Louth Contemporary Music Society presents
Sounds in Space: the unique musical visions of composers Alvin Lucier and Eliane Radigue
20 June 2014 at 8pm
Tickets available here
With Alvin Lucier, Manuel Zurria, Francesco Dillon, Carol Robinson, Kairos Quartet performing works by Alvin Lucier, John Cage and Eliane Radigue (world premiere).
“As a half-Irish American (great grandmother Reilly, grandmother Sullivan), I am honored to be able to present my music in the country of my forebears.” Alvin Lucier
Louth Contemporary Music Society celebrate the unique musical visions of the pioneering composers Alvin Lucier and Eliane Radigue in the Sounds in Space concert which will take place on Friday 20 June 2014 in Dundalk Gaol. Sounds in Space will be Alvin Lucier’s first Irish performance.
Alvin Lucier is a composer of experimental music and sound installations that explore acoustic phenomena and auditory perception. Lucier has pioneered in many areas of music composition and performance, including the notation of performers’ physical gestures, the use of brain waves in live performance, the generation of visual imagery by sound in vibrating media, and the evocation of room acoustics for musical purposes. His recent works include a series of sound installations and works for solo instruments, chamber ensembles, and orchestra in which, by means of close tunings with pure tones, sound waves are caused to spin through space.
The Italian cellist Francesco Dillon will open the concert with Lucier’s “Charles Curtis” for cello with pure wave oscillators, one of the composers most beautiful works linking cello drones against slow wave oscillators. Manuel Zurria also from Italy will perform John Cage’s “Ryoanji” for flute, percussion and tape with Richard O’Donnell. Cage’s “Ryoanji” (1983) was famously inspired by his visit to the Japanese rock and sand garden of the same name (Ryoan-ji)in Kyoto in 1962. Zurria will also perform the European premiere of Lucier’s “13 degrees of darkness” for flute and tape.
The German string quartet Kairos Quartett make their debut to Ireland to perform Lucier’s “Navigation for Strings”.”Navigations for Strings” was inspired by sounds Lucier picked up on a pair of antennae while on a mountaintop in Colorado. The ghostly atmospherics — what Lucier terms “sferics” — originated in the ionosphere as natural radio transmissions .Writing for string quartet the general effect is one of existing in a gloriously rich sonic world, with constantly changing drones.
The concert will also feature the world premiere of a new work “OCCAM XVI” by Eliane Radigue. Since the 1960s Eliane Radigue (born Paris, 1932) has created a singular, powerful and individual body of work that explores slowly evolving states where musical change is perceived as environmental in scale, constant in evolution and virtually imperceptible in transformation. Often monumental in duration, her music communicates a sublime spiritual power, transporting the listener on a journey into the very heart of sound. A true original, Radigue has followed an artistic path unfettered through association to any schools and trends. She is now celebrated as a true innovator, pioneer and musical visionary. The world premiere of “OCCAM XVI” will be performed by one of Radigue’s key collaborators, US clarinetist Carol Robinson who now resides in Paris.
The concert will conclude with a performance by Alvin Lucier of his seminal“I am sitting in a room”. For an explanation of this fascinating exploration of acoustical phenomena, look no further than the text:I am sitting in a room different from the one you are in now. I am recording the sound of my speaking voice and I am going to play it back into the room again and again until the resonant frequencies of the room reinforce themselves so that any semblance of my speech, with perhaps the exception of rhythm, is destroyed. What you will hear, then, are the natural resonant frequencies of the room articulated by speech. I regard this activity not so much as a demonstration of a physical fact, but more as a way to smooth out any irregularities my speech might have.
Sounds in Space is funded by the Arts Council and financially supported by Create Louth and the Goethe-Institut Irland.
Alvin Lucier For Charles Curtis |
Cello with pure wave oscillators,
John Cage Ryo anji | flute and percussion
Manuel Zurria and Richard O’Donnell.
Eliane Radigue OCCAM XVI. World premiere | bass clarinet.
