Friday and Saturday: JACK and Bermel at IAS

Composer and clarinetist Derek Bermel is coming to the end of his term as artist-in-residence at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study. This Spring, he’s curating several concerts that assure he’ll be fondly remembered. This Friday and Saturday, he is joined by JACK Quartet for a concert featuring Ligeti’s Second String Quartet,  Brahms’Clarinet Quintet, Bermel’s Ritornello and a new piece by Bermel:  A Short History of the Universe (as related by Nima Arkani-Hamed). I’ve been told that events on the concert series frequently sell out, so if you are planning on attending order in advance!

 

Thursday at Roulette – Ekmeles and Pheeroan akLaff

Ekmeles. Photo: Tear N Tan.

Ekmeles. Photo: Tear N Tan.

Tomorrow at Roulette in Brooklyn, the excellent Ekmeles vocal ensemble, directed by imaginative baritone and composer Jeff Gavett, is performing. Last year, I heard Ekmeles at Columbia University’s Italian Academy in a program that featured Elliott Carter’s Madrigales and several works by Gesualdo in Vicentino’s archicembalo tuning; the former a virtuosic display and the latter a jaw dropping revelation.

 

Their set at Roulette features one of my favorite pieces by Ken Ueno: Shiroi Ishi. With a text written in Japanese by the composer, this piece has been championed by no less than the Hilliard Ensemble. It shows a supple side to Ueno’s music-making, as well as affecting passages of overtone singing, that stand in marked contrast to some of his more vigorous works that feature deliberately strained vocalisms and electronics.

 

Louis Karchin is also being featured by Ekmeles. The group is presenting his To the Sun and To the Stars: post-tonalpieces that are translations by poet Apostolos Athanassakis of Orphic hymns.This is the first time that this conceptual pair of pieces has been performed together.

Aaron Cassidy’s I, purples, spat blood, laugh of beautiful lips isn’t just post-tonal; it is hyper-microtonal and just plain hyperactive. A terrific piece of showmanship that is hard as hell. Bryan Jacobs’s Do You Need, Do to Me, 18 Me, 18 Mean was featured on File Under ?’s December mix. For a preview, head over to Mixcloud and take a listen to this setting of computer-garbled text. Try to imagine the electronics being triggered by big game show buzzers, as they will be on Thursday night!  Ben Johnston’s music is represented by a just intonation version of the folksong I’m Goin’ Away and a setting of his daughter’s poem Rose. Last but not least, Ekmeles tackles Evan Johnson’s Three in, ad abundantiam (solo e pensoso).

 

And that’s just the first half of this evening: there’s also a multimedia set featuring two pieces, Global Mantras and Tattva of Aquarius Age Reclamation, performed by the Pheeroan akLaff Ensemble: jazz instruments, vocalists, and visuals based on akLaff’s pan African and pan Asian travels.

 

 

Event Details

Interpretations: Ekmeles sings Americans; Pheeroan akLaff Ensemble

7:30 preconcert talk; 8 PM performance

Roulette

509 Atlantic Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11217

$15/$10 students

Friday: Miranda at Mannes

Miranda Cuckson

It is no secret that violinist, violist, and sometime vocalist Miranda Cuckson is one of File Under ?’s favorite contemporary music performers on the New York scene. An excerpt of her recent Nono recording can be heard on our December Mix (see embed below).

Miranda has started a new non-profit music presenting organization called nunc. On Friday at Mannes College of Music, nunc has its maiden voyage. Miranda is joined on an 8 pm concert by mandolinist Joseph Brent, percussionist Alex Lipowski, bassoonist Adrian Morejon, mezzo Mary Nessinger, and pianists Matei Varga and Ning Yu. The program includes music by Michael Hersch, Charles Wuorinen, Iannis Xenakis, Georges Aperghis, Sofia Gubaidulina, and more.

You can read read Miranda’s program notes here. Admission is free.

 

File Under ? December 2012 Mix by Christian Carey on Mixcloud

Dan Deacon: “Guilford Avenue Bridge” (Video)

dandeacon1728

You don’t get … carsick … do you?

DAN DEACON – Tour Dates

02-08 Bristol, UK – The Fleece
02-09 Dublin, IE – Whelans
02-10 Belfast, IE – The Black Box
02-11 Glasgow, UK – Stereo
02-12 Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social Club
02-13 London, UK – Village Underground
02-15 Paris, FR – La Maroquinerie
02-16 Nantes, FR – Stereolux
02-18 Metz, FR – Les Trinitaires
02-19 Rotterdam, Netherlands – Rotown
02-20 Kortrijk, Belgium – De Kreun
02-21 Utrecht, Netherlands – Ekko
02-22 Hamburg, Germany – Molotow
02-23 Malmo, Sweden – Debaser
02-24 Aarhus, Denmark – Voxhall Atlas
02-26 Oslo, Norway – Revolver
02-27 Stockholm, Sweden – Debaser Slussen
02-28 Cophenhagen, Denmark – Copenhagen Jazzhouse
03-07 Boston, MA – House of Blues*
03-08 Montreal, QC – Metropolis*
03-09 Toronto, ON – Danforth Music Hall*
03-11 Cleveland, OH – House of Blues*
03-12 Covington, KY – The Madison Theater*
03-13 Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works*
03-15 Royal Oak, MI – Royal Oak Music Hall*
03-16 Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre*
03-17 Madison, WI – Orpheum Theatre*
03-18 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue*
03-20 St. Louis, MO – The Pageant*
03-21 Kansas City, MO – Midland Theater*
03-22 Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre*
03-23 Salt Lake City, UT – Depot*
03-24 Boise, ID – Treefort Music Fest
04-20 North Adams, MA – Mass MoCA
04-27 New York, NY – The Metropolitan Museum of Art

* = w/ Animal Collective

Anna Gourari: Canto oscuro

2255_Gourari_PF3.jpg

If you have not yet heard Canto oscuro pianist Anna Gourari’s recent debut for ECM Records, you are missing out.The CD’s program combines affecting performances of transcriptions by Ferrucio Busoni of chorales and the Chaconne in d-minor by J.S. Bach with modern repertoire by Paul Hindemith and Sofia Gubaidulina (another Chaconne). The recording shows Gourari capable of performing repertoire in a wide range of moods: from the brash Ragtime movement found in the Hindemith suite to the gravitas and grandeur required in the Bach/Busoni transcriptions. One through line: she makes technically demanding repertoire sound far too achievable by mere mortals.

I’d hoped to get a chance to hear her live tonight in a performance at the German Consulate in New York, but it was not to be. I’ll have to content myself with the luminous performances on Canto oscuro and hope she visits New York again soon.