The Callithumpian Blog

Archive for June, 2010|Monthly archive page

Globe Review of Iditarod

In Uncategorized on June 22, 2010 at 12:12 am

The Boston Globe’s Matthew Guerrieri reviews the SICPP Iditarod.

Boston Globe reviews Iditarod

“If music were candy, the SICPP Iditarod would be like a tour of the Wonka factory. The far-out and unexpected are the stock-in-trade of the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice (“Sick Puppy’’ for short), a weeklong student immersion directed by Stephen Drury that annually culminates with a marathon concert. This year’s Iditarod — 29 pieces over seven hours — made for an impressive trick-or-treat haul…”

Read the rest here!  Great job everyone!




In Uncategorized on June 21, 2010 at 2:55 am

Congratulations, SICPP 2010!  We managed to finish the IDITAROD before midnight (saw a good number of iced coffees floating around) for a total of 7.5 hours of rad music — hope everyone slept in!

Callithumpian is now on Flickr!  Take a look at the SICPP Iditarod set (other sets from the Thursday and Friday concerts are up as well).  A few Iditarod groups were missed (webbottress is still part human), but we’ll be adding onto the photostream soon [also, quick disclaimer: let’s just say the blurred effect in some of the photos only emphasizes the real-time experience].

Reviews are starting to emerge: Boston Musical Intelligencer has released two on SICPP — one on the June 15th Schleiermacher concert (review by Fred Bouchard), and one of Callithumpian‘s Chaya Czernowin concert on June 17th (review by Mary Wallace Davidson).

Time flies when you’re having fun.  Many, many thanks to the following people: Chaya Czernowin, Steffen Schleiermacher, Corey Hamm, Yukiko Takagi, Nick Vines, Mathias Reumert, John Andress, Scott Deal, John Mallia, Jennifer Bewerse, Sean Hagon, Bob Winters, Aaron Dana, Lisa Nigris, Mike Kemp, Corey Schreppel, Jeremy Sarna, Andrew Hawk, Melissa Schoenack, Heather Mumford, Sarah Casados, and especially our SICPP program director, Elaine Rombola.

More soon; in the meantime, please check out the SICPP Iditarod set on Flickr!  Safe travels to all our Sick Puppies, and thank you all for a wonderful week.


Click to view the SICPP Iditarod set on Flickr!


In Uncategorized on June 19, 2010 at 2:08 pm

So, the legendary IDITAROD is finally here!  Performances start at 4:00 p.m. and might possibly end at _:__ (notice the single first digit — but not to worry; we’re doing hour-long segments).

… but honestly, what could be better than a 6 hour marathon of kick-@$$ music/sound/noise/installation/improv by Composition Fellows Victoria Cheah, Ryan Krause, Jason Belcher, Mark Poliks, Anne Goldberg, Bob Hansler, Mischa Salkind-Pearl, Landon Rose, Michele Zaccagnini, Electronic Workshop Fellows David Dominique and Eli Stine, composer-in-residence Chaya Czernowin, as well as works by Andriessen, Crumb, Wolff, Saariaho, Berio, Feldman, John Luther Adams, Rzewski, Reich . . . all performed by the 2010 Sick Puppies and Callithumpian Consort?

Admission: free.

By the way, Elaine Rombola, program director of SICPP, has spent innumerable hours in planning for this incredibly wondrous, rare event.  Everyone, please swarm her throughout the concert with flowers/coffee/endless praise.

Draining a can of Mountain Dew at the moment.  See you tonight!  We’re going out with a bang!

Sick Puppy Iditarod! (photo, unrelated, by Frank Kovalchek)

Ashe, Tolle, Hamm

In Uncategorized on June 19, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Just wanted to post quickly on last night’s concert in Williams Hall — Callithumpian presented two solo pieces: soprano Jennifer Ashe floored the audience with her flawless performance of Aperghis‘s Recitations; percussionist Nick Tolle took sensitive command of McPherson‘s Anagram.  And to close, we had Canadian pianist Corey Hamm treat us to an international array of piano + pre-recorded sound pieces (we should stop saying “tape” when it really isn’t “tape” anymore) by Michel Gonneville, Pierre Jodlowski, and Jacob ter Veldhuis, each quite distinct and, certainly with Veldhuis‘s The Body of Your Dreams — with a particular personality.  Hamm has been on faculty here at SICPP 2010, and we’ve been so glad to have had him on board this year.

