The [Switch~ Ensemble] presents a concert of new and old works, engaging with the rich tradition of experimental music in upstate New York. Commissions from Victoria Cheah and Jen Kutler are featured, for quintet and electronics of contrasting modalities. Jen Kutler’s new work is for ensemble and analog machinery, digitally controlled and activated in response to the musicians. Kutler’s artistic practice utilizes “modified found objects that are cultural signifiers of power, gender, queerness and intimacy”, exploring “common and discrepant experiences of familiar social tones in immersive sound and media environments.”
Victoria Cheah is a multi-disciplinary composer interested in boundaries, sustained energy, and social/performance rituals. Cheah’s new work for [Switch~] interrogates how outer forces can destroy one’s sense of self by amplifying contradictions within. Using intimate amplification of the ensemble and items from Cheah’s personal history, this work pushes the presence of these specific objects, instruments and artifacts, to listeners’ awareness.
Sarah Hennies is a composer based in Upstate NY whose work is concerned with a variety of musical, sociopolitical, and psychological issues including including queer & trans identity, psychoacoustics, and the social and neurological conditions underlying creative thought. Her work Everything Else (2016) asks musicians to choose an object/method for performing a repetitive sound-making action that is “non-musical”.
Julius Eastman lived in upstate New York and NYC for much of his career. While his work was under-appreciated during his lifetime it has gained significant recognition in the past decade. NPR has described his music as “challenging, mischievously irreverent, and sometimes ecstatic”. Buddha (1984) is a late period open instrumentation work, a single-page, hand drawn score of a resonating oval encompassing 20 staves of non-durational pitches, without performance instructions.
With support from the New York State Council on the Arts and the Amphion Foundation.
Links: https://victoriacheah.com/ https://www.jenkutler.com/ https://www.sarah-hennies.com/ https://www.npr.org/sections/deceptivecadence/2021/06/21/1007150496/julius-eastman-a-misunderstood-composer-returns-to-the-light