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Wet Ink Ensemble to Conclude 25th Anniversary Season With Spring Chamber Concert At St. Peter's Chelsea

The performance will take place on June 4.

By: May. 21, 2024
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New York City-based new music collective, Wet Ink Ensemble, will conclude its 25th anniversary season with a spring chamber music concert featuring works by composers Carolyn Chen, Eric Wubbels, and Sam Pluta, alongside a duo performance by Peter Evans and Sam Pluta on Tuesday, June 4, 2024 at 8:00 p.m. at St. Peter's Chelsea.

The chamber concert features the world premiere of the first episode of Eric Wubbels's new cycle, Second Nature, written for and performed by flutist Erin Lesser and percussionist Ian Antonio, with the composer on keyboard instruments. One of Wet Ink's most recent collaborations with Wubbels - the recording of his if and only if - was named one of the Best Classical Music Albums of 2023 by The New York Times, which wrote, "The composer-performer Eric Wubbels brings meticulous poise to his experimentalism...You just might bliss out."

Sam Pluta's binary/momentary ii captures the energy and virtuosity of an improvised quintet in a fully scored composition, and Carolyn Chen's Rendition was inspired by the story of Maher Arar, the Canadian engineer who underwent the American process of extraordinary rendition. The music makes time to inhabit a series of harmonic intervals, derived from place names on his journey to detainment and torture in Syria. Complementing these chamber works, Peter Evans and Sam Pluta perform a duo improvisation.

Performance Details:

Wet Ink Spring Chamber Concert
Tuesday, June 4, 2024 at 8:00 p.m.
St. Peter's Chelsea | 346 W 20th St | New York, NY 10011
Tickets: $20 suggested / pay what you can [reserve online or purchase at door]

Eric Wubbels: ???//chlorophyll [2024]*, from Second Nature for alto flute, computer-controlled cymbals, and percussion

Carolyn Chen: Rendition (2007) for cello, bass, and piano

Sam Pluta: binary/momentary ii: flow state/joy state (2017) for trumpet, two trombones, piano, and percussion

Peter Evans & Sam Pluta Duo

*World Premiere

Erin Lesser, flute
Mariel Roberts, cello
Peter Evans, trumpet
Alix Tucou, trombone
David Taylor, trombone
Eric Wubbels, piano
Ian Antonio, percussion
Gregory Chudzik, bass
Sam Pluta, electronics
Josh Modney, conductor

About Carolyn Chen

Carolyn Chen has made music for supermarket, demolition district, and the dark. Her work reconfigures the everyday to retune habits of our ears through sound, text, light, and movement. Her studies of the guqin, a Chinese zither traditionally played for private meditation in nature, have informed her thinking on listening in social spaces. Recent projects include an audio essay on a scream and commissions for Klangforum Wien and the LA Phil New Music Group.

Described by The New York Times as "the evening's most consistently alluring ... a quiet but lush meditation," Chen's work has been supported by the American Academy in Berlin, the Fulbright Program, ASCAP Foundation's Fred Ho Award, Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans, Stanford University Sudler Prize, and commissions from Green Umbrella, MATA Festival, and impuls Festival. The work has been presented at festivals and exhibitions in 25 countries, at venues including Carnegie Hall, the Kitchen, Disney Hall (Los Angeles), Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Guggenheim Bilbao, and the Institute for Provocation (Beijing). She has been fortunate to work with ensembles including SurPlus, Southland, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Aperture, andPlay, loadbang, koan, Dog Star Orchestra, The Reader's Chorus, Pamplemousse, Chamber Cartel, orkest de ereprijs, S.E.M., red fish blue fish, Wild Rumpus, and The Syndicate for New Arts.

Writing and recordings are available in MusikTexte, Experimental Music Yearbook, The New Centennial Review, Leonardo Music Journal, Perishable, the wulf, and Quakebasket. Chen earned a Ph.D. in music from UC San Diego, and a M.A. in Modern Thought and Literature and B.A. in music from Stanford University, with an honors thesis on free improvisation and radical politics. She lives in Los Angeles.

About Eric Wubbels

Eric Wubbels (b.1980) is a composer and performer. Since 2004 he has been pianist and Co-Director of the Wet Ink Ensemble (NYC). His music has been presented by LA Phil Green Umbrella series, Huddersfield Festival, ISSUE Project Room, Roulette, Bowerbird, Chicago Symphony MusicNOW, New York Philharmonic CONTACT, Contempuls (Prague), TIME:SPANS, and Zurich Tage für Neue Musik, among others.

