Ann Cleare, Chiyoko Szlavnics, Øyvind Torvund

Thu 09 Oct, 2014, 8pm

Free ($10 suggested donation)
ISSUE Project Room: 22 Boerum Place, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Yarn/Wire/Currents returns with newly commissioned experimental works by composers Ann Cleare, Chiyoko Szlavnics, Øyvind Torvund. Performed by the celebrated percussion and keyboard quartet Yarn/Wire, with an assemblage of acoustic, modified, electronic, and handmade instruments, this program presents the result of close collaborations between the group and an international array of composers to explore the intersections of live performance, installation, technology, and music theater.

Yarn/Wire is a chamber quartet specializing in the performance of 21st century music. A unique instrumental combination of two percussionists (Ian Antonio & Russell Greenberg) and two pianists (Laura Barger & Ning Yu) allows Yarn/Wire to interface with both traditional performance practice and emergent stylistic trends with ease. Founded in 2005, Yarn/Wire is admired for its "spellbinding virtuosity" (Time Out NY) and the energy and precision it brings to performances of today's most exciting music. Yarn/Wire were ISSUE Project Room Artist-In-Residence in 2012.

Ann Cleare’s recent work aims to create sonic objects and places that evoke architecture with tactile and colourful motions. Her new piece for Yarn/Wire begins with all four performers playing the inside strings of one piano, sculpting a nervous system of incredibly sensitive nodes, which are slowly extracted and re-morphosised into alternative beings outside of the piano space. The piece simultaneously traces two processes rooted from these “nodes”– a process of growth, and a process of stagnation– exploring the energy and psychology between these transformative states.

Ann Cleare is originally from county Offaly in Ireland. She has studied composition at University College Cork, IRCAM, and is currently completing a PhD in Composition at Harvard University. Her music has been performed by Ensemble SurPlus, 175 East, The Crash Ensemble, The International Contemporary Ensemble, Argento Chamber Ensemble, Quatuor Diotima, Collegium Novum Zurich, The Callithumpian Consort, ELISION, The National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, JACK Quartet, Divertimento Ensemble, Ensemble Apparat, The Chiara String Quartet, Ensemble Nikel, and has been presented in festivals such as The Wittenertage fur Neue Kammermusik, MATA, The Gaudeamus Week, and at IRCAM. Future works this year include new pieces for The Curious Chamber Players (Staubach Honoraria, IMD), The SWR Experimental Studios Freiburg (ZKM, Karlsruhe Festival of Electronic Music), and Ensemble Mosaik (Bludenzer Tage zeitgemäßer Musik, Austria). Ann’s scores are published by Project Schott New York. She currently lives and writes by the sea in Dublin, Ireland.

Chiyoko Szlavnics’ drawing-based compositions are characterized by extended durations and a combination of sinewaves with various acoustic instruments. By setting sustains against glissandi, she creates musical scenarios that are rich with beating, graceful movement, harmonies that come into focus, then dissolve, and a certain stillness that allows for sensitive listening. Tonight Yarn/Wire perform the US premieres of Szlavnics' Constellations #I-III (2011) for piano and sinewaves, as well as the recent Constellation IV (2014) for ensemble and sinewaves.

Chiyoko Szlavnics, composer and visual artist, was born in Toronto, Canada, and has lived in Berlin, Germany, since 1998. She studied music at University of Toronto, and composition with James Tenney. In 1997, she attended a residency at the Akademie Schloß Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany, after which she moved to Berlin. Szlavnics has composed for a wide variety of instruments and ensembles, ranging from solos to orchestral works, and created numerous sinewave concert/installations. Her compositions are often based on line drawings, which have been frequently exhibited in Europe and North America.

Øyvind Torvund:

My chief concern is keeping an open approach as to what may function as the constitutive parts of a work of music, and trying to combine several kinds and levels of elements. … Contrasts, juxtapositions and completely opposite perspectives interest me because I believe that there is a lot happening around and beneath the ordinary musical framework, and a lot of unconscious forces to be explored.

«Mud Jam» A psychedelic ritual in the rehearsal space
«Autumn songs» Atonal melodies with campfire guitar
«Action Tape» A romantic doomsday quartet

Alongside regular musical studies in Oslo and Berlin, the Norwegian composer Øyvind Torvund played guitar in rock and improvising groups, and his music assembles disparate materials, inconsistent attitude: sounds from rock or from everyday life (or nature) occurring in chamber music, simplicity in a complex context, improvisation coexisting with exact notation, music combined with film or projections, seriousness in counterpoint with humor. Raw melodic schemes may come from Purcell, the infill from the detritus of electronic distortion or street noise. Categories are split open or blurred, habits unbent. To quote Iggy Pop: “The neon forest is my home.”