Ear To Mind Presents Manhattan Saxophone Quartet at Symphony Space, 11/10

A Chicagoland native, clarinetist Aleksandr Karjaka has appeared with Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, Lunatics at Large, Feist, Emperor X, Music From China, Eon Contemporary Ensemble, and is a former member of the Tactus Ensemble, Bowling Green New Music Ensemble and Perrysburg Symphony. He recently has recorded music videos with Mason Jar Music and CollegeHumor.Com. Performing staples of the contemporary literature by such composers as Louis Andriessen, Alban Berg, De Falla, Jacob Druckman, Gyorgi Ligeti, Withold Lutoslawski, Arnold Schoenberg and Igor Stravinsky, Mr. Karjaka has also been recorded on Albany Records on the upcoming New Music from Bowling Green CDs.

More on the Compositions: Growl, Spit, Shriek, & Pout, by Quinn Collins is a sassy and hyperactive cartoon romp. A montage of semi-improvised gestures, honks, clunks, cherry bomb explosions, and nose-thumbing noisemakers, it chucks darts at paint-filled balloons, puts on a scuba mask, finishes the empties at the end of the night, and pours sugar in your gas tank. The piece was originally written for a reading session at the 2009 Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium and this evening's premiere performance was recently revised for the Manhattan Saxophone Quartet and Mika Godbole.

Composer David Noon on his Six Bagatelles: “After hearing the expert performance of my Saxophone Quartet #1 by the Manhattan Saxophone Quartet, I eagerly wrote my Saxophone Quartet #2 for the group and dedicated it to them…One of my long-term projects is to write pieces for every instrument and standard instrumental ensemble with percussion, rather than piano. As of this date, I have written sonatas for violin, viola, piano, English horn, bass clarinet, French horn, and trombone with percussion. It only seemed natural to think of writing for saxophone quartet and percussion…My Six Bagatelles, op. 244, was written in New York City in the summer of 2012…Each of the bagatelles is designed to highlight a different aspect of the artistry of the Manhattan Saxophone Quartet to whom the piece is joyfully dedicated. “

Lee Hyla’s We Speak Etruscan, for baritone saxophone and bass clarinet was written for saxophonist Tim Berne, bass clarinetist Tim Smith and Norm Roberson, Etruscan enthusiast, tour guide and portiere at the American Academy in Rome. The piece was written in 1992 in New York following Hyla's Rome Prize residency at the American Academy, and was premiered by Berne and Smith in 1993 at Jordan Hall in Boston. The title of the piece has multi-layered and ironic connotations, exemplified by the fact that the ancient Estruscans spoke a language that is now lost (only the alphabet is decipherable). The music's jazz-like riffs contrasting with moments of lyrical stillness provide a vehical that is a tour de force for these wind-instruments cousins.

Jacob T.V.’s Postnuclear Winterscenario, opus 49, was written on January 23, 1991, shortly after the outbreak of the Gulf War. The media during this time predicted apocalyptic consequences for the climate and the environment, similar to the effects of a nuclear war. They called it a postnuclear winterscenario. Ter Veldhuis decided to express his speechlessness in music. In only a few hours time the piece, for piano solo was written and is perhaps "simplest" piece he has ever written. All musical material was reduced to a minimum and the 'melody' consists of one single note, that is repeated constantly. The harmonic accompaniment consists of only four different notes and there are no real rhythmic, melodic, or harmonic developments. The main way of expression is in the repetition and the delivery, sometimes harsh and brutal, and other times poignant and melancholy. Postnuclear Winterscenario No. 10, based on the string quartet version, was arranged in the summer of 2001 at the request of the Aurelia Quartet.