Alvin Lucier Navigation for strings | String Quartet
Alvin Lucier 13 Degrees of Darkness | flute and tape
Manuel Zurria. EU Premiere
Alvin Lucier I am sitting in a room | For voice with tape.
Notes on Eliane Radigue kindly used by permission of Sounds and Music. www.soundsandmusic.org
Notes to Editors:
Avant-garde composer and performer Alvin Lucier was born in Nashua, New Hampshire, in 1931. Lucier has a long history of compositions for electronics, voice, instruments, brain waves, echo-location devices, and more. His breakthrough composition Music for Solo Performer (1964–65) for Enormously Amplified Brain Waves and Percussion, was the first work to feature sounds generated by brain waves in live performance. Biological stimuli played an increasing role in Lucier’s subsequent work, most notably through his notation of performers’ physical movements. His work I am sitting in a room—using only a recording of the composer’s voice, the resonance of a room, and a simple repeated process to transform voice into shimmering tones of pure sound—is regularly hailed as a landmark in 20th-century experimental composition. In the 1980s, Music on a Long Thin Wire further extended Lucier’s fascination with the physics of sound. In this conceptual sculpture, a taut 50-foot wire passes through the poles of a large magnet; driven by an oscillator, the amplified vibrations yield extraordinary results. His later works include sound installations as well as works for solo instruments, chamber ensembles, and orchestra.
Alvin Lucier was born in 1931 in Nashua, New Hampshire. He was educated in Nashua public and parochial schools, the Portsmouth Abbey School, Yale, and Brandeis and spent two years in Rome on a Fulbright Scholarship. From 1962 to 1970 he taught at Brandeis, where he conducted the Brandeis University Chamber Chorus which devoted much of its time to the performance of new music. Since 1970 he has taught at Wesleyan University where he was John Spencer Camp Professor of Music.
Early electronic music pioneer Eliane Radigue (Paris, France) studied electro-acoustic music at the Studio d’essai at the RTF under the direction of Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry (1957-58). At NYU in 1970-71, her music, its source an Arp synthesizer and recording tape, attracted considerable attention for its sensitive, dappled purity. She was in residence at the studios of the University of Iowa and CalArts in 1973. After becoming a Tibetan Buddhist in 1975, Radigue went into retreat. When she took up her career again in 1979, work with the Arp became her signature as her music was performed at museums, galleries and concert halls throughout Europe and the U.S. Her final electronic work was l’Île re-sonante in 2000. Since then, Radigue has chosen to work only with acoustic instruments, responding to the demands of musicians worldwide, creating works for specific performers and their instruments as she continues to study the teachings of the Tibetan lamas.
The Kairos Quartett
The Kairos Quartet was founded in 1996 and specializes in music written since 1950, including smaller and larger settings. Older music is included on a programme only if there is a significant link to more recent pieces also being played, and if doing so offers additional benefits to the audience. Compositions are likely to select that are firmly rooted in the tradition of progress and critical reflection, or those connected to it, for example, from another musical tradition. In accordance with these principles the Kairos Quartet has, in eleven years, added more than 40 compositions to the fold through commissions and world premieres. Although the Kairos Quartett has worked with a number of well-known composers such as G. Kurtág, H. Lachenmann, B. Ferneyhough, and G.F. Haas prominence is not a criterium; aside Haas the quartet has also honed long-standing working relationships with composers of widely differing notorieties such as Julio Estrada, Giorgio Netti, Knut Müller, Sergej Newski, Enno Poppe, and Liza Lim. Acting as a bridge between composer and audience the musicians work closely – whenever possible – with composers and reach out to the audience by offering alternative concert formats (p.e. 1 hour of music + 1 hour of discussion) and workshops. Special emphasis is given to programming concepts and the planning of concert series. Curating and organizing events may also include the production of programme booklets.
Workshops and Seminars on New Music topics were presented at schools of music and during festivals in Austria, Germany, Mexico, Norway, Poland and Switzerland. Kairos performed on many of the most prestigious European music festivals such as Berliner Festwochen & MaerzMusik, Eclat, Festival d’Automne, Huddersfield, Nordic Music Days Copenhagen, Festspiele Salzburg, Warsaw Autumn und Wien Modern. During their two trips to Mexico they performed at the Universidad Nacional de México and at the Festival Internacional Cervantino.
