Byrne:Kozar:Duo: Brook, Cresswell, Füting, Gavett, Li, Lunsqui, Smooke, Wollschleger

Monday, August 21, 2023
7:30 pm

Mary Flagler Cary Hall

Alexandre Lunsqui
Solis, 2019

Vid Smooke
All Are Welcome Here, 2017

Jeffrey Gavett
Proof of Concept for Floating Child, 2019

Chris Cresswell
all that's left is dirt and sky, 2019

Taylor Brook
Traces, 2023*
* world premiere

Reiko Füting
eternal return (Passacaglia), 2016

Qi Li
Lonely Grace, 2020

Scott Wollschleger
Bring Something Incomprehensible Into This World, 2015

Alexandre Lunsqui
Two Patches, 2019


Corrine Byrne, voice
Andrew Kozar, trumpet

Concert duration: approximately one hour and fifteen minutes

Mary Flagler Cary Hall
DiMenna Center for Classical Music
450 W 37th Street
New York, NY 10018

Program Notes

Alexandre Lunsqui
SOLIS (2019)

SOLIS is the first piece of a triptych inspired by George Harrison’s Here Comes the Sun that continues with SUNSUNSUN (for the electronic ensemble AntiNoise) and SOLIS.MULTI (for soprano and instrumental ensemble).

Vid Smooke
All Are Welcome Here (2017)

The text for this song is the title phrase . . . , recited in sixteen of the nearly 7,000 living languages (in order: French, Teochew, Russian, Cantonese, Swahili, Turkish, Portuguese, Hindi, Hebrew, Luganda, German, Dari (Farsi), Mandarin, Arabic, Spanish, and English). I included the most commonly spoken languages on each continent in hopes that the message would be clearly articulated to as many people as possible. Each translation was made by a native speaker, who then recorded themselves saying the phrase so that I could attempt to replicate their accent in the written score using the International Phonetic Alphabet.

It’s important to me that the invitation be understood in two ways. First, I believe strongly that the United States should welcome as many people as possible who want to join our society. My family was among the few who were lucky enough to be able to escape Europe shortly before the attempted genocide of the Jews, and I believe that it’s my responsibility to hold the door open behind me. I value the exchange of ideas, and treasure the contact that I have with my immigrant colleagues, neighbors, friends, and relatives. Second, the concert hall itself can sometimes feel like a foreboding place, with arcane rituals that are impossible for new patrons to decode. I hope that you, the individual listener, will feel that the performers are speaking directly to you and welcoming you into this space to participate in this concert. My dream is that soon this second meaning will be the only relevant interpretation of this piece, as our society evolves in order to make the first feel obsolete.

Jeffrey Gavett
Proof of Concept for Floating Child (2019)

This is a tripartite setting of a poem of the same name by Gracie Leavitt.

White the sky settles mirrored
wave pool almost tautologic
causes waves reasonably large
your lyric thinks itself foams
where return canal input
generates a further wave.

Inspired by the poet’s deft juxtaposition of the obliquely structural and the lyrical, the work contrasts motoric loops with free time. The harmonic structure of the work is based on the poem’s evocative final line “generates a further wave,” building the possibility of generating a third ghostly voice in the low register from the interaction of the pure intervals between voice and trumpet.

Chris Cresswell
all that’s left is dirt and sky (2019)

Half remembered, half from dreams, all that’s left is dirt and sky looks at love and intimacy through the prism of loss. Each movement is a fragment, a wisp, of what was, what is, what might be. After letting go of memories, of expectations, all that’s left is dirt and sky.

Taylor Brook
Traces (2023)

I wrote this piece to focus on the emotional impact of technology, particularly computer-generated artwork. To begin, I developed texts on the themes of parasociality and alienation in the face of AI-generated ‘content’ (visual art/music/curation/chat bots/etc.). This fragmented poetry represents both an interpretation and example of these themes, encouraging listeners to consider their relationship with technology and the psychological impact that it might have.

The music explores these same themes around the impact of technology through an interactive relationship between the live musicians and bespoke software that generates sound in reaction to the performers in real time. To create the electronic part, the two members of the Byrne:Kozar:Duo recorded themselves improvising and performing pre-written musical excerpts. I then used these recordings to ‘train’ the software to improvise/generate sound interactively. This technique is designed to, at times, give the impression of ‘tracing’ the live performers as the software attempts to recreate what it hears as rapidly as possible.

Screenshot of Taylor Brook’s computer while making electronics for Traces

Reiko Füting
eternal return (Passacaglia) (2016)

The text of eternal return was taken from Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “And eternal recurrence also of the smallest. . . .”

Scott Wollschleger
Bring Something Incomprehensible into This World (2015)

The text (“Bring something incomprehensible into the world!”) is from the philosopher Gilles Deleuze in reference to Heinrich von Kleist and to the idea that misspeaking in itself can be generative. I think of the title as a very affirmative statement of what I personally think the goal of art should be: rendering something into existence that is inconceivable before it happens.

The trumpet and voice are in a playful dialogue. The text is presented in fragments. The fragments are made of single words or just syllabic sounds. I found breaking the text up into smaller sounding parts allowed me greater flexibility when writing the piece and ultimately allowed for a more free-spirited approach. The arrangement of the vocal sounds sometimes implies new words and phrases. Often the trumpet and the voice blend together to create what I call a dirty unison. I imagined the sounds of the words themselves being ‘smeared’ by the trumpet’s sounds. I think the interaction between the voice and the trumpet implies a kind of hybrid instrument or a mutant offspring that is the combination of the trumpet and the human voice.

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