Upcoming Concerts / All Concerts
This performance is part of a bold redirection of the group’s purpose, buoyed by their recent designation as an independent non-profit organization by the IRS. They see this program as a starting point in their long-term plans, with examples from future programs performed by some of the best singers and instrumentalists from Southern California.
Synchromy is proud to be partnering with Brightwork newmusic, a recently-formed sextet of world class instrumentalists on reLaunch. Brightwork will be bringing Shaun Naidoo’s Ararat to the program, as well as participating in several other works, marking the beginning of a long-term collaboration between the two organizations. Brightwork newmusic is Sara Andon, Aron Kallay, Roger Lebow, Tereza Stanislav, Nick Terry and Brian Walsh.
Piano Spheres pianist Mark Robson, one of the leading performers of new (and old!) music in Los Angeles will be performing, including one of his own compositions. The program also includes several vocal works with mezzo-soprano Kristina Driskill, baritone Scott Graff and soprano Ann Noriel.
Tom Flaherty’s string trio, Triphoria, was the selected work from Synchromy’s first-ever call-for-scores earlier this year. As part of an anonymous judging process of scores from Southern-California composers, Triphoria impressed the judges with its inventiveness and energy. It will be performed by Brightwork’s cellist Roger Lebow, along with violinst Alyssa Park and violist Alma Lisa Fernandez.
re: Launch Synchromy’s 2014 Return
When: Friday, September 12, 2014 8:00pm
Where: Occidental College’s Bird Studio
Booth Music & Speech Center
Near the entrance at the intersection of Campus and Bird Road, Eagle Rock
Parking: Free parking is available in the structure, one half block up the hill from Bird
Road on Campus Road.
Psychedelic universes, odd dreams, and birds in warped time highlight this program of mind-altering music with a new commission from composer Jason Heath.
Four Dreams – Dmitri Tymoczko
Birds in Warped Time II – Somei Satoh
Mariel – Osvaldo Golijov
Psy – Peter Eotvos
Time Curve Preludes – William Duckworth
New Commission – Jason Heath
On Friday, May 1st, for the second year in a row PIE will collaborate with the Hear Now Festival of New Music by Los Angeles Composers, with a concert showcasing the very best works selected from a call for scores. This year, PIE and Hear Now are partnering with Brightwork newmusic, a new music sextet consisting of a flexible and fearless group of world-class musicians: flutist Sara Andon, pianist Aron Kallay, cellist Roger Lebow, violinist Tereza Stanislav, pianist Nick Terry, and clarinetist Brian Walsh.
After a successful collaboration with the Hear Now Music Festival in 2014, this year PIE will once more bring an evening of electrifying new music to the scene. Hear Now annually features contemporary Los Angeles composers, and PIE is proud to showcase the music of composers venturing in the waves of the electroacoustic genre. This will be an event and collaboration not to be missed.
For the 2015 edition of this collaboration, this concert will feature Brightwork newmusic, a new music sextet based in Los Angeles, with a flexible and fearless group of world-class musicians: Aron Kallay (piano), Tereza Stanislav (violin), Brian Walsh (clarinet), Sara Andon (flute), Nick Terry (percussion), and Robert Lebow (cello). KPFK says, “Brightwork newmusic takes no prisoners, and leaves no listeners behind. Catch them…if you can.”
The American Composers Forum of Los Angeles, in association with Brightwork newmusic, presents a mini-marathon concert that showcases the diversity of world-class new music being made right here in Los Angeles. The concert will feature 20-30-minute segments curated in turn by ACFLA partners Pacific Serenades, People Inside Electronics (PIE), Salastina Music Society, Synchromy, Tuesdays@MONK Space, and wasteLAnd. Stalwart performers Stephanie Aston, Ashley Walters, Scott Graff, and Gnarwhallaby will be joining the fearless and flexible sextet, Brightwork newmusic, for the evening.
The event is free and open to the public. We expect a full house, so please arrive early. Seats are first come, first served.
Check back soon for more information!
Rarefaction – Elise Roy
Kaleidoscope – William Kraft
Three Zodiac pieces – Adam Borecki, Vera Ivanova, Vicki Ray
He Watches the Clouds Pass the Window – Bill Alves World Premiere
Ariadne – Lou Harrison
Sever – Isaac Schankler
Brightwork is in residence with the Hear Now Festival and People Inside Electronics for this concert featuring Los Angeles composers.
Alex Miller: To Oblivion (Belmont Tunnel)
Ian Dicke: Latest And Greatest
Anthony Paul Garcia: If It Stops
Dominique Schafer: Cendre
Wen Liu: Echoes In Petals Falling
Mu-xuan Lin: Pale Fire
With special guest artists Shalini Vijayan, violin, Alex Miller, guitar, Scott Worthington and Eric Shetzen, bass, and Alma Fernandez, viola.
Brightwork brings it’s eclectic and exciting programming and unique high-energy sound to Cal State San Bernardino in this concert featuring the music of four standout Southern California composers. The ensemble will also collaborate with soprano, and CSUSB faculty, Stacey Fraser on Chris Cerrone’s I will learn to love a person.
