Season Highlights: 2015-16

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IPSA DIXIT

Ipsa Dixit is a new large-scale work by Kate Soper, which integrates her duos for instrument and voice with new material for quartet into a continuous concert-length narrative, including “Cipher” for violin and voice, which Kate and Josh developed in close collaboration in 2011. Partial versions of the piece have been performed at New Music New College (Sarastota, FL), Smith College, on the Resonant Bodies Festival, and more. The full 90-minute version will be premiered at EMPAC in 2016.

MATHIAS SPAHLINGER: extension

On May 9, 2015 as part of the Darmstadt 70th Anniversary Festival at Roulette (NYC), Wet Ink members Eric Wubbels and Josh Modney will perform Mathias Spahlinger’s masterpiece “extension” (1979-80), a 50-minute work for violin and piano that explores extreme extended technical virtuosity and deep introspection, at times humorous, dazzling, and unsettling. This will be their second performance of the titanic work – the first was in March 2015, on the final event of “There is No Repetition”, a weekend-long festival of Spahlinger’s music at the University of Chicago including performances, lectures, and discussions with Spahlinger himself. Please find concert info on the festival page, as well as at the Goethe Institute and the Renaissance Society websites.

HYDRA | THE CHILDREN OF FIRE

Wet Ink embarks on several tours in 2015-16 in a trio formation, presenting a concert of works by composer/performers Sam Pluta and Eric Wubbels.  In January, the group traveled to London (Cafe OTO and Omnibus Clapham), Manchester (with Distractfold Ensemble), and Birmingham (BEAST), in May they headed to California (LA, Stanford, Berkley), and recently completed a tour in the Mid-West. The programs open with Eric Wubbels’s “the children of fire come looking for fire”, a work of extremes which juxtaposes intense ensemble virtuosity, grinding noise, and extended repetition with moments of bare, direct simplicity and just intonation (Eric and Josh developed the work in close collaboration and will release an album this year), and conclude with “hydra” by Sam Pluta, a new large-scale trio which “tries to do everything that I do as a composer/performer in one work – notes on a page, electronic playback, acoustic and electronic improvisation, just intonation, and noise.” Listen to a live recording from Manchester on Sam Pluta’s Website.

ERIC WUBBELS: being time

Beginning in November 2014, Mivos Quartet will present the first performances of Eric Wubbels’s being time for string quartet and electronic sound, commissioned by the Mivos Quartet with generous funding from Chamber Music America’s Classical Commissioning Program, and supported by a residency and premiere performance at EMPAC (Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Troy, NY).

being time represents an attempt to make some aspects of the structure and presence of Time audible, palpable, and experientially immediate. The piece is a technical tour de force for string quartet, marked by ferocious ensemble precision, extreme scordatura, and a complex scheme of extended Just Intonation. The electronic sound, realized in performance by Bryan Jacobs, is blunt and visceral:  frequencies on the border of infra- and ultra- sound drive the body as a resonator. Ambitious and searching, direct and arcane, being time is both a large-scale artistic statement and a 45-minute “ritual of collective attention” that the players and audience perform together.

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