Lembit Beecher, These Memories May Be True (2012)
Ken Ueno, Peradam (2012)
Chinary Ung, Spiral X (in memoriam) for amplified string quartet (2007)
Mason Bates, Bagatelles for String Quartet and Electronica (2012, New York Premiere) – with media artist, Joshue Ott
San Francisco’s Del Sol String Quartet returns to Ear Heart Music with Peradam, an object that is revealed only to those who seek it with purity of intention. Peradam, a mythical diamond-like stone, is the invention of René Daumal, appearing in his novel, Mount Analogue. Metaphorical for a rare and beautiful natural phenomenon, peradam implies the presence of discoveries attained over a lifetime.
In this program, Del Sol searches for truth through the diverse yet thematically cohesive sonic aesthetics and emotions of Cambodia, Estonia, throat-singing, and the night club. The compositions explore a sense of place as related to identity, what it means to uproot oneself from homeland, and how music ties us across boundaries that may be otherwise impenetrable. The virtuosic and captivating players of Del Sol cry, shout, whistle, sing, and further engage with their own instrumental playing in a myriad of impressive and impactful ways, creating a robust and holistic sonic palette. Chinary Ung’s piece is particularly difficult, calling upon the players to intone nonsensical phonemes and sing in raw village style, very explicitly scored, to emanate Shamanistic ritual. Ken Ueno’s work showcases violist Charlton Lee’s rare, and practiced ability to throat sing and mixes equal tempered notes, quarter-tones, justly intoned notes, and microtonal harmonies derived from formant analysis of sung vowels.
Mason Bates’ inherently American voice combines innovative instrumental writing, imaginative narrative forms, the harmonies of jazz, and the rhythms of techno. His Bagatelles for String Quartet and Electronica receives its New York Premiere in this concert with accompanying visuals provided by the artistic and technological innovator, Joshue Ott. Working from hand-drawn forms manipulated in real-time with superDraw, a software instrument of his own design, Ott composes evolving images that reside somewhere between minimalism, psychedelia, and Cagean chance, delivered with an inescapably human touch. With the subdued use of color amidst stark black and white, Ott’s visual work complements Bates’ style, highlighting contrast and maneuvering through moment driven change.
The San Francisco based Del Sol String Quartet, two-time winner of the top Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, is breaking the boundaries of classical music in riveting performances of new music with a global pulse. As musical innovators Del Sol has commissioned new music from the brightest living voices around the world, from Mason Bates, Gabriela Lena Frank, Chinary Ung, Mohammed Fairouz, Tania Leon, Peter Sculthorpe, Per Norgard and others. Since its inception in 1992 at the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Quartet has worked its magic performing on prominent concert series worldwide, including the Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, Smithsonian Museum and National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, Symphony Space (NYC), Other Minds Festival (San Francisco), Davos and Hirzenberg Music Festivals (Switzerland), Chengdu Festival of Contemporary Music Chengdu (China), and more. Del Sol’s five commercial CD releases have been universally praised by critics, including Gramophone, which hailed the quartet as “masters of all musical things,” and The Strad, which lauded the ensemble’s “gloriously opulent, full-throated tone.”
New York-based visualist and software designer Joshue Ott creates cinematic visual improvisations, performed live and projected in large scale. Supple yet digital, ephemeral but instantly memorable, Ott renders sound into vision, yielding an immersive multi-sensory experience that is at once immediate and synergistic, a unique visual narrative born in the moment. Performing with musicians from all genres between classical and avant-electronica, Ott’s visuals have been featured at Unsound festival NY, Biennial of the Americas, Mutek, Communikey, Plateaux festival (Poland), GAFFTA, Le Cube gallery (Paris), the Playgrounds Audiovisual Art Festival (Netherlands), and the 2006 Ars Electronica Animation Festival. He has performed with the American Composer’s Orchestra at Carnegie Hall; with Son Lux at MASS MoCA; with Gina Gibney Dance at the Baryshnikov Arts Center; and frequently at venues throughout New York City, including Le Poisson Rouge, Roulette, and Galapagos.