Kaleidoscope – William Kraft
i will learn to love a person – Chris Cerrone
Ararat – Sean Naidoo
Why Women Weep – Pamela Madsen
Internal States – Tom Flaherty
Brightwork welcomes as special guests violinist Sarah Thornblade and flutist Sarah Wass.
William Kraft: Kaleidoscope
Chris Cerrone: i will learn to love a person
Shaun Naidoo: Ararat
Why Women Weep: Pamela Madsen
Internal States: Tom Flaherty
Brightwork newmusic is joined by soprano Stacey Fraser for an eclectic and high-energy concert featuring works by Southern California composers. Shaun Naidoo’s Ararat takes the story of the biblical flood as it’s starting point, morphing into a raucous backwater before reaching it’s final resting place in the warm air of the mountains. In Kaleidoscope, William Kraft plays with all the possible colors afforded by Brightwork’s diverse instrumentation. i will learn to love a person is Chris Cerrone’s stunning take on young love, millennial angst, and relationships in the 21st century. Text from author Anaïs Nin’s deeply personal and introspective diary provide a backdrop for Pamela Madsen’s stunning Why Women Weep: IT IS THE QUICKEST WAY TO REJOIN THE OCEAN, for solo cello, spoken voice, and electronics. Tom Flaherty explores three Internal States in this Brightwork commission. Doubthovers between worlds, never finding resolution. Reverie mixes cloudy textures with expressive solo threads in a darkly ambiguous soundscape. Celebration dances, a lot, in a flood of joyous enthusiasm.
As soon as I composed the first measure, I knew that the piece would be based on colors and the title would be Kaleidoscope. There was a moment of hesitation when acknowledging the debt to Debussy, in particular, the intervallic language derived from the whole tone scale.
In Composing, I do not like to predetermine structure, (as many of my colleagues do). I do like to enjoy the adventure along the way. In that way, the balancing of phrases and events reveal the form, as it is being developed. I feel the same way about program notes. Rather than describe the way the piece unfolds and develops, I would like the listeners to also enjoy the adventure along the way. —William Kraft
Chris Cerrone’s I Will Learn to Love a Person is a piece about relationships—personal, romantic, harmonic, and timbral. Like all of his music, it obsessively controls its limited musical materials in service of big emotional catharses.
There are two contrasting “types” of song in I Will Learn to Love a Person. The first, third, and fifth songs emerge from extemporaneous-sounding clouds of harmonies and words: call it text message recitative. The second and fourth songs are bright and motoric, with a candid humor that counteracts the extreme vulnerability of the slow movements. The five songs are masterfully sequenced in a harmonic palindrome, with short interludes of repeated E’s acting as pivot points. Harmonic changes are few, and withheld until they feel revelatory.
The relationship of text and music is no less painstaking. It’s a rare case in which a musical setting is more than the sum of its parts: Tao Lin’s poems, which can be difficult to pin down on the page (are they sincere, or a bit glib?) and the music, so diaphanous at times it seems in danger of evaporating—powerfully concentrate each other in combination. Both elements sound simpler than they actually are. The pianist offhandedly touches some notes, outlining a harmony, over which the singer declaims what could be a series of self-pitying text messages:
seen from a great enough distance i cannot be seen
i feel this as an extremely distinct sensation
of feeling like shit
I Will Learn… requires a wide-ranging and nuanced dramatic performance in order to work correctly; perhaps more than a song cycle, it should be thought of as a self-analytical monodrama. Its protagonist is a precocious observer of the world and other people, but also immature and wildly heartbroken; the process of the piece is the discovery that there is, of course, no set of rules that govern human relationships. —Timothy Andres
Although ararat should not be viewed as an overtly programmatic exercise, there is an undoubted connection between the flood myth and the rhetorical flow of the music. The opening is pensive, and is occupied largely with the building of the three rhythmic figures whose interactions and transformations drive the music throughout. The second section is fast, and initially seems to be the logical response to the opening, but ultimately leads up to a humorous backwater which quite suddenly changes as the spirit of the opening is revisited, in a less tentative, darker mood, and sets the stage for a collision between two of the rhythmic figures which ends abruptly – on Ararat if you like. The music dies out quietly, with a quotation from Alban Berg’s song Warm der Luft, set within an elusive reference to the opening rhythm. —Shaun Naidoo
Why Women Weep: IT IS THE QUICKEST WAY TO REJOIN THE OCEAN for solo cello, spoken voice and electronics, is from my multi-media oratorio: “There will come soft rains” for ensembles, soloists and spoken voice, about the need for water and the meaning of rain. I composed this work as a solo work for cellist, that resides in the place of “middleground” between image-music and text, neither background ambient music or foreground, solo music, but hovering at a delicate point in between the various layers of the work. The cello part is based upon “middleground” materials of masterpieces of tonal music —the resonant architecture of voice-leading analysis of works, and spectrum of overtones, so is intentionally both reminiscent and yet distant. This work is also an embedded nocturnes, so has also a secret quote of Chopin hidden within. Like Anaïs’ own discussion of her self in her diaries, which this work quotes, this work embodies three selves—the cello, the spoken voice of the performer, and the recorded voice of Anaïs Nin. Anaïs Nin (1903–77), an American writer of Cuban-Spanish and French-Danish descent, is perhaps best known for her close association with Henry Miller, and for her extensive, deeply introspective diary. Transformed by psychoanalysis and a subsequent relationship with Freud’s longtime colleague Otto Rank, Nin wrote surrealist, experimental, and deeply personal fiction derived from her own experiences. She understood these innate characteristics of texts better than most writers, and through the creation of her handmade, semiautobiographical, deeply personal books, created works of great magnetism and power. —Pamela Madsen
Internal States reflects, as all music does, inner states that we all experience.
