International Contemporary Ensemble premieres works by Kate Gentile and Fay Victor. Plus the new quartet, Peter Evans’s Ars Subtilior, premieres collectively devised works.
Kate Gentile: biome ii (2021, World Premiere)
Commissioned by the International Contemporary Ensemble
Isabel Lepanto Gleicher, flute
Joshua Rubin, clarinet
Rebekah Heller, bassoon
Matt Mitchell, piano
Josh Modney, violin
Ross Karre, percussion
Kate Gentile, drumset
Fay Victor: SIRENS AND SILENCES (2020)
Commissioned by the Jazz Coalition
Patrick Holmes, clarinet
Kalia Vandever, trombone
Mazz Swift, violin
Marika Hughes, cello
Fay Victor, conductor
Peter Evans, brass, compositions
Mazz Swift, violin, voice
Alice Tessyier, flutes, voice
Ryan Muncy, saxophones
Kate Gentile’s biome ii is a 13-movement piece for septet consisting of musical abstractions that twist and connect in ‘dream logic’-like ways, as if representing aspects of unfamiliar but interconnected systems, such as the balance of alien ecologies on a distant moon orbiting a gas giant.
The septet orchestration allows for the full expansion of harmonic and rhythmic textures. The piece may assume a semi-modular structure in performance, using any number of movements in many possible orders.
The complete version of biome ii was recorded in 2021 and will be released sometime in 2022.
Fay Victor‘s Sirens & Silences (2020) is a ‘memory document’ composition created to represent a specific place, space, and time. April–May 2020 to be exact when New York City was the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic, the global ground zero for the burgeoning pandemic.
The city went into lockdown or ‘pause’ on March 20, 2020, New Yorkers did what we always do – we hunkered down for the common good. Some fled the city but most of us stayed inside to stem the tide of this new NEW malaise that swooped in and found many of us helpless. We stayed inside. Many of us died. The quiet was deafening, punctuated for days only by the sound of sirens. Far and near. On repeat.
I started recording those sirens. I recorded as many variations of sirens I heard then – police, fire, ambulances, ambulances from various city hospitals. Later on in 2020, I transcribed these recordings and those tones became the basis for Sirens & Silences. As a composer, I’m thinking a lot about recreating memory through sound from a place of actuality.
To put it another way, these tones are really what I heard during that time and space. What we all heard as the players also lived through this time in New York City. Sirens & Silences aims to portray this sonic environment and the mood of this specific time for New York City, where it sounded like a place that didn’t exist in the same space before. As a lifelong New Yorker, I never heard the city sound the way it did then. Let these sounds be a reminder of what was and what should never be again.
—Fay Victor (Brooklyn, May 2021)
Trumpet player and composer Peter Evans presents new compositions for this unusual quartet of multi-instrumentalist virtuosi. Stretching back to his week of concerts at the Stone in 2019 as well as his work with Mazz Swift in his Ensemble (2016–18), this quartet has explored a unique and comprehensive approach to chamber music, involving notation, improvisation, text pieces, historically informed styles and noise.
Fay Victor is a sound artist that uses performance, improvisation, and composition to examine representations of modern life and blackness while honing a unique vision for the vocal role in jazz and improvised music. Victor has an ‘everything is everything’ aesthetic, using the freedom in the moment to inform the appropriate musical response, viewing the vocal instrument as full of possibilities for sound exploration. The voice, a vocal conduit for direct messages in an improvising context. Victor embraces all of these ideas in real-time, aiming to push the vocal envelope to forge greater expression. On Victor’s 11 critically acclaimed albums as a leader one can hear the through-line of this expansive expression including Victor’s current release, WE’VE HAD ENOUGH on the ESP-Disk label is the 2nd outing from Victor’s improvising quartet, SoundNoiseFUNK.
Victor’s work has found light in media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Rolling Stone Magazine & The Huffington Post; Victor’s performed with luminaries such as William Parker, Roswell Rudd, Dr. Randy Weston, Nicole Mitchell, Misha Mengelberg, Myra Melford, Archie Shepp, Marc Ribot & Tyshawn Sorey to name but a few; Performance highlights include The Museum of Modern Art & The Whitney Museum of American Art (NYC), The Hammer Museum (LA), The Kolner Philharmonie (Germany), De Young Museum (SF), Symphony Space (NY), The Earshot Jazz Festival (Seattle), The Winter Jazz Festival (NYC) and the Bimhuis (Netherlands). As a composer, Victor has been awarded prizes such as the 2017 Herb Albert/Yaddo Fellow in Music Composition and a 2018 AIR in Composition for the Headlands Center for the Arts in the Marine Headlands in Northern California. As an educator, Victor is currently on the Faculty at the New School of Jazz & Contemporary Music, chairs the Advisory Board for the Jazz Leaders Fellowship via the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music a new initiative to fund and support black female and non-binary jazz artists. Fay continues to give talks, lectures, and masterclasses on Jazz, Creative Improvisation, Political engagement through artistic expression, and more at institutions around the world. https://www.fayvictor.com/
Kate Gentile is a Brooklyn-based drummer and composer. As a leader, Kate released Mannequins (Skirl Records) in 2017 with Jeremy Viner, Matt Mitchell, and Adam Hopkins. Her current band, Find Letter X, features Mitchell, Viner, and Kim Cass on bass.
