Saturday, September 30th, ISSUE is pleased to present WITH, the second evening of FOR/WITH, a mini-festival featuring new commissions with some of America’s most iconoclastic composers and performers. A celebration of individual languages and the spirit of collaboration, the series continues with the premiere of Stem-Flower-Root by Michael Pisaro, a performance of Annea Lockwood’s 1995 work I Give You Back performed by Kristin Norderval, and a performance of Christian Wolff’s open score Edges or Exercises. The evening and series will close with a roundtable discussion and Q&A with Nate Wooley and all four of the series’ composers: Annea Lockwood, Ashley Fure, Christian Wolff and Michael Pisaro.
Organized by performer, composer and former ISSUE Artist-In-Residence Nate Wooley, FOR/WITH simultaneously premieres distinct new compositions for solo trumpet while also embarking on a celebration of the independent work of the series’ commissioned composers.
Stem-Flower-Root, the title of Michael Pisaro’s commissioned work for trumpet and sine waves, provides an apt metaphor for the FOR/WITH series at-large. Wooley describes how each of the composers featured have something in common with the structure outlined in Stem-Flower-Root; they demonstrate a power and creativity that can remain hidden, yet essential, in the structure (stem) of their works. Pisaro, Lockwood, Fure and Wolff all work with sound, but with a sense that the sound is coming from a deep and settled, human place (root). And, as will be heard, the music and ideas from these four composers bloom in incandescent ways.
Annea Lockwood’s 1995 composition I Give You Back, performed by Kristin Norderval, is a lament for unaccompanied mezzo-soprano and is set to a text by celebrated Mvskoke poet Joy Harjo. The score notes evoke the piece as “the simple image of one woman onstage, barefoot, letting loose great octave leaps and glissandos peaking in sharp cries, projecting a beautifully unfettered freedom.”
The evening then features a performance of Christian Wolff’s Edges or Exercises featuring Nate Wooley (trumpet), Christian Wolff (small percussion and melodica), Michael Pisaro (electric guitar) and Kristin Nordeval (voice). In the liner notes for Wolff’s 10 Exercises, the American composer Frederic Rzewski describes the work as “not reproducing familiar forms, but revealing, behind these, life’s unpredictability. You could say it is political; improvisatory; concerned with collaborative, non-hierarchical forms of social organization; but you can’t really say what it is like (although John Cage came close when he said, after a performance of the Exercises in New York, that it was like the classical music of an unknown civilization).”
Annea Lockwood: I Give You Back – Kristin Norderval Soprano Voice (8’)
Michael Pisaro: Stem-Flower-Root – Nate Wooley Trumpet and Sine Waves (30’)
Christian Wolff: Edges or Exercises Nate Wooley (Trumpet), Christian Wolff (Small Percussion and Melodica), Michael Pisaro (Electric Guitar), Kristin Norderval (Voice) (20’)
Roundtable discussion/Q&A Nate Wooley, Annea Lockwood, Ashley Fure, Christian Wolff, Michael Pisaro
New York-based American trumpeter Nate Wooley (b. 1974) has performed on over 100 recordings. Increasingly acknowledged internationally, Wooley’s specific style is part of a burgeoning revolution in experimental trumpet technique. His own compositions expand conceptions of linguistic based embouchure manipulation and utilize the trumpet to control amplified feedback. He has performed regularly with such icons as John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, Eliane Radigue, Ken Vandermark, Fred Frith, Evan Parker, and Yoshi Wada, as well as being a collaborator with some of the brightest lights of his generation like Chris Corsano, C. Spencer Yeh, Peter Evans, and Mary Halvorson.
Christian Wolff (born 1934, Nice, France) is a composer, teacher and sometime performer. Since 1941 he has lived in the United States. He studied piano with Grete Sultan and composition briefly with John Cage, in whose company, along with Morton Feldman, then David Tudor and Earle Brown, his work found encouragement and support, as it did subsequently from association with Frederic Rzewski and Cornelius Cardew, and with Merce Cunningham and his dance company. As an improviser he has played with the English group AMM, Christian Marclay, Takehisa Kosugi, Keith Rowe, Steve Lacy, Larry Polansky and Kui Dong. From 1971 to 1999 he taught classics, comparative literature and music at Dartmouth College.
Ashley Fure (b. 1982) is an American composer of acoustic and electroacoustic concert music as well as intermedia installation art. Called “raw, elemental,” and “richly satisfying” by the New York Times, her work explores the kinetic source of sound, bringing focus to the muscular act of music making and the chaotic behaviors of raw acoustic matter. She holds a PhD in Music Composition from Harvard University and further degrees from IRCAM (Cursus 1 and 2), Oberlin Conservatory and the Interlochen Arts Academy. Fure was a Mellon Post-doctoral Fellow at Columbia University in 2014 and joined the Dartmouth College Department of Music as an Assistant Professor of Sonic Arts in September 2015.
Annea Lockwood (b. 1939) is a New Zealand born American composer known for her explorations of the rich world of natural acoustic sounds and environments, in works ranging from sound art and installations, through text-sound and performance art to concert music. Her music has been performed in many venues and festivals including MACBA Barcelona, De Ijsbreker, the Other Minds Festival-San Francisco, the Walker Art Center, the Whitney Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum, among many others. She was a recipient of the 2007 Henry Cowell Award. Her music has been issued on CD and online on the Lovely Music, Ambitus, EM, XI, Rattle, Lorelt, and Pogus labels.
Michael Pisaro (born 1961 in Buffalo, New York) is a guitarist and composer. A member of the Wandelweiser Composers Ensemble, he has composed works for a great variety of instrumental combinations. Since 2010 portrait concerts of his music have been given in London, Paris, New York, Santiago, Tel Aviv, St. Petersburg, Tokyo, Oxford, Glasgow, Moscow, Chicago, Munich, Huddersfield, Madrid, Brussels, Montpelier, Boston, Berlin, Houston, Düsseldorf, Trondheim, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Nantes, Mexico City, Seattle, Linz, San Diego and elsewhere. Recordings of his work (solo and collaborative) have been released by Edition Wandelweiser Records, erstwhile records, New World Records, another timbre, slubmusic, Cathnor, Senufo Editions, winds measure, HEM Berlin and on Pisaro's own imprint, Gravity Wave. Before joining the composition faculty at the California Institute of the Arts (where he is located presently), he taught music composition and theory at Northwestern University from 1986 to 2000. In 2005/6 he was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. He was Fromm Foundation Visiting Professor of Music Composition in the Department of Music at Harvard in the fall of 2014.
Kristin Norderval is a performer, composer and improviser who performs a repertoire that spans the renaissance to the avant-garde. Profiled by The New York Times in "Downtown Divas Expand their Horizons", and hailed as one of "new music's best" by the Village Voice, she has performed at festivals throughout the world, and her collaborations have included work with choreographers, sculptors, filmmakers and installation artists. She has performed as a soloist with the Oslo Sinfonietta, the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and the Philip Glass Ensemble, and has been a featured soloist in several dance-theater works: among them the Netherlands Dance Theater's production of Martha Clarke's An Uncertain Hour (Lincoln Center, the American Dance Festival, the Netherlands) and Dance Alloy's production of Pope Joan, a dance-opera by Anne LeBaron performed in Pittsburgh in October 2000.