Freedom: shot of energy, wave of euphoria, spiritual transcendence, transported beyond yourself as a human being.
"In many of life's most memorable moments, we evolve into someone different from—better than—the person we were before." --Rebecca Weber, "Big Moments", Psychology Today, September 2010
To blow out the end of it's 2011-2012 season PEAK EXPERIENCE, SOLI Chamber Ensemble will present it's final concert entitled FREEDOM. This sensational concert will feature two world premieres. Join us and be the first to experience SOLI's newest commission, a multi-media world premiere sensation Prelude to the End from internationally recognized composer Steven Mackey and video artist Mark DeChiazza. Together these world-class artists are breaking boundaries while creating amazing, award-winning works. Prelude to the End will incorporate a multi screen video installation depicting images that will enhance this semi biographical work. SOLI's second world premiere will bring Paul Moravec's exciting music back to San Antonio. Originally written for Bassoon and piano, each movement of Andy Warhol Sez is based on a quotation from the artist. SOLI will premiere the latest reincarnation of the work for bass clarinet and piano.
The program will also feature Steven Hartke's whimsical Horse With The Lavender Eye, Richard Carrick's operatic La scene miniature quartet, and the premiere of SOLI's rendition of Matt Haimovitz's cello-rhythmic take on the Led Zeppelin classic Kashmir!
We invite you to join us for this peak season and hope to share with you the experience of a life changing moment -- the greatest gift music can give!
Tuesday May 8, 2012 @7:30 PM Ruth Taylor Recital Hall, Trinity University
Wednesday May 9, 2012 @7:30PM Leeper Auditorium, McNay Art Museum
RICHARD CARRICK (born in Paris, of French-Algerian and British decent) is a New York based composer who's music has been performed internationally by the New York Philharmonic (Ensemble Series), Vienna's Konzerthaus, ISCM World Music Days-Switzerland, Darmstadt Summer Festival, Tokyo International House, Merkin Hall, Nieuw Ensemble, JACK Quartet, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, soloists Magnus Andersson, Carin Levine, Rohan de Saram, David Shively and others. Recent works include The Flow Cycle for Strings (released on New World Records in 2011), Adagios for String Quartet, and Find the Devil's Lead. He also writes large-scale multi-media works such as Cosmicomics (based on stories by Italo Calvino) combining video, electronics and live musicians.
He co-founded and co-directs the New York based contemporary ensemble Either/Or. As performer (pianist, conductor, guitarist) he regularly premieres a diverse repertoire of solo and ensemble works by leading composers including Lachenmann, Czernowin, Radulescu, and Greenwood, as well as performing in improvising ensembles.
Carrick is co-teaching the graduate composition seminar at Columbia University and 20th Century Music at New York University. He has taught and guest lectured about his music in Japan, South Korea, Sweden, France, Germany, The Netherlands and the US.
He studied at Columbia University (BA) with Mario Davidovsky and David Rakowski, UC-San Diego (MA, PhD) with Brian Ferneyhough, Aleck Karis and George Lewis, IRCAM (Stage d'éte) and Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague.
La Scène Miniature Quartet (2009)
As the title suggests, la scène miniature is a descriptive work condensing narrative events of an imagined opera scene into shortened instrumental passages. Quite different in approach to my recently completed Flow Cycle (where musical ideas evolve, transform, and reappear from one composition to the next over the course of an hour), la scène miniature quartet does away with development in favor of capturing precise musical moments.
This is an intimate work where each instrumental grouping depicts a different musical character. The violin and piano play light and quickly embellished melodic figures while the bass clarinet and piano glacially transform sounds into gestures. They eventually come together on a twisted version of a Algerian melody (pulled from Bartok's field work in 1913) which ends with a dizzying North African dance blended with soaring microtonal lines above and static, bell-like chords in the piano.
PAUL MORAVEC, recipient of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Music, has composed over ninety orchestral, chamber, choral, lyric, film, and electro-acoustic works. His music has earned numerous other distinctions, including the Rome Prize Fellowship from the American Academy in Rome as well as many commissions.
A graduate of Harvard and Columbia, he currently holds the special rank of University Professor at Adelphi University, and is also recently served as Artist-in-Residence with the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Tempest Fantasy, recorded by Trio Solisti and clarinetist David Krakauer, appears on a Naxos American Classics CD. Other Naxos albums include The Time Gallery, recorded by eighth blackbird, Cool Fire, with the Bridgehampton Festival Chamber Players, and Useful Knowledge, with Amy Burton, soprano, Randall Scarlata, baritone, Trio Solisti, and La Fenice Quintet.
Moravec's most recent works include The Letter,for Santa Fe Opera, Piano Quintet, for pianist Jeremy Denk and the Lark Quartet, Wind Symphony, a consortium commission for the Southeastern Band Conference, The Blizzard Voices, for Opera Omaha, Brandenburg Gate, for Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and Blue Fiddle, for violinist Hilary Hahn.