Ott is also the visual mastermind behind the hit iOS apps Thicket, snowDrift, Falling Stars, and Pitch Painter. Ott was recently commissioned by Intel to create a game called Tangled Curiosity that explored new ways of interacting with user’s social media feeds.
Ear Heart Music
“… a feisty contemporary-classical concert series” –The New York Times
A showcase of highly talented and adventurous performers, composers, and collaborative artists, Ear Heart Music is a modern chamber music series for modern ears. “Embracing a landscape where cross-genre collaboration is not the exception or a special occasion but the rule and standard operating procedure, this contemporary chamber music series, organized by the flutist Amelia Lukas, keeps up its high ambitions with a season at Roulette full of new and recent compositions” (The New York Times).
Ear Heart Music “has become a staple in the New York new music soundscape” (Time Out New York). Its thoughtfully designed programs highlighting recent masterworks stimulate creative thought and instill new avenues of perspective in the listener. The consistent level of intelligent and inspiring music-making resonates in the mind and body. Shows include electronic processing, performance art, visual art, film, and dance, providing deeper context for the music. Unique artist pairings, diverse programming, and the integral incorporation of new work all contribute to Ear Heart Music playing a major role in reshaping the chamber music landscape for the 21st century.
Since September 2009, Ear Heart Music has produced over 75 unique concerts with over 60 world premieres. The 2013-14 season features the debut of the Ear Heart Music Ensemble, star vocalists Lucy Shelton and Hai-Ting Chinn, two cutting edge dance companies, three star string quartets, two chamber operas, six world premieres, and numerous multimedia extravaganzas.
Upcoming on Ear Heart Music
February 18, 2014: Aeolus Quartet – Appalachian Portraits
Praised by Strad Magazine for their “high-octane” performance, the Aeolus Quartet has been snatching up prize after prize for their powerful and insightful playing. This program features the newly appointed Juilliard graduate resident string quartet performing selections from their highly acclaimed CD Many Sided Music. Capturing an irresistible and bittersweet Americana flavor, Aeolus will perform Steven Snowden‘s Appalachian Poloroids alongside premiere projections of the controversial portrait photography of Guggenheim Fellow, Shelby Lee Adams.
March 11, 2014: Aventa Ensemble – Strange News
Victoria’s unstoppable Aventa Ensemble is back in its most ambitious New York program to date, featuring the New York premiere of Rolf Wallin‘s multimedia commentary on child soldiers, Strange News. Wallin and Ugandan actor Arthur Kisenyi join Aventa in the presentation of this work which includes video, live electronics, surround sound, and the participation of local media. The Birmingham Post called the piece an “awe-inspiring… compassionate and totally involving creation… a War Requiem for the modern day, one which held the audience stunned – until the standing ovation at the end.” The US premiere of Michael Osterle‘s Le Contrat Social balances the program.
April 22, 2014: American Opera Projects & the American Modern Ensemble with Hai-Ting Chinn
This performance features two world premieres in a pairing of provocative chamber opera dealing with the duality and interconnectedness of spirituality and sexuality: Wanton Sublime by Tarik O’Regan, and The Companion by Robert Paterson. The “comprehensive and nuanced” (culturebot) Mallory Catlett directs.
May 6, 2014: Concert Black (with members of Ethel, Dal Niente, Color Field Ensemble and Mivos Quartet) – Email Songs
The world premiere of Robert Honstein‘s Email Songs with a world-class ensemble.
June 2014: Momenta Quartet – Ghost Opera
In a rare performance of Tan Dun‘s Ghost Opera for string quartet and pipa with water, metal, stones, and paper, new music veterans the Momenta Quartet recall the haunting magic of Chinese peasant shamans. The composer describes this work as a reflection on human spirituality, too often buried in the bombardment of urban culture and the rapid advances of technology.