Carolina Eyck and ACME to Release FANTASIAS FOR THEREMIN AND STRING QUARTET Recording
Eyck composed these six Fantasias specifically for the 12" vinyl LP format, a practice reminiscent of early-60s Nonesuch releases. All performances were recorded in full takes with no editing. ACME tracked Eyck's quartet scores first, and then Eyck overdubbed her deft, fluid, single-take improvisations-thus the fitting title Fantasias. The result is an organic virtuosity that leads the listener through a wide range of sonic environments across the six pieces.
Carolina Eyck's compositions range from slow-evolving arpeggiations reminiscent of Reich and Glass (see "Oakuunar Lynntuja" and "Dappa Solarjos"), to alternative bowing and fingering techniques that achieve an ethereal ambience (see "Leyhomi"), to athletic explorations reminiscent of Bartók's String Quartets (see "Dappa Solarjos"). The titles were devised by Eyck and producer/label-head Allen Farmelo by scanning multiple Scandinavian languages for pleasing lingual combinations (a technique inspired by Canadian-Icelandic ecological poet Angela Rawlings). Conceptually, Eyck has located all of this music within her vivid childhood memories of the woods of northern Germany where she grew up. However, Eyck remains pointedly cognizant that this setting-and the young girl's imagination that once enlivened it-act as metaphors for the context and mental state one needs to sustain creative presence. In a sense, the Fantasias stand as a metaphor for the very thing that made them possible.
Eyck's striking theremin performances on Fantasias showcase her dead-aim intonation, her command of microtonality, her fluid melodicism, and-perhaps most importantly-her utter lack of self-consciousness as an improvisor. This latter quality is no accident, as Eyck has practiced improvisation for years, and has even studied techniques typically aimed at athletes for entering flow-states and shutting down critical inner dialogue.
Notable is that Fantasias was conceived as a 12" vinyl LP from the beginning, this largely due to the insistence of Farmelo who co-conceived Fantasias with Eyck. Farmelo maintains that, "The LP is a musical form unto itself, not unlike a symphony or a sonata, complete with explicit structures and implicit expectations. The LP format outlived its physical constraints through the digital era, a testament to its tenacity as an abstracted art form." Structurally, there are three pieces per side, each of carefully plotted run-length, which form intentional musical arcs-both per side and across the entire LP-not unlike movements in a larger work. Farmelo's essay that accompanies the LP explores these concepts and others in greater detail.
Eyck and ACME will give the world premiere live performance of Fantasias at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in NYC on November 4, 2016. The ACME players on Fantasias are Ben Russell, violin; Caroline Shaw, violin (album); Yuki Numata Resnick, violin (live concert); Caleb Burhans, viola; and Clarice Jensen, cello and ACME artistic director.
ABOUT CAROLINA EYCK
German-born performer and composer Carolina Eyck is widely considered the world's foremost theremin virtuosa. A childhood prodigy, Carolina developed an innovative theremin technique by age 14 and published The Art of Playing the Theremin, which teaches her technique, while just 17 years old. As a soloist and chamber musician she has given concerts worldwide and collaborated with Heinz Holliger, Robert Kolinsky, Gerhard Oppitz, the conductors Andrey Boreyko, Michael Sanderling, Gürer Aykal and John Storgårds, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, the HR-Symphony Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic, the Bern Symphony Orchestra, the Essen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, the Heidelberg Symphonic Orchestra, the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg and ACME, the American Contemporary Music Ensemble. In 2012, Carolina played the theremin solo in the world premieres of two symphonies by Fazil Say - Mesopotamia and Universe. In 2012, the Finnish composer Kalevi Aho wrote a theremin concerto for Carolina, her recording of which was released by BIS Records in July 2014. The recording was awarded with a 2015 ECHO-Classic prize in Germany for "Concert Recording of the Year (Music 20./21.Century)." Carolina has performed in a duo with pianist and composer Christopher Tarnow since 2013, producing two records, one for Butterscotch Records and one for Germany's GENUINE label. Carolina has conducted theremin workshops, lectures and master classes worldwide. Since 2010 she has been the artistic director of the Theremin Summer Academy in Colmar (France), and since 2013 she has led the Theremin Spring Academy in Leipzig (Germany). www.carolinaeyck.com
ABOUT AMERICAN CONTEMPORARY MUSIC ENSEMBLE (ACME)
The American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) was honored by ASCAP during its 10th anniversary season in 2015 for the "virtuosity, passion, and commitment with which it performs and champions American composers." NPR calls them "contemporary music dynamos," and The New York Times describes ACME's performances as "vital," "brilliant," and "electrifying." ACME's dedication to new music extends across genres and has earned them a reputation among both classical and rock crowds. ACME's many collaborators have included The Richard Alston Dance Company, Wayne McGregor's Random Dance, Gibney Dance, actress Barbara Sukowa, filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, Grizzly Bear, Low, Matmos, Jeff Mangum, A Winged Victory for the Sullen, Roomful of Teeth, Lionheart, and Theo Bleckmann. The group has performed at leading venues including Carnegie Hall, BAM, (Le) Poisson Rouge, Miller Theatre, The Met Museum, Constellation Chicago, Stanford Live, UCLA, Peak Performances, Melbourne Recital Hall, Big Ears, Sydney Opera House, the Sacrum Profanum Festival in Poland, All Tomorrow's Parties in the UK, Big Ears in Knoxville, TN, among many others. ACME has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, New World, New Amsterdam, and Butterscotch Records, and will release its first portrait album on Sono Luminus in spring 2017, featuring music by members Caroline Shaw, Timo Andres, and Caleb Burhans, plus John Luther Adams. The group's 16-17 season includes a tour with Blonde Redhead; a tour with Grammy- and Oscar-nominated composer Jóhann Jóhannsson; two performances of Jóhannsson's ACME-commissioned Drone Mass; a concert of composer Lisa Bielawa's works at National Sawdust; and a performance with Jóhannsson during the LA Phil's Reykjavik Festival at Walt Disney Concert Hall. www.acmemusic.org
Fantasias for Theremin and String Quartet
Carolina Eyck with American Contemporary Music Ensemble
Butterscotch Records | Release Date: October 14, 2016
1. Oakunar Lyntuja (Strange Birds) [3:36]
2. Leyhomi (Luminescence) [6:05]
3. Nukkuva Luohla (Sleepy Dragon) [4:16]
4. Metsa Happa (Jumping River) [4:40]
5. Dappa Solarjos (Dappled Sunlight) [4:11]
6. Nousta / Needad (Ascend / Descend) [7:39]