Author: Sharon

Quartet Metadata in Concert, Nov. 14, 7:30PM

Join us for a concert on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 7:30PM featuring new works performed by Quartet Metadata at the 12th Floor Lounge of Fordham’s Lowenstein Building, 113 W 60th St. (at Columbus Avenue).
Free admission.

Quartet Metadata, a new ensemble uniting four frequent collaborators on the New York new music scene, will perform on November 14 at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus. The group will play recent compositions for string quartet by Carter Burwell and Shelley Washington and, with guest artists, the premiere of Wingspan for String Sextet by Lawrence Kramer (Distinguished Professor of English and Music at Fordham and this year’s winner of the ASCAP Virgil Thomson Award for Outstanding Music Criticism).  Brahms’s popular String Sextet no. 1 will round out the program.

Violinist Lynn Bechtold has appeared in recital throughout North America and Europe, and has premiered solo/chamber works by composers such as Carter Burwell, Gloria Coates, John Harbison, Lawrence Kramer, Alvin Lucier, and Morton Subotnick. She is a member of groups including Miolina, NineLive, North/South Consonance, Quartet Metadata, SEM, and Zentripetal.

Violinist Hajnal Pivnick is co-founder of Tenth Intervention, a collective of musicians that presents new music in New York City. She performs regularly with IRIS Orchestra, ensemble mise-en, and Quartet Metadata, and has played with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, and the Hungarian New Music Chamber Ensemble (UMZE).

Violist Carrie Frey, guest artist, has premiered over 130 compositions. In New York City, she performs regularly with Petros Klampanis Group, Aeon Ensemble, Tactus, Wet Ink Large Ensemble, ensemble mise-en, and the String Orchestra of Brooklyn. As a founding member of string trio Chartreuse, she will premiere works by Marek Poliks, Joan Arnau Pamies, and Leah Asher, and appear in residency at SUNY Fredonia and as part of ensemble mise-en’s annual festival this season.

Cellist Jisoo Ok has performed in venues and festivals including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest, Laguna Beach Music Festival, the Chautauqua Institute, Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, Concerti di Mezzogiorno at Spoleto Festival “Festival dei Due Mondi” in Italy, and SummerStage at Central Park, among others.

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Digital Technologies and the Call for New Genres of Theory

[Cross-posted from the Fordham Graduate Studies Digital Humanities blog.]

I recently attended a panel discussion at the NYU Center for the Humanities to kick off the release of a new book, Theorizing Sound Writing, ed. Deborah Kapchan (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2017). The book explores the relationship of writing and aurality (the study of listening) in order to pursue two aims: It theorizes how to write about sound, and it uses its premise of listening to point toward compassionate scholarship. Kapchan, the volume’s editor and chair of the panel cites philosopher Jacques Attali’s pronouncement that theorizing through language and mathematics is insufficient because “it is incapable of accounting for what is essential in time—the qualitative and the fluid, threats and violence.”[1] From this criticism he calls for new “theoretical forms” that can better respond to temporal experience. Kapchan points out that thirty years later we find a similar call from theorist Lauren Berlant, who identifies the need “to invent new genres for the kind of speculative work we call ‘theory.’”[2]

I wonder what these new genres could be. I don’t wonder, however, whether digital technologies will be a part of them. They will, but how? Two examples illustrate the potential roles that digital technologies may take in theorizing our past and current experiences, even if the role is one of absence. In his chapter “Acoustic Palimpsests” J. Martin Daughtry lays out different iterations of his process of writing the article, beginning with a Russian poem by Anna Akhmatova, followed by the first draft of his introduction to the chapter but entirely crossed out like so. He moves through multiple other layers, each marked as a separate section of the chapter, that include a subsequent introduction draft written in 2009; a passage from Jorge Luis Borges; sonic accumulation in recordings of Iurii Kirsanov; photographic examples of street art palimpsests composed of accreted layers of pasted advertisements, graffiti, and partial decomposition from weathering; and various marginalia. In the penultimate section of the chapter Daughtry admits to doubts and asks,

Having inscribed this layered text, this meditation on erasure, can I erase what I’ve written so far? Can I wipe out my treatment of Kirsanov, and Filon, and soldiers in Iraq, and iPod users, only to try again to capture their essence tomorrow? Like a medieval scribe with a scraping knife, can I unwrite this text? In doing so, can I compel you, dear reader to unread it?

