Sarah Goldfeather – Violin/Voice
Chuck Furlong – Clarinet
Allison Nicotera – Bassoon
Evan Honse – Trumpet
Daniel Lindon – Trombone
Eleonore Oppenheim – Double Bass
David Stevens – Percussion
Sarah Goldfeather – Mouth Full of Ears *
Matt Evans – the mesh *
Brendon Randall-Myers – Episodic Memory *
* World Premiere
Exceptet is thrilled to present three brand new works by Brendon Randall-Myers, Matt Evans, and their violinist Sarah Goldfeather.
Mouth Full of Ears by Sarah Goldfeather is a 5 minute song featuring a simple melody that builds in orchestration and intensity. The text describes a person who cannot or does not think or speak for themselves, who simply regurgitates information he or she hears without any synthesis, and on whom it is easy to project your own opinions and designs. This is an archetype that is prevalent on both sides of the political spectrum today, where so many default to a stance without critical thought, creating an even greater rift between us and near impossibility of sensible discourse.
The mesh by Matt Evans is a 20 minute work in three continuous parts that unpacks the questions surrounding human impact on modern ecology in our recently defined epoch the “anthropocene” through musical abstraction and representation. In “the mesh,” three distinct sections of the piece will represent the three basic states of Timothy Morton’s philosophy of Dark Ecology described as “darkness as depression, darkness as uncanny, and darkness as sweetness.” The piece is about the earth and the sublime, our effect on both and their effects on us, through a musical topography of chromatic polyrhythmic dissonances, gradients of noise, and drones of ultimate stillness. “
Episodic Memory by Brendon Randall-Myers is a 25 minute work in three sections that reflects the way our brains process trauma and learn from mistakes. The first section starts with subtly shifting polyrhythms that emerge from the beat patterns of microtonal inflections of a single pitch, which are gradually picked up, articulated, and elaborated on directly by the ensemble. The second section abruptly focuses these rhythms to a 16th-note ostinato played at an extremely fast speed, high register, and loud volume. The third and final section begins with extremely quiet multiphonic trills traded around the ensemble, which gradually coalesce into a huge, oscillating mass of sound built on the same pitch that opened the piece.
Founded on the rag-tag instrumentation of Igor Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat, New York-based Exceptet is an ensemble with “vast emotional range and onomatopoetic charm” (I Care If You Listen) dedicated to commissioning today’s most compelling emerging composers. Exceptet recently performed on the Ecstatic Music Festival as part of the MATA Interval Series, The Times Two Series in Boston, the Queens New Music Festival, The UPenn Composers Guild, and has been showcased several times on WQXR. The group has commissioned new works from a wide range of composers, including Scott Wollschleger, Matt Evans, Brendon Randall-Myers, Sarah Goldfeather, Fay Kueen Wang, Alex Weiser, Fjola Evans, Brooks Frederickson, Paul Kerekes, Brian Petuch, and Eric Shanfield. They have additionally collaborated with Exceptet violinist Sarah Goldfeather’s indie folk-band, Goldfeather.
Episodic Memory by Brendon Randall-Myers was commissioned by Exceptet and generously funded by Justus Schlichting.