Longleash to Celebrate Debut Album PASSAGE with Concert at Le Poisson Rouge
On Sunday, October 1, 2017 at 5:00pm, Longleash (Pala Garcia, violin; John Popham, cello; and Renate Rohlfing, piano) perform a concert celebrating the September 22 release of their debut album, Passage, on New Focus Recordings.
he evening will feature selections from the album, including Francesco Filidei's Corde Vuote, Clara Iannotta's Il colore dell'ombra (Movt. 1), and Christopher Trapani's Passing Through, Staying Put, as well as solos and duos by Suzanne Farrin and Anthony Cheung. Longleash will be joined by guest pianist/composer Nils Vigeland.
Passage, recorded during an artist residency at EMPAC, realizes the trio's artistic mission: to forge a progressive identity for this traditional instrumentation through an inventive and experimental ethos. The album features first commercial recordings of innovative piano trios written by an international group of composers launching remarkable careers. The album includes Christopher Trapani's Passing Through, Staying Put (2011), Clara Iannotta's Il colore dell'ombra (2010), Yukiko Watanabe's ver_flies_sen (2012), Juan de Dios Magdaleno's Strange Attractors (2014), and Francesco Filidei's Corde Vuote (2010).
The album title Passage alludes not only to the international backgrounds of these composers and performers (representing the United States, Mexico, Japan, Italy) but also to the presence of multicultural, pan-historic influence in this music (referencing colonial Brazil, 1910s France; present-day Austria, England, Cyprus). Most importantly, Passage refers to the continuing evolution of the piano trio genre itself. Each composer accesses novel modes of resonance and interplay here, redefining the instrumentation in five unique ways. From liner notes by violinist Pala Garcia: "within each work is an amalgam of multicultural influences and global journeys, sourcing inspiration from visual art, literature, and music from the past and present. This traditional instrumentation, with its classical ideals and high-romantic associations, gains a multitude of new colors, forms and textures in this passage forward."
Christopher Trapani's Passing Through, Staying Put is a study in contrasts between motion and stasis, deriving its bipartite structure from "Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi," the novella by Jeff Dyer. Clara Iannotta's Il colore dell'ombra processes the trio's resonance through a shadowy filter, sourcing inspiration and musical material from Ravel's Piano Trio in A minor. In Juan de Dios Magdaleno's Strange Attractors, principles of fractal mathematics rule over interrelated musical cells, which swerve along unpredictable trajectories.The multilayered musical surface of Yukiko Watanabe's ver_flies_sen evokes images of tile reflected through water, inspired by the work of Brazilian painter Adriana Varejão. The ingenious simplicity of Francesco Filidei's Corde Vuote is a paean to each instrument's natural mode of resonance: the open string.
In his introduction to Passage, composer/pianist Nils Vigeland describes the album "as a collective contemporary response to the piano trio," a reworking of "an instrumental form far removed from its classical origins." Noting the celebrated origins of this instrumentation in Haydn and its storied legacy in Schubert, Mendelssohn and Brahms, Vigeland credits these five composers with challenging the piano trio's historically accepted parameters and limitations. "Is it possible that the term 'common practice,' used to describe western music's wildly differentiated four hundred year use of the tonal system, could now be used to describe an instrumental usage available to composers of very different expression? This album answers with a resounding yes!"
Inspired by music with unusual sonic beauty, an inventive streak, and a compelling cultural voice, Longleash is lauded for their "incredible breadth of musical styles with technical expertise and expressive innovation" (Feast of Music). Since the trio's inaugural 2014-15 season, Longleash has quickly earned a reputation in the US and abroad for innovative programming, artistic excellence, and new music advocacy. Longleash believes in an inclusive concert culture, engaging uninitiated listeners, challenging experienced audiences, and curating well-balanced programs featuring the music of women and men from diverse cultural backgrounds. The trio's first public performances took place at the Kunstuniversität Graz (Austria) in 2013. The trio takes its name from Operation Long Leash, a CIA operation designed to promote the work of American avant-garde artists in Europe during the Cold War. Originally hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area, Kentucky, and Hawaii, members of Longleash received training at The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music. Longleash is currently based in Brooklyn, NY.
Longleash has worked closely with many internationally renowned composers, including Beat Furrer, Klaus Lang, Reiko Füting, and Nils Vigeland, and has given US and world premieres of works by Younghi Pagh-Paan, Lisa Streich, Chris Swithinbank, Yukiko Watanabe, Francesco Filidei, and Juan de Dios Magdaleno, among others. Recent commissions include new works by Shawn Jaeger (USA; supported by Chamber Music America), Scott Wollschleger (USA), and Adam McCartney (Ireland). The current season has Longleash performing at venues and series such as Brooklyn B(S?)und, Scandinavia House (NY), Equilibrium Concerts (Boston), Elebash Recital Hall (NY), the University of Nebraska, Park-McCullough House (VT), and the University of Louisville, among others.
Concert highlights over the past three seasons have included engagements at The Kaufman Center (Ecstatic Music Festival), National Sawdust, San Francisco's Center for New Music, the Metropolitan Museum, the Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany, University of Louisville, and the Green Music Center at Sonoma State; artist residencies at EMPAC and the Avaloch Farm Music Institute; and masterclasses, lectures and workshops at New York University, Hunter College, The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, University of Nebraska, and Ohio University. Longleash was also selected for fully-funded participation at the Trondheim International Chamber Music Festival in Norway, where they performed works by American and Scandinavian composers and received guidance from members of the Alban Berg Quartet, Ysaÿe Quartet, and ATOS Trio.
Projects planned for next season include Recent Works, the trio's annual programming initiative (Elebash Recital Hall); a debut at Open Music Graz, co-presented by the Kunstuniversität Graz's Gender Studies in Music Program (Florentinersaal, Graz); a performance of Morton Feldman's rarely performed 90-minute Trio (NYC); and appearances on upcoming albums by Scott Wollschleger and Brooks Frederickson. The 2017-2018 season concludes with the trio's fourth iteration of The Loretto Project, a composition workshop and new music concert series in Central Kentucky.
A celebration of adventurous new music, The Loretto Project is a tuition-free week-long composition workshop and new music concert series that supports promising young composers of varied backgrounds, and fosters meaningful cultural exchange between disparate American cultural communities. The Loretto Project is generously supported by the Aaron Copland Fund for Music and Columbia University's Alice M. Ditson Fund for American Music.
Passing Through, Staying Put for Piano Trio (2011) - Christopher Trapani (b. 1980)
1. I- Passing Through 3:58
2. II- Staying Put 2:19
Il colore dell'ombra per violino, violoncello e pianoforte (2010) - Clara Iannotta (b. 1983)
3. I- Pas-sA?ge, come un velo 5:07
4. II- D' un fiato 5:00
5. IV- Con precisione! 1:26
6. ver_flies_sen fu?r Violine, Violoncello und Klavier (2012) 17:37 - Yukiko Watanabe (b. 1983)
7. Strange Attractors Piano Trio No. 1 (2014) 10:28 - Juan de Dios Magdaleno (b. 1984
8. Corde Vuote per violino, violoncello e pianoforte (2010) 9:13 - Francesco Filidei (b. 1973)
Total playing time: 55:08