06
Nov 22

Premieres April 2023

April 15, 2023 at 7:30PM, at Saint Peter’s Church in Chelsea, Ekmeles sings four world premiere commissions, as well as a live premieres of a work previously only recorded during quarantine.

LI Qi’s flower isn’t flower sets Tang dynasty poetry by 8th-9th century poet BAI Juyi, reaching into the past for an expression of impermanence. Nick Dunston’s Mothership on the other hand goes into the future, taking inspiration from Octavia E. Butler’s Xenogenesis, and building a science fiction hivemind unity from the six voices of the ensemble.

Zosha Di Castri’s New Work is a kind of vocal timelapse, being written 10 years after her first piece for Ekmeles. It also deals with time and memory in its text, setting various fragments of Sappho, partially redacted by time and decay of sources. Stratis Minakakis also draws on ancient Greek texts, in his exploration of the Ajax story in his New Work. Shadowy microtonal figures evoke the machinations of the gods behind the story of the soldier second only to Achilles in heroes of the Trojan War. Arash Yazdani’s New Work concludes this trio of pieces drawing inspiration from Western Asia, exploring the acoustic phenomena of the voice with reference to traditional Iranian music.

  • LI Qi – flower isn’t flower (2021) Live Premiere
  • Nick Dunston – Mothership (2022) World Premiere
  • Arash Yazdani – New Work (2022) World Premiere
  • Stratis Minakakis – New Work (2022) World Premiere
  • Zosha Di Castri – New Work (2022) World Premiere

Total duration of the program is approximately 75 minutes without intermission.

Personnel for concert

Ekmeles’s 2022-2023 season is made possible with funds from the Amphion Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Alice M. Ditson Fund, The Fritz Reiner Center for Contemporary Music, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


25
Aug 22

Premieres January 2023

Ekmeles sings live premieres of works previously only recorded during quarantine, as well as a US premiere.

Artun Çekem’s Silicone Skin and Fleshy Masses explores a hybrid human/machine sound through the combination of voices and voice-like combinations of sine waves. This electronic world is transformed from partner into antagonist in Jeff Myers’s Advice to a Migraineure, whose pulsing drone evokes the omnipresent dread of someone suffering from migraines. The battle to keep out migraine triggers is expressed as a desire to close out the world and to become a “walled city” in the evocative text by Jennifer de Guzman. Both works are heard here in their live premieres.

Josep Sanz’s King Lear sets text from Act IV, scene 6 of Shakespeare’s late tragedy of succession, as well as a portion of Antigone. The king’s madness is paired with keening recitation of the Sophocles text, reaching across time to join two royal tragedies of power and loss. The US premiere of Younghi Pagh-Paan’s Hin-Nun (White Snow) brings a vision of winter with icy swirling vocal lines, evoking also the traditional color of mourning in Korean culture. We then move from narrative and poetic in the aforementioned works, to the completely abstracted in Anthony Green’s BA4. The vocal mechanism is addressed in component parts in an extended metaphor around the motor cortex’s mapping of our body.

Nina Fukuoka’s fever dream made manifest expresses the anxieties and oddities of early COVID quarantine life, and the composer’s experience of American politics from an outside point of view. She describes it as a “double irony tribute to” among other things, bad taste, nostalgia, pandemic, and -That Person-. Anna-Louise Walton’s the deep glens where they lived filters small vocal sounds through a variety of PVC pipes, creating a watery and evocative texture that ebbs and flows, and earned the composer the International Alliance for Women In Music Choral/Vocal Ensemble prize for 2021. Both works are heard here in their live premieres.

  • Jeff Myers – Advice to a Migraineure (2019) Live Premiere
  • Younghi Pagh-Paan – Hin-Nun II / White Snow (2005) US Premiere
  • Artun Çekem – Silicone Skin and Fleshy Masses (2021) Live Premiere
  • Josep Sanz – King Lear (2008)
  • Nina Fukuoka – fever dream made manifest (2021) Live Premiere
  • Anna-Louise Walton – the deep glens where they lived (2021) Live Premiere

Total duration of the program is approximately 70 minutes without intermission.

Personnel for concert

Ekmeles’s 2022-2023 season is made possible with funds from the Amphion Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Alice M. Ditson Fund, The Fritz Reiner Center for Contemporary Music, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


23
Aug 22

Tone Colors

October 28th 2022 at 7:30PM, at the crypt of Church of the Intercession, Ekmeles sings colorful and microtonal works, as well as a world premiere.

