The 2016 CMF Presenting Series opens with a stunning program by Brooklyn based ensemble, Sō Percussion, current Ensemble-in-Residence at Princeton University. Described by the New Yorker as “an exhilarating blend of precision and anarchy, rigor and bedlam,” a performance by Sō Percussion is guaranteed to have you on the edge of your seat!
Upcoming Shows (view archive of past shows)
John Luther Adams is the pioneer of musical environmental activism, translating the vast horizons of the frozen far north into a musical tableau of clean, radiant harmony and subtle transformation. In the White Silence exemplifies his “sonic geography.”
The title, ‘Memorial Ground’ has a double meaning. It refers to the battlefield itself, but a ‘ground’ in music is also a chord sequence that repeats over and over, on top of which you can add extra lines. David Lang’s ground will be a few minutes long and will repeat as needed, the way that hymns repeat. This will serve as a ‘bed’ for solos that will be sung or spoken over it. These solos are one place where every choir can bring their own choices to bear: David will provide melodies without words so each choir can choose and set words that reflect their own thoughts on the battle centenary. This could be a poem, a prayer, a roll call of the fallen from the local War Memorial; other texts such as letters, diaries or personal accounts.
LIVE WITH THE SILVER SCREEN The Symphony in Hollywood
Lights! Camera! Music! Hollywood brought together the best composers on earth with visionary film directors, and the movies accessed new dimensions of action and suspense. Film clips come to life on a giant screen with the Seattle Symphony playing music from Gone with the Wind to “Glory” from Selma.
Jeff Quartets is a concert-length set of fifteen new works for four voices, presented as a journey over an evening. Unlike many of the works we sing, with divisi ranging from 8 to 24 voices, the quartets will be for 4 parts only; a simple tribute to a musical form Jeff loved. Our composers: Louis Andriessen, Benjamin C.S. Boyle, William Brooks, Robert Convery, Eriks Esenvalds, Paul Fowler, Ted Hearne, Bo Holten, Gabriel Jackson, David Lang, Lansing McLoskey, Santa Ratniece, David Shapiro, Kile Smith, and Lewis Spratlan.
On Saturday, July 9 at 1 p.m. So Percussion will present a program of music and talk about their work at Summerfest, Chatham Village’s annual summer street fair. They’ll be at the stage in the village parking lot on Main Street. This program is free.
The acclaimed quartet Sō Percussion brings their “impressive vitality” (Washington Post) to Reich’s 1971 breakthrough work, Drumming. Considered one of the first minimalist masterpieces, Drumming marks a major shift in Reich’s early work, when he applied processes he’d been developing with looped tapes to live performance. With kaleidoscopic textures that bloom from a single repeated rhythm, this major, four-part percussion work continues to intrigue and impress audiences 45 years after its premiere.
All-Stars bring Eno’s pioneering ambient work to life in an expanded performance that includes a full orchestra of festival fellows. The concert will also features new entries in the All-Stars’ Field Recordings project—new music interwoven with archival recordings—including works by Roomful of Teeth’s Caroline Shaw, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Gabriella Smith, Rene Lussier, and more.
A special outdoor performance of Ten Thousand Birds, by the renowned new music master, John Luther Adams.
Shifting patterns rise and fall in hypnotic arcs in Steve Reich’s exuberant Music for Pieces of Wood (1973), performed entirely on pitched claves. A clear homage to Reich’s piece, Bryce Dessner’s atmospheric Music for Wood and Strings suspends similarly intricate patterns in clouds of reverb. The evening culminates in David Lang’s breakthrough percussion quartet, the so-called laws of nature, which reveals an entirely new realm of music through a whimsical orchestra of invented instruments, many constructed by the performers themselves.
FREE to all park-goers
World Premiere Performance:
Friday, July 29, 10 a.m. Watchman Overlook Corral. This performance is by invitation only, with vehicular transportation coordinated by Britt. In addition, walkers or cyclists are welcome to attend.
Performances at Picnic Hill, near the Rim Village:
Friday, July 29, 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Saturday, July 30, 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 5 p.m.
Music for percussion by John Luther Adams.
…and bells remembered
Always Very Soft
Free with gallery admission
In Métaux, from Xenakis’s groundbreaking 1978 work Pleiades, ghostly overtones rise above the sharp pings of struck metal creating a truly otherworldly experience. Proximity, a contemplative 25-minute piece by the Turkish-born, Oakland-based composer and improviser Cenk Ergun, continues the sense that different combinations of metallic sounds—made here by bells, cymbals, vibes, glockenspiels, and tam tams—can unlock entirely “hypnotically meditative” new sonic realms (NewMusicBox). The crackle and fuzz of a needle dropping on vinyl opens Dan Trueman’s five-act story of man and machine in the digital age, which pulls in metronomes, drum machines, repurposed video game controllers, mics, amps, digital filters, and much more, all to dazzling effect.
6-hour festival finale featuring more music by guest composer, Eco-Revolutionary John Luther Adams, plus a special renditions of Steve Reich’s early classic Music For Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ, Julia Wolfe’s raucous Tell Me Everything, and a world premiere by Bang on a Can All-Star and festival favorite, Ken Thomson.
