Ecce Ensemble 2019-20 Season

Source: Ecce.

U.S. Premieres
Friday, November 1, 2019, 8:00 p.m.
Good Shepherd-Faith Presbyterian Church, 152 West 66th Street, New York City
Ecce kicks off its 2019-20 season at Lincoln Center’s Good Shepherd Church with a concert featuring two U.S. premieres. The program includes the rarely performed Christophe Bertrand (1981-2010) and Ecce’s close-working collaborator Erin Gee (b. 1974), who was the ensemble’s 2018 Etchings Festival faculty composer. Christophe Bertrand was first discovered by Ecce during a concert collaboration with French ensemble Court-Circuit. Bertrand, a native of Strasbourg, made a tremendous mark on contemporary French music before his tragic death at the age of 29 in 2010. Ecce’s performance of Le Chute du Rouge (2000) is an American premiere. Erin Gee’s Mouthpiece 28 (2016) is part of a 30+ work series of experimental writing for the voice. Gee has also been guest composer with Ecce on their 2016 residency at Tulane University and, as faculty member at Brandeis University, has been a long-standing proponent for the group. This is Ecce’s third performance of her music. To complement Erin Gee’s fascinating vocal explorations, Ecce has programmed as a contrasting work, Jonathan Harvey’s (1939-2012) Chu (2002). Named after the Tibetan word for Bird, the piece sets Soname Yangchen’s poetry to voice, clarinet and cello. Harvey’s mythic and fantastical setting evokes what he calls both the ‘destructive aspects of the universe’ and an ‘aspiration toward freedom’. Finally, the ensemble performs the world premiere of John Aylward’s (b.1980) Ananke. The work blends the mythological impulses of Harvey with the contemporary French harmonic palette reminiscent of Bertrand. Ananke is a work of fractured continuities evoking the impulses and desires of the Three Fates: Clotho, the spinner, Lachesis, the giver, and Atropos, the inflexible. In timeless conversation, the music embodies these characters as tensions rise, perhaps as a destiny unfolds.

AREA Gallery Experimental Opera Residency
Residency: Sunday, February 1-Thursday, February 6, 2020
Concert: February 6, 2020. 8:00 p.m.
AREA Gallery. 540 Harrison Avenue. Boston, MA
Artist and Director Laine Rettmer and composer John Aylward engage AREA Gallery for a week of intensive on-site work leading up to the premiere of their second of three multi-media works to be staged at the gallery. Open rehearsals with Ecce and access to the work-in-progress will be part of the community engagement activities surrounding the premiere.

The Toshio Hosokawa Portrait Concert
Monday, February 10, 2020, 6:00 p.m. (Post-concert reception at 7:00 p.m.)
Harvard Musical Association, 57 Chestnut Street #A, Cambridge, Massachusetts
The Harvard Musical Society presents Ecce’s portrait concert of Toshio Hosokawa (b.1955), also featuring works by Ysang Yun (1917-1995) and Noriko Miura (b.1968). Toshio Hosokawa has had a special place with Ecce members ever since he was a guest composer at the ensemble’s summer festival in 2016. This concert event will give audiences an opportunity to make connections between Hosokawa’s works and the music of perhaps two of his most important influences, one of his first teachers and his wife. The works of Hosokawa on the program span 16 years of music making, from 1992 (Vertical Time Study I) to 2008 (Stunden-Blumen). The pieces reveal strong ties to a developing musical language as well as audible departures and experiments key to any composer’s developing style. Mapping Hosokawa’s progression through these works is a lesson for any artist hoping for an original voice to emerge.

Clark University Residency
Saturday-Sunday, March 22-23, 2020
Clark University, Worcester, MA
As Clark University’s resident ensemble, Ecce and special guest artist Philippe Leroux, work closely with student composers and performers. The residency includes on-campus performances, masterclasses and workshops.

The Phillipe Leroux Portrait Concert
Wednesday, March 25, 2020, 8:00 p.m. (Pre-concert talk with Phillipe Leroux at 7:00 p.m.).
Good Shepherd-Faith Presbyterian Church, 152 West 66th Street, New York City
Ecce presents the American premiere of Leroux’s L’epais. Program also includes music by Swiss composer Dominique Schafer (1967-2019), who recently passed away. Schafer was a founding member of Ecce’s summer music festival in France. His music is featured as part of a tribute by the ensemble.

CD Release: Angelus Novus
TBR: April 2020 (Exact date TBA)
Label: New Focus
Ecce’s debut recording features a 45-minute monodrama by John Aylward. Recorded at The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2019, Asylum features some of today’s top artists including vocalist Nine Guo and conductor Jean Philippe-Wurtz.

CD Release Concert: Asylum
May 2020 (exact date TBA)
May 2020 (location TBA)
In celebration of its upcoming album release, Ecce presents an evening-length presentation of John Aylward’s monodrama Angelus Novus accompanied by new performances of violin and electronics by Jennifer Choi and a video installation by Ecce’s Director and Film Artist Laine Rettmer.

11th Annual Etchings Festival
June-July 2020
Auvillar, France
Founded by Ecce’s John Aylward, Ecce guides emerging composers in a multi-week retreat in France. Ecce provides a creative environment for artists to develop their work culminating in a presentation of student works.