Pittsburgh New Music Net

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Musical Fusions Festival: Music From China

October 17, 2015
8:00 pmto10:00 pm

MFC photoThis year, Music on the Edge begin the season with the Musical Fusions Festival celebrating Chinese, Japanese, and American intersections in contemporary music. The festival will take place from October 16th-18th with performances by Ensemble N_JP and Music from China Ensemble at Bellefield Hall as well as two symposium to take place at Pitt’s Music Building (Room 132) featuring talks by composers Gene Coleman and Huang Ruo as well as performers Naomi Sato and Naoko Kikuchi and theorist Nancy Yunhwa Rao.

The Music from China Ensemble’s performance at Bellefield Hall at 8 p.m. on Saturday October 17th features recently commissioned works by Chen Yi, Eric Moe, Huang Ruo and Wang Guowei. A long-time collaborator with Music From China, composer Chen Yi turns to the group’s traditional roots by writing for dizi, erhu, pipa and zheng in Three Dances from China South. The three movements “Lions Playing Ball,” “Bamboo Dance” and “Lusheng Dance” display the energy and vivid musical colors of southern China. Eric Moe’s A Panoramic Guide to Glacier Travel for pipa, erhu, cello, zheng and percussion was inspired by Chinese landscape scrolls which give the viewer the sensation of taking a journey through a mountainous landscape. This work is similarly episodic yet connected, and suggestive of various listener-constructed narratives. Eric Moe says, “Unlike actual glacier travel, which is risky and requires special equipment, no specialized knowledge is required for listening to the piece.” Written in three parts, Huang Ruo’s The Murmuring Path for dizi, erhu, pipa and cello is about a personal journey that is full of echoes and murmuring voices, either coming from outside or from an internal place. Mount a Long Wind, symbolizing a journey in Li Bai’s poem “The Hard Road” from the Tang dynasty, is imagined by Zhou Long with textured waves accompanied by strong rhythmic chords performed by pipa, dizi, erhu, zheng and percussion. Erhu soloist, composer and Artistic Director of Music From China, Wang Guowei draws from a rustic Shanxi folk song in Leaving Home, writing for a trio of erhu, bangdi and cello.

Well-versed in the classical and folk repertoire, the Music from China ensemble is equally accomplished at interpreting the music of today using traditional instruments. Throughout its history MFC has featured both ancient and contemporary music in its concert seasons. At the same time, MFC has produced 23 seasons of the Premiere Works concert series devoted to new music. A commissioning program and the annual MFC International Composition Competition have contributed to a new music repertoire of over 160 commissioned and existing works by 105 composers. In recognition for creative programs that combine the music of East and West, Music From China was the recipient of a Chamber Music America/ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award. Music From China performs to audiences in its home in New York City, throughout the U.S., and internationally. The ensemble has made numerous appearances at colleges and universities and has also been presented at major institutions including the Asia Society, Metropolitan Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, American Folk Festival, Boston Early Music Festival, and the Library of Congress and many others.

Get your tickets online here!

September 23, 2015 at 2:54 pm Comments (0)

Musical Fusions Festival: Ensemble N_JP

October 16, 2015
8:00 pmto10:00 pm

Naomi Sato(Sho)2-2
Music on the Edge is back with another season of new music for Pittsburgh! This season begins with the Musical Fusions Festival celebrating Chinese, Japanese, and American intersections in contemporary music. The festival will take place from October 16th-18th with performances by Ensemble N_JP and Music from China Ensemble at Bellefield Hall as well as two symposium to take place at Pitt’s Music Building (Room 132) featuring talks by composers Gene Coleman and Huang Ruo as well as performers Naomi Sato and Naoko Kikuchi and theorist Nancy Yunhwa Rao.

Ensemble N_JP’s performance at Bellefield Hall at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 16th will feature works by Amy Williams and Toshi Hosokawa, traditional pieces for sho and koto, and the premiere of Systole, a music and video collaboration by Gene Coleman and Adam Vidiksis.

Composer Gene Coleman formed Ensemble N_JP in 2001 as a vehicle for his ongoing work with musicians from Japan. Through concert programs, multimedia works and educational projects, the group explores connections between contemporary and traditional forms of art. N_JP is made up of musicians who work with Coleman on a project-by-project basis. It unites outstanding Japanese and US musicians from the traditional, experimental and contemporary classical music communities, along with artists from Europe. Ensemble N_JP has performed in a number of important festivals and venues since its inception, including the I-House of Tokyo, Kidailack Art House (Tokyo), The House of World Cultures Berlin, The Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, The Chicago World Music Festival, I-House Philadelphia, The Blurred Edges Festival in Hamburg, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, MaerzMusik Festival, Zurich New Music Days, The Warsaw Autumn Festival and The Museum of Modern Art, New York and many more.

Check out this video for a sho demonstration by noted sho player Naomi Sato who will be performing with Ensemble N_JP as well as speaking at the festival symposium.

Get your tickets online here!

September 23, 2015 at 2:49 pm Comments (0)