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Premiere Title of Commission Composer Listen
11/07/2010 The Soul of God R. Murray Schafer Listen Close

Conceived for four choirs, separated in different places around the audience to suggest the mystical omnipresence of God in unlimited forms and revelations, this work brings together texts from diverse eras and cultures.

10/20/2010 El sueño de Aquiles Analia Llugdar Listen Close

'El sueño de Aquiles' ('The Dream of Aquiles') is a setting of a poem by Mexican writer José Manuel Recillas. The composition calls for four immense percussion setups, placed at the front and back of a room. Also, four voices alternate between clusters of close harmonies, complex rhythmic Sprechstimme, and intricate contrapuntal lines.

10/20/2010 Dring, Dring Ana Sokolovic Listen Close

Sokolović describes 'Dring, Dring' as a “little musical theatre piece inspired by the telephone and the actions we take around that common object.” Divided into four sections (“dialling,” “answering,” “lullaby,” and “bye-bye”), the piece explores both the sounds emitted by the telephone and our human interactions with it.

04/29/2010 Mallet Quartet Steve Reich Listen Close

'Mallet Quartet' marked the first time Reich had written for the five-octave marimba. Written in three movements (fast, slow, fast), the work involves a series of interlocking patterns among which the four players move. The marimbas create a dense harmonic background in the two fast movements, while in the central slow movement the texture becomes unexpectedly spacious and transparent.

04/28/2010 Talking Down the Tiger Andrew Staniland Listen Close

Staniland observes, Some percussion instruments “exhibit their most interesting and expressive sounds at the pianissimo dynamic register, which is at odds with the type of blustering, heavy-handed writing often associated with percussion. . . In this piece I wanted to explore a journey from a wild and ferocious sound world that gradually recedes into a mystical and beautiful sound world lying beneath.”

04/27/2010 Time Zones Peter Hatch Listen Close

Written in up to eight different parts with eight different tempi and/or downbeats, 'Time Zones' gives each of the two players’ four mallets its own “time zone.” Performance of the work requires a drum-set player’s “limb independence,” but with the drummer’s independent use of arms and legs replaced by independence in the use of the mallets—a feat that Hatch describes as “not unlike trying to rub your tummy while tapping your head, but much more difficult.”

04/27/2010 Look on Glass Michael Oesterle Listen Close

Though the marimba and the Japanese koto come from divergent musical cultures, their timbres complement each other: both have a particular contemplative quality. Oesterle exploits the sonic texture of this unusual combination of instruments extensively throughout this piece, drifting from extremes of density and volume within a restrained melodic contour.

02/24/2010 Cantares José Evangelista Listen Close

'Cantares' ('Singings') is based on sixteen traditional Spanish songs, mostly from Castile. Encompassing religious songs, love songs, social songs, and a lullaby, much of the material would originally have been sung a cappella, with only rhythmic accompaniment. Evangelista sought a way of presenting them in new ways without imposing a harmonic language.

01/30/2010 Arise, Cry Out in the Night Norbert Palej Listen Close

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 was one of the twentieth century’s most tragic episodes of heroism: a desperate act of Jewish resistance against the murder of the ghetto’s population. Palej’s musical commemoration of this event draws on texts both ancient and modern.