wanted this concert to reflect the excitement of that eclectic mosaic.”
The program will be repeated at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia on Sunday, October 15 at 7:30pm.
Brad Lubman steps into the dual role of composer and guest conductor, making his ACO debut. In addition to leading the orchestra through the dynamic array of his colleagues’ music and performances, Lubman will conduct the world premiere of his own Fuzzy Logic, for woodwinds, brass, percussion, synthesizer, piano, and amplified cello and video. Lauren Radnofsky is amplified cello soloist and Boom Design Group creates the visual designs. Fuzzy Logic was made possible with additional support from The Howard Hanson Fund (Eastman).
Brad Lubman was Assistant Conductor to Oliver Knussen at the Tanglewood Music Center from 1989-94, and has since conducted orchestras such as the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Finnish Radio Symphony, New World Symphony, and Frankfurt Radio Symphony, as well as contemporary groups Ensemble Modern, MusikFabrik Cologne, the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, Boston Symphony Chamber Players, and Steve Reich and Musicians. He has worked with many of today’s musical luminaries, including John Adams, Pierre Boulez, Luciano Berio, Elliot Carter and Steve Reich, as well as Elvis Costello, DJ Spooky, and John Zorn. Lubman is professor of conducting at Eastman, and music director of the resident Musica Nova Ensemble. Lubman’s compositions have been performed in the U.S. and Europe by the Guild Trio, New Millennium Ensemble, Percussion Group The Hague, and Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. The first CD of his own compositions was recently released on the Tzadik label.
Lauren Radnofsky has worked with the likes of the Bang-On-A-Can All-Stars, Pierre Boulez and Annie Gosfield. She also composes extensively in the electronic medium. This year, she will serve as director of Musica Nova at the Eastman School. She is co-founder, cellist, and administrator for the new ensemble, Brad Lubman’s Electric Fuzz, which will have its New York debut at Joe’s Pub on October 20 as part of ACO’s Composers OutFront!
Founded by artists and musicians, Boom Design Groupexplores new connections between sight and sound. In the past, their work has encompassed live video installations for concert settings, web and interactive design/development and promotional materials for clients like Trevor Newmann, Kristian Bezuidenhout and So Percussion.
“You’d have to look far and wide to find someone to compare with Evan Ziporyn&ldots; who has gone to greatly imaginative lengths to expand the dimensions of his instrument,” says theNewark Star-Ledger. Ziporyn makes his ACO debut as bass clarinet soloist in his own Big Grenadilla. Named for the wood from which clarinets are made, the composer calls the piece “an attempt at ancestor worship, on two levels: the instrument dreams of its living, rooted reality, with the orchestra playing the role of its environs. Meanwhile, I bow my head in homage to my own musical ancestors, particularly Stravinsky and Woody Herman, who together premiered the Ebony Concerto in Carnegie Hall 60 years ago. In the African steppe of my mind, it remains the Kilimanjaro.”
Composer-clarinetist Evan Ziporyn’s distinctive extended techniques for the instrument have found their way into pieces written by colleagues like Martin Bresnick, Michael Gordon and David Lang, for whom Ziporyn has performed and recorded as soloist. His own music is colored by a 25-year involvement with Balinese gamelan. He is Artistic Director of Gamelan Galak Tika and a founding member of the Bang On A Can All-Stars. Ziporyn’s first CD of orchestral music, “Frog’s Eye” has just been released on the Cantaloupe Music label.
The world premiere of After the Wings of Migratory Birds is the result of Michael Gatonska‘s participation in ACO’s 2005 Underwood New Music Readings for emerging composers. Gatonska describes this new work as “an overall circulation of sound forms, energies and dynamic elasticity from beginning to end.” Gatonska’s music has earned him two ASCAP Awards, participation in the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, and the Chicago Symphony First Hearing Award. This summer his music was featured in the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. Melinda Wagner, a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer-advisor for ACO says, “Michael demonstrates a unique ability to thread together finely-carved, diverse ‘glimpses’ of music into a convincing, organic whole-a temporal kaleidoscope of style and color.” He studied composition with Krzystof Penderecki, Marek Stachowski, and Zbigniew Bujarski at the Academy of Music in Krakow, Poland as well as with Elias Tanenbaum at the Manhattan School of Music. Gatonska has received two ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and Civitella Ranieri.
Michael Gandolfi‘s As Above, a collaboration with video artist Ean White, receives its New York premiere. As a composer whose earliest musical instincts were informed by the free-flowing energy of rock and jazz improvisation, Gandolfi has created forward-looking music that interfaces with such disciplines as film, choreography, theater, the physical sciences, and psychology. Gandolfi’s music has been performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and Boston Modern Orchestra Project, among others. He is a faculty member at the New England Conservatory and the Tanglewood Music Center.
