Listening Guide: Expedition #1
Take a listen to the music of Expedition #1: Reflect Respond before we launch! You'll find this music to be exciting and groove-y, and downright awesome, but don't be fooled– the live experience is lightyears better.
Dan VanHassel, Balance of Power
Balance of Power opens Expedition #1 with a deep, otherworldly drone. Written for bass clarinet, percussion, electric guitar, cello, bass, and piano, the piece evolves from a minimalist trance into a groove-filled jam session between the instruments.
Kaija Saariaho, Cendres
Kaija Saariaho's Cendres, French for "ashes," is written for alto flute, cello, and piano. It is ethereal at points and passionate at other points. Saariaho masterfully uses various musical elements– pitch, rhythm, timbre, and more– to bring the listener back and forth between tension and release.
Ursula Kwong-Brown, Unwinding III
Kwong-Brown is presenting the premiere of her third iteration of her Unwinding series. Originally for string trio, Unwinding III employs a six piece mixed ensemble. Unwinding documents the composer's experience with a traumatic bike injury and the effects of craniosacral therapy treatment. The above recording is of the original Unwinding, which is considerably different than Unwinding III.
Eve Beglarian, Play Like a Girl
Play Like a Girl is based on the Bulgarian State Women’s Chorus's performance of Kaval Sviri. Eve Beglarian composed eight variations of the piece for various types of keyboards (including toy piano), which can be played in any combination or succession, generating tens of thousands of different versions of the piece. What will our pianist Margaret do during our concert? You'll have to go to find out!
Eve Beglarian, Until It Blazes
As a composer, Eve Beglarian can be described as very chill. She often writes music as a framework for performers– leaving lots of room for players to make their own compositional decisions. Just like Play Like a Girl, our guitarist Giacomo is given room to decide the fate of the composition– how it grows and how long it lasts. Enter the meditate state of Until It Blazes.
Jenny Olivia Johnson, Reflect Reflect Respond Respond
The main course of Expedition #1 is Reflect Reflect Respond Respond, written for a large chamber ensemble with two vocalists. It opens with an intense rhythmic tapestry, which then opens up to introduce the voices of Echo and Narcissus. Instruments and vocalists alike are amplified with delay to create simmering echo lines throughout the work. The recording above is the original (2012) version of the work, premiered by Wild Rumpus. The piece was revised in 2015, which will be the version performed at Expedition #1.
Enjoy what you heard? Experience the music live at Expedition #1: Reflect Respond:
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