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This concert explores the Third Stream in its historical and present-day status. When musical visionaries Gunther Schuller and Ran Blake founded New England Conservatory's groundbreaking Third Stream Department in 1972, they inaugurated a rich conversation between multiple musical styles and communities. Tonight's concert traces this cutting edge at NEC, from the earliest days of the Third Stream department to present-day innovations under the department's current name, Contemporary Improvisation.
The CI program trains musicians to broaden their musical palettes and develop unique voices as composer/performer/improvisers. Compositions—selected by Gunther Schuller—trace a nearly hundred-year history of stylistic crossings and radical innovations. Current CI students show how a departmental tradition of innovation continues today in a program of original compositions and re-compositions developed in weekly workshops directed by Tanya Kalmanovitch and CI faculty.
You can prepare for this concert at a panel discussion earlier this evening that includes Schuller, Blake, and more recent leadership of NEC's CI program.
Performances curated by Gunther Schuller:
Ran Blake performs improvisations on The Death of Billie Holiday and Gunther Schuller's Magic Row. For The Death of Billie Holiday, Blake will use as source material two completely different songs with the same title—"Lady Sings the Blues"—written by Herbie Nichols and Alec Wilder, along with the Billie Holiday classic "Good Morning Heartache," written by Irene Higginbotham of Worcester, Mass.
Charles Ives In the Inn for Theater Orchestra directed by Eden MacAdam-Somer
Gunther Schuller Transformation for Third Stream ensemble directed by Ken Schaphorst
Scott Joplin The Ragtime Dance for ragtime orchestra directed by Hankus Netsky
Charles Mingus Revelations for jazz ensemble directed by Hankus Netsky
Jelly Roll Morton's "Grandpa's Spells" performed by Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Kody Glazer, trombone; Anna Patton, clarinet; Jacob Means, banjo, guitar;
Anthony Coleman, piano; Simon Hanes, bass; Jeffrey Balter, drums
Performances curated by Tanya Kalmanovitch:
Tal Zilber performs his recomposition of Gunther Schuller's Of Reminiscences and Reflections for solo piano and electronics
Vocalist/vibraphonist Andria Nicodemou performs her TEXT piece with support from vocalist Natalie Cadet and violinists/vocalists Abigale Reisman and Rachel Panitch
Johann Christian Fischer Fischer's Hornpipe Rachel Panitch directs a large ensemble inspired by Gunther Schuller's Country Fiddle Orchestra
Cecil Taylor '51 DP Improvisation No. 3 recomposed by violinist Yasmine Azaiez
Dongqing Fang Clouds Rise re-composition by Hui Weng performed by Abigale Reisman, violin; Valerie Thompson, cello; Jeffrey Balter, drums; Hui Weng, guzheng
Simon Hanes Ultimo
Jeffrey Balter That Sort of Pretty One for the Big Group
Student compositions premiered by Survivor's Breakfast ensemble, coached by Anthony Coleman
African-American prison songs "Early in the Morning"/"Go down Old Hannah" recast for an instrumental ensemble by Ilya Portnov, performed by Rachel Panitch, Benjamon Andrews, violin; Mark Goldstein, trumpet; Daniel Pencer, tenor saxophone; Ilya Portnov, harmonica