Spectrum to Present Mari Kimura with Cassatt String Quartet and Jin-Xiang Yu, 4/26
Spectrum presents composer/violinist Mari Kimura performing her own multi-lingual, interactive audio/visual mini-opera entitled ONE, joined by multi-lingual vocalist Jin-Xiang Yu and Cassatt String Quartet on Saturday, April 26th at 7:30pm.
Ms. Kimura will also perform two world premieres for violin and electronics which were written especially for her by composers Hannah Lash and Eric Moe. Ms. Lash's piece is entitled Miele as in an appliance manufacturer of vacuum cleaners, and the work by Mr. Moe is entitled Obey your thirst.
It all takes place on Saturday, April 26, 2014 7:30pm at SPECTRUM, 121 Ludlow Street, Second Floor New York, NY. Subway: F, M, J & Z trains to Essex/Delancey station. Admission: $20. Visit www.spectrumnyc.com/blog/.
Notes on the Program
Mari Kimura: ONE: ONE is an interactive audio/graphic multi-lingual mini-opera in four acts (Birth, Youth, Conflict, Cure), with the theme of "love, humanity, faith and global solidarity." Violinist/composer Mari Kimura teamed up with an award-winning Japanese movie director Tomoyuki Kato's creative team from Japan, Yoshito Onishi (Image Programing) and Chisako Hasegawa (Visual Producer), creating a large-scale composition for an ensemble and herself on stage. Mari uses the state-of-the-art motion sensor technology "MO" developed at IRCAM interacting with audio and video in real time, and for today's performance, multi-lingual vocalist Jin- Xiang Yu will apprise the vocal part, singing and interacting with computer with the text in Japanese, Chinese, English and French, joined by the Cassatt String Quartet. ONE is commissioned by Harvestworks with funds from New Music USA's Commissioning Music/USA program, which is made possible by generous annual support from the NYC Dept of Cultural Affairs as well as endowment support from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, the Helen F. Whitaker foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trust. ONE was premiered at River-to-River Festival 2013 at the Michael Schimmel Auditorium in NYC, with vocalist Kyoko Kitamura and the Cassatt String Quartet.
Hannah Lash on Miele: "About a month ago, I was in bad need of a new vacuum cleaner, which I could not immediately afford. So I posted on Facebook, offering to write anyone a 3-minute encore in exchange for a new vacuum cleaner. A crazy idea, I realize. But I'm a clean-freak and will go to great lengths in pursuit of a clean house. To my amazement, I got quite a few responses, but the best one was from Mari Kimura, who knew exactly the brand and model I would like. She recommended a Miele, which is a fantastic line of German-made appliances. But the best part was that Mari, this extraordinary violinist and composer, was so willing to go along with the crazy premise I'd suggested for the commission of a short piece. For me it was a perfect combination. I got to write a piece for a performer I've long admired AND the prospect of a truly clean house was mere days away. The piece I wrote for Mari reflects the exuberance of my feelings towards this project. Its form is simple, almost refrain-like, and features a folk-like melody, which alternates with arpeggiated overtone harmonies. The piece explores just a few tonal areas, with the violin's low G-string representing the main tonic. I suggested to Mari who is much more accomplished than I am with technology that she might try a kind of resonator patch to add some overtones to the low G. I envision the piece as being able to exist either as a purely acoustic work, or one with an electronic element to increase its resonance. Aptly, I titled the piece Miele feeling that it was only right. And the word reminded me of the French word for honey, which suggested the sweetness of this project."
Eric Moe on Obey your thirst: "The eco-poeticist Timothy Morton points out that the soft-drink slogan "Obey Your Thirst" has the effect of turning a bottle of soda into a bottle of thirst. No coincidence - what's in the bottle is carefully formulated to stoke the craving for more. This piece has the violin in furious pursuit of satisfaction, a moment of perfect bliss. It delves deeply (well below the conventional range of the instrument, using subharmonics) and climbs high in its search, catches its breath (once), clambers up walls or runs into them and bounces off. Throughout, it chases or is chased by an electroacoustic partner in canon - like a typical cartoon cat-and-mouse scenario where the animals take turns chasing one another. Is thirst quenched at the end? You decide. I composed OBEY YOUR THIRST in 2014 for the amazing Mari Kimura, pioneer of subharmonic playing techniques. The piece requires extreme virtuosity throughout and makes incredible demands on the performer."