Of course I cannot.

[Delete all.] 

[Restart.][3]

Daughtry even does restart with one more brief section following this one, a transcription of pencil scribbles on the “back of the last page” in multiple hands that does not identify the authors, the document scribbled on, or the context of the scribbles.

I couldn’t help wondering what such an experimental chapter form would look like in digital format. In a video or audio version these layers could be shown individually, but then they could also be entirely stacked on top of one another at the end to show the cumulative palimpsest Daughtry creates. The potential for these digital technologies is because of their ability to capture events in and across time. But Daughtry’s sections are not equal in their textual length, and so if they were stacked, how would a digital format temporally deal with their varied lengths? Some layers might finish far before others. I.e., if the text was read at the same pace for each section (another formal and interpretive decision in and of itself), Akhmatova’s poem would finish long before the analysis of Kirsanov’s recordings. Although palimpsests are created over time, digital technologies show, by capturing moments in time, the singular, instant-like nature of palimpsests as well. If we consider different genres for theory, Daughtry’s experimental chapter exhibits the limitations of the standard text or book-based form and offers promising potential for foregrounding his ideas and for raising new ones through digital genres.

But another contribution, “Sound Commitments: Extraordinary Stories,” by Tomie Hahn, shows the limitations of digital formats. She begins her chapter with a warning that it is a performance and is to be read out loud. She entreats the reader, “Join in the performance. Explore the presence of text, the vulnerability and ephemerality of embodying text, by listening to each sound formed by your voice. In this way you will be sharing the text while also experiencing and altering Hahn’s fieldwork experiences.”[4] How would a digital format affect this chapter? The chapter itself asks to be performed, to be sounded. But a digital performance would remove the experience of personally performing the text. A digital performance risks pinning it down to a single, authoritative performance, like sticking a pin in a butterfly to preserve it, and this is antithetical to Hahn’s goals for the chapter. In this respect digital technologies can act as a collection (no doubt Hahn uses them in her fieldwork referred to above), but in tracking temporal performance, as Attali asks, textual forms may lose the potential of their timelessness and openness to multiple performers.

In this volume’s project of more mindful listening digital technologies allow us, on the one hand, to do so in a more somatic sense. If theory needs new genres, digital genres may help to develop more sympathy from physical experience and help to better account for the lived and sensed experience of being human. On the other hand, digital formats will, as we continue to learn, also open new questions about the limits of mediating the human experience no matter what technology we use and argue for occasions when they, like analog technologies, come up short.

 

[1] Jacques Attali qtd. in Deborah Kapchan, “The Splash of Icarus: Theorizing Sound Writing/ Writing Sound Theory” in Theorizing Sound Writing (ed. Deborah Kapchan (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2017), 2.

[2] Lauren Berlant qtd. in Ibid.

[3] J. Martin Daughtry, “Acoustic Palimpsests” in Theorizing Sound Writing, 79.

[4] Tomie Hahn, “Sound Commitments” in Theorizing Sound Writing, 138.

Duo Cantabile, Friday, June 16, 2017

Join us for an evening of music drawn from the lyrical repertoire of the past century. With Claudia Schaer on violin and Helen Lin on piano, the concert features music composed by Claude Debussy, Lawrence Kramer, Arvo Pärt, Igor Stravinsky, and Toru Takemitsu.

