Contemporary Improvisation | Film Noir: Dr. Mabuse
Celebrating 15 years, the Contemporary Improvisation Department explores Fritz Langs’ Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (1922), a character developed through Norbert Jacques novels. Dr. Mabuse is a criminal mastermind, doctor of psychology, and master of disguise, armed with the powers of hypnosis and mind control. His goal, manipulation to gain world domination.
New England Conservatory’s Contemporary Improvisation (CI) Department presents Dr. Mabuse: The Many Faces, the 15th annual Film Noir Concert on Wednesday, February 19, 7:30 p.m. at NEC’s Jordan Hall, 290 Huntington Ave., Boston. Performers include the NEC CI Honor’s Ensemble: Tornasol coached by Eden MacAdam-Somer and Hankus Netsky, NEC Wild Card Ensemble coached by Ted Reichman and Henrique Eisenmann, NEC Contemporary Rock Ensemble coached by Lautaro Mantilla, NEC Jazz Orchestra directed by Ken Schaphorst, and Storyboard Noir Ensemble directed by Aaron Hartley and Ran Blake.
For the concert, producers Ran Blake and Aaron Hartley build a program focused on hand selected and custom-tailored scenes from Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler and Inferno (1922), a character developed through Norbert Jacques novels. Dr. Mabuse is a criminal mastermind, doctor of psychology, and master of disguise, armed with the powers of hypnosis and mind control. Working primarily with the original film score by Konrad Elfers along with new compositions and improvisations in a wide range of genres, Contemporary Improvisation students recreate a compelling soundtrack in real time.
Founded in 1972 by musical visionaries Gunther Schuller and Ran Blake, New England Conservatory's Contemporary Improvisation (CI) program is “one of the most versatile in all of music education” (JazzEd). CI trains composers, performers, and improvisers to broaden their musical palettes and develop unique voices. It is unparalleled in its structured approach to ear training and its emphasis on singing, memorization, harmonic sophistication, aesthetic integrity, and stylistic openness. Under Blake's inspired guidance for its first thirty-three years, the program grew considerably and has expanded its offerings under current co-chairs Hankus Netsky and Eden MacAdam-Somer. Alumni include Don Byron, John Medeski, Jacqueline Schwab, Aoife O'Donovan and Sarah Jarosz; faculty include Carla Kihlstedt, Blake, Dominique Eade, and Anthony Coleman. “A thriving hub of musical exploration,” (Jeremy Goodwin, Boston Globe), the program is uniquely positioned to produce the complete 21st century global musician.
NEC's Jazz Studies Department was the first fully accredited jazz studies program at a music conservatory. The brainchild of Gunther Schuller, who moved quickly to incorporate jazz into the curriculum when he became president of the Conservatory in 1967, the Jazz Studies faculty has included six MacArthur "genius" grant recipients (three currently teaching) and four NEA Jazz Masters. The program has spawned numerous Grammy winning composers and performers and has an alumni list that reads like a who's who of jazz. As Mike West writes in JazzTimes: “NEC's jazz studies department is among the most acclaimed and successful in the world; so says the roster of visionary artists that have comprised both its faculty and alumni.”