Jessica Schmitz


Jenny Chai


Photos by Amy Eisinger

Other Soundscapes 1

Music by
Helen Fisher
Olivier Messiaen
Ezequiel Vinao
Matthew Burtner

Performed by
Jessica Schmitz, flute, voice
Jenny Chai, piano
Stephen Gosling, piano
Madeleine Shapiro, cello

Monday, October 20, 7:30pm
Chelsea Art Museum
556 West 22nd Street
$15 / $10 students, seniors, and EMF Subscribers

Under the general title of Other Soundscapes, and in a venue different from the venue in which New York Soundscape was presented, EMF sought to open its presentations of environmental sound and environmentally-inspired music to composers and performers writing for or playing acoustic instruments with or without electronics and not necessarily using New York sounds. From EMF's perspective, all composers, indeed all musicians, should be involved in heightening environmental awareness through sound. These concerts are intended to be an invitation to all musicians to join our environmental activities.

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↓ Concert program

PROGRAM

Te Tangi et te Matui (1986) .....................................................................................................Helen Fisher
Jessica Schmitz, flute and voice

Catalogue d’oiseaux selections (1958) ................................................................................Olivier Messiaen
Jenny Chai, piano

Conference of the Birds (1991) ............................................................................................Ezequiel Vinao
Stephen Gosling, piano

Snowprints (2001) ...........................................................................................................Matthew Burtner
Jessica Schmitz, flute
Madeleine Shapiro, cello
Stephen Gosling, piano

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Olivier Messiaen
Oliver Messiaen's work is unique in its individuality. Educated at the Paris Conservatoire, where his teachers included the great French organist Marcel Dupré, he became principal organist of La Trinité in Paris after graduation in 1930. Messiaen's musical language is derived from a number of varied sources, including Greek metrical rhythms, Hindu tradition, the serialism of Schoenberg, Debussy and bird-song, with his whole work and life deeply influenced by the spirit of Catholicism.
Ezequiel Viñao
Music by Argentinian-American composer Ezequiel Viñao has been performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, City Opera, Almeida Theatre, Musikverein, Kennedy Center, and Library of Congress, among others, with groups such as Absolute Ensemble, Juilliard String Quartet, and the American Composers Orchestra. A faculty member at NYU, Viñao's awards include a Kennedy Center Friedheim Award and a first prize from UNESCO's Latin-American Rostrum of Composers.
Helen Fisher
New Zealand-born composer Helen Fisher has received a steady flow of commissions to compose for a variety of vocal and instrumental ensembles and also for dance theatre. Her compositions have been performed in Europe, Asia, the USA and Australia and regularly in New Zealand. In 1993 she initiated the first New Zealand Composing Womens' Festival, and she was a delegate at the 1994 Australian Composing Womens' Festival in Melbourne.
Matthew Burtner
Matthew Burtner, composer and performer, won first prize in the Musica Nova International Electroacoustic Music Competition, and has received honors and awards from Bourges, Gaudeamus, Darmstadt, Prix d'Ete, Meet the Composer, ASCAP, American Music Center, Hultgren Biennial, and others. Burtner has been composer-in-residence at Musikene in San Sebastian, Banff Centre for the Arts, Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, and the IUA/Phonos Institute in Barcelona.
Jessica Schmitz
Flutist Jessica Schmitz has performed internationally across a wide spectrum of musical arts. as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player with groups including Bang on a Can, So Percussion, and SEM Ensemble, at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, Merkin Hall, and Mass MoCA. A winner of the Artists International Competition, she completed her BM at the Manhattan School of Music in 2006 and her MM at New York University in 2008.
Jenny Chai
Pianist Jenny Chai has performed and premiered works in major concert halls in the U.S. including Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, Kimmel Center, Academy of music and Field’s Hall, Kneisle Hall, Kennedy Center, and Kravis Center. She has also toured in China, Korea and Spain extensively, and is an active competitor in the circuit of international piano competitions. Her awards include Kil’s International Piano Competition, and Steinway Young Artist International Competition.
Stephen Gosling
Hailed as “electric” and “luminous and poised” by the New York Times, pianist Stephen Gosling earned his degrees at the Juilliard School, where he was featured as concerto soloist an unprecedented four times. He is a member of New York New Music Ensemble, Ensemble Sospeso and Columbia Sinfonietta, and has also performed with Orpheus, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, American Composers Orchestra, Speculum Musicae, Ensemble 21, SEM Ensemble, and other ensembles worldwide.
Madeleine Shapiro,
Madeleine Shapiro, cellist, concert producer, educator, and founding director of ModernWorks, performs throughout the United States, Europe and Latin America. From 1974-1996, she was cellist and co-director of The New Music Consort, which toured the United States and Europe and presented premiere performances of works by Milton Babbitt, John Cage, Charles Wuorinen, and Mario Davidovsky. Her performances are available on New World Records, CRI, Mode Records, and Harvestworks labels.

ABOUT THE MUSIC

Helen Fisher 
Te Tangi et te Matui (1986)
This piece for solo performer is based on a Maori karakia (incantation) whose title may be translated as "the call of the matui" (an extinct New Zealand bird). This is first sung and then blended with the tangi (sound) of the flute. The ornateflute style, including the use of quarter-tones, is inspired by that of the small Maori flute, the koauau.

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Olivier Messiaen
Catalogue d’oiseaux (1958)
As Messiaen said, "It’s probable that in the artistic hierarchy, birds are the greatest musicians on our planet." Three compositions from the Catalogue d’Oiseaux will be heard this evening:

L'Alouette Calandrelle (The Short-Toed Lark)
The music takes us to Provence, on a very hot afternoon in July. The plain of Crau east of the Camargue is scorched by a pitiless sun. The sound of crickets is dry and monotonous, interspersed with the calls of birds. The sounds together produce a dance-like music of great vivacity, only briefly interrupted by the quail.

La Bouscarle (The Cetti’s Warbler)
In the Charente, on the banks of a tranquil little stream, the water birds sing in the willows and poplars. Apart from Cetti's warbler, we hear mainly the kingfisher with its magnificent plumage, but the wren and nightingale also have important parts. The calm of the slowly moving water forms the background to the lively conversation of the birds.

Le Traquet rieur (The Black Wheatear)
The sky and the sea are deep blue on this sunny morning in May. The birds and their surroundings radiate laughter and the joy of being alive. Here and there the wind sweeps over the water, making it sparkle.

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Ezequiel Viñao
Conference of the Birds (1991)
The Conference of the Birds for piano and electronics is the first book of a trilogy based on the Mantiq ut-Tayr a mystic poem written by the twelfth century Persian Sufi Farid Attar. It tells the story of the remote king of the birds, the Simurgh. The exuberant imagery of this first book centers on the "Conference" or "Parliament" section of the poem where birds gather to decide if they are to face a road without end leading to the Simurgh's castle, which lies beyond the Kaf, the circular mountain range that surrounds the world.

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Matthew Burtner
Snowprints (2002)
The composer writes: "Snowprints explores snow both conceptually and sonically. Snow relates to bodies through the analogy of 'impressions' or 'prints'. These snow prints are transformed by wind and changing temperature. The wind leaves impressions in the form of drifts; changing light creates shadow prints on its surface; and animals also leave their own fading tracks. In Alaska, I photographed and recorded the images and sounds of many types of movement in different kinds of snow. The expressive noisy sounds of the snow bind the sonic world, creating a background environment for the instrumental/digital prints. Snowprints was commissioned for Trio Ascolto with support from the German Ministerium of Culture, Heidelberg."


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