Density 2036: part iii (2015)
Dai Fujikura (b. 1977) : Lila for flute, bass flute and contrabass flute (2015)
Francesca Verunelli (b. 1979) : The Famous Box Trick for bass flute and electronics (2015)
Nathan Davis (b. 1973) : Limn for bass flute, contrabass flute and electronics (2015)
Jason Eckardt (b. 1971) : The Silenced a monodrama for solo flute (2015)
Pauline Oliveros (b. 1932) : Intensity 20.15: Grace Chase for Claire and the Expanded Instrument System (EIS) (2015)
Edgard Varèse (b. 1925) : Density 21.5 for flute alone (1936)
Density 2036: part iii (2015) is dedicated to Steven Schick.
Program notes/bios below
Dai Fujijura: Lila
This piece is based on the solo part of the flute concerto that I have also written for Claire Chase.
Lila, as well as the flute concerto, tells a story from the flute player's point of view, starting with a light poetic variety of sounds that are produced and related by the player's articulations, then dance like cascades. After that there is a sensual romantic melodic line with quarter tones, then a cadenza part with bass flute (or contrabass flute) overblowing, for which I wanted to make fast rhythmic music that I thought would be an opposite to the usual impression of what a low-range big flute, like contra or bass flute, does.
The title Lila means "play" in Sanskrit.
Francesca Verunelli: The Famous Box Trick
The Famous Box Trick (Illusions Fantasmagoriques) is a 1898 French short black-and-white silent trick film, directed by Georges Méliès. In the words of writer Michael Brooke, the film "harks back to stage magic.”
I found fascinating the hybrid texture of the “trick” which allows the spectator to position himself in between the physical magic of the stage and the virtual “magic” of cinema - the corporeal vs. the incorporeal - biological time vs. the machine time.
The spectator is suspended in between the belief in the trick and the conscious awareness of it. This is not the case in modern cinema, where the spectator is cut out from the “illusion” and can only believe in it from the “outside.”
The flute inhabits corporeal sounds, including the family of vocal sounds obtained by the complex interactions of the voice with the instrument. These are, paradoxically, made to sound “fake” by a sound-world of completely synthetic sounds realized by electronics means.
The result, like Meliès’ absurdist irony, is the reciprocal estrangement of the ontological nature of each sound-world.
Nathan Davis: Limn for bass flute, contrabass flute and electronics
Written for Claire Chase for bass and contrabass flute, Limn intimates the instrument by illuminating its edges. Its primary materials are whistle tones - fragile and unstable sounds that dance around the overtone series of a phantom fundamental - and key mechanics, both fluttering and brutal. These are sewn together with Claire's voice, aspirated and exhaled, and extended with electronic processing.
Jason Eckardt: The Silenced
The Silenced is a meditation on those who are muted, by force or by political, economic, or social circumstances, yet still struggle to be heard. While composing the work, I was concerned with the ideas of trauma and self expression during and after a traumatic experience. This is manifested musically by gagged, stifled sounds that are perpetually in transition towards a clearer articulation that is never fully reached. Significantly, it is the flute, not the voice, that comes closest to realizing a kind of expressive "purity," free of the noise and interference that typify so much of multilayered sound strata in the piece.
The silenced is dedicated with great love and admiration to Claire Chase for her Density 2036 project.
Pauline Oliveros: Intensity 20.15 – A Tribute to Grace Chase
Intensity 20.15 is inspired by text written by Grace Chase, grandmother of Claire Chase and by the virtuosity and flexibility of Claire Chase the performer.
In addition to the text and many small percussion instruments the piece incorporates the use of Expanded Instrument System (EIS), a computer controlled sound interface that I have designed and continued to evolve since 1963. Sounds are picked up by microphone and fed to different processing modules in the computer then output to a multichannel sound array that distributes sound around the performance space. All sounds heard during the performance are originated from the sounds performed by Claire Chase. EIS transforms sounds and plays them back. EIS is performative and is played by Levy Lorenzo.
Jason Eckardt (b. 1971) played guitar in jazz and metal bands until, upon first hearing the music of Webern, he immediately devoted himself to composition. Since then, his music has been influenced by his interests in perceptual complexity, the physical and psychological dimensions of performance, political activism, and self-organizing processes in the natural world. Three portrait albums are available on the Mode and Tzadik labels and his music is published by Carl Fischer. He teaches composition at the Peabody Conservatory, City University of New York’s Graduate Center and Brooklyn College, and lives in the Catskill Mountains.
Although Dai Fujikura was born in Osaka, he has now spent more than 20 years in the UK where he studied composition with Edwin Roxburgh, Daryl Runswick and George Benjamin.
A quick glance at his list of commissions and performances reveals he is fast becoming a truly international composer. His music is not only performed in the country of his birth or his adopted home, but is now performed in venues as geographically diverse as Caracas and Oslo, Venice and Schleswig-Holstein, Lucerne and Paris.
His opera, Solaris, was co-produced in both France and Switzerland.
Nathan Davis "writes music that deals deftly and poetically with timbre and sonority" (NYTimes), and has been commissioned by ICE, Calder Quartet, Yarn/Wire, La Jolla Symphony Chorus, Steven Schick, Donaueschinger Musiktage, and the Ojai Festival (with sound sculptor Trimpin), Lincoln Center presented the premiere of Nathan's landmark work Bells; other performances at Carnegie Hall, Mostly Mozart Festival, Park Avenue Armory, Miller Theatre, LPR, Roulette, Spoleto USA, Darmstadt, Helsinki Musica Nova, and Acht Brücken Köln. He has received awards from Meet The Composer, Fromm Foundation, Copland Fund, Jerome Foundation, American Music Center, and MATA. He and Phyllis Chen won an Innovative Theater Award for their score to Sylvia Milo's The Other Mozart. CDs include The Bright and Hollow Sky, one of TimeOut NY's top 5 classical albums of 2011. (www.nathandavis.com)
Pauline Oliveros (1932) is a composer and improviser. She plays a custom Titano acoustic accordion and the Roland V Accordion FR7X in her solo and ensemble improvisations as well as Expanded Instrument System (EIS), an ever-evolving electroacoustic processing unit of her design. She performs extensively locally and in many parts of the world in a variety of venues. Oliveros' music is performed widely as well by many notable musicians and ensembles. Her works are recorded and available through download sites, cassette, CD, DVD, and Vinyl releases. Recent compositions include Concerto for Bass Drum and Ensemble commissioned by International Contemporary Ensemble and performed in New York at Lincoln Center in August 2013.
Francesca Verunelli studied composition and piano at the Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini in Florence, where she earned both diplomas summa cum laude. She concluded her studies at the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome. She went on to attend IRCAM’s cursus 1 & 2 in Composition and Computer Music specializing in electronic music. She has received commissions from important musical institutions and ensembles such as IRCAM, NeueVocalsolisten Stuttgart, La Biennale di Venezia, Orchestre Philarmonique de Radio France, Milano Musica, Accentus Chamber Choir, Lucerne Symphonic Orchestra, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra, Court-Circuit, 2e2m, ICE, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, GMEM de Marseille, CIRM de Nice, the French State, the FACE Foundation. Her music is performed in many prestigious festivals in Europe and in the US. She has been composer in residence at Ircam (2011/12) at GMEM of Marseille (2014/15), and is currently resident artist at Casa Velasquez (Academie de France à Madrid).