A recipient of the 2023 Ernst von Siemens Foundation Composer Prize, Wubbels has been awarded grants and fellowships from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, NYFA, NYSCA, Fromm Foundation, ISSUE Project Room, Chamber Music America, MATA Festival, Barlow Endowment, Jerome Foundation, and Yvar Mikhashoff Trust, and residencies at the MacDowell Colony ('11, '16, '20), Copland House, L'Abri (Geneva), Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and Civitella Ranieri Center (Italy).

As a performer, he has given U.S. and world premieres of works by major figures such as Peter Ablinger, Richard Barrett, Beat Furrer, George Lewis, and Mathias Spahlinger, as well as vital young artists such as Rick Burkhardt, Erin Gee, Bryn Harrison, Clara Iannotta, Darius Jones, Cat Lamb, Ingrid Laubrock, Charmaine Lee, Alex Mincek, Sam Pluta, Katharina Rosenberger, Kate Soper, and Anna Webber.

He has recorded for hatART, Carrier Records, Out of Your Head, Intakt, New Focus, and quiet design, among others, has held teaching positions at Amherst College and Oberlin Conservatory, and for the 2023-24 academic year will teach composition at the Peabody Institute.

About Sam Pluta

Sam Pluta is a Baltimore-based composer, laptop improviser, electronics performer, and sound artist. Though his work has a wide breadth, his central focus is on using the laptop as a performance instrument capable of sharing the stage with groups ranging from new music ensembles to world-class improvisers. By creating unique interactions of electronics, instruments, and sonic spaces, Pluta's vibrant musical universe fuses the traditionally separate sound worlds of acoustic instruments and electronics, creating sonic spaces which envelop the audience and resulting in a music focused on visceral interaction of instrumental performers with reactive computerized sound worlds.

As a composer of instrumental music, Sam has written works for Wet Ink Ensemble, the New York Philharmonic, International Contemporary Ensemble, the Warsaw Autumn Festival, Yarn/Wire, Timetable Percussion, Mivos Quartet, Spektral Quartet, Ensemble Dal Niente, Mantra Percussion, TAK, Rage Thormbones, and Prism Saxophone Quartet. His compositions range from solo instrumental works to pieces for ensemble with electronics to compositions for large ensemble and orchestra. In addition to acoustic and electro-acoustic works, Pluta has written extensive solo electronic repertoire ranging from multi-channel acousmatic compositions to solo laptop works with video to laptop ensemble compositions for up to 15 players.

Sam is the Technical Director for the Wet Ink Ensemble, a group for whom he is a member composer as well as principal electronics performer. As a performer of chamber music with Wet Ink and other groups, in addition to his own works, Sam has performed and premiered works by Peter Ablinger, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Katharina Rosenberger, George Lewis, Ben Hackbarth, Alvin Lucier, Chiyoko Szlavnics, Alex Mincek, Kate Soper, and Eric Wubbels among others.

As an improviser, Sam has collaborated with some of the finest creative musicians in the world, including Peter Evans, Evan Parker, Ikue Mori, Craig Taborn, Ingrid Laubrock, Anne La Berge, and George Lewis. Sam is a member of multiple improvisation-based ensembles, the jazz influenced Peter Evans Ensemble, the free improvisation-based Rocket Science (with Evan Parker, Craig Taborn and Peter Evans), the analog synth and laptop duo exclusiveOr (with Jeff Snyder), and his longstanding duo with Peter Evans. Sam has also performed with the Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble. With these various groups he has toured Europe and America and performed at major festivals and venues, such as the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, the Moers and Donaueshingen Festivals in Germany, Bimhuis in Amsterdam, and The Vortex in London.

Dr Pluta studied composition and electronic music at Columbia University, where he received his DMA in 2012. He received Master's degrees from the University of Birmingham in the UK and the University of Texas at Austin, and completed his undergraduate work at Santa Clara University. His principal teachers include George Lewis, Brad Garton, Tristan Murail, Fabien Levy, Scott Wilson, Jonty Harrison, Russell Pinkston, Lynn Shurtleff, and Bruce Pennycook.

Sam is Associate Professor of Computer Music and Music Engineering Technology at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he directs the Peabody Computer Music Studios. From 2011-15 he directed the Electronic Music Studio at Manhattan School of Music and from 2015-2020 he directed the CHIME Studio at the University of Chicago. For 16 years he taught composition, musicianship, electronic music, and an assortment of specialty courses at the Walden School, where he also served as Director of Electronic Music and Academic Dean. He now teaches at the Walden School Creative Musicians Retreat, a summer program for adult sonic artists.