“Doubt” hovers between two harmonic worlds. An unsettled texture breaks into consonant major/minor sonority with some frequency. Just as often it remains locked in a paralyzed isometric state, unsure of where to go. Searching solo lines sometimes find resolution, sometimes continue the search. Just when the music might blossom into a clear resolution it takes an unexpected turn and ends with a quiet truce.
“Reverie” mingles cloudy textures with expressive solo lines in an often dark but ambiguous dreamscape.
“Celebration,” dances. A lot.
Internal States was commissioned by Brightwork newmusic, whose expressive and virtuosic playing were a constant inspiration.
Brightwork newmusic is joined by Soprano Stacey Fraser and Conductor Anthony Parnther to bring you a semi-staged production of “Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot” by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.
Other Cautionary Music by: Veronika Krausas, Jason Barabba, & Somei Satoh
Go further down the rabbit hole: Pre-Concert Talk at 7:15PM hosted by Jack Van Zandt.
Friday, 2/09/18 at the Boston Court in Pasadena, 8PM
In Lost and Found, again…, Brightwork newmusic explores what it means to be lost over and over again, only to be found, albeit for a fleeting moment. Bill Alves’ Night Refuge* features the processed sounds of modern refugee camps along with images of refugees fleeing a military invasion from the 1932 film A Farewell to Arms. In Jonathon Grasse’s Cooking School*, a tragicomedic tableaux depicting the perils and successes at an Edward Gorey-esque school for culinary arts plays out as various disjointed identities – playful, macabre, serious, recreational – pop in and out of existence. Molly Joyce makes being found the point of her playful Lost and Found**, here reworked for Brightwork’s instrumentation. The cellist begins the work lost, and it is the other instruments that help her find herself. A.J. McCaffrey’s Murmurationsdepicts an enormous flock of birds forming a massive, constantly shifting cloud that seems like one solid but ever-changing shape in the sky, each individual lost in the crowd. In Takuma Itoh’s driving Parallel Divergence it is the pianist that never stops playing as the other instruments struggle to keep up, occasionally diverging from the main force of the piano to create independent lines of their own. Liviu Marinescu’s A-Gain** illustrates the impact of repetition on musical form as various motives, phrases, and sometime entire sections are “found” over and over again, creating a sense of déjà vu. Scale 9 is the scale used to measure hypomania in a manual widely used to by psychologists. Sean Friar captures many of the hallmarks of a manic episode in this dynamic piece; especially distraction by irrelevant stimuli, flights of ideas, elevated mood, and accelerated and occasionally out-of-control motor activity. In the end, it all flits away into the aether, lost again…
**World Premiere of new arrangement
In Lost and Found, again…, Brightwork newmusic explores what it means to be lost over and over again, only to be found, albeit for a fleeting moment. Bill Alves’ Night Refuge* features the processed sounds of modern refugee camps along with images of refugees fleeing a military invasion from the 1932 film A Farewell to Arms. In Jonathon Grasse’s Cooking School*, a tragicomedic tableaux depicting the perils and successes at an Edward Gorey-esque school for culinary arts plays out as various disjointed identities – playful, macabre, serious, recreational – pop in and out of existence. Molly Joyce makes being found the point of her playful Lost and Found**, here reworked for Brightwork’s instrumentation. The cellist begins the work lost, and it is the other instruments that help her find herself. A.J. McCaffrey’s Murmurationsdepicts an enormous flock of birds forming a massive, constantly shifting cloud that seems like one solid but ever-changing shape in the sky, each individual lost in the crowd. In Takuma Itoh’s driving Parallel Divergence is the pianist that never stops playing as the other instruments struggle to keep up, occasionally diverging from the main force of the piano to create independent lines of their own. Liviu Marinescu’s A-Gain** illustrates the impact of repetition on musical form as various motives, phrases, and sometime entire sections are “found” over and over again, creating a sense of déjà vu. Scale 9 is the scale used to measure hypomania in a manual widely used to by psychologists. Sean Friar captures many of the hallmarks of a manic episode in this dynamic piece; especially distraction by irrelevant stimuli, flights of ideas, elevated mood, and accelerated and occasionally out-of-control motor activity. In the end, it all flits away into the aether, lost again…
**World Premiere of new arrangement