Yannis Kyriakides, winner of the Gaudeamus prize in 2000 for his piece conSPIracy cantata, was born in Cyprus and is currently based in Amsterdam. Ensemble MAE will join with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) to perform a number of works by Kyriakides, as well as other Dutch composers Peter Adriaansz and Michel Van der Aa.
Since 1980 the Dutch Ensemble MAE, formerly known as the Maarten Altena Ensemble, has developed itself from an improvisation collective into an ensemble that explores new musical and multidisciplinary territories. Straddling a broad spectrum of experimental traditions, the ensemble has built up a repertoire of over 150 works written for its particular instrumentation by composers such as founder Maarten Altena, Robert Ashley, Richard Ayres, Allison Cameron, Jack Body, Alvin Curran, Guus Janssen, Yannis Kyriakides, Martijn Padding, Steve Martland, Solex, Paul Termos, and has collaborated on projects with guest musicians such as Derek Bailey, Anthony Braxton, Misha Mengelberg, Roscoe Mitchell, Butch Morris, and John Zorn.
20 LP’s and CD’s have been published on labels such as X-OR, hatHUT, Claxon, Philips, Donemus, Attacca, nato and Unknown Public and performed in Japan, USA, Canada, Russia, Mexico, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Finland, Swiss, Austria, England, Sweden, Czech Republic, Belgium, Hungary and of course extensively in its country of residence, the Netherlands.
The idiosyncratic line-up of the ensemble reflects this eclecticism being made up of 9 musicians from many different backgrounds; early music, new music, pop, jazz, and improvisation and electronics; bringing their specialities together in a refreshing and original way.
Under the new artistic leadership of Yannis Kyriakides, the focus has shifted to a deeper exploration of the possibilities of expanding the sound world of an acoustic ensemble through live electronics and a desire to experiment with the way music is experienced through new performance contexts and the use of digital media. Future collaborations include an exploration of the psychoacoustic musical traditions of Alvin Lucier and Nic Collins, work with electronic composers fransisco lopez and John Wall, exploration of video narrative forms with John Oswald and Yannis Kyriakides and always the introduction of a new generation of composers, both established and lesser-known that share the ensemble’s goal of exploring new territories of musical practice.
With a flexible roster of 33 leading instrumentalists performing in forces ranging from solos to large ensembles, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) functions as performer, presenter, and educator, advancing the music of our time by developing innovative new works and pursuing groundbreaking strategies for audience engagement. In an era of radical change, ICE redefines concert music as it brings together new work and new listeners.
Since its founding in 2001, ICE has premiered over 500 compositions, the bulk of them by emerging composers, in venues ranging from New York’s Lincoln Center and Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art to galleries, bars, clubs, and schools around the world. The ensemble has released acclaimed albums on the Bridge, Naxos, Tzadik and New Focus labels, with forthcoming releases on Nonesuch, Kairos and Mode.
With leading support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, ICE launched ICElab in early 2011. This new program places teams of ICE musicians in close collaboration with six emerging composers each year to develop works that push the boundaries of musical exploration. ICElab projects will be featured in more than twenty performances each season and documented online through DigitICE, a new online venue.
ICE’s commitment to build a diverse, engaged audience for the music of our time has inspired The Listening Room, a new educational initiative targeting public schools whose music programs have been cut in the recent recession. Using team-based composition and graphic notation, ICE musicians lead students in the creation of new musical works, nurturing collaborative creative skills and building an appreciation for musical experimentation.