Arcana New Music Ensemble
JANUARY 18, 2019
Bowerbird is excited to present a rare evening of all contemporary music for brass ensemble featuring musicians from the Arcana New Music Ensemble. The program encompasses a wide variety of compositional voices from the last sixty years, including Lois V. Vierk’s thorny Jagged Mesa, Michael Nyman’s very un-Cagein For John Cage, and more recent works by Philadelphia based composers Rene Orth and Dustin Hurt.
MADRIGALS AND ANIMALS
JANUARY 19, 2019
Bowerbird is pleased to present the extraordinary vocal ensemble Ekmeles performing Madrigals and Animals, a program celebrating the ongoing history of madrigals – the complex multi-part songs born during the Renaissance period known for their creative text setting (including imitating animals calls). Karola Obermüller’s mass:distance:time relates directly to this history, with flickers of Machaut’s mass, and text by renaissance writer Ungaretti. Salvatore Sciarrino’s 12 Madrigali is an epic exploration of the composer’s signature sound world of filigree and glissando, and will be heard here in its U.S. premiere. Karola Bauckholt’s Instinkt, also heard for the first time in the U.S., blurs the line between animal vocalization and contemporary music. Finally, Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf’s void – un delitto italiano dramatizes in madrigal form the murder of Italian artist Pier Paolo Pasolini.
STRANGE CITY: MUSIC OF CLAUDE VIVIER
Arcana New Music Ensemble
FEBRUARY 9, 2019
The music of the Canadian composer Claude Vivier (1948-1983) combines diverse influences–from the cerebral constructions of the European avant-garde to exoticist borrowings from East Asia– into a haunting and inimitable artistic voice. Vivier’s intense and colorful music mirrors his life as an eccentric and bon vivant who met a tragic death at the age of 34. The Arcana New Music Ensemble will present a selection of this rarely performed music, ranging from the shatteringly virtuosic piano work Shiraz to the ritualistic intonations of Et je reverrai cette ville étrange (“And I will see this strange city again”), which is based, like much of his music, on the unfolding elaboration of a single melodic line.
GREG BROWN: FALL AND DECLINE
FEBRUARY 15, 2019
Bowerbird is pleased to present the world premiere of Greg Brown’s Fall and Decline performed by Variant 6. The new work composed for voices and electronics is based on texts of Sadakichi Hartmann, Eprenius, Todd Hearon, Edward Gibbon, and Omar Khayyam. The composition contemplates the inevitable decline of all things natural and manmade. Variant 6 pairs this new work with other pieces for voices and electronics, as well as selections of Medieval and Renaissance music.