Roulette hosts an enticing evening of premieres from two composer/performer virtuosos, Mick Barr and Judith Berkson. The program will include Berkson premiering Barr’s Wethantheld (2015) for voice and organ followed by Barr premiering a 35 minute solo guitar piece – his first solo presented without distortion. Berkson will also premiere a new piece for piano and her 72-tone microtonal vocals.
Active since the mid-1990s, Mick Barr is known primarily for his angular, fleet guitar playing and intricate avant-garde compositions. He straddles the worlds of heavy metal and experimental music and his distinctive voice is always present no matter what the context. Barr was active in the math-punk outfit duo Crom-Tech and his technical duo Orthrelm, and has also since written chamber music for Wet Ink Ensemble and ACME: American Contemporary Music Ensemble. He has worked with Jonathan Bepler Music and Matthew Barney and is featured in their 2014 film River of Fundament.
Judith Berkson is a soprano, pianist and composer living in Brooklyn. She studied voice with Lucy Shelton and composition with Joe Maneri at New England Conservatory. She has presented work at Picasso Museum, Malaga, (le) poisson rouge, Joe’s Pub at The Public, The Stone, and 92nd Street Y. Her solo album Oylam was released on ECM Records in 2010. Her latest release “Liederkreis” features electronic music for synthesizer, voice and effects. Berkson is also a cantor and teaches liturgical music at Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation in New York.