[nec]shivaree + Callithumpian Consort

NEC: Williams Hall | Directions

290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA
United States

Tonight's concert features both [nec]shivaree and the Callithumpian Consort, both directed by Stephen Drury.

[nec]shivaree, NEC's student avant-garde ensemble, is the attack wing of NEC's new music program, performing the modern, the new, and the avant-garde. Sounds are provided by such composers as John Cage, Steve Reich, Morton Feldman, George Crumb, Galina Ustvolskaya, and Giacinto Scelsi. The players of [nec]shivaree have worked with composers John Zorn, John Luther Adams, