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Posts Tagged ‘alvin lucier’

Announcing 2013-2014!

In concerts, upcoming on September 11, 2013 at 2:13 pm


We’re excited to announce our current season — lots of incredible music by Onur Yildirim, Alvin Lucier, Lei Liang, Tristan Murail, Helmut Lachenmann, Morton Feldman, and John Zorn for our 2013-2014 performance season. We’ll be giving world premieres of new works written by Chaya Czernowin and Lee Hyla, featuring both Czernowin and Hyla in our OPEN FOR’M platform in conjunction with the Gardner Museum in Calderwood Hall — not to mention we’ll also be playing in a new series at the Gardner, “In and Out”: daytime concerts in which Callithumpian will perform Karlheinz Stockhausen‘s Aus den sieben Tagen. We’re also stoked to be playing a new piece by Roger Miller later in the spring.

What else? We’re off to Mexico in November, and we’re performing all around Boston and in NYC with a unique, all-Lucier show at Roulette.

Why don’t you check out our 2013-2014 calendar? More information will be coming your way — sign up for our newsletter to get the latest!


Cage, Brown, Poliks, Caballero, Lucier

In concerts on January 22, 2013 at 12:41 am


Brown, Caballero, Cage, Lucier, Poliks
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory
8 PM | Free

Earle Brown: String Quartet
Eduardo Caballero: What is time, please? Convergencias III for piano and live electronics
Marek Poliks: tress/burl (2012 SICPP commission)
Alvin Lucier: Braid (written for the Callithumpian Consort)
John Cage: String Quartet in Four Parts

Fresh from the Earle Brown Symposium, we’re thrilled to give another performance of Earle Brown‘s simultaneously “graphic” and “mobile” String Quartet (1965). As the String Quartet explores flexibility within sub-structures (Brown is known for pioneering open form), no two performances are intended to be identical.

Following the Brown is Mexican composer Eduardo Caballero‘s What is time, please? Convergencias III for piano and live electronics. Callithumpian’s Yukiko Takagi will be the soloist.

Marek Poliks‘s unrelenting tress/burl was first performed at the 2012 Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice (SICPP) as the featured SICPP Composition Fellow commission. At its premiere, tress/burl was described by the Boston Globe’s Matthew Guerrieri as the “harsh, entertainingly maddening insistence of a conspiracy theorist.”

Last spring, we were fortunate to have Alvin Lucier in residence here at NEC; we premiered his beautiful septet, Braid (2012), written for us, later that year at SICPP. Bearing in mind Lucier’s emphasis on the propagation and flow of sound itself, Braid promises to be beyond exquisite in a space like Jordan Hall.

We close the program with a performance of John Cage‘s String Quartet in Four Parts (1950); for now, we’ll leave you with this:

“After reading the work of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, I decided to attempt the expression in music of the ‘permanent emotions’ of Indian traditions: the heroic, the erotic, the wondrous, the mirthful, sorrow, fear, anger, the odious and their common tendency toward tranquility.” —John Cage

Join us this Saturday, January 26
at 8:00 PM in Jordan Hall.

We’d love to see you there.


Closing Notes on SICPP (+ photos!)

In reviews, SICPP on July 1, 2012 at 4:01 pm

11-hr Iditarod proof. Photo by Elaine Rombola.

Because, in the end, eleven hours wasn’t all that bad—the sheer bulk of time encouraging a get-comfortable attitude that made every piece feel a little more generous than it might on a regular concert… SICPP and its audience is, by definition, a like-minded bunch on at least a basic musical level. But, as in Cage’s music, and Wolff’s music, and the Iditarod itself, it’s the chaos of agreement that’s so much fun.” — Matthew Guerrieri

Many thanks to Matthew Guerrieri, who stayed for all 11+ hours of the Iditarod this year and wrote this heart-felt, lovely review on NewMusicBox, noting every piece from Cartridge Music (4:00 pm) to Concert for Piano and Orchestra with Aria (around 3:00 am).  Read the complete review here.

