Jeff Bowen: Turbulent Fields

Composer Jeff Bowen and members of the UW’s Inverted Space Ensemble present new works for chamber ensemble:

what will sound (has already sounded) (2014) for violin and electronics, inspired by the art of William Kentridge and performed by violinist Luke Fitzpatrick; and Pan, Sinking (2015) for steelpan and 10 instruments, featuring David Aarons on the steelpan. Also on the program are Stalasso II (2013) for flute, violin, cello, piano; Turbulent Field (2012) with Jamael Smith on bassoon and Sophie Baird-Daniel on harp; and a String Quartet (2012).

NEW EXPANSE | VOL. I

A diverse and engaging evening of active listening and presentation that moves beyond the typical live concert or lecture to offer the public a new space that is educational, current, and refreshing. This event brings together different artists and speakers who create significant content and dialog through their work.

The inaugural event features Garek Jon Druss performing a guided sonic meditation for architecture and the psychological plane, a new work composed specifically for the Chapel Performance Space. We will also be joined by the literary force William Kiesel, publisher of Ouroboros Press, who will be speaking on the language of birds. Daniel Salo is a member of A Story of Rats, the Saint Genet theater company, and Joy Wants Eternity. Tonight he will perform a short original work for piano from his upcoming release Playing Piano Naked in the Dark.

Read the Stranger’s interview with Garek Druss about this event.

Dennis Rea: Live at the Forbidden City

Longtime Seattle musician Dennis Rea celebrates the republication of his book Live at the Forbidden City: Musical Encounters in China and Taiwan with a reading plus a musical performance of Asian-themed works by his group Moraine with special guest Stuart Dempster. (A sliding scale donation at the door includes a copy of the book.)

Now available in a newly updated Blue Ear Books edition, Live at the Forbidden City offers a singular look at the rapidly evolving Chinese popular music scene, as seen through the eyes of one of the first progressive Western musicians to perform extensively in both China and Taiwan. In the 1980s and 90s, American musician and author Dennis Rea was an unofficial musical ambassador to the East, playing more than 100 concerts in venues ranging from sports arenas to illicit underground nightclubs to TV broadcasts viewed by millions of Chinese – frequently under bizarre circumstances and the constant threat of harassment by Communist Party authorities. Spiced with informative reflections on Chinese music and culture, Live at the Forbidden City interweaves vivid, often comical depictions of Rea’s musical adventures with an insider’s look at China’s emergent rock music phenomenon, richly descriptive tales of travels in China’s ethnic minority regions, and the first detailed English-language eyewitness account of the violent civil uprising that broke out in the city of Chengdu at the same time as the world-shaking events at Tiananmen Square.

“The adventures of an accidental musical ambassador… Vivid and informative, expressing appreciation grounded in experience.” — Kirkus Discoveries

Nick Norton + Nat Evans + John Teske

Graphic scores for small ensemble and composed works for piano by John Teske and Nick Norton. A site-specific listening and tea event by Nat Evans precedes the performance.

Composers John Teske and Nick Norton (Los Angeles) present composed works for piano, performed by Cristina Valdes, and graphic/flexible scores performed by local musicians. Nat Evans will present a new site-specific listening and tea event entitled New Forest, preceding the performance. Cristina Valdes will perform Norton’s piano piece, All The Wrong Notes, which the LA Times described as “a crazy piano deconstruction…like sticking your head on rattling strings”, and the premiere of his Texture Sketches for string. John Teske presents topographies, a series of graphic scores that require musicians to navigate through contour maps composed of musical symbols.

New Forest is a site-specific work created to present ideas from Nat Evans‘ project, The Tortoise. In 2014, Evans spent several months walking the Pacific Crest Trail as a mobile residency, creating work and making hundreds of field recordings. For New Forest, Evans will gather natural objects, create Chinese ink calligraphic representations of the objects, and arrange them as an environment for people to sit inside of to listen to field recordings and be served tea. The field recordings for this event will be of 2nd growth forests clear cut in the 1940s and 50s, occasionally accompanied by 78 rpm records that were pressed during the same era. Participants will simultaneously hear sounds from the era of transition for the forest and an update as to how it sounds today.