Younghi Pagh-Paan’s Hin-Nun II /White Snow brings a vision of winter into our New York fall with icy swirling vocal lines, evoking also the traditional color of mourning in Korean culture. Feliz Anne Reyes Macahis’s salle cinq resonates with the crypt space in a different way, by its gloss on 14th century French music, and vocal writing intended for the Leechkirche in Graz Austria.

Several of our works for the evening involve an extremely proscribed view of the overtone series. Laura Steenberge’s Piriforms takes a single just-intoned harmony and explores all of the shadings of it through vowel shifts, while Frank J. Oteri’s (not) knowing the answer spins out melodies using only overtones 8-15 of a low G, setting a series of sijos by james r. murphy.

Our soprano mezzo baritone and bass have begun building a repertoire of works for quartet within the larger sextet of Ekmeles. Two of those pieces appear on this concert. Nomi Epstein’s piece for voices, heard here in its world premiere, was written by the composer after she heard Ekmeles’s performance of her Four Voices as part of a live broadcast in 2021, on which Rebecca Bruton’s i n s t i t u (appearing here in its second performance) was originally broadcast.

Finally Erin Gee‘s Mouthpiece 36, written for Ekmeles after working with the composer to record her Three Scenes from Sleep, and with the support of a Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Grant, skitters and pops along with Gee’s idiosyncratic and idiomatic vocal gestures.

  • Younghi Pagh-Paan – Hin-Nun II / White Snow (2005) US Premiere
  • Feliz Anne Reyes Macahis – salle cinq (2018) US Premiere
  • Laura Steenberge – Piriforms (2010)
  • Frank J. Oteri – (not) knowing the answer (2015) World Premiere
  • Nomi Epstein – piece for voices (2021) World Premiere
  • Rebecca Bruton – i n s t i t u (2021)
  • Erin Gee – Mouthpiece 36 (2021)

Total duration of the program is approximately 75 minutes without intermission.

Personnel for concert

Ekmeles’s 2022-2023 season is made possible with funds from the Amphion Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Alice M. Ditson Fund, The Fritz Reiner Center for Contemporary Music, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


20
Aug 22

University of Florida composers

September 8th at Oktaven Audio in Mount Vernon, NY, Ekmeles records a concert of works by University of Florida composers.

  • Jordan Alexander Key – The Passion of Bruno (2022) WP
  • Jane K – Your Smile (2022) WP
  • Brendan Sweeney – Variations on Seeing a Cute Puppy (2022) WP
  • Daniel Townsend – Emotional Data (2022) WP

Personnel for concert

Ekmeles’s 2022-2023 season is made possible with funds from the Amphion Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Alice M. Ditson Fund, The Fritz Reiner Center for Contemporary Music, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. The New York portion of this program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


14
Apr 22

Long Play: Stimmung

April 29th 5PM, at Mark Morris Dance Center, Ekmeles opens Bang on a Can’s Long Play Festival with a performance of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s legendary 1969 work Stimmung.

A work that explores the interiority of vowels and the self, Stimmung manages to be utopian, private, universal, spiritual, sexual, goofy, and ecstatic all at once.

  • Karlheinz Stockhausen – Stimmung (1969)

Personnel for concert

Ekmeles’s 2021-2022 season is made possible with funds from the Amphion Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Alice M. Ditson Fund, The Fritz Reiner Center for Contemporary Music, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


14
Apr 22

Premieres May 2022

May 27th 7:30PM, at the crypt of Church of the Intercession, Ekmeles sings the world premieres of new works written for them. Max and vax proof required for entry.

Hannah Kendall’s this is but an oration of loss sets words from Ezekiel as well as M. NourbeSe Philip’s Zong!, weaving together the voices with harmonicas and music boxes, and images of bones and tendons.

Erin Gee’s Mouthpiece 36 follows on the ensemble’s lauded recording of her 3 Scenes from Sleep. Since that collaboration, Gee has further developed her idiosyncratic and idiomatic vocal techniques to specifically explore the timbres of Ekmeles’s performers, resulting in a deep and characterful new work. The commission of this work has been made possible by the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program, with generous funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Fredrik Rasten’s Harmony for Six Voices explores subtle variations of tuning, rocking back and forth between two different tonal centers in an exploration of the composer’s work in microtonality as a composer and part of the Harmonic Space Orchestra in Berlin. Julie Zhu’s Empty House explores tuning through a hand drawn alternative notation, in homage to R. Murray Schafer’s Snowforms. The piece consists of wave after wave of sound, suspended and floating. Finally, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen’s Green pairs a vocal quartet with small hand percussion, dissecting a miniature madrigal in characterful and lyrical fashion.

