With text by Gertrude Stein

A rare, complete performance of the work

12 singers and instrumentalists performing for five continuous hours

Friday, December 20, 2013, 7 p.m. – midnight @ Paula Cooper Gallery (NYC)

“…like Rothko or Pollock, or Joyce’s Ulysses… subversive epic of the avant-garde.” – BBC Music Magazine (2013 Ostrava Days Festival)

“…a jigsaw puzzle… the most effective setting of Stein to have been attempted.” – New Music Box (2013 Ostrava Days Festival)

For its annual holiday concert, the S.E.M. Ensemble presents Petr Kotik’s complete performance of Many Many Women, “a durable classic of underground music of the 1970s” (Kyle Gann). Running for five to six hours, the work is a setting of Gertrude Stein’s entire 86-page novella of the same name from 1910.

Like other composers such as La Monte Young, John Cage, Glass, and later Morton Feldman, Kotik created extended-duration compositions throughout the 1970s and early 80s, that require multiple hours of continuous performance. Kotik’s works from this period include voices and use texts by Gertrude Stein and R. Buckminster Fuller. Many Many Women marks the culmination of a period during which Kotik began experimenting with the use of parallel perfect intervals (octaves, fifths, and fourths). It is his largest piece to date, divided into 173 sections, with no distinct beginning or ending. Any portion of the score can be performed and listened to as an independent musical event. The audience is invited to enter and exit or remain and listen for the whole duration. Depending on tempos and densities, the performance may last up to six hours.

Musicians include Kamala Sankaram and Sadie Dawkins Rosales (soprano), Patrick Fennig (countertenor), Jefffey Gavett (tenor), Kelvin Chan (baritone), Steven Hrycelak (bass), Petr Kotik and Martha Cargo (flutes), Thomas Verchot and Jason Bitonti (trumpets), William Lang and Jen Baker (trombones).

The S.E.M. Ensemble’s performance of Many Many Women will take place at Paula Cooper Gallery, located at 534 West 21st Street, New York City. Tickets are $15//$10 in advance, $20/12 at the door. The audience is invited to enter and exit or remain and listen for the whole duration. For info and reservations, contact: http://www.semensemble.org/tickets

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