Thank you to everyone who supported these commissions!
SAM AND SEMRA GUROL
ROGER & WENDY LEBOW
about the project
SARAH AGNES TUTTLE
ALEKSANDRA VREBALOV wrote more than 60 works, ranging from concert music, to opera and modern dance, to music for film. Her works have been commissioned by Carnegie Hall, Kronos Quartet, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Dusan Tynek Dance Theater, ASCAP, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Barlow Endowment, and Merkin Hall, among others.
Vrebalov has been a fellow at the Rockefeller Bellagio Center, MacDowell Colony, New York’s New Dramatists, and Tanglewood. Her residencies in 2014 include Hermitage (FL) and Djerassi (CA).
Festivals featuring Vrebalov’s work include Lincoln Center Out of Doors, BBC Proms, Edinburgh Festival, and Ravinia.
Named 2011 Composer of the Year by Muzika Klasika (for opera Mileva, commissioned by the Serbian National Theater for its 150th anniversary season), Vrebalov has also received awards by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, MAP Fund, Vienna Modern Masters, ASCAP, Meet the Composer, and Douglas Moore Foundation.
Her works have been released on Nonesuch, Centaur Records, Innova, and Vienna Modern Masters labels, and choreographed by Dusan Tynek (NYC), Rambert Dance Company (UK), Take Dance (NYC), Scottish Dance Theater, and Providence Festival Ballet.
Vrebalov’s most recent collaboration, with director Bill Morrison, Beyond Zero (1914 – 1918), was commissioned and premiered by Kronos Quartet at Berkeley’s Cal Performances in April 2014, with upcoming performances at the Edinburg International Festival, and Gergiev Festival in Rotterdam in the summer of 2014. Vrebalov is currently setting Charles Simic’s poetry for a song cycle commissioned by ASCAP/Kingsford Fund.
SHAWN JAEGER was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1985. His music, described as “introspective, mournful [...] evocative” by the New York Times, often draws inspiration from Appalachian ballad singing and Old Regular Baptist hymnody.
Honors include an ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Award, the Northwestern University M. William Karlins and William T. Faricy Awards, two BMI Student Composer Awards, and the Claire Rosen and Samuel Edes Foundation Prize for Emerging Artists.
His works have been performed by Dawn Upshaw and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the JACK Quartet, Ensemble Dal Niente, the Chicago Q Ensemble, the Great Noise Ensemble, and Contemporaneous, at venues including Zankel Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, (Le) Poisson Rouge, Galapagos Art Space, the Chicago Cultural Center, Atlas Performing Arts Center, and the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts.
In 2010, Jaeger received a commission from Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute as part of a Professional Training Workshop led by Dawn Upshaw and composer Donnacha Dennehy.
Recent commissions include a song cycle for Ms. Upshaw and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, an opera for the Graduate Vocal Arts Program at the Bard College Conservatory of Music, and a new work for saxophonist Ryan Muncy through the JFund/American Composers Forum.
Jaeger is currently a doctoral candidate at Northwestern University; he previously studied at the University of Michigan. He teaches composition and musicianship at the Bard College Conservatory of Music Preparatory Division, and lives in New York City with his wife, soprano Lucy Dhegrae.
CAROLINE PARK is a composer, musician, and artist working within the minimum in experimental electronic music. Her 2011 cassette "Adrift" was noted as "ambient, yet startling," "full of life and vivacity," "unsettling," and "incredible" (emvomv), and her 2013 digital release "field" was described as music existing "in an abstract zone, where space bends and algorithms are allowed bountiful time to work their fractal, generative beauty" (Disquiet).
As a composer-performer, Caroline performs solo, as a duo (+ Asha Tamirisa), in trio (+ Neal Markowski, Beth McDonald), in quartet (+ Peter Bussigel, Stephan Moore, Tim Rovinelli = BUMPR) and sometimes in quintet (BUMPR + T: Suzanne Thorpe). She has shared the stage with Andrea Pensado, Laura Cetilia, Vicky Chow, Bonnie Jones, Suzanne Thorpe, Mem1, Steve Roden, a canary torsi, Luke Moldof, Forrest Larson, Vic Rawlings, Lyn Goeringer, Ed Osborn, Betsey Biggs, Jim Moses, Callithumpian Consort, Stephen Drury, Yukiko Takagi, Los Angeles Children's Chorus, R We Who R We, Evidence, Dollshot, and Arnold Dreyblatt. She has also appeared as a featured artist on pieces by Alvin Lucier, Peter Ablinger, André Cormier, and Stephan Moore. Performances have occurred at AS220, Machines With Magnets, RISD Museum, Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, Middle Oak Parking Garage, Jordan Hall, Goethe-Institut Boston, Boston Center for the Arts, Cafe Fixe, Third Life Studio, Studio Soto, Spectrum, Silent Barn, New Museum, The Invisible Dog, the Stone, 295 Douglass, 16 Beaver, ISSUE Project Room, Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, and the Central Conservatory of Music, in concerts presented/curated by OPENSIGNAL, SEAMUS, CTRL+ALT+REPEAT, R.K. Projects, Non-Event, SICPP, Opensound, Boston CyberArts, Pauline Oliveros, ((audience)), Saint Louis Symphony, and Musicacoustica Beijing.