A few pictures in case you missed out:

Percussionist Nicholas Tolle performing Andrew McPherson's Anagram

Soprano Jennifer Ashe performing Georges Aperghis's Recitations

Soprano Jennifer Ashe performing Georges Aperghis's Recitations

Pianist Corey Hamm

one more quick post coming very soon…

the hourglass bleeds still

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2010 at 3:42 am

Chaya Czernowin: what a treat to hear three of her pieces in one concert.  Tonight, Callithumpian performed Sahaf, Afatsim, and The Hourglass Bleeds Still.  Each work was quite unique — at times, the sounds were curt, robust and physical, cut with intertwining moments of sparse, spiderweb-like strands; later on, the music was seemingly frozen and preserved in an other-worldly dimension.

An absolutely gorgeous program.  We’re thrilled to have her as our resident composer this year at SICPP.

Earlier today, Czernowin advised Composition Fellows Bob Hansler, Mark Poliks, Mischa Salkind-Pearl, Victoria Cheah, Anne Goldberg, and Michele Zaccagnini in the New Works masterclass; we had colloquia by Electronic Workshop Fellows David Dominique and Eli Stine; and back-to-back rehearsals in preparation for Saturday’s monumental IDITAROD.

Tomorrow at the Gardner will be an all-electroacoustic concert starting at 1pm, with Jonah Kaproff, Rane Moore, David Dominique, Kyle Adam Blair, Zach Herchen, Eli Stine, Stephen Upshaw, and Dave Tarantino performing.

And now, photos as promised!

Scott Deal

Percussionist Scott Deal preparing for Saariaho "Trois Rivieres"


Callithumpian members (L/R) Yukiko Takagi, Franziska Huhn, Gabriela Diaz, Jessi Rosinski, Ethan Wood, Ashleigh Gordon, Elizabeth Lowell Hobson, Benjamin Schwartz, (back) Jeffrey Means, vocalists Thea Lobo & Paula Downes performing Nicholas Vines "Torrid Nature Scene"


Callithumpian post-Vines "Torrid Nature Scene"


Callithumpian with Vines onstage

Callithumpian performing Sahaf

Callithumpian members (L/R) Yukiko Takagi, Nick Tolle, Maarten Stragier, Derek Beckvold performing Czernowin's Sahaf

Callithumpian performing Afatsim

Callithumpian members (back row, l/r) Yukiko Takagi, David Goodchild, Jeffrey Means, (front row, l/r) Jessi Rosinski, Ethan Wood, Mary Cicconetti, Gabriela Diaz, Rane Moore, Benjamin Schwartz performing Czernowin's Afatsim

Callithumpian performs The Hourglass Bleeds Still

Callithumpian members (L/R) Gabriela Diaz, Ethan Wood, Ashleigh Gordon, Stephen Upshaw, Benjamin Schwartz, David Goodchild performing Czernowin's The Hourglass Bleeds Still

Callithumpian with Chaya Czernowin

Callithumpian with Chaya Czernowin

Callithumpian closing bows

Callithumpian taking their last bow

Boston Celtics/Lakers riot preparation

Boston Police arrive at Jordan Hall: SICPP riots? Hm!

Signing off,

P.S. Friday’s 8pm concert in Williams Hall features Canadian pianist Corey Hamm, with performances by soprano Jennifer Ashe and percussionist Nick Tolle — not to be missed!  Free admission.

