Young Musicians Foundation's Debut Chamber Orchestra Presents THE MUSIC OF FLYING LOTUS
Electronic vs. orchestral music? Forget the "vs." The Young Musicians Foundation's Debut Chamber Orchestra (DCO), for the final concert of its 2017/18 season, will transcend the boundaries of these sonic landscapes by juxtaposing and combining the music of L.A.-based DJ, electronic musician and film director Flying Lotus alongside the works of Benjamin Britten and Igor Stravinsky.
The Music of Flying Lotus, the performance is part of YMF's Great Music Series, which uncovers and demonstrates the artistic commonalities between the culturally significant music of our times and masterpieces of the past. Sponsored by The L.A. Film School, the concert will begin at 8 p.m. Friday, April 13 at the Aratani Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, with a Community Arts Festival in the courtyard adjacent to the theater at 5 p.m. It will also be the final concert for Yuga Cohler with the DCO, ending his three-year tenure as the orchestra's Lawrence N. Field Conductor-in-Residence.
? (shi) - The Music of Flying Lotus, conceived by Cohler and composer-arranger Stefan Cwik (former classmates at The Juilliard School), focuses on music from Flying Lotus' latest album, You're Dead!. The concert's title, ?, or "shi," means "death" in Japanese.
The music of Flying Lotus, often abbreviated to FlyLo, can be sonically dense and rhythmically complex, and uses electronic sound sources that do not exist in the real world, making the task of interpreting and scoring it for a traditional orchestra a singular challenge.
"FlyLo's music is virtuosic, eclectic and philosophical," Cohler said. "The kaleidoscopic range of sounds and genres he employs in his compositions produces a unique, almost otherworldly sound. This combination of qualities is unique in popular music, and merits formal investigation."
Britten and Stravinsky were equally inventive, Cohler said. "Britten's music is almost always ethereal: Listening to it, you can't help but feel like you're listening to sounds from another universe or dimension. With Stravinsky, it's very much about propulsion: In pieces like The Rite of Spring and Petrushka, he pushes the limits of rhythm. Flying Lotus plays the same game, challenging the boundaries between human and non-human rhythms."
Cwik, composer-in-residence for San Francisco-based orchestra Symphony Parnassus, described the challenges of orchestrating music from You're Dead!: "The soundscapes that Flying Lotus employs more often than not don't have a definite or discernible pitch, which means a lot of times I am trying to just 'make sounds' with the orchestra that match what I hear on the album. Other times the notes are moving by so quickly that it takes every bit of musical skill to listen and actually hear the specific pitches. Although these mediums of performance (acoustic versus electronic) may appear to be from different universes, on the contrary they are inextricably linked. Good music is good music. Powerful music is powerful music."
Community Arts Festival
Before the concert, YMF's inaugural free Community Arts Festival will take place in the courtyard adjacent to the theater, featuring performances by students in YMF's Teaching Artist Program, and booths from YMF community partners including L.A. Metro, Street Poets and Levitt Pavilion.
? (shi) - The Music of Flying Lotus
Sponsored by L.A. Film School
When: Friday, April 13, 2018 | 8:00 PM
Where: Aratani Theatre, 244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles?
Admission: $10 suggested donation; seating is general admission. Registration required at www.ymf.org/events
Community Arts Festival (Free): 5:00 PM
Information and Registration: www.ymf.org/events
Young Musicians Foundation (YMF)
Young Musicians Foundation believes that youth of all social and cultural backgrounds should have access to exceptional music education and classical music experiences. Through our Teaching Artist Program (TAP) we currently serve over 1,400 elementary, middle and high school students and sites throughout the Los Angeles area. From TAP to the Debut Chamber Orchestra, our interconnected programs are designed to foster, encourage and prepare young musicians at every stage of their development as both artists and individuals.
Debut Chamber Orchestra (DCO)
Now celebrating its 63rd season, the Debut Chamber Orchestra (DCO) is one of the oldest pre-professional training orchestras in the country. It is composed of talented young musicians from around the Los Angeles area, ages 15-25. Notable alumni include Michael Tilson Thomas; André Previn; Glenn Dicterow, former concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic; David Weiss, former principal oboe of the Los Angeles Philharmonic; and Robert Chen, concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony. DCO alumni consistently move on to positions with top symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles in the U.S. and internationally.
Yuga Cohler, 28, the Lawrence N. Field Conductor-in-Residence of the YMF Debut Chamber Orchestra, is an internationally renowned orchestral conductor and cultural innovator. Cohler and the DCO came to national attention with his creation of the Great Music Series, which in its first installation, a comparison of the works of Kanye West and Beethoven titled Yeethoven, was hailed as a work of "musical genius." In January 2018 Cohler was appointed music director of the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra in Connecticut, and will make his debut with the ensemble in May. Recently, he won the Paolo Vero Orchestra Prize at the Toscanini International Conducting Competition as the only American competitor selected among 170 applicants.
Mr. Cohler also enjoys a close relationship with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he has appeared in concert on Japanese national television. Cohler has additionally appeared as a guest conductor with the Juilliard and New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestras, and served as cover conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.
A skilled interpreter of modern music, Cohler was selected by composer John Adams to perform a program of modern American orchestral music at Carnegie Hall. A summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College, where he studied computer science, and a recipient of the Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship, Cohler also studied with New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert at The Juilliard School.