Item Details

TechnoSonics XVII: Transmission. Concert 1: Transmission of Place

McIntire Department of Music
Online; Online Video; Video; Streaming Audio
Matthew Burtner | Threnody (Sikuigvik) “Threnody (Sikuigvik)” was composed at the request of the US State Department for performance during President Obama’s 2015 visit to Alaska. The work was first presented as an installation in the Anchorage Museum of Art as music emanating from inside an 800lb block of glacier ice, a collaborative sculpture created with my brother, architect Garrett Burtner. Sikuigvik, an Inupiaq word meaning “the time of ice melting” is the title of my first ecoacoustic piece, Sikuigvik (1997). This “threnody” commemorates the unprecedented and brutal loss of ice since that time, a scale of melting we did not imagine was possible. “Threnody (Sikuigvik)” is performed within the Sound Cast of Matanuska Glacier, a multichannel sound installation that creates a sonic cast of the real melting glacier. I recorded these sounds over years on the glacier, witnessing and documenting its demise. Hundreds of hours of multichannel recording -- as many as 19 microphones deployed simultaneously -- measure the retreat of the glacier on its surface, inside crevasses, within the ice itself, and under the water. The Sound Cast of Matanuska Glacier and “Threnody (Sikuigvik)” is the sister piece to The Sound Cast of San Giorgio Maggiore installation and Palladian Echoes composition, installed and performed as part of the Digitalis Festival in 2016. This is the premiere of the instrumental version of the work Kiki Keren-Huss | Trails & Traces Very few notes, some played, some hummed with very long silences in between, fragments of sounds materialize then fade away. Tails of a memory, traces of a melody. Rachel Devorah-Trapp | Alloy (2013) Alloy explores the sonic possibilities inherent to the natural horn as a physical object. The piece eschews the hegemony of temperament and cultural expectations that are imposed on the horn and instead imagines a sound space derived from the physical properties of the instrument itself. The horn is treated objectively as a piece of extraordinarily resonant metal, and electronics built with SuperCollider expand the phenomena of the sound space. Christopher Luna-Mega | Geysir (2016) This piece is a study of the acoustic properties of an Icelandic geyser recorded 180 miles East of Reykjavik in the valley of Haukadalur. Its complex harmonies, dynamics and rhythms shift perpetually and in subtle ways. If listened to as a background, the sound may appear to be static. With a focused listening, musical shapes emerge from the sound mass. With the intention of musically assimilating into the sonic characteristics of the geyser, the score for seven pianists and electronics translates its harmonic, dynamic and rhythmic activity, from the lowest to highest register of the piano. Each pianist focuses on an octave and is projected through a speaker, which results in a diffused sound around the audience. The electronics present the geyser in its original form, divided into seven tracks, one track per octave, in order to be fused with the pianos and spatialized around the hall. Software development: Maxwell Tfirn and Jon Gomez. Elliott Grabill | Gravity Gravity is the fifth and final part of a thirty minute cycle for clarinet and live electronics called Pluto, inspired by the recent New Horizons mission. I’ve always been fascinated by space for its beauty, its harshness, and for the laws of physics that govern it. The work employs a range of processing techniques to evoke sensations of flying, expansiveness, gravitational pull, and images of solar wind. About halfway through, the piece launches into a slow, majestic looping section where I based the durations of each loop on a prime number. In this way, the music maintains a balance of complexity and regularity, with loops sometimes coinciding like planets gravitationally resonating with one another. Judith Shatin | Storm Storm, for amplified tenor sax and electronics, reflects both the military and meteorological meanings of the word. While composing this piece in the spring of 2015, I could not help but reflect on the terrible political storms contorting our world, raging in the middle east, Africa and right here at home. Created as part of a 60th birthday celebration for Israeli composer Amnon Wolman, I wanted to think not only of sites of political turmoil, but also of the possibility of peace, of the possibility that particular storms can end. Musically, Storm moves from chaos and keening to at least a whisper of hope, with performance directions that move from ‘wailing’ and ‘screaming’ through ’struggling’ to ‘more gently.’ In composing Storm, I was also thinking of Goya, and of the ways in which art can plumb many emotional depths, and that darkness may nonetheless help shed light.
McIntire Department of Music
Matthew Burtner, Kiki Keren Huss, Rachel Devorah-Trapp, Christopher Luna-Mega, Elliott Grabill, Judith Shatin
For audio only 00:00 - Threnody (Sikuigvik) / Matthew Burtner 12:23 - remarks by Matthew Burtner 16:45 - Trails & traces / Kiki Keren Huss 31:35 - Alloy / Rachel Devorah Trapp 42:58 - Geysir / Christopher Luna Mega 55:57 - Gravity / Elliott Grabill 1:09:28 - Storm / Judith Shatin
Recorded 20 October 2016 at Old Cabell Hall, University of Virginia. Statement of Responsibility: Performers grant the University of Virginia permission to use, reproduce, exhibit or distribute in any medium the recorded performance for non-commercial educational, documentary, and promotional purposes.
Audio: Recorded without pause, including fairly long breaks between works for rearrangement of stage. Videos individually edited per piece.
Threnody (Sikuigvik) / Matthew Burtner for Ensemble and Ecoacoustics Kelly Sulick, flute Shawn Earle, clarinet Katy Ambrose, horn Daniel Sender, violin David Sariti, violin Ayn Balija, viola Adam Carter, cello Greg Howard, Chapman Stick Trails & Traces / Kiki Keren Huss for Tenor Saxophone, Humming, and Four Different Size Speakers Susan Fancher, tenor saxophone Alloy / Rachel Devorah-Trapp for Horn and Electronics Katy Ambrose, horn Geysir / Christopher Luna-Mega for 7 Pianists and Electronics Esther Kim, piano 1 Tim Booth, piano 2 Seung-Hye Kim, piano 3 Gabrielle Chen, piano 4 John Mayhood, piano 5 Nick Anderson, piano 6 Nancy Zhu, piano 7 Zhen Wang, electronics Gravity / Elliott Grabill for Clarinet and Max Patch Shawn Earle, clarinet Storm / Judith Shatin for Tenor Saxophone and Electronics Susan Fancher, tenor saxophone
University of Virginia Concert Recordings
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