Tectonics Festival New York 2015

Ongoing Series

May 7 – May 9, 2015

ISSUE Project Room is pleased to announce the return of Iceland's acclaimed Tectonics Festival for the second-annual New York edition: Tectonics Festival New York 2015, presented by ISSUE Project Room over three evenings, May 7, 8 & 9, 2015, at the First Unitarian Congregational Society, Brooklyn, and Abrons Art Center, NYC. Founded in 2012 by conductor Ilan Volkov, Tectonics provides a rare forum for the critical consideration of new developments in contemporary composition, with explorations of improvisation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and experimental performance practice from an international array of emerging and established composers.

Festival highlights include a new commission by Nate Young of Wolf Eyes with Mario Diaz de Leon, solo pipe organ works by Klaus Lang and Morton Feldman, classic compositions by David Berhman and Julius Eastman, and the premiere of Nate Wooley's Seven Storey Mountain V.

Thursday, May 7th at 8pm, the festival opens at the First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn Heights with a program utilizing their pipe organ, built in 1900. The Austrian composer Klaus Lang is featured; a celebrated organist, he performs his triptych for the instrument, ABD. The renowned Brooklyn quartet Yarn/Wire perform Lang’s 2008 piano/percussion work the whitebearded man. the six frogs., as well as Annea Lockwood’s Immersion (1998) for marimba and tam-tams. Morton Feldman’s only work for solo organ, Principal Sound (1980) is performed by Australian composer and instrumentalist James Rushford. The night closes with a new commission for Tectonics NY: Standard Deviance One, a collaboration between Nate Young (Wolf Eyes) and Mario Diaz de Leon, based on material from the albums "Blinding Confusion" and "Stay Asleep" by Young's Regression project. Over five movements, the work explores Young's masterful sense of atmosphere and lucid dread, arranged and expanded for an ensemble of eight musicians.

The following evening, Friday, May 8th, at 8pm, the series moves to Abrons Art Center. The program turns attention is turned to composer and multimedia artist David Behrman, a seminal New York figure and co-founder of the Sonic Arts Union, active since the 1960s. Behrman performs his now-classic 1966 composition Wave Train, exploring resonant characteristics of a grand piano with feedback, and presents an ensemble work, Long Throw (2007-), joined by performers Maya Dunietz, Joseph Kubera, and James Rushford. A solo piece by John McGuire, known for his “postminimalist” synthesis of minimalism and serialism, is performed by soprano Beth Griffith, for whom it was composed from 1990-97. Acclaimed pianist Joseph Kubera presents a solo program including works by Julius Eastman, an underlooked but key figure from the first generation of minimalist composers, as well as the Canadian composers Chiyoko Szlavnics, whose compositions stem from a drawing practice, and Barbara Monk Feldman, a former student and widow of Morton Feldman. James Rushford and Klaus Lang return for a first-time duo performance, commissioned for Tectonics Festival NY.

The series closes Saturday, May 9th at 8pm, again at Abrons Art Center. Members of TILT Brass perform work of emerging American composer William Dougherty for trombone quintet. Glasgow-based Fritz Welch, a drummer, percussionist, and vocalist who became a cult figure as part of Peeesseye, performs solo. Israeli sound artist Maya Dunietz presents the U.S. premiere of her solo work Boom (2014), for vocals, electronics, piano, and video. The festival closes the premiere performance of Seven Storey Mountain V, by innovative trumpeter and composer Nate Wooley. The fifth installment of Wooley's cycle attempts to create a purely musical ecstatic space through composition and improvisation. The work has expanded from its previous iterations in scale and complexity, and features a 19-piece ensemble of powerful performers including Colin Stetson, TILT Brass Octet, and Ben Vida creating a slow accretion of sound and energy.

The Tectonics Festival New York 2015, presented by ISSUE Project Room, follows 2014 editions of the festival around the world— in Brooklyn at ISSUE Project Room, Reykjavik with Iceland Symphony, Glasgow with BBC Scottish Symphony, Adelaide as part of the Adelaide Festival, and in Tel-Aviv with the Israeli Contemporary Players.

Tectonics Festival New York 2015 is made possible, in part, by support from the Austrian Cultural Forum.

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