The Kairos Quartett was the first ensemble to be granted an Akademie Schloß Solitude grant, and its projects were repeatedly funded by the E. v. Siemens Music Foundation. Several of its CDs won prizes such as the German Record Critics’ Award (Haas SQ).
The quartet’s members served as jurors for the first John Cage Prize for the Interpretation of New Music in Halberstadt 2008.
Among the many artistic partners of Kairos were the actress Martina Gedeck, baritone Dietrich Henschel, Mayumi Miyata (shô), Valeri Scherstjanoi, Michael Lentz (both voice), boris d hegenbart (electronics), Schlagquartett Köln (percussion quartet), the Vokalsolisten of the SWR, and the pianists Heather O’Donnell and Frank Immo Zichner.
Kairos Quartet members work as equals: every one has the right to veto a new piece, and important decisions are made by consensus. There is no musical director, and the coordination responsibility during rehearsals of a given composition usually lies with one of the two violinists – thus the addition “alternating” first violins.
Manuel Zurria Flute
Manuel Zurria was born in Catania in 1962 and has been living in Rome since 1980. He worked closely with some of the most important talian composers such as Francesco Pennisi, Sylvano Bussotti, Aldo Clementi, Adriano Guarnieri, Franco Donatoni, Fabio Vacchi and Salvatore Sciarrino, premiering concertos and chamber pieces often dedicated to him. Zurria had the chance to collaborate with musicians such as Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass, Terry Riley, Gavin Bryars, Giya Kancheli, Toshio Hosokawa, Kaija Saariaho, Alvin Lucier, László Sáry, Louis Andriessen, Sofia Gubajdulina, Peter Eötvös, and Frederic Rzewski. He tried to push a whole generation of composers from all over the world to write new works for flute: Yan Maresz, James Saunders, Bernhard Lang, Maurizio Pisati, Mario Garuti, Gabriele Manca, Claude Lenners, Fausto Romitelli, Mary Jane Leach, Jacob TV, Luca Francesconi, Yoshihisa Taira, Yi Xu, Rytis Mazulis, Lucia Ronchetti, Stefano Scodanibbio and Philip Corner have written and dedicated their works for him. Strongly attracted by minimalism, in the early months of 2008 he published with Die Schachtel a triple cd called REPEAT! Which represents the sum of his experiences, including original works or transcribed for flute and electronics in collaboration with Arvo Pärt, Louis Andriessen, Tom Johnson and many others. The cd had outstanding reviews from international critics. He performed at the Venice Music Biennale, Pacific Music Festival (Sapporo-Japan), Festival Musica (Strasbourg), Beethovenhalle (Bonn), Settembre Musica (Torino), De Yjsbreker (Amsterdam), IRCAM – Festival Agorà (Paris), Rachmaninov Hall (Moscow), Festival d’Automne (Paris), Rikskonserter (Stockholm), Illkhom Theatre (Tashkent-Uzbekistan), Takefu Festival (Japan), Akademie der Künste (Berlin), Maerz Musik (Berlin), The Warehouse (London), Festival Archipel (Geneve), NUMUS (Aarhus), ULTIMA (Oslo), Ensem (Valencia), Wien Modern, Jauna Muzika (Vilnius), MusikHaus (Wien), Berliner Philarmonie (Berlin), Teatro alla Scala – Musica per la Resistenza (Milano), Orestiadi di Gibellina, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, New Directions (Lulea-Sweden). In 1990 he was one of the founders of Alter Ego. His discography currently includes approximately 30 publications for: BMG-Ricordi, Capstone Records, Edipan, Stradivarius, Die Schachtel, Mazagran Records, Megadisc and Touch. In 2009, BMC has released Niagara, a monographic cd with music by László Sáry, while in 2010 it was the turn of Musica Falsa for Megadisc with works by Lithuanian composer Rytis Mazulis, both recorded with the technique of multi-track. In 2011 two more cds were released: Loops4ever with Mazagran and JOY FLASHINGS as a result of his long partnership with fluxus artist Philip Corner.
