April 15, 2023 at 7:30PM, at Saint Peter’s Church in Chelsea, Ekmeles sings Voices Across Time, a program featuring four world premiere commissions, as well as a live premieres of a work previously only recorded during quarantine.
Featuring a diverse range of pieces from five composers, this concert explores themes of memory, impermanence, and the power of the voice across a variety of literary and cultural traditions. From ancient Chinese poetry to science fiction literature, and from traditional Iranian music to Greek mythology, each piece presents a unique and inventive exploration of the human experience.
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. Arash Yazdani’s New Work explores the acoustic phenomena of the voice with reference to traditional Iranian music.
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. In Per Aures Erik Oña builds a kind of 14th century Ars Subtilior polyrhythmic structure, fermented and shifted by the passage of time into strange harmonies and rhythmic loops.
- LI Qi – flower isn’t flower (2021) Live Premiere
- Nick Dunston – Mothership (2022) World Premiere
- Arash Yazdani – New Work (2023) World Premiere
- Erik Oña – Per Aures (2019) US Premiere
- Zosha Di Castri – New Work (2023) World Premiere
Total duration of the program is approximately 60 minutes without intermission.
Personnel for concert
- Charlotte Mundy, soprano
- Elisa Sutherland, mezzo soprano
- Timothy Parsons, countertenor
- Steven Bradshaw, tenor
- Jeffrey Gavett, baritone and director
- Steven Hrycelak, bass
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. Ekmeles is a recipient of the 2023 Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation Ensemble Prize.