Mari Kimura, Composer/Violinist: Mari Kimura is at the forefront of violinists who are extending the technical and expressive capabilities of the instrument. As a performer, composer, and researcher, she has opened up new sonic worlds for the violin. Notably, she has mastered the production of pitches that sound up to an octave below the violin's lowest string without retuning. This technique, which she calls Subharmonics, has earned Mari considerable renown in the concert music world and beyond. She is also a pioneer in the field of interactive computer music. At the same time, she has earned international acclaim as a soloist and recitalist in both standard and contemporary repertoire.As a composer, Mari's commissions include the International Computer Music Association, Harvestworks, Music from Japan and others, supported by grants including New York Foundation for the Arts, Arts International, Meet The Composer, Japan Foundation, Argosy Foundation, and New York State Council on the Arts. In 2010 Mari won the Guggenheim Fellowship in Composition, and invited as Composer-in- Residence at IRCAM in Paris. In May 2011, Mari was presented in a solo recital at the Bohemian National Hall in NYC by the Vilcek Foundation, in recognition of her ground- breaking work as a foreign-born artist; subsequently she was named one of 2011's 45 individuals as "Immigrants: Pride of America" by the Carnegie Corporation, published in the New York Times. Mari's latest CD, The World Below G and Beyond, is devoted entirely to her own compositions and focuses on works using Subharmonics and interactive computer music. In October 2011, Mari presented her "I-Quadrifoglo", her first string quartet with interactive computer at New York's Symphony Space, commissioned by the Cassatt String Quartet through 2010 Fromm Foundation Commission Award from Harvard. Mari's work has been featured in major publications including the New York Times written by Matthew Gurewitsch, and in Scientific American written by Larry Greenemeier. As a violinist, Mari has premiered many notable works, including John Adams's Violin Concerto (Japanese premiere), Luciano Berio's Sequenza VIII (US premiere), Tania Le?on's Axon for violin and computer (world premiere), and Salvatore Sciarrino's 6 Capricci (US premiere), among others. In 2007, Mari introduced Jean-Claude Risset's violin concerto, Schemes, at Suntory Hall with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. The cadenza she wrote for the concerto, incorporating advanced Subharmonics, was subsequently published in Strings. In November 2010, Mari appeared as a soloist with the Hamburg Symphony performing John Adams' Dharma at the Big Sur, under the direction of Jonathan Stockhammer, conductor.In 2013, Mari inaugurated a new summer program as the Director of "Future Music Lab" at the Atlantic Music Festival in collaboration with IRCAM. The program focuses on high-level performers using the latest technology. Since 1998, Mari has been teaching a graduate course in Interactive Computer Music Performance at Juilliard. www.marikimura.com www.atlanticmusicfestival.org/the-institute/programs/future-music-lab
Jin-Xiang Yu, Multi-lingual Vocalist: Jin-Xiang "JX" Yu is Chinese and Russian and was born in Yichun, Heilongjiang, China. She was raised in Japan in a family of musicians and artists and grew up speaking Japanese, English, and Mandarin Chinese while learning Spanish at International Schools in Nagoya and Sapporo. She moved to New York City in 2007 as a dancer, and after graduating from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in 2009 with a Certificate in Professional Performance Training in Musical Theatre, she attended Mercy College as a Communications Disorder major. Currently, JX attends Queens College and the Aaron Copland School of Music as a General Linguistics and Classical Vocal Performance dual degree candidate. She currently studies Italian, French, German, Russian, and Czech, among others, and she aspires to explore the language of music and the music of language. JX has performed at various venues, some of which include Merkin Hall, where she sang the principal role of Kaede in the world premiere of the Japanese opera, Mumyo and Aizen, and le Poisson Rouge, where she sang Tehillim with Face the Music and Alarm Will Sound. She has performed in Off-Broadway theatres, as well as in regional theaters across the U.S. Her recent roles include Bloody Mary in South Pacific, Fortuna in L'incoronazione di Poppea and Domina in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum. In March, she will be performing as Constance in Dialogues des Carme?lites at Queens College's Goldstein Theatre. JX is a voice student of Andres Andrade and hopes to attend graduate school in Fall 2014 to continue her education as a performer.
