Thursday, February 4, 2010

Da Jeong Choi is currently a teaching fellow in the Division of Composition Studies and the Division of Music History, Theory, and Ethnomusicology at the University of North Texas, Denton. Her works have been widely performed throughout Asia, America and, most recently, Europe. Top of the Mountain (2009) for trumpet and two percussionists consists of seven movements, each with its own unique character. According to the composer, "the formal division is articulated by tempo, textural, timbral, and rhythmic contrast; however, musical coherence is derived primarily from such conventional procedures as motivic development." Watch a performance of the first movement of Top of the Mountain by John Holt, Christopher Deane and Mark Ford . . . one of this week's FEATURED NEW MUSIC VIDEOS.

Two (2009), Deborah Lohse's acclaimed dance piece, is a poignant work to a commissioned score by composer Stefan Weisman. Roslyn Sulcas of The New York Times writes that the work highlights "Ms. Lohse's gifts for creating theatrical atmosphere." Watch Emily SoRelle Adams and Emery LeCrone perform the work . . . our DANSES PYTHEUSES for the week.

Poland has been the source of some of the most startlingly fresh musical ideas over the last fifty years, like an artistic phoenix rising from a dark depression that might well have daunted a lesser nation. Above all, it has preserved a religious vitality which has flourished in its output of sacred music since the establishment of a stable democracy in 1989. Among the younger composers to shine a bright musical light is Pawel Lukaszewski, born in 1960, and following in the footsteps of older figures of a generation earlier like Henryk Gorecki and Arvo Part. Well know and respected for his choral works, Lukaszewski has also written for orchestra, chamber ensembles and soloists and electroacoustic media. Hear a performance of Part I of his String Quartet No. 3 (2004) . . . the current PYTHEAS EARFUL.

Ken Ueno (winner of the 2006-2007 Rome Prize) is a composer and vocalist whose wide range of innovative works have been thrilling audiences around the world. Informed by his experience as an electric guitarist and overtone singer, his music fuses the culture of Japanese underground electronic music with an awareness of European modernism. In an effort to feature inherent qualities of sound such as beatings, overtones, and artifacts of production noise, Ueno’s music is often amplified and uses electronics. The dramatic discourse of his music is based on the juxtaposition of extremes: visceral energy versus contemplative repose, hyperactivity versus stillness - he engages with multiple modes of music making. Hear Ueno's music at its essence in a performance of Shiroi Ishi (2001) by the world famous vocal quartet the Hilliard Ensemble . . . this week's FROM THE PYTHEAS ARCHIVES.

Explore, Listen and Enjoy!
Vinny Fuerst
Pytheas Center for Contemporary Music

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