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katiskelton on 03/15/2012 at 01:00AM

String Theories: IPR & The String Orchestra of Brooklyn

This Saturday, March 17, St. Ann's Church will host the second installation of String Theories, the joint partnership between ISSUE Project Room and the String Orchestra of Brooklyn that provides artists with an opportunity to premiere new experimental works for orchestra. This year's commission features works composed by Anthony Coleman, C. Spencer Yeh, MV Carbon, and Eric Wubbels, which is awesome, because for most of these artists this is their first opportunity to compose works on such a large scale (check out this interview with Spencer regarding the transition from solo and improvisational work to composing for an orchestra). I'm super excited to see what these guys come up with--what does Burning Star Core sound like with 10 VIOLINS? Will all the musicians be equipped with circuit-bent TV instruments? These and more mysteries will be illuminated on Saturday night. 

Until then, listen to this live recording of Katherine Young's composition from last year's program, titled Inhabitation of Time. Young is a bassoonist and composer who received an emerging artist commission from ISSUE last year, and this piece sounds like what it would be like to try to walk in a straight line on the quantum level--variables constantly shifting and rearranging, time stretching and compressing. What kinds of physical laws will this year's String Theories defy? We don't yet know. Get your tickets here.

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katiskelton on 01/19/2012 at 02:00PM

Ted Hearne's Gaudeamus-Award-winning "Katrina Ballads" and R WE WHO R WE

On January 25, ISSUE Project Room will inaugurate its new space at 110 Livingston with Gaudeamus Muziekweek, a four-day festival celebrating groundbreaking and challenging new music by emerging composers from around the world. Working in partnership with Gaudeamus, ISSUE Project Room will present, for the first time in the United States, a series of performances highlighting some of the extraordinary talent that has emerged from the festival.

January 26 is dedicated to electronic music, featuring Dutch musician Wouter Snoei, an authority on 192-channel "wave-field" synthesis techniques. New York-based electronic artist Matthew Ostrowski will also perform, as well as the duo R WE WHO R WE, a collaboration between New York composer-performers Philip White & Ted Hearne.

Ted Hearne was awarded the Gaudeamus International Composers Award in 2009 for his Katrina Ballads, a 65-minute dramatic song cycle adapted entirely from primary-source sound bites from the newsweek following Hurricane Katrina. Hearne chops and manipulates the utterances of politicians, celebrities, survivors and relief workers as broadcast by 24-hour disaster coverage and reworks them into an oratorio for 11 instrumentalists and 5 singers.  Take a listen to the multistylistic "Brownie, You're Doing a Heck of a Job" (culled, obviously, from Bush's famous declaration to former FEMA director Michael Brown five days after the hurricane ripped through New Orleans).

R WHO WE R WE takes a similar course of lyrical and sonic reformulation of popular media sources but reapplies the critique to pop music. Hearne and collaborator Philip White deconstruct songs by Michael Jackson, Ke$ha, Eminem and others and reorder them into schizophrenic lyrical poems. Come see for yourself (and check out our brand-new space!) on 1/26! You can get tickets here.

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