Schleiermacher yesterday, Saariaho and Vines today

In Uncategorized on June 16, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Quick summary of yesterday: if you didn’t catch the Schleiermacher concert last night, YOU MISSED OUT!  Steffen Schleiermacher, one of our special guest artists for SICPP 2010, performed a riveting and uninterrupted program of Lachenmann, Rihm, Stockhausen, Goldmann, Richter de Vroe, and a work by Schleiermacher himself (were those e-bows in the piano?).  Very serious repertoire; the perfect complement to Schleiermacher’s subtle sense of humor.  He’s a triple-threat as a pianist, composer, and conductor, and among numerous awards, won both the Kranichstein and Gaudeamus prizes in the 80’s.  His former teachers include Friedrich Goldmann and Aloys Kontarsky.

Earlier today was the Schleiermacher piano masterclass, composer colloquia with Michele Zaccagnini and Victoria Cheah, Electronic Workshop presentations on spatialization and interactivity, and countless rehearsals.

THE CALLITHUMPIAN CONSORT will be performing Saariaho‘s Trois Rivieres tonight with percussionists Scott Deal, Mathias Reumert, Joe Becker, Nick Tolle, and conductor Jeffrey Means — get ready for the mysterious sounds of de-correlated French poetry and delicate cymbals in quadraphonic design!  (you’ll want to sit as near to the center of Jordan Hall as possible).  The beautiful and provocative Nicholas Vines piece, Torrid Nature Scene, will be performed tonight by this spectacular list of folks: Gabby Diaz, Ethan Wood, Ashe Gordon, Ben Schwartz, Jessi Rosinski, Elizabeth Lowell Hobson, Franziska Huhn, Yukiko Takagi, Jeffrey Means, Paula Downs, Thea Lobo, with the (in)famous Stephen Drury conducting.

And yes, pictures will be coming soon.  Don’t forget — we also have concerts at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum at 1pm throughout this week!

Chugging this Zen tea before the concert.  See you there!

More soon,

P.S. TOMORROW (Thursday) at 8pm in Brown Hall: Callithumpian performs the music of Chaya Czernowin — Sahaf, Afatsim, and The Hourglass Bleeds Still.  Free admission!

kicking off with Stockhausen!

In Uncategorized on June 15, 2010 at 1:48 am

This will be a quick post, but rest assured, you’ll be caught up in no time.

Briefly: today’s re-cap of events includes a masterclass by Canadian pianist Corey Hamm, who performs this Friday with CallithumpianHamm is on faculty at SICPP this week, giving lessons and coaching groups leading up to the climactic IDITAROD this Saturday.

Composer colloquia in motion — heard a bit of Mischa Salkind-Pearl‘s presentation from outside of the Electronic Studio earlier today; Callithumpian will be premiering a new work by him in one of the hour-sets of the Iditarod.  Fun!

The great thing about the concerts is that everyone congregates at UNO’s afterward.  After tonight’s Stockhausen concert, I saw a few familiar faces mixed with the new: SICPP alumni Stephen Olsen, Bob Hansler, Mark Poliks, Anne Goldberg, and new “sick puppies” Diamanda Dramm, Ryan Krause, and many more.

Stay tuned: 9am rehearsal in Jordan tomorrow for Saariaho + make your own contact microphone workshop in G01 + at least twenty other things on the schedule!

good night!

P.S. Special guest, pianist Steffen Schleiermacher performs a solo recital in Jordan Hall tomorrow — 8pm.  Lachenmann’s Ein Kinderspiel, Nico Richter de Vroe’s Gabbro (Steinstück #1), Friedrich Goldmann’s Four Piano Pieces, Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Klavierstuck 1-4, Wolfgang Rihm’s Nachstudie, and Schleiermacher pieces.

This evening’s concert will feature pianist Steffen Schleiermacher performing several works for piano, including his own piece, Lilâ, as well as selections from Helmut Lachenmann‘s Ein Kinderspiel, Nico Richter de Vroe‘s Gabbro (Steinstück #1), Friedrich Goldmann‘s Four Piano Pieces, Karlheinz Stockhausen‘s Klavierstuck 1-4, and Wolfgang Rihm‘s Nachstudie.

Twitter! and Saariaho!

In Uncategorized on June 13, 2010 at 9:59 pm

Yep — we have a Twitter account as well. Follow us: @callithumpian.