  • Hannah Kendall – this is but an oration of loss (2022) WP
  • Erin Gee – Mouthpiece 36 (2021) WP
  • Fredrik Rasten – Harmony for six voices (2017/19/21) WP
  • Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen – Green (2011)
  • Julie Zhu – Empty House (2020)

Personnel for concert

Ekmeles’s 2021-2022 season is made possible with funds from the Amphion Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Alice M. Ditson Fund, The Fritz Reiner Center for Contemporary Music, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


15
Feb 22

UNM Robb Composers’ Symposium

April 7th at the Cathedral of St. John in Albuquerque, NM, and April 9th at St. Peter’s Church in Chelsea, New York, Ekmeles performs works from the UNM Robb Composers Symposium.

Works by members of Ekmeles will be performed alongside works by world premieres of composers of the UNM Robb Composers’ Symposium.

  • Charlotte Mundy – New Work (2022) WP
  • Jeffrey Gavett – Waves (2019)
  • Karola Obermüller – Mass:Distance:Time (2010/2016)
  • Peter Gilbert – As the waters began to rise (2022) WP
  • Patricia Alessandrini – New Work (2022) WP
  • José-Luis Hurtado – All the names (2016) WP
  • Anthony Braxton – Compositions 245 & 255 (2000)

Personnel for concert

Ekmeles’s 2021-2022 season is made possible with funds from the Amphion Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Alice M. Ditson Fund, The Fritz Reiner Center for Contemporary Music, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. The New York portion of this program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


09
Feb 22

Ukrainian Contemporary Music Festival

March 18th, 7PM at Merkin Hall, Ekmeles performs in the program Forest Song as part of the UCMF.

A lush green forest with the text "Forest Song", and the date Friday March 18, 2022.

Ekmeles will sing alongside four flutes and percussion in a concert revealing contemporary composers’ preoccupation with the natural world and the myths that have grown from the mysterious settings of Ukrainian forests in the North.

  • Ivan Nebesnyy – Air Music 1/Wind Music

Personnel for concert

  • Joy Tamayo, soprano
  • Kate Maroney, mezzo soprano
  • Tomás Cruz, tenor
  • Steven Hrycelak, bass

Ekmeles’s 2021-2022 season is made possible with funds from the Amphion Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Alice M. Ditson Fund, The Fritz Reiner Center for Contemporary Music, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


02
Feb 22

Americas Society

March 4th 8PM, at St. Ignatius of Antioch Church, presented by the Americas Society, Ekmeles performs works of the Americas.

Ekmeles performs works by composers of the Americas focused on language and communication. Marc Sabat’s Seeds of Skies Alibis is the most ambitious and largest-scale microtonal work that Ekmeles has yet commissioned, stretching 40+ minutes of complex pitch ratios to describe the origin of the world through Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Paired with this will be, Hilda Paredes’s Fragmentos de Altazor, setting Vicente Huidobro’s metaphysical text; portions of Mauricio Kagel’s Der Turm zu Babel, telling the biblical story of the Tower of Babel in many different languages; and 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Music winner Tania León’s De-Orishas, sparkling in its evocation of a variety of musical styles.

  • Marc Sabat – Seeds of Skies, Alibis (2018)
  • Tania León – De-Orishas (1988)
  • Mauricio Kagel – Der Turm zu Babel (2002)
  • Hilda Paredes – Fragmentos de Altazor (2010)

Personnel for concert

Ekmeles’s 2021-2022 season is made possible with funds from the Amphion Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Alice M. Ditson Fund, The Fritz Reiner Center for Contemporary Music, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


11
Dec 21

Columbia Undergraduate Composers

December 6th at 7:30PM, at Broadway Presbyterian Church, Ekmeles performs new works by undergraduate composers from Columbia University.

  • Gavin Goodrich – You Might Have Mentioned How the Doorknobs Work (2021)
  • Esther Ollivier – Sonder (2021)
  • Nicole Balsirow – Into the Strenuous Briefness (2021)
  • Grace D’Haiti – Small, Good Wolf (2021)
  • Oliver Pflaum – Layers (2021)
  • James Pecore – Luciferiad (2021)

Personnel for concert

Ekmeles’s 2021-2022 season is made possible with funds from the Amphion Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Alice M. Ditson Fund, The Fritz Reiner Center for Contemporary Music, and the generosity of private donors.