A Resource for Performing Artists, Scholars and Audiences.
The members of Flexible Music are undaunted by the repertoire’s formidable demands. The results are varied and vital, a feast of intimate musical possibilities.
– Gramophone, August 2009
In its third concert of the 2012-13 season, Ear Heart Music presents two vigorously talented quartets of uncommon instrumentation to juxtapose factors of stasis and motion in music. Flexible Music, “a feast of intimate musical possibilities,” (Gramophone) performs a set of musical sound sculpting using static structures and gestural language, with music by Peter Adriaansz (US premiere) and Seung-Ah Oh. The Cadillac Moon Ensemble, a “commission-crazed young group” (Time Out NY) “with excellent ensemble awareness and phrasing” (The Examiner), follows suit with a program exploring motion in all its forms, including world premieres by Caleb Burhans, Osnat Netzer, and Alex Weiser with additional works by Timothy Andres and Florent Ghys.
Flexible Music’s program features work by two fascinating protégés of Louis Andriessen, the influential Dutch minimalist. Peter Adriaanz’s (current composition faculty, Royal Conservatory of the Hague) companion works Fraction and Phrase, commissioned by Flexible Music, explore the fascinating and hypnotic world of microtonal beatings within a dense rhythmic context. Employing minute, incremental changes in tuning and pulse on all the instruments, Adriaanz creates a landscape in which the fundamental fabric of pitch and rhythm that we so often take for granted becomes variable and thereby the dynamic focus of the piece. Seung-Ah Oh’s (current composition faculty, De Paul University) Fragments blends pentatonic material played inside of the piano and on guitar harmonics with pleading microtonal saxophone and slide guitar lines. Liberal use of guitar loops, Chinese bowls, and built instruments craft a sound world that is both deliberate and unique. Rounding out the program is Mikel Kuehn’s (current composition faculty, Bowling Green State University) Color Fields, also written for Flexible Music. Color Fields takes the canonic texture of Andriessen’s Hout, and manipulates it as one might manipulate a rubix cube, reordering the canonic entrances so that instead of a pointillistic approach to writing for the ensemble, we are taken into a cubist sonic landscape, with refractions of instrumental sound that demand constant readjustment.
The Cadillac Moon Ensemble follows suit with a program exploring motion in its many different forms: how things move, where they move, and what can move. The concert features three world premieres by Caleb Burhans, Alex Weiser, and Osnat Netzer, as well as two other works that were written for CME in 2012 by Florent Ghys and Thomthy Andres. Ghys’ work is named after a métro station in Paris and is about smooth transitions between two worlds. Also about the subway, Weiser’s piece is a multi-movement work exploring memories of growing up in New York, associated with different subway lines. A game of musical telephone, Andres’ piece germinated as a short melody on an airplane which passes from one player to the next, mutating slightly each time. More abstractly, Osnat Netzer uses the concept of motion to work out her fascination with hip hop, using the instruments rhythmically to propel the piece.