Ear To Mind Presents Manhattan Saxophone Quartet

Manhattan Saxophone Quartet, along with special guest performers Mika Godbole and Aleksandr Karjaka, will perform works by composers Jacob T.V., Lee Hyla, Quinn Collins, David Noon, and Inhyun Kim at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia theater at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, New York City on Saturday, November 10th, 2012 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $20; Members, Students, Seniors are $10; Children are free. For more information, call (212) 864-5400 or visit www.symphonyspace.org.

Ear to Mind is a New York City based arts organization which strives to present innovative programs that allow the public to experience contemporary music in non-traditional contexts, as well as by producing publications that allow the public to gain intimate knowledge of the contemporary music field, simultaneously providing composers and performers with a platform for their work.

The Program (* denotes World Premieres) includes:

Quinn Collins, *Growl, Spit, Shriek, & Pout (AATB w/percussion)

David Noon, *Six Bagatelles (SATB w/percussion)

Inhyun Kim, *Saw Sunrise frequencies emanate (tenor saxophone solo, Jordan P.  Smith)

Lee Hyla, We Speak Etruscan (Jay Rattman, with clarinetist Aleksandr Karjaka)

Jacob T.V. Post Nuclear Winterscenario No. 12 for saxophone quartet

Manhattan Saxophone Quartet was formed in 2008 and is committed to the highest artistic performance standards of saxophone quartet music, new and old.  Its members represent a diverse background of classical, jazz, and contemporary music traditions. MSQ has performed at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Citigroup Center, Yale University, Messiah College, Rutgers University, College of New Jersey, New York University, International Saxophone Symposium (Fairfax, Virginia), and North American Saxophone Alliance regional conference, among other public and collegiate venues. American composer David Froom has remarked that MSQ plays “with both precision and passion, and always with terrific musicianship!” and composer David Noon pronounced “I am continually inspired, in truth, by your quartet’s artistry.” 

The quartet has premiered works by Marc-Antonio Consoli, Robert McMahan, David Noon, Jeffrey Nytch, and Rex Isenberg among others and can be heard on Carrier Records with the premiere recording of Inhyun Kim’s Saxophone Quartet.  Today’s performance at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space includes the premiere of new works by Quinn Collins and David Noon for saxophone quartet and percussion.  The Manhattan Saxophone Quartet is Jordan P. Smith, Dennis Schafer, Dan Kochersberger, and Jay Rattman.

Percussionist Mika Godbole has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra in addition to various other groups in the Philadelphia and New York areas.  She has also been involved in summer music programs such as the Aspen Music Festival, So Percussion Summer Institute, the Artosphere Festival, and the China International Summer Music Academy.  She has collaborated with conductors and artists such as Sir Simon Rattle, Michael Tilson Thomas, Charles Dutoit, Martha Argerich, Yefim Bronfman, Christoph Eschenbach, James DePriest, David Robertson, James Conlon, Jorge Mester, among other musicians.

A Chicagoland native, clarinetist Aleksandr Karjaka has appeared with Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, Lunatics at Large, Feist, Emperor X, Music From China, Eon Contemporary Ensemble, and is a former member of the Tactus Ensemble, Bowling Green New Music Ensemble and Perrysburg Symphony. He recently has recorded music videos with Mason Jar Music and CollegeHumor.Com. Performing staples of the contemporary literature by such composers as Louis Andriessen, Alban Berg, De Falla, Jacob Druckman, Gyorgi Ligeti, Withold Lutoslawski, Arnold Schoenberg and Igor Stravinsky, Mr. Karjaka has also been recorded on Albany Records on the upcoming New Music from Bowling Green CDs.

More on the Compositions:

Growl, Spit, Shriek, & Pout, by Quinn Collins is a sassy and hyperactive cartoon romp. A montage of semi-improvised gestures, honks, clunks, cherry bomb explosions, and nose-thumbing noisemakers, it chucks darts at paint-filled balloons, puts on a scuba mask, finishes the empties at the end of the night, and pours sugar in your gas tank. The piece was originally written for a reading session at the 2009 Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium and this evening’s premiere performance was recently revised for the Manhattan Saxophone Quartet and Mika Godbole.

Composer David Noon on his Six Bagatelles:

“After hearing the expert performance of my Saxophone Quartet #1 by the Manhattan Saxophone Quartet, I eagerly wrote my Saxophone Quartet #2 for the group and dedicated it to them…One of my long-term projects is to write pieces for every instrument and standard instrumental ensemble with percussion, rather than piano.  As of this date, I have written sonatas for violin, viola, piano, English horn, bass clarinet, French horn, and trombone with percussion.  It only seemed natural to think of writing for saxophone quartet and percussion…My Six Bagatelles, op. 244, was written in New York City in the summer of 2012…Each of the bagatelles is designed to highlight a different aspect of the artistry of the Manhattan Saxophone Quartet to whom the piece is joyfully dedicated. “

Lee Hyla’s We Speak Etruscan, for baritone saxophone and bass clarinet was written for saxophonist Tim Berne, bass clarinetist Tim Smith and Norm Roberson, Etruscan enthusiast, tour guide and portiere at the American Academy in Rome.  The piece was written in 1992 in New York following Hyla’s Rome Prize residency at the American Academy, and was premiered by Berne and Smith in 1993 at Jordan Hall in Boston.  The title of the piece has multi-layered and ironic connotations, exemplified by the fact that the ancient Estruscans spoke a language that is now lost (only the alphabet is decipherable).  The music’s jazz-like riffs contrasting with moments of lyrical stillness provide a vehical that is a tour de force for these wind-instruments cousins.

Jacob T.V.’s Postnuclear Winterscenario, opus 49, was written on January 23, 1991, shortly after the outbreak of the Gulf War.  The media during this time predicted apocalyptic consequences for the climate and the environment, similar to the effects of a nuclear war.  They called it a postnuclear winterscenario.  Ter Veldhuis decided to express his speechlessness in music.  In only a few hours time the piece, for piano solo was written and is perhaps “simplest” piece he has ever written.  All musical material was reduced to a minimum and the ‘melody’ consists of one single note, that is repeated constantly.  The harmonic accompaniment consists of only four different notes and there are no real rhythmic, melodic, or harmonic developments.  The main way of expression is in the repetition and the delivery, sometimes harsh and brutal, and other times poignant and melancholy.  Postnuclear Winterscenario No. 10, based on the string quartet version, was arranged in the summer of 2001 at the request of the Aurelia Quartet.