New Sounds Live at Brookfield Place
October 11-13, 2017, 7:30PM
220 Vesey Street
Ben Neill’s Manitoga
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Hear the New York City premiere of “Manitoga” (2014), composed for Neill’s mutantrumpet and an ensemble of four players using Szymanski’s brass sculptures crafted to function as musical instruments. Also on the program is the world premiere of “STEAK abc,” a new work based on a minimalist poem by Aram Saroyan composed for all 26 of Szymanski’s instruments/sculptures.
“Manitoga” is a new environmental composition for the hybrid electro-acoustic instrument mutantrumpet, and brass ensemble playing Phonemophone Alphabet Horns created by artist Carol Szymanski. (Each instrument forms a letter of the alphabet in a font of her design.) Neill’s mutantrumpet will act as the controller for processing the other instruments along with sounds of the environment.
A Tribute to Pauline Oliveros
Darmstadt Ensemble led by Ben Neill and Zach Layton
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Pauline Oliveros was a musical pioneer several times over. She began exploring tape and electronic music as far back as the late 1950s. Her interest in the subtle properties of sound led her to the world of just intonation, a tuning system that leaves the notes in their natural state (as opposed to the “tempered” notes we find on a piano). The rich harmonic world she worked in was the perfect vehicle for her Sonic Meditations – a groundbreaking approach to music as not an intellectual exercise, but an emotional and physical experience. Her interest in “Deep Listening” led her to experiment with unusual sonic venues; she was particularly fond of places with rich reverberant properties (like the Winter Garden atrium), and developed a sophisticated electronic component for many of her works that enabled her to bring that sonic density to concert halls and venues around the world.
Oliveros also believed in the act of music-making as a communal art. She traveled the world leading audiences in Sonic Meditations where everyone in the venue would hum, or sing, or somehow contribute to the “performance.” She wrote hundreds of works where the score was not traditional notes on a staff, but rather a series of simple, practical instructions – or suggestions – on how to bring the piece to life. These works can be played by virtuoso professionals, or by anyone with open ears and the desire to try them. (-John Schaefer)
Colin Stetson’s “Sorrow,” a remaking of Gorecki’s Symphony #3
Friday, October 13, 2017
Sax player and composer Colin Stetson is probably best known for his work with Arcade Fire, Lou Reed, Bon Iver, and others, while his solo performances defy categorization. Recently, he released Sorrow, a reimagining of the third symphony of the great Polish composer Henryk Gorecki. Stetson is true to the long, aching melodies of Gorecki’s original. But instead of a symphony orchestra, he employs a mixed classical and rock ensemble, with alternately droning and snarling saxophone and climactic moments that echo the rhythmic and textural tension of black metal. Surely that is a sound that Gorecki would never have imagined, but it fits perfectly into Stetson’s thrilling, heartfelt, and slightly compressed take on this contemporary classic.