"Jonathan Harvey is probably the most spiritual of our British composers."
—Simon Rattle

Recent music for instruments and electronics by NEC faculty members John Mallia and Katarina Miljkovic and other locally based composers—Chris Arrell, Lou Bunk, Derek Hurst—as well as a work by the late Jonathan Harvey.

One of Harvey's best-known works for piano, Tombeau de Messiaen "unleases a torrential, joyously uninhibited commemoration of the French master," according to Gramophone.

The notes on these works were written by the respective composers.

John Mallia Vestibules
Lisa Leong '92 M.M., piano
John Mallia, electronics

Vestibules is a work for piano and electronic sounds exploring reflection, ambiguity, and presence as one might experience standing at the threshold between spaces or situations.

Lou Bunk Being and Becoming for guitar, sine waves, MAX/MSP and one loudspeaker
Aaron Larget-Caplan '01, guitar
Lou Bunk, electronics

I have written eight iterations of Being and Becoming, each unique in instrumentation and content. The music generally progresses from simple to complex, by way of a slowly evolving musical cell, focusing the listener more and more on micro-variations of timbre, pitch, rhythm, etc.

Chris Arrell Mutations
Jan Müller-Szeraws, cello
Chris Arrell, computer

Mutations, commissioned by cellist Jan Müller-Szeraws, blurs boundaries between acoustic and electric sounds with the aid of an interactive Max patch that alters the sound of the cello in real-time. Complementing these alterations, which range from bright echoes and spiraling Doppler effects to microtonal distortions, ghostly harmonizations, and whispered glissandi, are prerecorded sounds modeled largely after spectral permutations of cello timbres. These prerecorded sounds mix with the live cello during a performance to create timbres that are neither entirely acoustic nor entirely electronic but rather hybrids that paint new sonic possibilities on a canvas of soaring virtuosity cast in the coloratura of the instrument. In four untitled movements played without pause, Mutations is roughly eight minutes in length.

Derek Hurst Perigee/Apogee
Lisa Leong, piano
Derek Hurst, electronics

Perigee/Apogee for piano and electronics explores notions of distance, space and sonic qualities of the piano—including seemingly extraneous sounds associated with the instrument. The electronic component is a mixture of pre-recorded, fixed media, and real-time/interactive elements designed to be activated by the performer during performance. Pro Tools, Csound, and Max/MSP were used in rendering the electronics. The performance/interactive component is also designed and executed in Max/MSP.

Katarina Miljkovic Nothing You Say
Katarina Miljkovic, electronics

This piece is based on a grid of sine waves in nineteen-tone equal temperament. The grid is filtered by a cellular automaton, resulting in a two voice counterpoint, frequently intercepted by vertical sonorities generated by occurrences of "gliders" in the evolution of the cellular automaton. Extreme slow motion and the constant low-level dynamics create a static soundscape with repetitive, shimmering chords.

Jonathan Harvey Tombeau de Messiaen for piano and digital audio tape
Lisa Leong, piano

This work is a modest offering in response to the death of a great musical and spiritual presence. Messiaen was a protospectralist, that is to say, he was fascinated by the colours of the harmonic series and its distortions, and found therein a prismatic play of light. The tape part of my work is composed of piano sounds entirely tuned to harmonic series—twelve of them, one for each class of pitch. The "tempered" live piano joins and distorts these series, never entirely belonging, never entirely separate.

Date: February 3, 2014 - 8:00:PM
Price: Free
Location: Brown Hall

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