The earliest piece planned for Sō Percussion’s trilogy of concerts, John Cage’s Third Construction from 1942, represents a landmark in composing for percussion. Here, instruments from around the world—including rattles, drums, tin cans, claves, cowbells, lion’s roar, cymbal, ratchet, teponaxtle, quijades, cricket caller, and conch shell—are arranged and re-arranged into various combinations to create an astonishing array of colors and rhythms. The second piece, Paul Lansky’s Threads, is one of the most popular works ever written for percussion ensemble. Structured like a Baroque cantata, it swings between moments of intense delicacy and ecstatic drumming. Finally, the four mini-concertos of Steve Mackey’s It Is Time marshal the virtuosity of the individual members of Sō Percussion to speed up, slow down, warp, celebrate, and mourn our perceptions of time.
Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra with the Music School Festival Orchestra
Rossen Milanov, conductor
John Luther Adams, Dream in White On White
R. Strauss, Eine Alpensinfonie, op. 64
With its innovative multi-genre original productions, sensational interpretations of modern classics, and “exhilarating blend of precision and anarchy, rigor and bedlam,” (The New Yorker), Sō Percussion has redefined the scope of the modern percussion ensemble. Sō Percussion creates and presents new collaborative works to adventurous and curious audiences — come be curious!
A performance like no other Bravo! has ever done. Scored for 9 to 99 percussionists across a vast outdoor space, “Inuksuit,” composed by Grammy Award-winner John Luther Adams, was described by The New York Times as “the ultimate environmental piece.” Presented in Maloit Park with 66 percussionists, “Inuksuit” provides a unique and individualized listening experience. As the soundscape builds you walk through the piece visiting small collections of players or lone instrumentalists who, as they move to various performing stations, weave apparent randomness into a stunning cohesion.
Premiered in New York in 2012 “Inuksuit,” written for nine to 99 percussionists, strives to provide an ever-changing soundtrack to the enormity of the earth itself. The composer, Pulitzer-Prize-winner John Luther Adams, has said of it, “At a certain point the music becomes too big for the concert hall, so then you have no choice but to move outside.” The New Yorker’s Alex Ross has described the work as “the ultimate environmental piece.”
The epic composition for large percussion ensemble will be performed on the David Karetsky Music Lawn outside the Benedict Music Tent August 7. Listeners are invited to wander freely through the (musical and actual) landscape, so not only is each performance unique, so is the journey of each individual listener. Inuksuit is a co-production of the Bravo! Vail Music Festival and Aspen Music Festival and School.
Wander around the Riverwalk Center Lawn and be part of the “ecological listening” this unique composition by John Luther Adams celebrates. Musicians of the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra are set loose from the conductor’s baton and allowed to play at their own tempo, with just one condition: each sustained tone or rising phrase lasts the length of a full exhalation. The composer’s deep concern with the interactions between humans and environment are exhibited, and what results, as Adams says, is “the breath of the world, the memories of not just one of us, but all of us.” Co-presented with Breckenridge International Festival of Arts (BIFA).
Is there anything more celebratory than singing together? This year, experience the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize winner David Lang’s the public domain featuring a 1,000-voice volunteer choir. Led by renowned choral conductor Simon Halsey and presented outdoors on Lincoln Center’s iconic campus, the piece honors the shared knowledge that connects us all. It will be both an artistic revelation and an unforgettable community event.
Lauded for her “unbridled passion” by The Wall Street Journal, cellist Maya Beiser performs a new multi-media work by composer and Pultizer Prize winner David Lang, combining Beiser’s cello and spoken word with live video projections from artist Irit Batsry.
American composer Julia Wolfe won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2015. The Wall Street Journal wrote that Wolfe has "long inhabited a terrain of [her] own, a place where classical forms are recharged by the repetitive patterns of minimalism and the driving energy of rock." The orchestra will perform her 1988 work Amber Waves of Grain.
More than 60 percussionists will come together to perform John Luther Adams’s “Inuksuit,” an epic outdoor piece that has helped to redefine what live musical experience can be in the 21st-century. Rite of Summer will be presenting two afternoon performances of “Inuksuit,” a work the New York Times has called “the ultimate environmental piece.”
1pm and 3pm
David Lang, one of America’s preeminent living composers and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for music, brings his contemplative work darker to Saint Paul for its Midwest premiere. Scored for 12 strings, darker is more of an object than a piece of music, weaving together intricate solo lines into a delicate and subtly emotional fabric. “My piece, like life, expends a lot of effort to go a very short distance,” says Lang. “From beautiful to a little less beautiful, from a little light to something a little darker.” The score to darker invites performers to add a live visual or lighting design to their performance, choosing from elements created by New York based visual artist Suzanne Bocanegra.
Pro Coro Canada ConSept provides a late evening meditation during the busy season of Advent, with David Lang’s spare yet incredibly fulfilling Little Match Girl Passion. Introduced by the Dean of All Saints’ Cathedral, the Very Rev. Neil Gordon, this one hour candlelight performance showcases a quartet of singers who also play the glockenspiel and other percussion instruments.
The Dublin Guitar Quartet goes electric for the third installment of Bang on a Can founding composer Michael Gordon’s series exploring the untapped possibilities of select instruments.
From the haunting Hans Christian Anderson story comes this Pulitzer Prize-winning parable. Composed by David Lang, it's influenced by Bach's St. Matthew Passion, and described as "poignant...and consoling" (New York Times). This performance is staged by R. B. Schlather whose directorial vision was hailed by the New York Times as "intriguing" and "inventive" in The Met's magical Medieval Sculpture Hall.