Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Concerto for Buildings and Other New Works
Site-specific music for the first day of summer
New Music Around New York:
Concerto for Buildings
Greene Street, between Broome and Grand (Soho)
For the second year, Make Music New York is expanding Daniel Goode‘s Soho Gamelan Walk concept by shutting down a street in Soho with eight musical buildings, bringing in Mantra Percussion as soloists, and inviting composers to write short pieces for buildings and ensemble, each under 5 minutes. Together these will form a second, brand-new “Concerto for Buildings”.
This year’s composers are Angélica Negrón, Brooks Frederickson, and Kevin Moran. Angélica’s piece is called “There and Not Here.” Brooks’ piece is called “Bull Float.” Mantra Youth Percussion, along with other young musicians, will form the “back-up band.”
Puerto Rican-born composer and multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón writes music for accordions, toys and electronics as well as chamber ensembles and orchestras. Her music has been described as “wistfully idiosyncratic and contemplative” (WQXR/Q2) and “mesmerizing and affecting”(Feast of Music) while The New York Times noted her “capacity to surprise” and her “quirky approach to scoring”. She holds a master’s degree in music composition from New York University and is currently pursuing a doctorate at The Graduate Center (CUNY), where she studies with Tania León. Ms.Negrón has released several albums with indie electronic group Balún and ambient chamber ensemble Arturo en el Barco, and co-founded in 2011 the Spanish immersion music program for young children, ¡Acopladitos!. She is currently a teaching artist for New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers Program and for Little Orchestra Society’s School Partnership Program. And she wrote another piece for Make Music New York 2016: Here, for an open-ended number of music box players.
According to composer Negrón, “There and Not Here is a piece about daydreaming and escaping. It is inspired by nature exploring road trips during my visits to my homeland Puerto Rico. By the colors and textures of the landscapes and the feeling of being in a car with the windows down enjoying the breathtaking view of the island.”
American composer Brooks Frederickson holds a B.M. Music Composition degree from Butler University, and an M.M. Music Composition degree from NYU. The New York Times calls Brooks’ music “a good-natured catalog of potentials”. Brooks’ music can be heard on Consortium5‘s recording “Tangled Pipes” out on the Nonclassical record label. Brooks has had the opportunity to work with many excellent teachers and composers including: Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, Justin Dello Joio, Michael Schelle, Frank Felice, James Aikman, and Alison Kay.Brooks has had the opportunity to work with some of today’s leading contemporary musicians and choreographers including: So Percussion, The JACK Quartet, Cadillac Moon Ensemble,Bearthoven, Exceptet Nathan Schram, Vicky Chow, Spark Movement Collective, and Annette Herwander. His music has been present as part of the Bang On A Can Marathon (2014), and the Contagious Sounds and Columbus // New York Exchange series.
Bull Float is a concerto for four percussionists and orchestra. The four percussionists are arranged in to duos – one playing a building on one side of the street, the other playing a building on the other side of the street. According to Frederickson “the piece focuses on the overlapping of long phrases of unequal lengths – one duo plays a 4 measure long phrase, while the other plays a 5 measure long phrase. The orchestra supports the soloists in these phrases, and provides a series of nearly-transparent interludes between the phrases.” And for those of you who were wondering: a bull float is the tool used to smooth out freshly poured concrete.
Kevin Moran is a composer and percussionist from Ridgewood, New Jersey. His compositions explore mathematical and acoustical concepts such as number theory, Fourier transforms, and Shepard-Risset illusions. Moran writes for atypical instrumentations; recently he won second place in the 2015 Necessary Noise Solo Competition with the premier of Waterfalls for glass harp and vibraphone. He also performs with Mantra Youth Percussion, “ear-opening…” (NYTimes), who for the second year in a row has been honored by the National League of Performing Arts in the area of chamber music, performing at such prestigious cultural institutions as Merkin Concert Hall and Carnegie Hall. Kevin is a member of the Connor Donohue Music Fellowship and student teacher at the Summer Music Academy in Ridgewood, NJ.
3:30 PM Grand Army Plaza, (Brooklyn)
5 PM Battery Park, in front of Castle Clinton
In this world premiere work by Kevin James for 16 brass players and 4 percussionists — performed by TILT Brass and Iktus Percussion — each musician will begin playing solo, while dispersed in different parts of the city. As they play, they will walk towards a park, and will converge in synchronicity to play the piece’s finale together.
Guerrilla Fanfare is simultaneously being performed in NYC and at Millennium Park for Make Music Chicago. The NYC performances will take place at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn (3:30 PM) and at Battery Park in Manhattan (5 PM). Sponsored by Harman/JBL and GoPro.
Kevin James is a noted composer, performer, educator and writer. Known for the breadth of his palette and original concepts, his music ranges from the gospel-inflected to the microtonal, from works for young singers to improv orchestras, with and without electronics, from the raucous to the sublime. Kevin’s newest projects include a multi-media work commissioned by Del Sol String Quartet that will feature the other worldly sounds of the howler monkeys of Nicaragua’s Ometepe Island. His Revolution #1, commissioned by a consortium of cellists, will be premiered in cities throughout the US in the coming year.