As Above will be presented with a “live” performance of the video element by White. Responding to live signal feed from the piano and bass, White’s video mix is a real-time evolution of visual imagery which continuously translates Gandolfi’s pared-down orchestra of woodwinds, a French horn, percussion, piano and strings into a “surreal and unusual landscape,” dissolving the boundaries between what we see of the orchestra and what we hear of it.
Video artist Ean White is a multimedia artist based in Boston, where he has developed video, sound, conceptual and performance art installations for over twenty years, collaborating with Mobius Artist Group, Boston Performance Artists and others. He is currently the Technical Director of the Harvard University Studio for Electro-acoustic Composition and teaches sound art at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Spotlight Performances: Susie Ibarra & Corey Dargel
New additions to ACO’s Orchestra Underground programming this season are spotlight performances that feature composer-performers in solo works of their own creation. These performances showcase emerging artists of diverse influences, and create an aesthetic connection with other works on the program. Two such composer-performers are featured in this program: composer-singer Corey Dargeland composer-percussionist Susie Ibarra.
Corey Dargel will perform the premiere of All the Notes and Rhythms I’ve Ever Loved, an original love song that Dargel has created specifically for this occasion. Dargel is accompanied by violin soloist Jim Altieri and laptop computer.
Corey Dargel is a composer, lyricist, and singer of electronic art songs that “smartly and impishly blur the boundaries between contemporary classical idioms and pop,” according to The New York Times. He has been commissioned by The New Yorker Magazine, Dance Theater Workshop, Laboratory Theater, the Maine Gay Men’s Chorus, the ensemble Sequitur, flutist Margaret Lancaster, and the art song duo Two Sides Sounding. He has participated in residencies at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, New Dramatists, and HERE Arts Center. Dargel studied composition at Oberlin Conservatory with John Luther Adams, Pauline Oliveros, Brenda Hutchinson, and Lewis Nielson. Dargel’s debut album, “Less Famous Than You,” was released in May 2006 on the Use Your Teeth label.
Susie Ibarra‘s Optical Illusion: Meditation in White Light is a study in how music appears to fill space as well as time. Performing on solo drumset, Ibarra creates sounds that seem to float upon and eventually merge with a sculptural beam of white light, which, in turn, physically illuminates her playing. Commissioned by the Maier Museum of Art in Virginia to accompany the light sculptures of artist James Clark, Meditation in White Light is one of a group of Ibarra’s Optical Illusion compositions.
Susie Ibarra attended Mannes College of Music, and studied with master drummer Milford Graves and Philippine kulintang master Danongan Kalanduyan. She has performed with such noted artists as John Zorn, Pauline Oliveros, Trisha Brown, Derek Bailey, Wadada Leo Smith, Arto Lindsay, Thurston Moore, and Yo La Tengo. This August, Ibarra was nominated for Best Emerging Percussionist by Downbeat Magazine.
Tickets & Info
ACO performs at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall Friday, October 13, 2006 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $32 and $40, 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. Subscription packages are also available.
The program will be repeated Sunday, October 15, 2006 at 7:30pm at the Irvine Auditorium at the University of Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia performance is part of ACO’s two-year residency at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, made possible by The Philadelphia Music Project, an Artistic Initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts, administered by The University of the Arts. Tickets for the Philadelphia performance are $30 and are available by calling Penn Presents at 215-893-3900, or online at www.pennpresents.org.
ACO’s emerging composers program is supported by the Jerome Foundation, The Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support provided by ACO’s Inner Circle.
Major support of American Composers Orchestra is provided by American Symphony Orchestra League, Amphion Foundation, Arlington Associates, ASCAP, ASCAP Foundation, The Bagby Foundation for the Musical Arts, Bay and Paul Foundations, Bodman 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, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Irving Harris Foundation, Henfield Foundation, Victor Herbert Foundation, Jephson Educational Trust, John and Evelyn Kossak Foundation, Neil Family Fund, The New York Community Trust, The New York State Music Fund established by the New York State Attorney General at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, The Rodgers Family Foundation, Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, The Susan and Ford Schumann Foundation, Emma A. Sheafer Charitable Trust, the Virgil Thomson Foundation, Paul Underwood Charitable Trust, The Watchdog and Sonata Charitable Trust, The Isak and Rose Weinman Foundation 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.
The residency of Derek Bermel is made possible through Music Alive, a program of the American Symphony Orchestra League and Meet the Composer. This national program is designed to provide orchestras with resources and tools to support their presentation of new music to the public and build support for new music within their institutions. Funding forMusic Alive is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and The Aaron Copland Fund for Music.