National Opera Center, Marc A Scorca Hall

330 Seventh Avenue (between 27th and 28th Streets)

Friday, June 16, 2017, 7:30 PM

Admission Free

Duo Cantabile - Flyer

Voices Up! April 22, 7:30PM, Fordham University, Lincoln Center

You are cordially invited to join us for a special Voices Up! concert featuring a musical setting of Elisabeth Frost’s poetic sequence All of Us by Robin Julian Heifetz on Saturday, April 22 at 7:30PM at the 12th-floor Lounge of Fordham University Lincoln Center, 113 W. 60th St., New York City.  Admission is free.

Performed by mezzo-soprano Kathryn Krasovec and pianist Jesse Goldberg, the concert also features music by Lawrence Kramer and poetry by Emily Dickinson and Hart Crane. All are invited to join the reception after the concert.

Kathryn Krasovec (http://www.kathrynkrasovec.com/) has performed on such prominent stages as The Metropolitan Opera, Spoleto Festival USA, Weill Hall/Carnegie Hall, National Theater of Prague, and Theater Bremen in Germany.

For more information visit http://tinyurl.com/Voices8.
Please contact Sharon Harris (sharris29@fordham.edu) with any questions.

CFP for Arvo Pärt: Sounding the Sacred

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A conference of the Sacred Arts Initiative and the Arvo Pärt Project at St. Vladimir’s Seminary,

in collaboration with the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University

May 1-4, 2017 | McNally Amphitheater | 140 W. 62nd Street

Fordham University Lincoln Center Campus | New York City

We are pleased to announce an international conference to be held from May 1-4, 2017 in the heart of New York City’s vibrant Lincoln Center music scene. This event will bring together scholars from diverse fields (music, theology, sacred acoustics/sound studies, architecture, religious studies, philosophy, et al.), as well as artists experienced in the performance and recording of Pärt’s music, to create a unique forum for the exchange of ideas, research, practices and creativity on the topics of sound and the sacred.

 

Description

The music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt is frequently connected with experiences of the sacred. Although the composer’s religious affiliation is specifically Orthodox Christian, his music and its impact carry an appeal beyond confessional and religious boundaries. His popularity crosses over customary distinctions between classical and popular music, sacred and secular art, liturgical space and concert hall.

The unique impact of Pärt’s music has been explored musicologically—and more recently through the lens of spirituality—but not yet in terms of the more basic elements of sound and embodiment. Through a two-fold approach, with more or less direct relationship to the Pärt repertoire, we seek to break new ground exploring primary questions around how music achieves its visceral and spiritual effect on human beings through the materiality of the movement of air impressing itself on the human body.

  • By directly exploring Pärt’s music and its effects, we seek to build upon and deepen previous studies addressing the tension-resolution dynamic inherent in his signature tintinnabuli In addition, the following kinds of Pärt-specific questions will be explored: Does Pärt’s music carry its own sonic esthetic? What does that esthetic, and its particular qualities, entail for his performers and recording engineers? What are the acoustical and sensory factors involved in the venues of Pärt performances? What are the effects of texts/words, and their respective languages, as vehicles for the music’s impact? How, through Pärt’s work, is the sacred conveyed through sound?
  • Drawing on—but also going beyond—the music and impact of Pärt as phenomenon, this conference also seeks to open up broader but related questions of sound and the sacred: Given that Pärt’s sacred music is frequently performed in the secular concert hall, how is/is not the sacred bound by environment, text, or liturgical/religious purpose? What is the nature of sound as phenomenon to represent, reveal, communicate, and/or effect the sacred? Can one assume that a composer’s spirituality informs the sound of her/his music, or might the question be fruitfully turned around to ask how the practice of making music might inform the composer’s spirituality? This effort is part of a broader reconsideration of how the materiality and physicality of sound and the practices of music-making interact with spiritual, theological, and philosophical domains and concer

 

Speakers

Confirmed speakers include Jeffers Engelhardt, Alexander Lingas, Bissera Pentcheva, Kevin Karnes, Toomas Siitan, Andrew Shenton, and Robert Saler, as well as an exclusive filmed interview on the conference theme with Paul Hillier. We are seeking to interweave musical performances with presentations and discussion sessions. The conference will open with a special appearance by Manfred Eicher.