Meanwhile, percussionists Scott Deal, Mathias Reumert, Joseph Becker, and Nick Tolle have just finished their first rehearsal for Kaija Saariaho‘s Trois Rivieres (Wednesday at 8pm in Jordan Hall). Jeffrey Means will be conducting.

Quite the powerhouse percussion group here: Scott Deal is very much involved in music and technology and is the founder of the Telematic Collective, a networked group of artists and empiricists.  He’s performed all over North America and in Europe and is currently on faculty at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).  Danish percussionist Mathias Reumert won 1st prize at Gaudeamus in 2007 and has performed at major festivals in the USA, France, Holland, Poland, and throughout Scandinavia.  Joseph Becker, a recent alum of New England Conservatory and Boston University, has performed with Xanthos Ensemble at Roulette in NYC, and has also performed and recorded Carter during his time as a Tanglewood Fellow in 2008 (Carter’s 100th).  And Nick Tolle is no stranger to the new music scene: he directs the Ludovico Ensemble in the sounds of Feldman, Lachenmann, Kurtág, and more.  Tolle also performs with Ensemble XII, previously known as the Lucerne Festival Percussion group, an international gathering of 12 hand-picked percussionists guided by Pierre Boulez and Ensemble Intercontemporain.

Jeffrey Means will get his own spot in due time — he’s accomplished quite a lot (severe understatement) as a percussionist, director, and conductor himself.

More soon!
— your friendly webbottress.

P.S.  Don’t forget!  TOMORROW, Monday June 14th at 8pm in Jordan Hall at NEC: Stockhausen’s MANTRA with pianists Stephen Drury and Yukiko Takagi.  Admission is free.  Bring your toddlers, grandparents, and short-wave receivers.

Percussionist SCOTT DEAL’s appearances include venues, festivals and conferences in North America and Europe. A performer who presents “a riveting performance (Sequenza 21), his recent recording of the music of John Luther Adams has been described as “a soaring, shimmering exploration of texture and tone…an album of resplendent mood and incredible scale” (Musicworks).  Continually inspired by new and  emerging artistic technologies, Deal is the founder of the Telematic Collective, a networked group of artists and empiricists. He hasperformed at Almeida Opera, Supercomputing Global, SIGGRAPH, Arena Stage, Chicago Calling, Ingenuity Festival, Moscow Alternativa, and with groups that include ART GRID, Another Language, Percussion Group Cincinnati, Digital Worlds Institute and the Helsinki ComputerOrchestra. He is a Professor of Music and Director of the Donald Tavel Arts and Technology Research Center at Indiana University PurdueUniversity Indianapolis (IUPUI).  He holds degrees from the Universityof Miami, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Cameron University.

SICPP begins…

In Uncategorized on June 13, 2010 at 2:14 am

The Callithumpian Consort has finally entered the blogging world.  Watch out.

We’ve just finished DAY ONE of the famous (or perhaps infamous) SICPP: Summer Institute of Contemporary Performance Practice 2010, or Sick Puppy for those more familiar.  In brief: the festival, held at the New England Conservatory, is an intense week of rehearsals, masterclasses, and workshops of avant-garde and otherwise amazing music, with concerts every single night.  The week concludes with a marathon “Iditarod” on Saturday, June 19th, which lasts from 4pm until midnight.

This year, our composer-in-residence is the Israel-born Chaya Czernowin, who won the 1992 Darmstadt Kranichsteiner Musikpreis and has received commissions from IRCAM and the Rockefeller Foundation, among others.  She is now on the faculty of Harvard University, and we’re very happy to be performing so much of her music this summer.

That being said, we are also performing the music of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Kaija Saariaho, Nicholas Vines, Helmut Lachenmann, Georges Aperghis, Wolfgang Rihm, Mischa Salkind-Pearl, and many, many more.

Our first concert will be on Monday, June 14th in Jordan Hall, with Karlheinz Stockhausen’s MANTRA performed by pianists Stephen Drury and Yukiko Takagi.  Admission is free.

More soon: stay tuned!