We began the week of concerts with an all-pianist fest on Sunday afternoon, June 17 in Jordan Hall: Christian Wolff’s Sonata (for three pianos), performed by Stephen Drury, Steffen Schleiermacher, and Yukiko Takagi, sandwiched by John Cage’s Winter Music, performed by Louis Goldstein, Joseph Kubera, and Schleiermacher, and Music of Changes, performed by Joseph Kubera — who, according to Boston Globe’s Matthew Guerrieri, “more than met the challenge”.  The full Globe review can be read here.

Monday evening’s program consisted of the world premiere of Christian Wolff’s Overture (performed by Callithumpian Consort), as well as Wolff’s Hay una mujer desaparecida (performed by Stephen Drury), Cage’s Concerto for Prepared Piano and Chamber Orchestra (with Yukiko Takagi on prepared piano), and Cage’s Music for Seventeen (performed by Callithumpian Consort).  Wolff’s Overture, comprised of smaller, intertwining subsets within a larger ensemble, culminated in the much larger picture of a greater aural collage: a refreshing angle, which some modernists may see as only separated, trite conversations.  In Cage’s Music for Seventeen (or for any number of players, up to 17), each performer has his / her own score and timer — very much like musicians in a Merce Cunningham performance — and performs on his / her own, as there is no universal score.  Callithumpian Consort, spatialized across the entire stage (with Stephen Drury and Yukiko Takagi bowing the pianos in large motions, Drury at stage left, Takagi at stage right), became a visual system: a fascinating and (depending on the individual) challenging experience to breathe in.  David Patterson of the Boston Musical Intelligencer noted Yukiko Takagi’s performance in the Concerto as “graceful” and “highly sensitized”, and that “…the silences as well as the sounds were perfectly — can I say, harmoniously — delivered seriatim.”

Tuesday’s concert, Cage’s String Quartet in Four Parts (performed by Gabriela Diaz, Ethan Wood, Karina Fox, and Benjamin Schwartz) and the complete Sonatas and Interludes (performed by the one and only Louis Goldstein), was clearly the melt-in-your-mouth program of the week.  Of the Quartet, Fred Bouchard of the Boston Musical Intelligencer writes that the performers were “equals in adept phrasing and observing Cage’s deft conceptual flow.”  Bouchard describes the Sonatas and Interludes as “Cage’s microcosm of eternity… As Goldstein gently unrolled and rerolled Cage’s universal scrolls, he stopped the clock, left us calmly ecstatic, with a transcendent glimpse into a quizzical afterlife.”  Read the complete review here.

Jessi Rosinski and Ethan Wood gave a terrific and thrilling performance of Nicholas Vines’s Obsidian Magnified on Wednesday evening, then followed by a well-framed, approximately 31 minutes of simultaneous Cage music played by champion performers Steffen Schleiermacher (31’57.9864″ for a pianist), Karina Fox (26’1.1499″ for a string player), and Scott Deal (27’10.554″ for a percussionist).  The program rounded off with the Callithumpian Consort performing Frederic Rzewski’s Coming Together / Attica: the first, a driving build-up of energy, followed by the much slower and calmer Attica, with David Prum and Paul Howe as the narrators conveying the spectrum of energy.

Steffen Schleiermacher gave an incredible solo piano recital of the New York and Darmstadt avant-garde in Jordan Hall on Thursday; if you missed it, you’d be lucky to have his CDs in your hands, full listings of which you can find here.  Earlier on Thursday was the SICPP / Boston GuitarFest concert at the Fenway Center, at which Jeremy Eichler of the Boston Globe noted the “unflappability” of the musicians, especially in Philip Glass’s Music in Fifths.  On Friday in Brown Hall was the anticipated (and delayed) world premiere of Alvin Lucier’s Braid, a beautifully-threaded piece with patterned layers of microtonal beatings, performed exquisitely by Callithumpian Consort.  The evening then shifted gears to an amazing, full staging of Christian Wolff’s The Exception and the Rule (play by Bertolt Brecht) with Jennifer Ashe, Brian Church, Paul Howe, David Prum, Wesley Ray Thomas, and Callithumpian, wrapping up the night.

