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.

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