 

Call for Papers

We welcome papers (~2,000 words) exploring the kinds of connections outlined above. Please email your proposal of 500 words (maximum) to Dr. Peter Bouteneff at pcb@svots.edu by January 15, 2017. Papers accepted for delivery at the conference will also be reviewed for inclusion in the publication of its proceedings.

 

Details

The conference will be held at the Lincoln Center campus of Fordham University. Affiliated events may be held at nearby venues.

This conference is open to the public. Registration and further details forthcoming; learn more at

http://www.sacredartsinitiative.com/activities-2/arvo-part-sounding-sacred/

Conference Advisory  Board:

  • Peter Bouteneff (director, Sacred Arts Initiative / Arvo Pärt Project)
  • Jeffers Engelhardt (Amherst College)
  • Lisa Radakovich Holsberg (Fordham University)
  • Nicholas Reeves (Adelphi University)
  • Robert Saler (Christian Theological Seminary)

 

Contact: conference@arvopartproject.com

Download the CFP: arvo-part-sounding-the-sacred-cfp-unicode-encoding-conflict.

 

Upcoming Concert by Seven)Suns, Dec. 1

sevensuns

The Voices Up! concert series presents Seven)Suns at

Fordham University Lincoln Center, 12th floor lounge

Thursday, December 1, 7:30PM

Free Admission

SEVEN)SUNS is the first classical/metal/hardcore string quartet. Its repertoire is drawn from works by the members of the group, reimagined string quartet versions of metal and hardcore songs, and music from the Western art music tradition.

SEVEN)SUNS has played The Gallery at Le Poisson Rouge, The Cell Theater, Firehouse Space, Shapeshifter Lab, and The Knitting Factory. They held a residency at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute in New Hampshire last summer and will return there in summer 2017. They are the recipients of a generous grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council to write and perform a piece tentatively entitled “Songs of the Voiceless” based on their visits to Rikers Island Correctional Facility in New York City.

Music by Arvo Pärt, Earl Meneein, Kenny Grohowski, Ben Weiman, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Mr. Bungle, and the premiere of Mosaics by Lawrence Kramer.

Subways: 59th St. Columbus Circle (1, B, D, A), 66th St. Lincoln Center (1). Entrance to Fordham’s Lowenstein Building on the NW Corner of 60th St. and Columbus Ave.

 

 

Upcoming Concert by Zentripetal Saturday, Oct. 15

zentripetal-again

Jennifer DeVore, cello and Lynn Bechtold, violin. Photo by Robert Morton.

As part of the Literary Partners Program, Zentripetal, the violin and cello duo, presents

“Where Words Leave Off, Music Begins Again”

Saturday, October 15, 2016, 4:00 PM

Poets House, 10 River Terrace (at Murray Street)

Admission Free (more…)

Voices Up! presents Bleecker String Quartet Nov. 4

Bleecker  NYC 2015

Voices Up! is a concert series organized by Professor Lawrence Kramer of Fordham University that explores the connections between poetry and new music. This fall concert features the Bleecker String Quartet, an innovative group that plays contemporary, pop, world, classical, and crossover music. Listen to them here.

Admission is free, and the concert will be followed by a reception. You can also find the program below. The concert will be Nov. 4, 7:30PM at the 12th floor lounge of the Lowenstein building on Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus.

Bleecker StQ program-page-001

Upcoming Concert and Conference: Music and the Moving Image

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Conference at Fordham University, Lincoln Center

Wednesday, August 12 – Friday, August 14

Concert at Poets House, 10 River Terrace on Saturday, August 15

all events free and open to the public

  

Wednesday, August 12, Lowenstein Building, 12th floor Lounge 113 W. 60th St.

6:45PM           Opening Reception

7:30PM           Concert

See Moving Image Concert Program for additional details.

August 12-15, Lowenstein Building, 12th floor Lounge 113 W. 60th St. and Poet’s House

See Moving Image Conference Schedule for additional details.