R. Andrew Lee, piano: Randy Gibson

Pianist R. Andrew Lee is one of the foremost interpreters of minimal music, for which he has garnered wide critical acclaim. He has been described as having “consistently impressive solo releases… asserting a vision of musical Minimalism far broader than the limited patch that abused term usually signifies.” (Steve Smith, New York Times). Time Out New York named his album November as the best classical recording of 2013, and Alex Ross of The New Yorker named Eva-Maria Houben: Piano Music as one of the most notable recordings of the year. He returns to Seattle to present two evenings of newly commissioned music presented by Nonsequitur.

The Friday program opens with Craig Shepard‘s December, a captivating exploration of the overtones of a select few pitches on the lower end of the piano. This is followed by the world premiere of two newly commissioned works: local composer Nat EvansDesert Ornamentation, a thirty-minute improvisatory work for piano and electronics, a response to Evans’ journey along the Pacific Crest Trail; and Obessions by Adrian Knight, an extended exploration of stubborn habits, routines, patterns, and, of course, obsessions.

Tonight, over the three-plus hour immersive drone experience of Randy Gibson‘s The Four Pillars Appearing from the Equal D under Resonating Apparitions of the Eternal Process in the Midwinter Starfield, Lee will explore the overtone content of each D on the piano, in combinations and alone, creating, with the aid of electronics, a visceral whirling mass of tones from which melodies and rhythms can soar to the stars.

Watch a video of Gibson performing an excerpt of his piano work Aqua Madora.

R. Andrew Lee, piano: Shepard, Knight, Evans

Pianist R. Andrew Lee is one of the foremost interpreters of minimal music, for which he has garnered wide critical acclaim. He has been described as having “consistently impressive solo releases… asserting a vision of musical Minimalism far broader than the limited patch that abused term usually signifies.” (Steve Smith, New York Times). Time Out New York named his album November as the best classical recording of 2013, and Alex Ross of The New Yorker named Eva-Maria Houben: Piano Music as one of the most notable recordings of the year. He returns to Seattle to present two evenings of newly commissioned music presented by Nonsequitur.

The Friday program opens with Craig Shepard‘s December, a captivating exploration of the overtones of a select few pitches on the lower end of the piano. This is followed by the world premiere of two newly commissioned works: local composer Nat EvansDesert Ornamentation, a thirty-minute improvisatory work for piano and electronics, a response to Evans’ journey along the Pacific Crest Trail; and Obsessions by Adrian Knight, an extended exploration of stubborn habits, routines, patterns, and, of course, obsessions.

Tomorrow night, over the three-plus hour immersive drone experience of Randy Gibson‘s The Four Pillars Appearing from the Equal D under Resonating Apparitions of the Eternal Process in the Midwinter Starfield, Lee will explore the overtone content of each D on the piano, in combinations and alone, creating, with the aid of electronics, a visceral whirling mass of tones from which melodies and rhythms can soar to the stars.

Listen to Death of Paneloux by Adrian Knight.
Listen to Music for Cello Ensemble and Tea Soloist by Nat Evans.

Seattle Modern Orchestra: 21st C. Violin

Conducted by Julia Tai, 21st Century Violin features Graeme Jennings in a concert that highlights pieces written for violin in the 21st century. Jennings is a celebrated violinist from Australia and former second violinist of the contemporary Arditti String Quartet who holds over seventy recordings and has performed more than 300 world premieres.

