Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rebounds!


Continuing our wrap-up of the past season: on April 10, the Center for 21st Century Music joined forces with Buffalo-based ensemble A Musical Feast to present GUSTO at the Gallery, a program of contemporary works at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Pieces by Xenakis, Mozart, J. T. Rinker, and Mexican composer Mario Lavista were played by UB faculty members Tom Kolor (percussion), Alan Feinberg (piano) and Jonathan Golove (cello), among others.

A centerpiece of the program was Iannis Xenakis's Rebonds ("rebounds"), a tour de force for solo percussionist, in this case UB's own Tom Kolor. Here's a video of a different percussionist (Pedro Carneiro) playing the second part of this exciting piece:



Percussionist Rin Ozaki played J.T. Rinker's Frigate, scored for crotales and computer and premiered at June in Buffalo in 2008. Says Rinker, "I've always loved the sound of the crotales, and thought about what a computer might add that other instruments couldn't if paired with the crotales. As one of the highest pitched instruments of all it seemed only fitting to add a higher part (the crotales never gets to be a cantus firmus or play the role of providing a fundamental) for the instrument... with the idea that pitches/frequencies lower than the instrument could be created using difference tones. As each set of crotales is different the exact result is hard to predict, but it is true that in some parts of the piece the computer part only becomes apparent (is otherwise inaudible) when the crotales are played.

"I know that doesn't explain the title very well. Mostly I like the way the word 'frigate' sounds (just like I like the way the crotales sound), but big picture is that frigate is the first of a group of pieces for solo percussion instruments and computer that will all be named after ships of sail. At the moment I haven't started another piece so Frigate sails alone in search of its imaginary fleet/sister ships."

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