The Chinati Foundation invites the public to a performance by Sounds Modern of Fort Worth on Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 8:00 pm at the Crowley Theater in Marfa. The event is part of the museum’s ongoing Chinati Presents series and is free and open to the public.
If you can’t join us at the Crowley Theater, we invite you to watch the event online.
Video of the event will stream from this page, free of charge, beginning at 8:00 pm CST on Thursday, August 28th.
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Modern Chamber Music by Mexican Composers
Thursday, August 28
Danza de las bailarinas de Degas (1991-2) Mario Lavista
Transmutante (2013) José-Luis Hurtado
Omaggio: a lullaby for sleepy monsters (2011) Arturo Fuentes
Manganese in Deep Violet (2007) Victor Ibarra
Danza del Parque de las Acacias (2004, revised 2008) Francisco Cortés-Álvarez
Twittering Machines (2003) Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez
Mexico’s popular musics are widely appreciated in the U.S. However, Mexico’s lively contemporary classical music scene is relatively unknown here; classical performers and audiences are more familiar with music from across the oceans than across the border. Our program was inspired by the recent exhibit “Mexico Inside Out” at the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth. We are delighted to have discovered these works, which represent a cross-section of trends in modern Mexican concert music. It is no co- incidence that four of the compositions were directly inspired by visual art, a connection that we appreciate. –Elizabeth McNutt
Mario Lavista, Danza de las bailarinas de Degas
As suggested by the title (Dance of Degas’ Dancers) this work for flute and piano is a tribute to the work of Edgar Degas, who dedicated much of his pictorial activity to capturing scenes of the movement of ballerinas. Thus, this duet emerged as an imaginary recreation of the music that Degas’ ballerinas could be dancing to. The piece has a three- part structure, where the exterior sections explore imitative counterpoint in three voices. The work is dedicated to North American flutist Jill Felber, who commissioned the work. — Ana R. Alonso Minutti
José-Luis Hurtado, Transmutante
Transmutante was composed for Sounds Modern. I do not usually use any non-musical element or aspect to structure the piece, although this has been changing in the last couple of years. But I could say that Transmutante is a piece that is thought as a big always-transforming sculpture, a piece that could be of any dimension (tiny and monumental) of any color, form, or texture. Hence the title. — José-Luis Hurtado
Arturo Fuentes, Omaggio: a lullaby for sleepy monsters
I have written this piece as a tribute to the composer Franco Donatoni, il mio caro maestro Franco. Quickness is one of the aspects that could better define the way I construct my music. By thinking the quickness as a musical strategy, I approach the formation of textures and sonic colors. I imagine these textures and colors as a sonic cloud made of forms delicately interwoven. The flute and the piano in this piece try to recreate these clouds of moving sounds: I feel that the music changes while, at the same time, it remains in an immobile sky. I see a path. — Arturo Fuentes
Victor Ibarra, Manganese in Deep Violet
In my last pieces I have worked on the relations I make between the painting and my own musical way of thinking. In this work I took as a point of departure the painting of the British painting Patrick Heron (1920-1999). I tried to not only to “recreate” in my music the objects, colors, and forms existing on the image, but also give a personal reading of this painting in music. In addition, this piece represents to me a starting point to a long adventure discovering the images and sounds in parallel. I have been working until now on this connection, trying to discover what could be found in the visual universe that enrich my musical thinking. — Victor Ibarra
Francisco Cortés-Álvarez, Danza del Parque de las AcaciasDanza del Parque de las Acacias evokes a complex series of images of a small park located in the chaotic and exciting Mexico City. By using compositional influences taken from Ligeti and Prokofiev mixed with a playful spirit; this piece depicts the rushed morning outings and leisurely evening strolls with a beloved dog in a place that is a lively and vibrant mosaic of people, stories and dreams. — Francisco Cortés-Álvarez
Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Twittering Machines
I have, for a long time, been fascinated by the ideas expressed by Paul Klee concerning the structure of art. Klee, himself a part-time musician, compiled many of the technical features of his work in a number of volumes of inspiring pedagogic value. Like several other composers, I have always felt attracted to what Klee could have called “twittering machines”: the unpredictable mechanisms whose systematic—yet imperfect—behavior is not unlike the “processes” we often find in musical structures. I love to observe clockworks with missing or erratic parts; or a spider who laboriously tries to climb a wall, or one of those precarious robots built by Rodney Brooks, whose “function” is not to fulfill a task but, simply, to “exist”. They are all twittering machines whose image, interestingly enough, often ignites my musical imagination. My musical “twittering machines”, as expressed in this set of variations for flute and piano, is an uninterrupted chain of short musical perspectives: tangible, yet always imperfect, musical “mechanisms”. — Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez
Andrew May, violin
Elizabeth McNutt, flute
Shannon Wettstein, piano
Sounds Modern Staff
Andrew May, assistant director
Elizabeth McNutt, director
Passionately devoted to the music of the present, flutist Elizabeth McNutt is internationally recognized for her performances of innovative contemporary and electroacoustic music. She has premiered countless works and performed in Europe, Asia, and throughout the U.S. Her solo CD pipe wrench is on the EMF Media label; her other recordings are on the CRI, Centaur, SEAMUS, Navona, and Ravello labels. Primarily a solo recitalist, she also performs in The Tornado Project and the Calliope Duo. She is the director of the Sounds Modern series in Fort Worth and has received grants and fellowships from U.S. Arts International, National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts, Open Meadows, Rocky Mountain Women’s Institute, and American Composers Forum. She is on the faculty of the University of North Texas, where she teaches flute and directs the new music ensemble Nova. For more information, visit elizabethmcnutt.com.
Shannon Wettstein, pianist, is internationally acclaimed for her performances of the most adventurous new music as a soloist, with the Calliope duo with flutist Elizabeth McNutt, and formerly with the ensembles Zeitgeist and Auros. She has premiered countless new works and collaborated with many of the great living composers. Recent awards include grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, and the American Composers Forum. Her teachers include Aleck Karis at the University of California, San Diego, Stephen Drury at New England Conservatory, Sequeira Costa, Richard Angeletti and Claude Frank, at the University of Kansas. Recordings are available on Centaur, Tzadik, Innova, and Koch labels. Wettstein is on the faculty of Augsburg College.
Composer, violinist, and computer musician Andrew May has a passion for chamber music of all kinds. As a composer, he is best known for works in which some of the performers are interactive computer-based agents. As a performer, he specializes in adventurous new music and avant-garde improvisation. He has taught composition and directed the Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia at the University of North Texas since 2005. Born and raised in Chicago, May has degrees from Yale, CalArts, and UC San Diego. His music can be heard on CDCM, SEAMUS, and EMF Media recordings, and his solo CD Imaginary Friends on Ravello Records. More information: cemi.music.unt.edu/may
Chinati Presents, Sounds Modern Neighbor Notes is supported by the City of Marfa. Special thanks to The Crowley Theater, Ron Johnson/NALUNA, and the Big Bend Sentinel.
Chinati’seducational and public programming is supported with generous grants from the Texas Commission on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, The Brown Foundation, The Cowles Charitable Trust, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation, The Hearst Foundations, Carl B. & Florence E. King Foundation, City of Marfa, Permian Basin Area Foundation, Rosenthal Family Foundation, Warren Skaaren Charitable Trust, Tillapaugh Public History Fund of Permian Basin Area Foundation, and Susan Vaughan Foundation.