Jennings will take the stage with the Seattle Modern Orchestra ensemble to perform three works by three masters of Italian contemporary music: Luciano Berio’s Sequenza VIII (1976) for solo violin, which pushes virtuosity to new heights with rustlings of Bach’s Chaconne and a Paganini Caprice. Salvatore Sciarrino’s Le Stagioni Artificiali (2006) will lead the audience to the subtle thresholds of differing acoustic environments while Franco Donatoni’s Spiri (1977), written in dedication to Sciarrino, is a joyful extroverted piece whose dancing rhythms and modal sonorities support the floating melodic arcs of solo violin and oboe. Also on the evening’s program is a world premiere written by SMO co-Artistic Director Jérémy Jolley for violin and electric guitar.

Concert begins at 8 pm, pre-concert presentation at 7:30 pm.
Wine and coffee available for purchase.

Oliver Groenewald NewNet

Please join us in a live audio/video recording of this concert by the NewNet, a nine-piece ensemble of superb jazz musicians performing the marvelous compositions of Oliver Groenewald.

Oliver, who is an arranger, composer and trumpeter has worked for several renowned German orchestras and ensembles. He has just recently moved from Germany to the Seattle area. Together with these top Northwest jazz players, he will perform his compelling Euro-third stream in this nine-piece band setting.

Groenewald studied trumpet in Austria and The Netherlands and composition/arranging in the United States at WWU in Bellingham. In Germany he served as professor of Jazz for years and writes i.a. for World Brass, the German Chamber Orchestra, and his own projects. Groenewald now resides on Orcas Island.

Featuring: Brad Allison, Oliver Groenewald: trumpet; Dan Marcus: trombone; Jay Thomas, Travis Ranney, Dan Wickham: reeds; John Hansen: piano; Chuck Kistler: bass; Adam Kessler: drums

Mayumi Tayake, piano: Crumb | Pärt

Seattle-based pianist Mayumi Tayake plays George Crumb’s Makrokosmos Volume II for amplified piano, and Arvo Pärt’s Spiegel im Spiegel.

Breaking free from traditional score writing, George Crumb is a composer who is full of unique ideas which are fascinating in theory while maintaining the beauty of the musical essence in his writing. Crumb’s haunting melodic lines create an unearthly sonic experience that leaves the listener with an unexplainable feeling of loneliness while also possessing a sound of hope at the conclusion. A video presentation of Crumb’s composition sketches as well as quotes that influenced him to write this music will be presented before the performance.

Following the Makrokosmos, Arvö Part’s Spiegel im Spiegel (Mirror inside the Mirror) will be performed on piano with violinist Sharyn Peterson. The performance will be accompanied by projected images to enhance the listening experience.

Mayumi Tayake has had an engaging career as a performer and as a music educator. The artistic freedom that contemporary compositions bring to the table drives Tayake today. Experimental staging and working with different media to stimulate the five senses have been her main interest in a live performance. To break free from the traditional piano practice and from the historical interpretations, gives her opportunities for new discoveries. Tayake received her Doctoral Degree in Piano Performance from the University of Washington with her dissertation on The Performance Guide to Makrokosmos Volume II.

Daria Binkowski, solo flute

Flutist Daria Binkowski performs Salvatore Sciarrino’s seminal work for solo flute, L’Opera per Flauto, a 75-minute journey through the threshold of silence and sound. At once a work that is experimental, meditative and virtuosic, Sciarrino’s music might be described as “breathed intimacy”. This work is one of the foundations of contemporary flute music and rarely performed in its entirety in a live setting.

This performance is part of Inverted Space Ensemble‘s “Long Piece Fest”, a festival celebrating contemporary music that is…really long.

Daria Binkowski is a versatile musician with performance activities spanning classical to modern and Asia to North America. She held principal flute positions with the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra in Japan and the National Center for the Performing Arts Orchestra in Beijing, in addition to performing with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony and St. Louis Symphony. She was a founding member of the Talea Ensemble in New York City and an active interpreter and teacher of contemporary music. She has appeared as a guest performer at the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music, the Newport Jazz Festival, the Beijing Modern Music Festival, the Audio Art Festival in Krakow, and the Bang on a Can Marathon, among many others. She has given talks and masterclasses in contemporary flute at Harvard University, the University of Washington, Clark University, and the China Conservatory, among others.