Pieces of Eight: AME at Galapagos on Monday

American Modern Ensemble

The American Modern Ensemble performs Pieces of Eight, a program of sextets at Galapagos in Brooklyn on Monday, December 13, 2010. Among the eight under-40 composers featured on the concert is Sequenza 21′s own Contributing Editor Armando Bayolo.

I recently caught up with AME’s Artistic Director Robert Paterson and asked him for some details about the show. Here’s what he had to say.

Pieces of Eight consists of works by composers from all over the United States, including Xi Wang from Texas, Armando Bayolo from Washington, DC and David Ludwig from Philadelphia. I chose these particular works because they are wonderfully stylistically different from each other, and help to demonstrate how diverse American composers are today, particularly with regard to the subset of composers under forty.”

Action Figure by Armando Bayolo has a strong pulse and hyper-kinetic kind of energy, and encapsulates the image of an action figure—like you would play with as a child—but through sound.”

“the resonance after… by Christopher Chandler is the winner of AME’s Fifth Annual Composition Competition. Christopher writes achingly beautiful music, and this is one of those “chills up your spine” pieces—a piece of music that really makes you feel something emotional. The title perfectly encapsulates what you hear, and the musical landscape he creates is simply beautiful.”

Adolescent Psychology by Shawn Crouch sounds like the state of a child’s mind, at least to me, especially with the rapid changes of emotion, slower introspective sections and frenetic scalar runs. Shawn has written a number of works for voice and choir, so this is a wonderful glimpse into his chamber music world.”

“Among the many intriguing qualities of Hannah Lash’s music is how she uses and explores extended techniques. In A Matter of Truth, she asks the violinist and cellist to detune their instruments way below the normal range, effectively turning each instrument into a much lower version of itself.”

“David Ludwig’s Haiku Catharsis consists of a set of short movements that are inspired by poems, and what I love about David’s work is that even though there is a numerological importance to how he constructed this piece, it never sounds technically “on your sleeve” or academic. The whole works sounds organic and lovely, and is timbrally rich and colorful.”

OK Feel Good by Jonathan Newman is probably the most “Downtown” sounding piece on the program, and has a kind of happy “feel good” sound quality. The piece joyfully carries you along with its bouncy rhythms and Major scale harmonies and melodies.”

Three Images by Xi Wang is the longest piece on the program, and one of the saddest. It wonderfully contrasts some of the other works on the program that are more emotionally uplifting.”

“A criminal running scared from the police on old Route 66 inspires my own Sextet. It starts with the scream of police whistles and ends with a band; it even incorporates a chase scene. AME is releasing its brand new CD of my music at this concert, and my Sextet is on the CD, beautifully performed by our wonderful ensemble.”

Event Details

Pieces of Eight

Monday, December 13, 2010 at 7:30 PM

GALAPAGOS ART SPACE, 16 Main Street, Brooklyn, NY

(Corner of Water Street in DUMBO)

A/C, 2/3, F Trains

Tickets: 20 Advance / $25 at the Door

Advance Ticket Purchase

Online: galapagosartspace.com • Phone: 718-222-8500

AME Artists

Stephen Gosling, piano

Blair McMillen, piano

Sato Moughalian, flute

Benjamin Fingland, clarinet

Meighan Stoops, clarinet

Robin Zeh, violin

Victoria Paterson, violin

Arash Amini, cello

Robert Burkhart, cello

Matthew Ward, percussion

Robert Paterson, conductor

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