Francesco Dillon cello
Francesco Dillon completed his studies with A.Nannoni in Firenze. Other very influential teachers were D. Geringas, M. Brunello and A. Baldovino and for the composition S. Sciarrino.
Beside his intense solo activity (recent successful debut in Munich Biennale with ORF Wien, and Orchestra nazionale della RAI, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, Orchestra dei Pomeriggi Musicli, Orchestra Haydn, Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana among the others) he’s very active as cellist of the Quartetto Prometeo (which tours regularly all over the world).His deep interest in contemporary music led him to collaborate closely with the most important composers of today such as G. Bryars, P. Glass, V. Globokar, S.Gubaidulina, J. Harvey, T. Hosokawa, G. Kancheli, A. Knaifel, H. Lachenmann, B. Lang, D. Lang, A. Lucier, A. Part, H. Pousseur, S. Reich, F. Romitelli, K. Saariaho, S. Sciarrino, J. Zorn.
As a member of the internationally acclaimed group AlterEgo and as a soloist, he is invited to play in all the major contemporary music festivals. He regularly plays chamber music with partners such as I.Arditti, G. Carmignola, P. Farulli, V. Hagen, A. Lonquich, E. Pace, R. Schmidt, S. Scodanibbio. He won several competitions and with the quartet prizes at Prague spring (1st prize 1998), ARD Munich, Bordeaux. His performances are broadcasted by BBC, ARD, Radio France, ORF, ABC, RAI, a.o.
He recorded for the labels Aulos, Brilliant, Dynamic, ECM, Kairos, Ricordi, Stradivarius, Die Schachtel and Touch. His most recent releases are the first world recordings of Variazioni for cello and orchestra by Sciarrino ,rewarded with the prestigious “Diapason d’or” , the recently discovered Ballata by Scelsi with RAI Orchestra, an album of Schumann rarities and the complete cello works by Liszt for Brilliant Classics. He has taught in the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole for more then 10 years and given masterclasses for various national and international institutions such as Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, Pacific University (Us), Untref in Buenos Aires, Manchester University.
Since 2010 he is artistic director of the contemporary music series Music@villaromana in Firenze.
Carol Robinson Clarinet
Composer and clarinetist, Carol Robinson has a multifaceted musical life. Equally at ease in the classical and experimental realms, she performs in major concert halls and international festivals (Wien Modern, RomaEuropa, MaerzMusik, Huddersfield, Archipel, Musica, Musica Contemporanea, etc.). In addition to working closely with composers, she pursues the new in more alternative contexts, collaborating with video artists, photographers, and musicians from divers horizons.The freely converging musical world of Sleeping in Vilna is typical of what interests her.
Carol Robinson plays all types and sizes of clarinets, including the Lithuanian birbyne. Improvisation is her passion.She began composing by writing for her own music theater productions, subsequently receiving commissions for concert pieces, installations, radio, dance and film productions. Her works often combine acoustic sounds with electronics, and her musical aesthetic is strongly influenced by a fascination for aleatoric systems. Particularly interested in dance, she has collaborated with choreographers Susan Buirge, Nadège MacLeay, Thierry Niang, François Verret, and Young Ho Nam. In 2008, she was awarded a composition fellowship from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation.
Her works have been recorded by the Hessischer Rundfunk, Saarlandischer Rundfunk, Lithuanian National Radio, and Radio France. A CD of Billows, for clarinets and live electronics, was released by PLUSH in 2009. Other recent releases include solo monograph recordings of music by Giacinto Scelsi, Morton Feldman, Luigi Nono, and Luciano Berio for MODE, Phil Niblock for TOUCH as well as classical music and jazz for SYRIUS, BTL and NATO. Carol Robinson was born in the United States and graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory. She currently resides in France.