Dinosaur Annex at the ICA, Boston, Fri 19 Sept, 6:30p

Posted: 9/5/2008 9:04:40 PM
Brian R

From: Somerville, MA

Joined: 10/7/2005

Dança da Tranquilidade
for clarinet, marimba, theremin, and ’cello

World premiere
Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble (http://www.dinosaurannex.org/)
Sue-Ellen Hershman-Tcherepnin and Jim Smith, artistic directors

Friday, 19 September 2008 at 6:30p
Institute of Contemporary Art (http://www.icaboston.org/programs/performance/subpage?keyword_id=4922302)
100 Northern Avenue
Boston, MA

Physically, the players will be counterpoised at the four corners of the stage. Metaphorically, the piece is a samba across a moonscape: the sharp shadows, the luminous horizon, the abyss above awash with stars. Musically, contrasting episodes come and go, revolving (orbiting?) around a post-tonal bossa nova, a sort of low-gravity, slow-motion samba. The concert is part of the Ditson Festival of Contemporary Music, co-Produced by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (http://www.bmop.org/season/concert_detail.aspx?cid=135) and the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, with support from the Alice M. Ditson Fund and the Boston Musicians' Association; Gil Rose, Artistic Director.

Posted: 9/5/2008 9:15:19 PM
Brian R

From: Somerville, MA

Joined: 10/7/2005

P.S. Small-Ether-World moment: Later that same evening (8:00p), in the same venue, another group (Collage New Music and Cantata Singers) will present a concert including a new work by Dalit Warshaw, [i]Sonate Francaise (The Unwritten Chapters)[/i]... no mention of whether it includes theremin.

Posted: 9/6/2008 9:55:43 AM
omhoge

From: New York, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

Fantastic. Congratulations! Brian R on the performance and getting the new work produced. That's a tremendous amount of work, and great news for Theremin and the new concert music world as well. Hope there's a good audience.

Keep us posted and let us know how it goes.

Glad hear Dalit's going to be there too, but I have the impression she doesn't do a lot with theremin except when she's performing with Pamalea K.
Posted: 9/29/2008 2:45:09 PM
omhoge

From: New York, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

Sounds like there was fantastic attendance for the whole festival, and the reception was very good for your piece.
Great News! (http://thephoenix.com/Boston/Music/68975-Its-about-time-/)

Let us know what it was like when you have a chance.
Congrats Brian on making it to the other side of this major event!
Posted: 9/29/2008 7:38:53 PM
GordonC

From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK

Joined: 10/5/2005

Seconded.

(John - broken link.)
Posted: 10/1/2008 9:58:40 AM
omhoge

From: New York, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

thanks GC, fixed.

Brian, how did it go for you?
Where there any other theremins in the festival?
Posted: 10/1/2008 9:27:03 PM
Brian R

From: Somerville, MA

Joined: 10/7/2005

The piece was well received, thanks for asking. (Slightly more detailed write-up in the Boston Globe (http://www.boston.com/ae/music/articles/2008/09/20/whimsy_resonance_on_night_2_of_ditson_fest/).)

The whole affair was a bit surreal for me--and wildly stressful, as (true confessions) I didn't have time to learn the theremin part properly... So there were several passages where I was playing the right motives, but (ahem) not necessarily at precisely the right times, or (ahem) at the specified pitch level. That is, the sort of slips that only the composer and the conductor would notice in performance.

This month, after I revise a prior piece, I'm going to go back to [i]Dança[/i] and make some changes... partly to define the samba rhythms more clearly, but also to make it easier for the thereminist to find pitches!

No other theremins on the festival, though I did finally get to meet Dalit. And the next night, I went to hear Elizabeth Brown play in Lexington (I'll report in that thread).
Posted: 10/1/2008 9:31:26 PM
Brian R

From: Somerville, MA

Joined: 10/7/2005

P.S. I certainly benefited from some low expectations... viz., prior to starting my piece, the clarinetist and 'cellist tuned their instruments... And I took the opportunity to check the note spacing on my instrument, which (naturally) needed some adjustment.

And the audience immediately [i]burst into laughter[/i] at what they took to be my sly joke... Imagine! [i]Tuning[/i] a [i]theremin[/i]!

So, even though I was a nervous wreck, people were impressed by the precision playing that followed.

Posted: 10/4/2008 9:23:40 AM
omhoge

From: New York, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

I'm so glad to hear it went well and am sure it sounded perfect from the seats. Great war story too. Folks have talked about stage fright here and this one's good to hear.
Note to self - don't tune right after the cello does.
When I saw Elizabeth play with the symphony, everyone tuned at once and I was amazed how she could block it out to tune her theremin.

This piece sounds really cool Brian!
I really hope you can get a good recording of it to share, and I'd love to see the score. Both the ensemble and material are very intriguing.
Congrats again, thanks for the additional news item.

FYI - the url blog tag does not take quotes, just the string.
Lot's of url fixing from you all today :~)
Posted: 10/4/2008 11:44:39 PM
Brian R

From: Somerville, MA

Joined: 10/7/2005

Hi, John--

Thanks for the encouragement, and thanks for fixing the long strings... er, sorry to have created the extra work for you; I always forget that.

I'll be happy to share the revised score with interested parties; check with me in November or so. (There are a few things I know I want to change, but I'm waiting for the concert recording before I really dig in.)

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