Mr. Moravec's website is www.paulmoravec.com, his work is published by www.subitomusic.com.
Andy Warhol Sez
Andy Warhol Sez was commissioned by David Sogg, a bassoonist with the Pittsburgh Symphony. In February, 2005, he and pianist Rob Frankenberry premiered it at Pittsburgh's Warhol Museum. For each of the piece's seven movements, the bassoonist recites a particular Warhol quotation, and then the duo performs a musical commentary on it. This is the premiere performance of my arrangement of the work for bass clarinet.
STEPHEN HARTKE is widely recognized as one of the leading composers of his generation, whose work has been hailed for both its singularity of voice and the inclusive breadth of its inspiration. Born in Orange, New Jersey, in 1952, Hartke grew up in Manhattan where he began his musical career as a professional boy chorister, performing with such organizations as the New York Pro Musica, the New York Philharmonic, the American Symphony Orchestra, and the Metropolitan Opera. Following studies at Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of California at Santa Barbara, interrupted by stints as advertising manager for several major music publishers, Hartke taught in Brazil as Fulbright Professor at the Universidade de São Paulo, before joining the University of Southern California faculty in 1987.
Hartke's output is extremely varied, from the medieval-inspired piano quartet, The King of the Sun, and Wulfstan at the Millennium, an abstract liturgy for ten instruments, the blues-inflected violin duo, Oh Them Rats Is Mean in My Kitchen, and the surreal trio, The Horse with the Lavender Eye, to the Biblical satire, Sons of Noah, for soprano, four flutes, four guitars and four bassoons, and his recent cycle of motets for chorus, oboe and strings, Precepts. He has composed concerti for renowned clarinetist, Richard Stoltzman, and violinist, Michele Makarski, and his collaboration with the internationally celebrated Hilliard Ensemble has resulted in three substantial works, including his Symphony No. 3, commissioned by Lorin Maazel and the New York Philharmonic. Most recently his acclaimed full-length opera, The Greater Good, was premiered and recorded by Glimmerglass Opera. Other major commissions have come from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and the Harvard Musical Association, the IRIS Chamber Orchestra, the Kansas City Symphony, the Library of Congress, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Barlow Endowment, Chamber Music America, the Fromm Foundation, the Institute for American Music at the Eastman School of Music, Meet The Composer, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, among others.
Hartke has also won the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, two Koussevitzky Music Foundation Commission Grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Stoeger Award from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Charles Ives Living from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Deutsche Bank Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin. In 2008, Hartke's opera, The Greater Good, received the first Charles Ives Opera Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
The Horse With The Lavender Eye (1997)
I've always been fascinated by non-sequiturs, and the way that sense can suddenly appear out of nonsense. I also find imagery derived from words and pictures to be a great stimulus to my musical thinking, even if the relationships between the images I seize upon are not necessarily obvious or logical. The sources for the titles of this trio are quite disparate, ranging from Carlo Goldoni to Japanese court music to the cartoonist R. Crumb, as well as 19th century Brazilian novelist Machado de Assis and Looney Tunes. A bewildering array of references, to be sure, but one that somehow whets my musical appetite. Here are examples of just how: the ancient Japanese court, borrowing from the Chinese, was divided into left and right sides with ministries and music specific to each. The image of this official Music of the Left, suggested, first, the rather ceremonial character of my trio's first movement, and also its technical quirk: all three instruments are to be played by the left hand alone. In the second movement, the title of Carlo Goldoni's play, The Servant of Two Masters, seemed to me an apt description of the performance dynamic involved in this particular combination of instruments, where the piano, in somewhat of a frenzy, serves alternately as the accompaniment to the clarinet while the violin clamors for attention, and vice versa. The third movement was suggested by a very short chapter in Machado de Assis' novel Dom Casmurro wherein the narrator, observing that his story seems to be waltzing at the abyss of final catastrophe, seeks to reassure his reader (falsely, as it turns out) by saying: "Don't worry, dear, I'll wheel about." For the finale, I had in mind a panel from one of R. Crumb's underground comics of the late 60s showing a character dashing about in an apocalyptic frenzy, shouting, among other things, "Cancel my rumba lesson!" The connective thread of all these images began to dawn on me only in the midst of composing the work: all the movements have to do in one way or another with a sense of being off-balance -- playing music with only one side of the body; being caught between insistent and conflicting demands; dancing dangerously close to a precipice, and only narrowly avoiding tumbling in; and, finally, not really being able to dance the rumba at all. Nonetheless, in the very end (the rumba lesson having been canceled, I suppose), a sense of calm and equilibrium comes to prevail.