Phew!  And then of course was the aforementioned, 11+hr Iditarod, with every piece mentioned in this stellar review by Matthew Guerrieri.  What a week.  Happy 100th, John!  The way we listen continues to change…

It was wonderful to have you as a part of this special week: the 2012 SICPPies, Christian Wolff, Stephen Drury, Louis Goldstein, Joseph Kubera, Steffen Schleiermacher, Tanya Blaich, Scott Deal, John Mallia, Yukiko Takagi, Nicholas Vines, Callithumpian Consort, Aaron Likness, Dave Tarantino, Michael Unterman, Ryan Krause, Corey Schreppel, Alex Hug, Perry Johnson, Marie von Kampen, Lisa Nigris, Aaron Dana, Bob Winters, Richard Feit, Ching Yeo, and finally, our very own wonderful program director, Elaine Rombola.  Thank you!

Photos can be found at the SICPP 2012 Flickr set, and we’re always looking for more — if you have some photos you’d like to share, feel free to send them on over to and we’ll put them up (and credit you, of course).

Signing off with Stephen Drury’s words: “Remember us in your wills, and enjoy the noise.”

until next time,

SICPP 2012 Begins!

In concerts, SICPP on June 15, 2012 at 12:32 pm

design by Aaron Dana (

It’s that time of year again, when SICPPies (pronounced: “sick puppies”) from all over congregate at the New England Conservatory for the annual SICK PUPPY festival: the Summer Institute of Contemporary Performance Practice.  This year we celebrate John Cage’s 100th birthday, feature world premieres by composer-in-residence Christian Wolff (as well as the rescheduled world premiere by Alvin Lucier), and immerse ourselves in an incredible amount of new music from every angle.

Join us, as we celebrate the Cage Centennial in 7 days of concerts, starting this Sunday afternoon (6/17) and ending with Saturday’s infamous Iditarod (6/23). In addition to the full-length, (mostly) evening concerts listed below, there will be lunchtime concerts throughout the week (Mon-Fri) in the Keller Room at New England Conservatory.

All concerts are free at the New England Conservatory of Music, with the exception of the SICPP/Boston GuitarFest concert on Thursday, June 21 at the Fenway Center.

Sunday, June 17 @ 3 pm
Joseph Kubera, Steffen Schleiermacher, Louis Goldstein, Stephen Drury
John Cage: Music of Changes
John Cage: Winter Music
Christian Wolff: Sonata (for three pianos)
JORDAN HALL at the New England Conservatory

Monday, June 18 @ 8 pm
Stephen Drury, Yukiko Takagi, Callithumpian Consort
Christian Wolff: Hay Una Mujer Desaparecida
John Cage: Concerto for Prepared Piano and Orchestra
John Cage: Music for Seventeen
Christian Wolff: Overture (world premiere)
JORDAN HALL at the New England Conservatory

Tuesday, June 19 @ 8 pm
Louis Goldstein, Callithumpian Consort
John Cage: Sonatas and Interludes
John Cage: String Quartet in Four Parts
JORDAN HALL at the New England Conservatory

Wednesday, June 20 @ 8 pm
Steffen Schleiermacher, Karina Fox, Scott Deal, David Prum, Callithumpian Consort
John Cage: 31’57.9864″ for a pianist
John Cage: 26’1.1499″ for a string player
John Cage: 27’10.544″ for a percussionist
Frederic Rzewski: Coming Together/Attica
Nicholas Vines: Obsidian Magnified
JORDAN HALL at the New England Conservatory

Thursday, June 21 @ 5 pm
SICPP/Boston GuitarFest: NachBach
Jonathan Godfrey: Sonatina for solo guitar
J.S. Bach: Contrapunctus XIV (unfinished) from Die Kunst der Fuge
Elliot Carter: Shard
Alvin Lucier: Canon
Philip Glass: Music in Fifths
Fenway Center at Northeastern University
Ticketing information and directions here.

