Monday, December 10, 2012

Wooden Cities performs University at Buffalo composers!

We’re looking forward to the upcoming concert by Buffalo-based new music collective Wooden Cities, on Friday, December 14th, at 8:00 p.m., at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, where they will offer a program filled exclusively with University at Buffalo composers. According to their mission statement, Wooden Cities “is both an ensemble and a collective of performers and composers seeking to help increase the performance and awareness of contemporary music in the Western New York area through unique, educational presentations.”

Wooden Cities
photo by Megan Metté
Wooden Cities was founded in July of 2011 by artistic director and UB alumn Brendan Fitzgerald, and originally “served as a vehicle for director Brendan Fitzgerald to present John Zorn's game piece Cobra. Since that time the group has grown to include over a dozen performers and is constantly seeking new works by new composers while continuing to present works by some of the essential, yet underrepresented composers of the 20th Century.”

Friday night’s concert will feature 10 musicians, almost all of them veterans of the UB composition or performance programs:

Brendan Fitzgerald, conductor/artistic director/drumset
Lana Stafford, flutes
Christopher Culp, clarinets
Nathan Heidelberger, horn/piano
Evan Courtin, violin
TJ Borden, violoncello
Katie Weissman, electric 'cello
Zane Merritt, guitars
Ethan Hayden, vocals

Four pieces by UB graduate composers will lead the program: Jacob Gotlib’s Year without Summer (Daumenkino) (2011), Ethan Hayden’s Monte (2012), Nathan Heidelberger’s Halve Time (quartet after Zeno) (2012) and Zane Merritt’s 7 Broken Points (2012). An excerpt from the program notes offers some useful insight into the compositional framework behind Heidelberger’s Halve Time (quartet after Zeno), “Zeno, an ancient Greek philosopher, posed the paradox that one can never fully travel some fixed distance, since one must first travel half of that distance, and then half of the remaining distance, and so on, ad infinitum, with smaller and smaller remaining distances always getting segmented into smaller and smaller halves. Halve Time applies Zeno's logic to the durations of its five movements. The first movement is approximately a minute and a half long, and it lays out all the musical ideas contained within the work. The subsequent movements explore what happens to those ideas when they are forced into smaller and smaller containers.”

The concert will also feature works by UB undergraduate composers studying composition with composer and teacher Jacob Gotlib: Ashley Barnes, Chien-Han Hsao, Robert Naranjo, Vincent Parlato, West Richter, and Kevin Westerman.

Wooden Cities will be active this all winter long, and will give another concert on the following Friday, December 21, at the St. Joseph University Parish, when they will perform Olivier Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du temps (1941), in playful recognition of the last day of the Mayan calendar.

You can peruse performances and recordings of Wooden Cities on their soundcloud, where you can hear them perform Book, the doctoral dissertation by UB alumn composer Will Redman.

Hope to see you there!

December 14, 2012
Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center
341 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202
Wooden Cities Fall Concert I

$10 General
$7 Members/Students/Seniors
$12 For a Whole Family
$15 For Both This Concert AND 12/21/12 Concert at St. Joseph's University Parish, University Heights

Link to this post here.

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