Led Zeppelin released Kashmir in 1975 on their sixth album Physical Graffiti. It was written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant with contributions from John Bonham over a period of three years, with the lyrics dating back to 1973. The song centers around a signature chord progression on the guitar, which first appeared on Page's home-studio work tapes. It was initially created in a guitar tuning D-A-D-G-A-D, and was an extension of a guitar-cycle that Page had been working on for years. This was the same cycle that produced Black Mountain Side, White Summer and the unreleased track, Swan-song. As bass player and keyboardist John Paul Jones had been late for the recording sessions, Page used the time to work on the riff with drummer John Bonham. The two demo-ed it late in 1973. Plant later added the middle section and in early 1974 Jones added all the string parts. This version is Matt Haimovitz's unique interpretation of Kashmir for 4 cellos.
It was arranged for newly formed cello ensemble, UCCELLO, and all of the effects – drumming, electric guitar, horn, string parts, and, of course, Robert Plant's voice – are achieved acoustically by the four cellos. SOLI cellist David Mollenauer has gone a bit further and pre-recorded three of the cello parts and plays the first cello part live with his own multi-cello recording.
Prelude to the End, WORLD PREMIERE, (2011-12)
In 1992 I wrote a piece called Physical Property for electric guitar and string quartet. Its purpose was simply to share the joy of playing fast music and feeling the metaphorical wind in your hair. It was written very quickly which prohibited over thinking and the result is a 15-minute, unfettered romp. The members of SOLI Chamber Ensemble were fans of the piece and programmed it years ago, so when they asked me to write them a new piece the thought crossed my mind that I should try to recapture the energy of Physical Property. That was an all too familiar thought; several times in the last 20 years I have sought to take that fast ride again but I always fail because I am not the same person I was back then. In the intervening two decades I have lost both my parents, had two children, been divorced and remarried, lost energy, gained wisdom, lost innocence, gained sophistication … I've lived a normal life. It occurred to me that I should make that inevitable failure a feature of the piece and make the piece about the struggles and complications that make it impossible for me to re-write Physical Property.
Beginning with unabashed ebullience, Prelude To The End can't resist exploring darker expressive territory, more complicated harmonic paths, and precarious textures. Over 15 minutes, gravity and gravitas pulls the music into areas that could not be predicted by the opening. Well, that isn't actually true because, to my ear, even the first gesture shows signs of mortality.
The instrumentation – Violin, Clarinet, Cello, and Piano – is strongly associated with Olivier Messiaen's landmark composition Quartet for the End of Time. Any such group would probably perform Messiaen many times; in fact, such groups were probably formed in order to play Messiaen. It occurred to me that the trajectory of my piece from goofy to grave would be a good set up for, a Prelude to the Quartet for the End of Time, hence the title. The title also refers to the fact that at the premiere my work closed the program and as such functioned as a prelude to the end of the concert.
Prelude To The End was commissioned by the SOLI Chamber Ensemble and premiered by them on May 8, 2012 in San Antonio Texas.
STEVEN MACKEY was born in 1956, to American parents stationed in Frankfurt, Germany. His first musical passion was playing the electric guitar, in rock bands based in northern California. He later discovered concert music and has composed for orchestras, chamber ensembles, dance, and opera. He regularly performs his own work, including two electric guitar concertos and numerous solo and chamber works, and is also active as an improvising musician and performs with his band Big Farm.
As a composer, Mackey has been honored by numerous awards and has been the composer-in-residence at major music festivals, including Tanglewood, Aspen and the Holland Festival. Among his commissions are works for the Chicago, St Louis, New World, San Francisco Symphonies, and Dutch Radio, symphonies, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the BBC Philharmonic, The Scottish and Swedish Chamber Orchestras, the Kronos Quartet, the Koussevitzky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress, Fromm Music Foundation, Brentano String Quartet, Borromeo String Quartet, Fred Sherry, Dawn Upshaw, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and many others.
Mackey is currently Professor of Music and chair of the Department of Music at Princeton University, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1985. Helping to shape the next generation of composers and musicians, he teaches composition, theory, twentieth century music, improvisation, and a variety of special topics. He regularly coaches and conducts new work by student composers, as well as 20th-century classics. He was the recipient of Princeton University's first Distinguished Teaching Award in 1991.
Richard Carrick (b.1971)
La scene miniature quartet (2009)
for violin, bass clarinet, cello, and piano
Andy Warhol Sez
for clarinet and piano
Steven Hartke (b.1952)
The Horse With The Lavender Eye (1997)
Episodes for violin, clarinet, and piano
I. Music of the Left
II. The Servant of Two Masters
III. Waltzing at the Abyss
IV. Cancel My Rumba Lesson
Led Zeppelin/Matt Haimovitz (b.1970)
Cello, and electronic track
Steven Mackey (b.1956)
Prelude to the End (2011-12)
for violin, clarinet, cello, and piano Mark DeChiazza, video artist