I/O New Music – PROGRAM

Sunday, March 6, 2011 at 7:30 pm
Club Helsinki Hudson

Alex Mincek Nucleus (2007)
for saxophone and drum set

Bernhard Lang DW 16, Songbook I (2004)
for voice, saxophone, keyboards, and percussion

David Kechley Design and Construction (2010)
for saxophone, trumpet, and percussion

Georges Aperghis Récitations (1978)
for solo voice

Jacob Ter Veldhuis Billie (2003)
for alto sax and boombox


I/O personnel
Jennifer Ashe, soprano; Thomas Bergeron, trumpet; Steven Dennis Bodner, saxophones; Matthew Gold, percussion; Brian Simalchik, piano and keyboards

I/O New Music presents an evening of new music cabaret featuring strange and wonderful noises and mangled grooves from downtown New York, Europe, and Williamstown, MA.  The works on this program feature instruments borrowed from rock music and jazz, and some of their mannerisms as well, but completely rethink them.

About the program:

Alex Mincek describes the arrested grooves of his Nucleus, for saxophone and drum set as a Blade Runner–esque dystopian soundscape.  This work explores the idea of difference through repetition, and seeks to achieve a schizophrenic clattering of the jaws.

Williams College composer David Kechley’s Design and Construction, a series of “trialogues” for trumpet, saxophone, and percussion is a virtuosic and rhythmically supercharged work that explores an expanded timbral palette for saxophone and trumpet, and employs a drum set made from wooden planks, circular saw blades, wine bottles, and other found and altered objects.

Austrian composer Bernhard Lang has a wide-ranging background as a pianist, jazz musician, and improviser, and often collaborates with electronic musicians, DJs, and video artists.  He draws directly from what is known as turntable culture, making use of its “tumbling cloud of rhythmic sonorities fighting toward a sustained pulse.”  His DW 16, Songbook I draws on pre-existing materials ranging from Bob Dylan songs to the poems of Robert Creeley, and re-imagines them in wholly unexpected ways.

Dutch avant-pop composer Jacob Ter Veldhuis (JacobTV) started as a rock musician and later studied composition and electronics.  He is especially known for his boombox works, including Billie, for live instruments integrated with grooving sound tracks based on speech melody.  Billie channels the disembodied speaking voice of Billie Holiday, unlocking its beautiful and haunting inner music.

From the monomaniacal rantings of the delusional to the formal tones of a public recitation, from casual conversation tossed over the shoulder to graffiti scrawled on a wall, from the physiology of laughter to whirlwinds of breath and sound; these are the raw materials for the music of Georges Aperghis’ solo repertoire.  Born in Greece but long based in Paris, Aperghis is one of the most original and influential composers working today.  His Récitations, composed between 1977 and 1988, is an ambitious and difficult work for solo female voice. An agglomeration of high notes is interrupted with coughs, mutters, and stray words seemingly spoken out of turn. Based around extended vocal technique, the work’s discontinuous form falls between musical and verbal support structures, and forces the singer to build her own vocal character in the interstices of word and sound.

Scattered around the works on the program will be new arrangements for the ensemble of older music, pop tunes, classical chestnuts, or anything else in which the group is interested at the moment, offered in an entirely new light.

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