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)
- Anthony R. Green – B A 4 (2013) US Premiere
- 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
- Charlotte Mundy, soprano
- Amber Evans, soprano
- Elisa Sutherland, mezzo soprano
- Jonathan May, 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. Ekmeles is a recipient of the 2023 Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation Ensemble Prize.