String Quartet ETHEL in 2013

Ethel (Photo credit: quartertonality)

ETHEL‘s schedule for early ’13 has been updated. Note that the dates are not in order.

ETHEL, along with the Australian ensemble, Speak Percussion, and the [kāj] ensemble will be in residence together at The Brooklyn College, with performances at Roulette + the DiMenna Center. It’s the culminating event for Kevin James’s Vanishing Languages Project, five multi-media musical works featuring live musicians w/surround sound audio content drawn from field recordings of nearly extinct languages. The languages Kevin has focused on include Quileute (a Native American tribe of the Pacific Northwest) Dalabon and Jawoyn (Australian aboriginal languages of Arnhem Land), and Hokkaido Ainu (aboriginal language of the large northern Japanese island). Featured premieres will include Biyi-keninjh Kah-yenjdjung Dalabon, Counting in Quileute, and Ainu Inuma.

MAR 29 – World premieres w/ Speak Percussion + [kāj] ensemble @ Roulette – Brooklyn, NY
MAR 30 – World premieres w/ Speak Percussion + [kāj] ensemble @ DiMenna Center – NYC, NY

Featuring music composed by Ryan Lott and performed live by ETHEL, Dividing Line is the latest work to come out of the modern dance company, Gibney Dance. Known for intricately crafted, powerful performances and groundbreaking community action, Gibney Dance is dedicated to exploring the potential of human communication through movement. The company has been praised by The New York Times for its “great intelligence and almost literary sensitivity.”

MAY 9 – 11 – World premiere of Dividing Line w/ Gibney Dance company – Gibney Dance Center, NYC, NY

Resident Ensemble of The Met Museum’s Balcony Bar
Marking the first time that a prominent musical group has been featured in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Balcony Bar, ETHEL performs there on a regular basis, sometimes with friends and collaborators, throughout the year. To enliven the Balcony Bar programming, the quartet also selects musical groups from ETHEL’s expansive list of notable colleagues to perform when the group is on the road. This new programming initiative provides a variety of musical experiences to Met audiences delivered by a range of ensemble types and compositions. The Balcony Bar serves appetizers and cocktails on the second floor balcony overlooking the Great Hall. The performances, consisting of three sets between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m., are free with Museum admission. ETHEL is scheduled to perform:

JAN 18 + 19 – Met Museum’s Balcony Bar – NYC, NY
FEB 8 + 9 – Met Museum’s Balcony Bar – NYC, NY
MAR 8 + 9 – Met Museum’s Balcony Bar – NYC, NY
More dates TBA…

Tell Me Something Good with Todd Rundgren
Coming off a whirlwind nationwide tour in the Fall 2012, ETHEL continues this audience favorite in 2013. ETHEL celebrates the culture and sounds of the 1970’s – the era of funk, glam rock, early minimalism, the bi-centennial, Watergate, and the Vietnam War. The 70’s were a restless, intelligent, dissatisfied time- a decade of contradictions, a decade of loss, a decade of discovery. The “Tell Me Something Good,” program features selections from Lou Harrison’s Quartet Set (1972), a seminal example of cross-cultural concert music, as well as ETHEL’s own arrangement of Arvo Pärt’s hauntingly beautiful Spiegel im Spiegel, arrangements of music by Herbie Hancock and Led Zeppelin, and a fascinating new work by rising star Judd Greenstein that incorporates the recorded sounds of analog synthesizers from the 1970s.

Central to this program is the thrilling collaboration between ETHEL and ‘70’s icon Todd Rundgren. Having toured together in the United States and Europe in 2005, ETHEL and Todd found a deep connection and ongoing friendship in their passion for authenticity and their curiosity about what’s emerging. Each has assaulted the boundaries of convention with dynamic creativity. The energy onstage is explosive and beautiful. (Todd Rundgren appears courtesy of Panacea Entertainment.)

APR 2 – Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University – Evanston, IL
APR 6 – George S. & Dolores Dore Eccles Center for the Performing Arts – Park City, UT

Present Beauty: Music of Philip Glass
ETHEL continues its “Present Beauty” nationwide tour. ETHEL presents a program celebrating the concepts of Presence and Continuity, featuring the group’s own arrangement of Philip Glass’ achingly beautiful film score from The Hours. Additional works are drawn from ETHEL’s extensive body of fascinating and original material, including Julia Wolfe’s Early that summer and David Lang’s Wed.

JAN 14 – Mayville State University – Mayville, ND
JAN 30 – Hannaford Hall – Portland, ME
APR 12 – Rogalski Center, St. Ambrose University – Davenport, IL
APR 20 – Georgia Institute of Technology – Atlanta, GA

Music of the Sun featuring Robert Mirabal
Grammy- and Nammy Award-winning Native American flutist Robert Mirabal joins ETHEL to create a cross-cultural contemporary music event. Using the instruments of the string quartet, Native American flutes (Tdoop – Pootse) and drums (Mooloo), as well as the spirited voices of students and community members, “Music of the Sun” is a program inspired by the sun mythologies of Native America. In many Native American cultures each day begins with “running to the sun” – a fusion of spiritual and physical discipline.
This extraordinary collaboration grew out of the ETHEL/Mirabal work as part of ETHEL’s TruckStop® project, which premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2008.

FEB 1 – Collins Center for the Arts, University of Maine – Orono, ME
FEB 2 – Camden Opera House – Camden, ME
MAR 7 – Schaller Chapel, Buena Vista University – Storm Lake, IA
MAR 22 – 560 Music Center, E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall – St. Louis, MO
APR 5 – Juniata College – Huntingdon, PA
APR 26 – Miller Center for the Arts – Reading, PA
MAY 17 – Jo Long Theatre, Carver Cultural Center – San Antonio, TX

ETHEL continues to expand its vast repertoire by embracing unorthodox venues, collaborations and residencies. Here’s a rundown of non-categorical events happening over the next few months:

JAN 19 – Chamber Music America Conference performance, NYC, NY
FEB 16 – TEDxManhattan Conference performance, NYC, NY