On January 31, violist and composer Jessica Meyer will split a recital for Music on the Edge with guitarist Seth Josel. Well-known in the New York contemporary music scene for her work with groups such as counter)induction and American Modern Ensemble, composing reemerged as an important part of Jessica’s musical identity when she encountered Reggie Watts’ masterful use of the loop pedal. Soon she began composing pieces of her own for viola and loop pedal. Sounds of Being, her recently released CD, contains many of these compositions and Jessica will perform them at her concert at the Warhol. She’ll also premiere a new work by Eric Moe for viola and fixed media titled Uncanny Affable Machines.
This past December, Jessica and I talked together over Skype about her compositions and how her creative voice has developed. The video feed got choppy at times, so I had to do a little more patching together than usual, but I know you’ll be happy to hear what Jessica has to say about all of this, so here it is.
Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble closes out its 2014 season with a performance of Arnold Schoenberg’s classic Pierrot Lunaire in combination with Kieren MacMillan’s Drunken Moon. The final installment in my series of video previews for the season features Kevin Noe and cellist Norbert Lewandowski in a very thoughtful discussion of why Pierrot continues to be such a compelling work and beyond that, how Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble seeks to contextualize contemporary music in order to facilitate deeper understanding and appreciation for the audience. The final concerts take place at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at City Theatre. Be sure to catch them.
Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble’s 2014 season continues with the world premiere of a new commission by Ryan Anthony Francis for PNME and guitar virtuoso Mattias Jacobsson. The program also includes Amy Williams’ First Lines for flute and piano and a song cycle by Christopher Cerrone, I will learn to love a person, featuring soprano Lindsey Kesselman. The concerts take place Friday and Saturday nights at City Theatre at 8 p.m. PNME’s new executive director Pamela Murchison and percussionist Ian Rosenbaum gave me a preview of this weekend’s program.
Nathalie Shaw will give a solo showcase performance as part of Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble’s 2014 summer season. Her program will include both acoustic works by Alain Celo, David Stock, and Roger Zahab and electroacoustic works by French composer Sébastien Béranger and Mario Davidovsky. The concert takes place Wednesday, July 23 at City Theatre. Nathalie talked with me on PNME “media day” and here’s what she had to say about the program.
Here is a preview of week II of Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble’s 2014 season. Once again, I talked with Kevin Noe and Ian Rosenbaum about what we can look forward to for the next program which features a premiere by Ted Hearne, the winner of the most recent Harvey Gaul competition. The concerts take place on July 18 and 19 at City Theatre.
Your Summer New Music staycation is about to get started in earnest with the launch of Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble’s 2014 season. I met with members of PNME recently to hear their thoughts on the upcoming season and I’ll be sharing those conversations with you as the season progresses. The first installment features director Kevin Noe and percussionist Ian Rosenbaum on the first week’s program, titled “The Lost Traveler.” The program takes its name from Martin Bresnick’s composition, which is in turn derived from Williams Blake’s poem “To the Accuser Who is the God of this World.”
“Truly, my Satan, thou art but a Dunce,
And dost not know the Garment of the Man.
Every Harlot was a Virgin once,
Nor canst thou ever change Kate into Nan.
“Tho’ thou art Worship’d by the Names Divine
Of Jesus and Jehovah, thou are still
The Son of Morn in weary Night’s decline,
The lost Traveller’s Dream under the Hill.”
Chamber Music Pittsburgh’s “Just Summer” series gets started off with a performance by ETHEL in a program they have titled “Grace.” I recently had the opportunity to Skype with ETHEL violist and founding member Ralph Farris about ETHEL and what makes them unique, the program, and encouraging performers to be more engaged in the creative aspect of their art. Check out the conversation below and come hear ETHEL at the Kelly Strayhorn this Thursday night.
In the second part of my conversation with Robert he talks about his solo recital (Thursday, April 4) and his concert with Alia Musica on Saturday, April 6 when he will perform his newly revised version of his 1986 Meristem. It’s fascinating to hear him talk about the flute as a “human powered synthesizer.”
The legendary Robert Dick is coming to Pittsburgh this week for two concerts with Alia Musica Pittsburgh. Robert was kind enough to Skype with me last week and I’ve posted the first of two parts of that interview below. Robert says many wonderful things in the course of our conversation, but what you really want to know is: how does one accurately shoot projectiles from the flute? Yes, you will find out.
Molly Joyce is a young up-and-coming Pittsburgh-borned-and-raised composer. She’s studying composition at Julliard since 2011, and her music is getting a lot of attention around the country… ensembles, blogs, audiences, etc. Her piece Dollhouse was selected as one of the 5 finalists in the PNME/Alia Musica 2012-13 Competition, so it’s part of the program in Alia Musica’s concert Friday (Kresge Hall, 7:30, $15/12).
I had a nice talk with her last Friday. We had ‘skyped her in’ for one of the rehearsals, so we thought, why not have a conversation about things? Here’s some of it, check it out: