drewbakermusic BLOG

Tuesday - January 26, 2010

On Wednesday, January 27th (tomorrow), the ai ensemble will perform works by Alvin Lucier and Morton Feldman. The concert is at the in NYC (7 E. 27th St. between Fifth and Madison) and will begin at 7pm. I am of the opinion that the music of Lucier and Feldman is best experienced live. This is perhaps most apparent in Lucier's Music for Cello with One or More Vases, one of the works to be presented on Wednesday. Each performance ensures a unique rendering given the differences in venue and setup (number of vases). Lucier further articulates this point in a conversation with cellist Arne Deforce: "I think of the vases as small rooms, in which the sound of the cello gets trapped. We know that every room has a set of resonances, determined by its size and physical dimensions. It’s the same for a pot, where there is one strong resonance frequency. I think of the pots as resonant environments. The theatrical and visual aspect that goes with the piece, comes afterwards. Each player that plays the piece uses a different set of pots. So, there isn't only one visual image, it’s just sounds of the cello getting trapped in the pots, and each pot has its own resonant frequency." Click to read the complete interview.

Click here to access Alvin Lucier's web site. Click on the image above to view full-size concert poster In addition to Music for Cello with One or More Vases the program will also include:

  • Bass Clarinet and Percussion - Feldman
  • Piano Piece (to Philip Guston) for solo piano - Feldman
  • For Aaron Copland for solo violin - Feldman
  • Durations II for cello and piano - Feldman
  • Projection I for solo cello - Feldman
  • In memoriam Stuart Marshall for bass clarinet and sine tone - Lucier
  • Silver Streetcar for the Orchestra for triangle - Lucier

Note: The list above is not necessarily the actual program order. The ai ensemble was founded in 2007 by clarinetist Alejandro Acierto and cellist Isabel Castellvi. Recently they have expanded their instrumentation, adding violinist Joshua Modney, percussionist Matt Donello and pianist Vicky Chow. I had the very good fortune to work with ai this past December when they premiered my piece Charon for clarinet, violin and cello. You can view a video of that performance on my homepage. Tomorrow's concert promises to be yet another engaging and exciting event. The concert will be split into two sets. Tickets are $10 for one set and $15 for two. Student tickets are $5 for each set.