The Callithumpian Blog

Posts Tagged ‘john zorn’

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!


Curran, Elwood, Murray, Cage, Brown, Zorn

In concerts, upcoming on February 19, 2012 at 11:51 pm

Closing February and opening March, we have a two-day, new music extravaganza in Boston: two nights of incredible music as we continue the 2012 Callithumpian season. Mark your calendars for Wednesday, February 29 and Thursday, March 1!

Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012 at 8:00 pm
Brown Hall, New England Conservatory

Paul Elwood: Stanley Kubrick’s Mountain Home
Paul Elwood: Under the Table (world premiere)
Alvin Curran: Schtyx
Brendan Murray: Deployment (world premiere)

On Wednesday, February 29, we’ll perform two Paul Elwood works (Stanley Kubrick’s Mountain Home, as well as premiere Elwood’s Under the Table), Alvin Curran‘s trio Schtyx — described by Curran as “charts, bones, professions, shades, numbers, glues, hypes, acts, devils, organgrindings, wood implements, jugglers, chance operations, performance art, the Yiddish underground” — and we also give the world premiere of Deployment, a new work by Brendan Murray.

The music of composer and banjo-player Paul Elwood has been performed internationally, from the US, to Darmstadt, to South Africa, Australia, and France, to name but a few. His new piece, Under the Table, is based on rhythms and cadences of auctioneers. Our own Callithumpian cellist, Ben Schwartz, had sent Paul some recordings he had made of rural Pennsylvania auctioneers, and in addition, Paul had interviewed an auctioneer from Colorado while writing this new work. Also, a treat: Paul himself will perform his new piece with us (Ben tells me he’s a beast on banjo). Under the Table is written for Jen Ashe, Jessi Rosinski, and Ben Schwartz.

Boston-based electronic musician and composer Brendan Murray has a particular bent with drones and repetition, being interested in recording and processing instruments and tapes “until all traces of instrumentality are blurred, leaving only large blocks of pure sound”. His new work, Deployment, scored for 7 instrumentalists, computer, microphones, and loudspeakers, plays on the concept of a live, self-looping instrumental cluster which is then sampled and diffused in digital variations, interacting with the original acoustic source as well as with the physical space.


Thursday, Mar 1, 2012 at 7:00 pm
Calderwood Hall, Gardner Museum

John Cage: Apartment House 1776
Earle Brown: Available Forms I
John Zorn: For Your Eyes Only

On Thursday, March 1, we migrate over to the lovely new Calderwood Hall at the Gardner Museum for the first of Callithumpian’s series of John Cage celebrations (it’s his 100th birthday this year!). As Part I of the series, we’ll perform Cage’s Apartment House 1776, Earle Brown‘s Available Forms I, and John Zorn‘s For Your Eyes Only. We’ll follow this structure of a Cage work, a work by one of Cage’s New York School contemporaries, and a work by a third composer profoundly influenced by Cage throughout the year for a total of three Callithumpian concerts celebrating the 2012 Cage Centennial at the Gardner Museum.

So, there you have it: two consecutive nights of good music you don’t want to miss. Bring your friends, grandma, downstairs neighbor, etc. — anyone who’s interested in experiencing and engaging with new sounds and ideas … join us!

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.