Snark Horse, a band in which Kate co-leads and shares compositional duties with pianist Matt Mitchell, released a 6-CD box set on Pi Recordings in July 2021 featuring Kim Cass, Ben Gerstein, Jon Irabagon, Davy Lazar, Mat Maneri, Ava Mendoza, Matt Nelson, and Brandon Seabrook. Kate also co-leads Secret People, the cryptic jazz/noise rock trio with guitarist Dustin Carlson and saxophonist Nathaniel Morgan, with an album to be released in 2022. Kate has composed for and recorded with International Contemporary Ensemble and has a septet recording of her 13-movement composition biome ii to be released early 2022. She has also been commissioned by Adult Swim. Kate also plays in Matt Mitchell’s projects Phalanx Ambassadors (Pi Recordings 2019) and A Pouting Grimace (Pi Recordings 2017), Dustin Carlson’s septet Air Ceremony (Out Of Your Head Records 2018), and Will Mason’s Happy Place. Kate has also worked with Michaël Attias, Tim Berne, Anthony Braxton, Cloud Becomes Your Hand, Steve Coleman, Dave Douglas, Marty Ehrlich, Miles Okazaki, God Is My Co-Pilot, Helado Negro, Chris Speed, Chris Tordini, Anna Webber, and John Zorn. https://kategentile.com/
Peter Evans is a trumpet player and composer based in New York City since 2003. Evans is part of a broad, hybridized scene of musical experimentation and his work cuts across a wide range of modern musical practices and traditions. Peter is committed to the simultaneously self-determining and collaborative nature of musical improvisation as a compositional tool, and works with an ever-expanding group of musicians and composers in the creation of new music. His primary groups as a leader are the Peter Evans Ensemble (with Mazz Swift, Ron Stabinsky and Levy Lorenzo) and Being & Becoming (with Joel Ross, Nick Jozwiak and Savannah Harris). http://www.peterevanstrumpet.com/
Mazz Swift engages audiences worldwide with their signature weaving of improvisation and composition. They are a violinist, composer, conductor, and educator whose works include commissions by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the University of Delaware, the Canales Project, and the Blaffer Foundation. Mazz is a 2019 Jerome Hill Fellow and 2021 United States Artist Fellow, working on several projects, all of which are centered around protest songs, spirituals and the Ghanaian concept of ‘Sankofa’: looking back to learn how to move forward. www.mazzmuse.com
Flutist and vocalist Alice Teyssier brings “something new, something fresh, but also something uncommonly beautiful” to her performances. She has appeared as a soloist with the San Diego Symphony, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Bach Collegium San Diego, Talea Ensemble, La Jolla Symphony, Ensemble Echappé, Cantata Profana, International Contemporary Ensemble and is regularly featured on Los Angeles’ renowned Monday Evening Concerts series. Alice is a core member of the International Contemporary Ensemble and founding member of the interdisciplinary troupe The Atelier, and serves as Assistant Professor of Performance in the Music Department at New York University. http://www.aliceteyssier.com/
Ryan Muncy is saxophonist of the International Contemporary Ensemble, having been praised for his “amazing virtuosity” (The Chicago Tribune) and ability to “show off the instrument’s malleability and freakish extended range as well as its delicacy and refinement” (The Chicago Reader). He is a recipient of the Kranichstein Music Prize awarded at the 46th Darmstadt Summer Courses, a Fulbright Fellowship in France, the Edes Foundation Prize for Emerging Artists, and has participated in the creation of more than 250 new works for the saxophone, highlighted by deeply collaborative relationships with leading artist-creators including Ashley Fure, Tyshawn Sorey, Du Yun, Wang Lu, Marcos Balter, Wojtek Blecharz, and Matana Roberts. https://ryanmuncy.com/
With a commitment to cultivating a more curious and engaged society through music, the International Contemporary Ensemble – as a commissioner and performer at the highest level – amplifies creators whose work propels and challenges how music is made and experienced.
Described as “America’s foremost new-music group” (The New Yorker), the Ensemble has become a leading force in new music throughout the last 20 years, having premiered over 1,000 works and having been a vehicle for the workshop and performance of thousands of works by student composers across the U.S. The Ensemble’s composer-collaborators—many who were unknown at the time of their first Ensemble collaboration—have fundamentally shaped its creative ethos and have continued to highly visible and influential careers, including MacArthur Fellow Tyshawn Sorey; long-time Ensemble collaborator, founding member, and 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winner Du Yun; and the Ensemble’s founder, 2012 MacArthur Fellow, and first-ever flutist to win Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Prize, Claire Chase.
This performance is a co-production with Roulette Intermedium and the International Contemporary Ensemble.