live recording from the premiere performance of 'In Green Water' from 'Night, like velvet: in twelve letters' performed on the COMPOSERS NOW event at the CUNY Graduate Center (February 26th, 2014) by The Curiosity Cabinet
The Masochist’s Tango is broken into three movements in the classical style, although it lacks any clear formal precedent. Eschewing the standard fast--slow--fast structure, the opening movement is a lugubrious quasi- improvisational journey, an exploration of color and line. Double stops and tremolo contribute a deathly pallor to the work, unfolding in layers of pulsating bow work, as though the dance cannot seem to commence. The second movement arrives attacca, containing the eponymous dance, a col legno celebration of tango rhythms and affections. The third section, to be played “with great lust and wanton desire,” is an apotheosis of the two preceding movements, marrying the mood of the first movement with the sultry rhythms of the second, whilst exploring the uppermost register of the instrument.
Adam von Housen, violin
Nicholas R. Nelson, audio engineer
Elebash Recital Hall, New York NY
The Strange Library is a musical setting by Whitney George of the recent novella by Haruki Murakami. Designed and illustrated by famed book jacket designer (and frequent Murakami collaborator) Chip Kidd, the novella is packaged like a graphic novel, whose moody and mysterious depictions of a child’s darkest dream match Murakami’s surreal imagination.
The plot is equally eerie: a little boy enters a quiet library -- “even more hushed than usual,” we’re told in the opening line -- and is sent to Room 107, where he meets a creepy old librarian who leads him deep into a maze of dark catacombs beneath the library. There, we learn of the librarian’s ghoulish designs and the boy encounters a small man wearing the skin of a sheep and a pretty young girl pushing a teacart, their worlds now “all jumbled together.” Not even fresh-made doughnuts can sweeten the boy’s nightmarish predicament as the librarian’s prisoner.
[ The Curiosity Cabinet: Alice Jones, flute; Adam von Housen, Violin; Hugh Ash, Trumpet; Joe Tucker, Percussion; Whitney George, conductor; Jonas Barranca, Narrator ]