Thursday, June 21 @ 8 pm
Steffen Schleiermacher: The Early 50’s: New York + Darmstadt
Christian Wolff: For Piano I (1952)
Bernd Alois Zimmerman: Exerzitien (1951-53)
John Cage: Music for Piano #4-#19 (1952)
Hans Ulrich Engelmann: Suite I op. 7 (1950)
Morton Feldman: Extension 3 (1953)
Karlheinz Stockhausen: Klavierstück VII + VIII (1954/55)
Earle Brown: Folio (1952/53)
Olivier Messian: Cantéyodjâya (1948)
JORDAN HALL at the New England Conservatory

Friday, June 22 @ 8 pm
David Prum, Paul Howe, Brian Church, Jen Ashe, Callithumpian Consort
Christian Wolff: The Exception and the Rule (fully staged)
Alvin Lucier: Braid (world premiere)
BROWN HALL at the New England Conservatory

Saturday, June 23 @ 4 pm
The SICPP Iditarod: beginning at 4 pm and going until whenever.
A six-hour-plus marathon concert featuring performances by the Fellows of the Institute;
highlights will include music by Christian Wolff and John Cage, Steve Reich’s Drumming,
2010 SICPP Fellow Mark Poliks’s tress/burl ( a Callithumpian/SICPP commission),
new works by the SICPP 2012 Composition Fellows, and music by
Morton Feldman, Linda Dusman, John Zorn, Lee Hyla, Luciano Berio, and George Crumb.
BROWN HALL at the New England Conservatory

see you there,

Alvin Lucier at NEC: March 11-13

In concerts, upcoming on March 10, 2012 at 6:15 pm

In what may sometimes be an overly-saturated world, the natural sonic phenomena that we find in the music of composer Alvin Lucier is always a much-needed breath for the human mind and body. With acoustic instruments mixing with pure wave oscillators that slowly sweep through a space, or through a gradually-morphing iterative process, we subconsciously learn more from this music and from this new way of listening: a way that can be likened to an intuitive and profound mapping of time, of space, and of the musical experience.

Starting Sunday, March 11th through Tuesday, March 13th, the New England Conservatory celebrates Alvin Lucier, in residence for the next few days for coachings, conversations, and daily concerts in a school-wide event.

Join the Callithumpian Consort on Sunday, March 11th in Williams Hall, as we perform the complete Still and Moving Lines of Silence in Families of Hyperbolas (1973-1974) and on Tuesday, March 13th in Jordan Hall, when we give the world premiere of Braid (2012), written expressly for this festival.

NEC students will also perform a dozen Lucier pieces in daily late-afternoon and evening concerts, including Music for Solo Performer (1965), Serenade for 13 Winds and Pure Wave Oscillators (1985-2012), Still Lives (1995), and more.

You won’t want to miss out — experiencing Lucier in these live performances will provide a newly-found depth to the way you listen to music and to sound.

Info for all the concerts can be found by…
clicking the image at the top
• visiting:
• visiting the Facebook event: 

November: HGNM

In Uncategorized on October 24, 2010 at 1:21 am

October flew by!  In just a couple weeks, Callithumpian Consort will be performing at Paine Hall on the Harvard Group for New Music‘s series, run by Harvard University’s Music Department.  The concert will be a full program of music by composers Trevor Bača, Ann Cleare, Josiah Oberholtzer, Sabrina Schroeder, Sivan Cohen-Elias, and Ian Power.  Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 6th at 8pm! More program details to follow soon.

Meanwhile, here’s a wonderful review/recap of our Sept. 28 ASHLEY/WOLFF/LUCIER concert from the Boston Musical Intelligencer. Special guests did appear that night — it was great to welcome back Alvin Lucier and Christian Wolff, both who have come to the New England Conservatory for residencies in 2006 and 2010, respectively.  Many thanks to all those who played with us that night: Miki-Sophia Cloud, Martha Long, Elizabeth England, Amanda Hardy, Denexxel Domingo, Alexis Lanz, Adam Smith, Clark Matthews, David Vaughan, Randall Taylor Graham, Steve Skov, Diamanda La Berge Dramm, Michael Unterman, Andrew Chilcote, Corey Schreppel, Luke Varland, Beth McDonald, Amanda Romano, and Andrew Zhou.

Click here to find more information, repertoire, and select audio clips from Callithumpian’s 2010 Wolff Festival at New England Conservatory.

Christian Wolff at New England Conservatory (photo by Andrew Hurlbut)

More soon!

— your friendly webbottress