A Los Angeles native, Caroline received B.M. and M.M. degrees in composition at the New England Conservatory and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Multimedia and Electronic Music Experiments at Brown University (MEME@Brown). Her CD "OCTAVLUV" was described as "glowing" and "beautiful" (The Sound Projector), and both "Adrift" and the digital "OTO" were highly recommended to experimental listeners by Steve Smith (Son Of / Night After Night). Solo discography can be found on Private Chronology, Bathetic Records, Visceral Media Records, Pure Potentiality Records, and Absence of Wax. Caroline is a founding member of OPENSIGNAL, a group of artists concerned with the state of gender and race within electronic and computer-based art practices. She lives and works in Providence, RI.
ELLIOT COLE is a composer, singer, and programmer. Postludes, his book of bowed vibraphone quartets, is a new classic of percussion repertoire, having been performed by over 70 ensembles all over the world, including all major American music schools, So Percussion, TorQ, Blow Up Roma, Mobius Quartet, and Amadinda. He has sung his Hanuman's Leap, a bardic epic for voices and drums, in twelve cities, and it was performed by Grammy-winning choir Roomful of Teeth at the Five Boroughs Music Festival in NYC. His creative friendship (part band, part book club) with Brad and Doug Balliett has produced opera and hip hop collaborations with the Chicago Composers Orchestra, Metropolis Ensemble, Washington Square Winds, operacabal, the Berkshire Fringe Festival, and the Lucerne Festival Academy, where they were Spotlight Artists in 2011. He lives in Newark, NJ and is a doctoral candidate in composition at Princeton University, where he coaches counterpoint and sings in a study group devoted to 14th and 15th century music in facsimile.
RYAN CHASE (b. 1987) is an American composer and pianist. His music has been performed by such ensembles as Alarm Will Sound, Alaria, the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, CIRCE, Contemporaneous, the IU New Music Ensemble, members of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, the Chelsea Symphony, the Mexico City Woodwind Quintet, and new music soprano Ariadne Greif.
His music has been recognized with an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, a Fromm Commission from the Harvard Fromm Music Foundation, two consecutive BMI Student Composer Awards (including the William Schuman Prize for Most Outstanding Entry), the Audience Choice Award from the American Composers Orchestra Underwood New Music Readings, the Suzanne and Lee Ettelson Composer's Award, 1st Prize in the National Association of Composers, USA Young Composers Competition, the Jean Schneider Goberman Award, and the Bohuslav Martinú Award. He was a resident composer at the 2013 Mizzou International New Music Festival and a Ford and Susan Schumann Fellow at the 2012 Aspen Music Festival.
Ryan holds degrees from Indiana University (DM 2014, MM 2010) and the Mannes School of Music (BM 2008). He studied composition with Claude Baker, Chen Yi, David Dzubay, Keith Fitch, Don Freund, Gabriela Ortíz, David Tcimpidis, and George Tsontakis. He studied computer music with John Gibson, Jeffrey Hass, and Alicyn Warren. Ryan is a member of ASCAP.
Composer and accordionist ALBERT BEHAR makes music for contemporary classical ensembles and film soundtracks. He hails from Ojai, California a town famous for its avocados, tangerines, and avant-garde music festival. Described as “charming” by the NY Times, “inventive” by the LA Times, and “truly remarkable” by I CARE IF YOU LISTEN, Behar has collaborated with the Kronos Quartet, VisionIntoArt (VIA), and Contemporaneous. He draws upon American minimalism, French chanson, and baroque music, but moves in a more propulsive rhythmic direction. Albert’s film scores have won awards at the Tribeca Film Festival, and have aired on Showtime, ESPN, and PBS.
For the 2015 River to River Festival, Albert will collaborate with soprano Ariadne Greif on an evening-length multimedia setting of Apollinaire’s ‘Calligrammes.’ Other upcoming projects include commissions from Belgian baroque ensemble Europa Ritrovata and Red Hook power trio Beartoven. Working alongside sound sculptor and MacArthur ‘Genius’ Trimpin, Behar composed several works for his kinetic musical installations. Collaborating with choreographer Claire Westby, Albert created megaphone helmets that turned dancers into human speakers. Julia Wolfe and Morton Subotnick were Albert’s teachers at New York University, where he graduated summa cum laude in Music Composition and French. He is currently based in Brooklyn, NY.
