Ultima Festival New York 2014

Henning Christiansen: Requiem of Art (NYC) Fluxorum Organum / Ne(x)tworks

As part of Ultima Festival New York, Henning Christiansen’s performance work Requiem of Art (NYC) Fluxorum Organum receives its first New York presentation, likely the first time one of the late artist’s large-scale pieces is realized in New York. One of the central figures of the Danish branch of Fluxus and also of Denmark’s radical art movement Ex School, Christiansen is highly regarded for his collaborations with Joseph Beuys and for works that trespass conventional boundaries between artistic disciplines. Renowned experimental cellist and artist Anton Lukoszevieze (UK) has developed a new interpretation of this monumental piece— a special commission for Ultima Festival New York— and leads a performance by New York’s superb Ne(x)tworks ensemble.

In the first half of the program, Ne(x)tworks perform pieces by composers Arne Nordheim, Kristin Norderval and Ne(x)tworks ensemble member Shelley Burgon.


* Ne(x)tworks

Arne Nordheim: Vevnad , for cello, trombone, and Disklavier.
Shelley Burgon: Conchoidal
Kristin Norderval: Re-Play #4: Name Piece

* Anton Lukoszevieze with Ne(x)tworks

Henning Christiansen: Requiem of Art (NYC) Fluxorum Organum - New York Premiere

Formed in 2002, Ne(x)tworks is a New York-based collaborative ensemble of musicians creating and interpreting work that features a dynamic relationship between composition and improvisation. In performance and recordings, the group locates pathways into various types of notation systems and interfaces, striving for a meaningful dialogue with the past, present, and future of creative music. Ne(x)tworks first performed at legendary American composer Earle Brown's memorial concert. After this auspicious beginning, the group chose to form around the tradition of the 'performing composer'. It often presents full programs of works created by its members including those of Joan La Barbara, Kenji Bunch, Cornelius Dufallo, and Chris McIntyre. Ne(x)tworks' repertoire also expands outward from its ranks to encompass the "open" scores of Brown and his New York School colleagues and work by the their European counterparts.

With Joan La Barbara, voice; Shelley Burgon, harp & laptop; Yves Dharamraj, cello; Miguel Frasconi, glass & laptop; Stephen Gosling, piano; Ariana Kim, violin; Christopher McIntyre, trombone & electronics.

Cellist, composer and inter-disciplinary artist Anton Lukoszevieze (UK) is one of the most diverse cellists of his generation, notable for his performances of avant-garde, experimental and improvised music. He has collaborated with many composers and performers including Ilan Volkov, David Behrman, Alvin Lucier, Amnon Wolman, Helmut Oehring, Christopher Fox, Philip Corner, Alvin Curran, Phill Niblock and Laurence Crane, He has also performed as a soloist with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra. Lukoszevieze is founder and director of the group Apartment House. In 2012 he was presented with a Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Outstanding Contribution to Chamber Music.

Henning Christensen (1932-2008) was a Danish composer and artist, known as one of the central figures of the Danish branch of the Fluxus movement. Having studied composition at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Copenhagen, in the early 1950s, he attended the Darmstadt Summer School in 1962, where he became involved with the Fluxus movement and was aligned with the radical Danish art movement Ex School. A mainstay of experimental performance in Denmark, Christensen resented the concepts of isolated artistic genius and genre distinctions, and his entire production can be seen as a subsequent and vibrant example of praxis in a constant flux. This is visible from his engagement in Fluxus, over numerous collaborative performances, to his position as a professor at the Art Academy in Hamburg. From 1964 to 1985 Christiansen collaborated regularly with Joseph Beuys, regularly providing the sonic backdrop for his performances.

Shelley Burgon is a New York-based artist whose work centers around the sound of the harp, both as a traditional acoustic instrument in a chamber setting and in electronic music. Burgon received an MFA in Electronic Music from Mills College, where she studied with Pauline Oliveros, Fred Frith, Alvin Curran and Maryanne Amacher. She has played and recorded with artists including Bjork, Zeena Parkins, Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Butch Morris, Christian Marclay and Joan LaBarbara, among many others.

Singer and composer Kristin Norderval's repertoire reaches from renaissance song to NY’s downtown avant-garde. Norderval has worked with Pauline Oliveros, Susie Ibarra, Anne LeBaron and Philip Glass, and her works include installation, composition, improvisation dance and theatre. Alex Ross, music critic of the New Yorker, listed Norderval's Aural Histories (2012) among the most notable recordings of 2012.

Composer Arne Nordheim made his international breakthrough in the early 1960s, and since then his works have been played by the world's leading orchestras and performers. He is regarded as the contemporary Norwegian composer who has achieved the greatest recognition beyond its borders; his name is inextricably linked to the arrival of musical modernism in Norway, and to his rebellion against the time-honored principle that national identity could only be evoked through folk music.

Photo: Henning Christiansen.

Disklavier is generously provided by Yamaha Artist Services.

Ultima Festival New York Edition is presented by ISSUE Project Room and Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

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