UC San Diego's Department of Music

October 17, 2014

  For the continuation of our Wednesdays@7 series, UC San Diego soprano Susan Narucki performs with the Talea Ensemble, conducted by James Baker, for our next concert on October twenty-two (22).

Program and notes:

Oscar Bettison: An Automated Sunrise (for Joseph Cornell) (2014)
Charles Wuorinen: Fast Fantasy (1977)
Aaron Helgeson: Poems of Sheer Nothingness (2012-2013)
Rand Steiger: A Menacing Plume (2011)

Bettison's piece is inspired by American artist Joseph Cornell's work, which is "concerned with the transformative use of everyday objects... and the natural world, especially birds." He took Talea's invitation to compose a piece for them as a starting point to recognize Cornell's influence. "Wuorinen allows that Fast Fantasy is "just what the tital implies: a fantasy based on a big lump of notes, intuitively rhythmed, with some qualities of recitative.'" Helgeson's piece, commissioned by Susan Narucki, "is a song cycle on ancient troubadour texts that speak of songwriting itself. All were originally sung. All were subsequently silenced by centuries of dust, their music lost and their native toungue of Occitan (an early ancestor of modern French) nearly forgotten... Above all, they as a simple question: If music could speak to language, what would it say?" Steiger's, who is also UC San Diego Department of Music Chair, piece "begins with an image of the vast undisturbed surface of the sea as the blinding, bright morning light first arises, followed by a flock of seabirds that soar above. Then layers of material emerge through all the instruments, inspired by the diversity and complexity of undersea life. Finally, an ominous darkness enters and ultimately squeezes out all life." Digital signal processing will accompany the conventional instruments used and will transform their sound in various ways.

The Talea Ensemble is committed to promoting new, groundbreaking music through innovative programming thereby communicating the distinctive voices of composers that deserve to be heard. By commissioning and programming these progressive works alongside the established literature of modern and contemporary repertoire, the ensemble creates a dialogue that challenges the boundaries of music and fosters a greater understanding of the works of today. Additionally, the Talea Ensemble wishes to support and advance familiarity with contemporary American works by bringing it to concert halls and venues not only in New York but also abroad. By developing an interactive relationship between the composers, performers and audience, the Talea Ensemble builds an environment of reciprocal inspiration that sparks the imagination of all.

Talea Ensemble with Susan Narucki
Wednesday, October twenty-two (22), 2014
7Π0 pm
UC San Diego's Conrad Prebys Music Center, Concert Hall
General Admission: $15.50
UCSD Faculty, Staff, Alumni, Friends of Music: $10.50
ALL Students: FREE (must arrive one hour before concert with ID)

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