Concert of several composers of contempoary music and audiovisual performance. Featuring Laurence Sherr, Michal Rataj, Ivan Boreš, Tomáš Svoboda and Dan Senn.
Four Short Pieces (1982) by Laurence Sherr
David Danel, violin
Four Short Pieces was composed during my graduate studies at the University of Illinois. My goal was to explore various possibilities of writing for the solo violin while creating movements that were brief yet musically coherent. Each movement has a different character, expressed in the first two movements by the respective tempo indications Molto espressivo and Dramatically. The third movement features pizzicato passages with subtle timbrel shadings. The final movement starts with quiet yet intense motion, and builds to a final burst of energy. The work shared the Top Prize in the Association for the Promotion of New Music Composition Competition in New York City in 2009.
Hommage to Alois Hába by Ivan Boreš
Ivan Boreš, quarter-tone guitar
Confession, Op. 122 (2003) by Tomáš Svoboda - First Performance
Jan Mach, clarinet
This is a melancholic solo movement in an atonal serial style, which suggests deep philosophical thoughts. Irregular rubato tempi express agitated emotions underlying the loneliness intrinsic to the velvet voice of clarinet. The soloist is given the freedom to interpret the tempi outside the metronome markings, offered only as a general suggestion.
Glass Light by Michal Rataj
Acousmatic music with sounds of light observed through pieces of light.
Sonic Situations by Ivan Boreš and Michal Rataj
Sonic engagements for quarter tone guitar and live electronics.
Mumma's Incredible Sinking Violin (2011) by Dan Senn - First Performance
for voice, lyde in D, violin and pre-recorded violin sounds
Diana Aivia, soprano; Lydia Janickovicova, violin; Dan Senn, lyde
Completed recently in Prague, this work began with recording several weeks of free improvisation using extended techniques on my mother's old violin back in Portland. The pitch of the recorded violin was tuned to the lyde, a found instrument which is about a quarter-tone flat of a D-natural. The text and vocal parts were written in Prague, at the same time, with the live violin and lyde parts added last. The work envisions the singer afloat atop a sinking violin which has just pushed of from rocky shores. The work is loosely autobiographical.
Knocking Heads with Kafka (2011) by Dan Senn - First Performance
for kinetic sound sculpture and video
This is the performance version of an installation piece which includes four surface pendulums (aka "surflings") mounted on four dressing mirrors. The main "resonators" for the piece are the mirrors themselves which are hammered by the heads of the pendulums, the action for which is reflected upward in the video. The video is of a green bug, like that in Kafka's short novel Metamorphosis, which awakens from a slumber, looks around, takes a pee, and begins searching for a place to hide. These mirror-based surflings were recently part of an exhibition at Galerie ve Sklepě in Prague during the month of May. The video was shot in Prague in 2008.
Midnight Dance (2009) by Laurence Sherr
David Danel, violin
Violinist Piotr Szewczyk requested a “short, exciting, innovative” solo violin work for his Violin Futura Project. Considering these guidelines while reviewing his virtuosic online videos led to many compositional choices. Since Szewczyk and I both have Polish ancestry (Szereszewski was my family name prior to my father’s immigration) influences also came from Eastern European folk dance styles. In the work, dances with patterns of asymmetrical beats contrast with sections of bariolage, where rapid notes on alternating strings create an undulating mosaic of timbre.