Cassatt String Quartet: Acclaimed as one of America's outstanding ensembles, the Manhattan- based Cassatt String Quartet is equally adept at classical masterpieces and contemporary music. This season they make their debut at the new Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the University of Central Arkansas, New York City's River to River Festival, Princeton University's Institute for Advanced Studies, the Honolulu and Hilo Chamber Music Societies, the Big Sky Music Festival (MT) with cellist, Hamilton Cheifetz, New York's Tenri Cultural Institute with the Koshinan Ensemble, the Pleasantville Friends of Music (NY) and Treetops Chamber Music Society (CT) with harpist, Lisa Tannenbaum. They again collaborate with Ursula Oppens in the premiere of Tania Leon's Piano Quintet and together appear at Bargemusic (NY) and Music Mountain (CT). Named three times by The New Yorker magazine's "Best Of...CD Selection," The Cassatt holds residencies as New York's Symphony Space "All-Stars" and with the Hot Springs Music Festival and Maine's Seal Bay Festival of Contemporary American Music. The Cassatt has recorded for the Koch, Naxos, New World, Point, CRI, Tzadik and Albany labels and is named for the celebrated American impressionist painter Mary Cassatt. www.cassattquartet.com
Hannah Lash, Composer: Hannah Lash has emerged as a leading voice of her generation. A prize-winning composer, she has received the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Fromm Foundation Commission, a fellowship from Yaddo Artist Colony, the Naumburg Prize, the Barnard Rogers Prize, the Bernard and Rose Sernoffsky Prize, and numerous academic awards. She has received commissions from The Fromm Foundation, The Naumburg Foundation, The Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, The Orpheus Duo, The Howard Hanson Foundation, Case Western Reserve's University Circle Wind Ensemble, MAYA, Great Noise Ensemble, and the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble. Her orchestral music has been singled out by the American Composers Orchestra for the 2010 Underwood New Music Readings with Furthermore, and by the Minnesota Orchestra which selected her work God Music Bug Music for performance in January 2012 as part of the Minnesota Composers Institute. Her chamber opera, Blood Rose, was presented by NYC Opera's VOX in the spring of 2011. Lash's music has also been performed at Carnegie Hall, Le Poisson Rouge, the Chelsea Art Museum, Harvard University, Tanglewood Music Center, the Times Center, and the Chicago Art Institute. Lash obtained a bachelor's degree in composition from the Eastman School of music, her PhD from Harvard University, a performance degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and an Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music. Her primary teachers include Martin Bresnick, Bernard Rands, Julian Anderson, and Robert Morris. Her music is published by Schott. Lash serves on the composition faculty at Yale School of Music. www.hannahlash.com
Eric Moe, Composer/Pianist: Eric Moe (b. 1954), composer of what The NY Times calls "music of winning exuberance," has received numerous grants and awards for his work, including the Lakond Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Guggenheim Fellowship; commissions from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Fromm Foundation, the Koussevitzky Foundation, the Barlow Endowment, and Meet-the-Composer USA; fellowships from the Wellesley Composer's Conference and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; and residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Bellagio, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Millay Colony, the Ragdale Foundation, the Montana Artists Refuge, the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians, and the American Dance Festival. His sit-trag/one-woman opera Tri-Stan was hailed by the New York Times in 2005 as "a blockbuster" and "a tour de force", a work of "inspired weight" that "subversively inscribe[s] classical music into pop culture". In its review of the piece, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette concluded, "it is one of those rare works that transcends the cultural divide while still being rooted in both sides." The work is now available on a Koch International Classics compact disc. Other all-Moe CDs are available on Albany Records (Kicking and Screaming, Up & At 'Em, Siren Songs), and Centaur (On the Tip of My Tongue). The Sienese Shredder, a fine arts journal, includes an all-Moe CD as part of its just-published third issue. Strange Exclaiming Music, a CD featuring Moe's most recent chamber music, will be released soon by Naxos.
Also a pianist and keyboard player, Moe has premiered and performed works by a wide variety of composers, from Anthony Davis to Stefan Wolpe. His playing can be heard on the Koch, CRI, Mode, Albany, and AK/Coburg labels in the music of John Cage, Roger Zahab, Marc-Antonio Consoli, Mathew Rosenblum, Jay Reise, and Felix Draeseke, in addition to his own. His solo recording The Waltz Project Revisited - New Waltzes for Piano, a CD of waltzes for piano by two generations of American composers, was recently released on Albany. Gramophone magazine says in its review of the CD, "Moe's command of the varied styles is nothing short of remarkable." A founding member of the San Francisco-based EARPLAY ensemble, he currently co-directs the Music on the Edge new music concert series in Pittsburgh. Moe studied composition at Princeton University (A.B.) and at the University of California at Berkeley (M.A., Ph.D.). He is currently Professor of Composition and Theory at the University of Pittsburgh and has held visiting professorships at Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania. www.ericmoe.net
Photo Credit: Noah Fowler