EROL GUROL's compositions blend the music of his Turkish heritage, the Impressionist tradition and its love of texture and harmony, and minimalism for the hypnotic effects on its listener. His music draws inspiration from shapes and movements in the natural world, especially ecosystems on a tiny scale and aquatic biomes. He is fascinated by musical descriptions such as whirling schools or flocks in a blur of aleatoric counterpoint, and the unfurling of a fern frond in circuitous and self-referential melodic lines. He received Masters Degrees in Composition and Theory in New York City from Mannes College, The New School for Music.
JOHN KING is a composer, guitarist and violist who has worked with many ensembles, string quartets, choreographers and directors. He has written the operas: ping, text by Samuel Beckett; la belle captive, texts by Alain Robbe-Grillet; Dice Thrown, based on the Stéphane Mallarmé poem; and SapphOpera, using fragments of Sappho’s poetry. He was Co-Director of the Music Committee for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 2003-2011. He is the recipient of the 2009 Alpert Award in the Arts for Music and the 2014 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award for Sound/Music.
HADAS PE'ERY Hadas Pe'ery is a composer and sound artist. Her works are regularly commissioned and performed throughout Europe, the United States and Israel by ensembles and institutions such as ircam, die Akademie der Künste, Ensemble MusikFabrik and Ensemle Meitar among others. Having completed her studies in composition and electronic music in NY, Paris and Berlin, Hadas currently resides in Tel Aviv where she dedicates much of her time to education and political activism.
Ariadne Greif made her major orchestral debut singing Lutoslawski's Chantefleurs et Chantefables with the American Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared in concert at Weill Hall, Zankel Hall, the Fisher Center, Le Poisson Rouge, Merkin Hall, the Ojai Festival, Yellow Barn Music Festival, the Aldeburgh Music Festival, The Resonant Bodies Festival, and various public radio broadcasts.
She has starred as the title roles in, among other things, Ravel's L'enfant et les sortilèges, Musetta in La Boheme, Rusalka, Ivona in Jeff Myers' The Hunger Art, Lucy in The Telephone, Madeline in Debussy's unfinished opera La Chûte de la Maison Usher with the Opéra Français de New York, Thérèse/Tirésias in Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tirésias at the Aldeburgh Festival, a nameless main role in Gabrielle Herbst's BODILESS, the American stage premiere of Atthis, by Georg Friedrich Haas, and, most recently, Adina in The Elixir of Love with the Orlando Philharmonic.
She performs and tours regularly with a myriad of ensembles, and has premiered over fifty new works for voice.
“…A beautiful and physically fearless young singer…” (NY Times), “…fragile but focused, with searing top notes and dusky depths…. ” (NY Times) "…luminous, expressive voice…" (New York Times), "…Greif was riveting…" (Sequenza 21/), "…took the bull by the horns..." (East Anglian Times), "…radiated a rich and warm soprano voice, strong and accurate..." (East Anglian Times), "...a born actress..." (East Anglian Times), "…put in a thoroughly commanding and effortless performance that thrilled a packed house..." (East Anglian Times), "...Supple and assertive voice..." (Classical Music Rocks) "...splendidly projected and vocally imposing..." (Musical Opinion) "...a voice of crystalline clarity and incision and a sparkling stage personality..." (Coastal Scene) "...dramatic and seductive..." (NY Times), "...elastic and round high notes..." (Classiqueinfo), "...mesmerizing stage presence..." (east Anglian Times), “...a solo high-wire act for Ms. Greif...” (NY Times), “…one of the most searingly painful and revealing operatic performances in recent times…” (NY Times), “a vehicle for Ms. Greif’s raw, no-holds-barred performance,” (NY Times), “…looks to be a boon to new music..." (Los Angeles Times) .
This is a fantastical staged vocal work the length of a long nap--a theater piece, or perhaps an opera, made up of outrageous dream episodes, each composed and curated by a different composer.
It is a multi-composer crowd-commissioning project designed to stimulate and provoke the imagination, and involve the community personally in the creation and consumption of the piece.
The premiere of the first set of compositions, by Aleksandra Vrebalov, Albert Behar, Erol Gurol, Ryan Chase, Elliot Cole, Shawn Jaeger, and Caroline Park was at the 2014 Resonant Bodies Festival.The second workshop performance was on May 30th, 2015, at the 2015 FERUS Festival, and introduced pieces by Hadas Pe'ery and John King. Another workshop of the complete project is scheduled for Fall 2017.
Here is a little PRESS about the project:
Video interview to introduce the premiere performance: