Michael Gordon Set for Miller Theatre's Composer Portraits Series, 5/11-12
Miller Theatre at Columbia University School of the Arts will conclude its 2015-2016 Composer Portraits series with Michael Gordon featuring Yarn / Wire Jim Findlay, director and designer. All four performances slated for May 11-12, 2016 at Miller Theatre are sold out.
From Miller Theatre Executive Director Melissa Smey: "We conclude Miller's 2015-16 Composer Portraits with the world premiere performances of an amazing new work from Michael Gordon. Collaborating closely with director and designer Jim Findlay and the ensemble Yarn/Wire, Gordon is creating a fully immersive concert experience like nothing else we've ever produced at Miller Theatre. The stage will be transformed with sculptural sound elements that envelop the audience, who are seated on risers amidst the performers."
A cornerstone of Miller's programming, these "endlessly important" (The New York Times) and "indispensable" (The New Yorker) evening-length musical profiles explore the work of a single composer in depth, offering contemporary artists a space to explore, experiment, and make significant contributions to the field. Many composers participate in onstage discussions as part of their Portrait concert, offering the audience unique insight into their inspiration behind the notes. Zachary Woolfe writes in The New York Times: "Miller Theater's marquee series offers immersions into a single composer's work at a time. Melissa Smey, the theater's executive director, gives all-too-rare attention to female artists."
Michael Gordon joins forces with downtown designer Jim Findlay to create an immersive environment for this uniquely intimate, multisensory Portrait. Though Gordon has ample experience working with multimedia collaborators, he's never attempted something quite like this: a new piece that treats space and movement as an essential element of the composition, as vital as sound and time. The audience joins the performers onstage for an unforgettable 90-minute show by the intrepid members of Yarn/Wire.PROGRAM:
Material (2015-16) world premiere ARTISTS:
Michael Gordon, composer
Jim Findlay, director & designer
Michael Gordon merges subtle rhythmic invention with incredible power in his music, embodying, in the words of The New Yorker's Alex Ross, "the fury of punk rock, the nervous brilliance of free jazz and the intransigence of classical modernism." Over the past 25 years, Gordon has produced a strikingly diverse body of work, ranging from large-scale pieces for high-energy ensembles and major orchestral commissions to works conceived specifically for the recording studio. Transcending categorization, this music represents the collision of mysterious introspection and brutal directness. The Seattle Symphony, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and Yarn/Wire all present world premieres of Gordon's work in 2015-16. Other 2015-16 highlights include the UK premiere of Ode to La Bruja... performed by Grand Band, the Asian premiere of Timber by Mantra Percussion, the German premiere of The Carbon Copy Building, Rushes at the Park Avenur Armory, and Trance choreographed by Maud le Pladec in Rennes, France.Michael Gordon's enthusiasm for adding dimensionality to the traditional concert experience has led to numerous collaborations with artists in other media, most frequently with filmmaker Bill Morrison and Ridge Theater. Decasia, a Gordon-Morrison collaboration in which the audience is encircled by the orchestra and large projections, will be performed three times this spring, in Groningen, Rotterdam, and Spoleto USA. A large-scale, single-movement, relentlessly monumental work about decay-the decay of melody, tuning, and classical music itself-Decasia has become a cult favorite since its premiere in 2001 and was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 2013, becoming the first film of the 21st century to receive that honor. Gordon and Morrison's works together also include two film symphonies centered on cities: Dystopia (about Los Angeles) in 2008 for David Robertson and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Gotham (about New York City) in 2004 for the American Composers Orchestra. The pair premiere El Sol Caliente, a city symphony in honor of Miami Beach's centennial, this spring, and will embark on a new collaboration with the Seattle Symphony in 2016. Gordon has been commissioned by Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the BBC Proms, the Seattle Symphony, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Arts Festival, among others. His music has been featured prominently in the dance works of Emio Greco | PC, Wayne McGregor (for Stuttgart Ballet, Random Dance), Pina Bausch's Tanztheater Wuppertal, Heinz Spoerli (for Zürich Ballet), Ashley Page (for The Royal Ballet and The Scottish Ballet), and Club Guy & Roni. The recipient of multiple awards and grants, Gordon has been honored by the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His recordings include Rushes, Timber, Weather, Light is Calling, Decasia, (purgatorio) POPOPERA, Van Gogh, Trance, and Big Noise from Nicaragua. An album of his orchestral works was released on Cantaloupe in February 2015, including Dystopia and Rewriting Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, with Gotham releasing digitally at the same time. Formed in 1983 as the Michael Gordon Philharmonic and renamed the Michael Gordon Band in 2000, Gordon's own ensemble has performed across Europe and the United States at venues as diverse as Alice Tully Hall and the punk mecca CBGB, on the Contemporary Music Network Tour, and at the Almeida Festival in London. Gordon is co-founder and co-artistic director of New York's legendary music collective Bang on a Can. His music is published by Red Poppy Music (ASCAP) and is distributed worldwide by G. Schirmer, Inc.
Yarn/Wire is a New York-based percussion and piano quartet (Ian Antonio and Russell Greenberg, percussion / Laura Barger and Ning Yu, pianos). Noted for their "spellbinding virtuosity" and "restlessly curious" programming (Time Out New York), the ensemble is admired for the energy and precision it brings to performances of today's most adventurous music.Founded in 2005, Yarn/Wire is dedicated to expanding the repertoire written for its instrumentation, through commissions and collaborative initiatives that aim to build a new and lasting body of work. Influenced by its members' experiences with classical music, avant-garde theatre, and rock music, the ensemble champions a varied and probing repertoire. Yarn/Wire has commissioned many American and International composers including Rick Burkhardt, Raphaël Cendo, Alex Mincek, Thomas Meadowcroft, Misato Mochizuki, Tristan Murail, Kate Soper, and Øyvind Torvund. The group has given the United States premieres of works by Enno Poppe, Stefano Gervasoni, and Georg Friedrich Haas, among others. As well, the ensemble enjoys collaborations with genre-bending artists such as Tristan Perich, David Bithell, and Pete Swanson. Yarn/Wire appears nationally at prominent festivals and venues including New York's Miller Theatre at Columbia University, River-to-River Festival, La MaMa Theatre, and the Festival of New American Music. Their new and ongoing series, Yarn/Wire|Currents, serves as an incubator for new experimental music at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn, NY.
Jim Findlay works across boundaries as a director, designer, visual artist and performer. He was a founding member of the Collapsable Giraffe and Accinosco/Cynthia Hopkins, and is a frequent collaborator with Bang on a Can, Ralph Lemon, and Ridge Theater. He worked with the Wooster Group as a company member and designer from 1994-2003. Recent productions include The Whisper Opera (Director and designer), Botanica (writer and director), David Lang's Love Fail (set and video design), Annie Dorsen's A Piece of Work (set and video design), and David T. Little/Royce Vavrek's Dog Days (set and video design). Meditation, the video installation that he created in collaboration with Ralph Lemon, was recently acquired by the Walker Art Center for their permanent collection. His work has been seen at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, BAM, Arena Stage, A.R.T. and over 50 cities worldwide including Berlin, Istanbul, London, Moscow, and Paris. His piece for a sleeping audience, Dream of the Red Chamber, was premiered in 2014. He has received two Obie awards, two Bessie awards, a Lucille Lortel award, and a Henry Hewes award. Major support for Composer Portraits is provided by
the National Endowment for the Arts and the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts. Columbia University's Miller Theatre is located north of the Main Campus Gate at 116th St. & Broadway on the ground floor of Dodge Hall.