The Callithumpian Blog

Archive for January, 2012|Monthly archive page

Debussy, Mori, Murail, Vines, Zorn

In concerts, upcoming on January 14, 2012 at 4:24 pm

photo + artwork: Chippy (Heung-Heung Chin)

Happy New Year! We’re kicking off 2012 with an exciting and powerful program on January 25th, with Debussy, Ikue Mori, Tristan Murail, Nicholas Vines, and John Zorn, featuring special guests: electronic artist / musician Ikue Mori, and the incredible soprano Adrienne Pardee. Here’s the line-up:

Claude Debussy: Sonata for Flute, Viola, and Harp
Ikue Mori: Confucius Becomes Popular
Tristan Murail: Lachrymae
Nicholas Vines: The Economy of Wax
John Zorn: Orphée

Ikue Mori has quite the colorful range of experiences in the avant-garde and electronic art + music realms since her days with the seminal NO WAVE band DNA. Lately Mori has been working on her animation + live music project, Kibyoshi, which was released on DVD in 2011. Translated as “The Yellow Covers”, Kibyoshi were very popular picture books during the Edo period (1600-1860), comprised of unique woodblock prints and satirical texts directed at society, with narratives creating “the most preposterous views of art, culture, religion, and all aspects of people’s daily lives.” Mori’s Confucius Becomes Popular from Kibyoshi is definitely something not to miss — more information on Kibyoshi can be found here.

Tristan Murail was our composer-in-residence at Sick Puppy 2011 (Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice); Murail composed a new work, Lachrymae (alto flute + string quintet), for the Callithumpian Consort. At the world premiere, the piece was described by the Boston Globe as “a more intimate and emotional aspect of Murail’s personality”. Here’s your chance to hear it again (and here’s the full review from the world premiere).

The Economy of Wax (soprano, flute/piccolo, viola, + harp) by Nicholas Vines was commissioned in 2009 by soprano Jane Sheldon and biologist Peter Godfrey-Smith with the idea of setting portions of Darwin’s Origin of Species to music for soprano and chamber ensemble. In Vines’ work, the focus is on the “meticulous descriptions of how bees construct honeycomb … the music reflects this structure’s intricate mathematics, the intense activity of the bees themselves and Darwin’s keen, and on occasion, ecstatic observations.” Since its premiere at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, The Economy of Wax has been performed at Stanford University in California, at the Australian National University, and at Tanglewood Music Festival among other disparate venues. This performance in Jordan Hall will feature soprano Adrienne Pardee, who performed The Economy of Wax at Tanglewood in 2010.

And to round things off, we pair John Zorn‘s Orphee with Claude Debussy’s Sonata for Flute, Viola, and Harp. Depicting the legend of Orpheus’s trip to the Underworld to rescue Eurydice, Zorn mirrors Debussy’s lush romanticism and instrumentation, adding percussion, keyboards, and electronics. Electronic artist Ikue Mori will be performing in Zorn’s Orphee. (

Wednesday, January 25 at 8pm in Jordan Hall: a solid start to the new year, and a night not to miss — free admission, too.