New York Times critics named the works of his Vanishing Languages Project among the “Best of 2013… as haunting as they were riveting”, The project received a feature story on the syndicated Public Radio International program, The World, and Chicago Classical included the first of the works among its “Top Ten Performances of 2011”. Other recent premieres include Colors a work for American Public Media’s Radio Radiance series, premiered on a broadcast of it’s popular Celebrating Our Musical Future show, Revolution No. 11, commissioned by the International Beethoven Festival, and the critically acclaimed, 100 Waltzes for John Cage, premiered to rave reviews at the DiMenna Center in New York.
7:30 PM, Pier 62 Carousel (Chelsea Piers)
At twilight on June 21st, brass players will join hands (musically speaking) around the carousel at Pier 62 to premiere Dance Suite for Carousel Orchestra by NYC composer Lev ‘Ljova’ Zhurbin. Written for an unlimited number of brass instruments, the piece is designed for teachers to play with students, or for more experienced players to play with less experienced players.
Hailed by the New York Times as “dizzyingly versatile… an eclectic with an ear for texture… strikingly original and soulful”, Ljova (Lev Zhurbin) was born in 1978 in Moscow, Russia, and moved to New York with his parents, composer Alexander Zhurbin and writer Irena Ginzburg, in 1990. He divides his time between composing for the concert stage, contemporary dance & film, leading his own ensemble Ljova and the Kontraband, as well as a busy career as a freelance violist, violinist & musical arranger. Among recent projects is a commission from the City of London Sinfonia, a string quartet for Brooklyn Rider new works for Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, The Knights, Sybarite5 and A Far Cry, as well arrangements for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Alan Pierson and the Brooklyn Philharmonic, tenor Javier Camarena, conductor Alondra de la Parra, the Mexican songwriter Natalia Lafourcade, composer/guitarist Gustavo Santaolalla, and collaborations with choreographers Aszure Barton, Damian Woetzel, Christopher Wheeldon, Katarzyna Skarpetowska (with Parsons Dance) and Eduardo Vilaro (with Ballet Hispanico).
New York Songs
National September 11 Memorial and Museum (World Trade Center)
The songs that made New York famous (or vice versa) get a new twist at the WTC Memorial Plaza as PUBLIQuartet performs a set of classic New York Songs, arranged by nine talented high school composers. Selections such as New York, New York, Empire State of Mind, and other favorites will be played in stunning new arrangements.
Dubbed “independent-minded” by The New Yorker, PUBLIQuartet’s creative programming lends a fresh perspective to the Classical music scene. Founded in 2010, PQ’s innovative programs span arrangements from the classical canon, contemporary works, original compositions, and open-form improvisations that expand the techniques and aesthetic of the traditional string quartet.
Next season, 2016-17, PQ will hold the prestigious title of Quartet-In-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, performing seven concerts throughout the various galleries, Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, and the Cloisters. PQ was selected as the Concert Artists Guild’s New Music/New Places Ensemble at the 2013 CAG Victor Elmaleh Competition, winning their 2013 Sylvia Ann Hewlett Adventurous Artist Prize. Hailed by WQXR as a “…‘genre-independent’ quartet that not only vehemently supports emerging composers, but also composes collectively – a rare occurrence in this field,” the group received Chamber Music America’s 2015 ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award for outstanding and innovative approaches to contemporary classical, jazz, and world chamber music.
And if you are interested in the new and experimental, don’t miss Shimmer, Here, and The Gauntlet.
Shimmer is a new work for cymbals, composed by Brian Chase of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Says Chase, “The event comes at the time of the summer solstice, the moment marking the official arrival of summer in the Northern Hemisphere – what instrument better complements the form of the sun as much as the shape of a cymbal? Contained within each individual cymbal is a huge world of tones ranging from very low to very high. Exploring this ‘tone world’ and the sonic potential of cymbals, both individual and collective, is a primary aim of Shimmer.” Presented in collaboration with the Madison Square Park Conservancy, and sponsored by Zildjian and the Music Performance Trust Fund, the premiere takes place at Madison Square Park, at 3:30 pm. Bring your cymbal and come join the fun.
The Gauntlet is another new event, created by composer Sxip Shirey, and presented in collaboration with the Friends of the High Line, calling for two rows of 30 singers to engage in a musical dialogue as the public experiences the piece by walking at their own pace through a “tent” of vocalists. It takes place from 8:15 to 9 PM on the High Line.
Inspired by microscopic images of sand and distant childhood memories, Here is a new piece by composer Angélica Negrón written for an indeterminate number of small music boxes. Here weaves together the threads of different music box tunes to create a haunting, uncanny sound mass. Players are welcome to bring their own music box or may use one of the boxes which will be generously supplied by Kikkerland. New techniques for playing with the sound of the music box will be introduced over the course of the performance, which is open to musicians and non-musicians alike. The event takes place in Transmitter Park in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, from 6:30-8pm on June 21st. Sign up to take part in Here today!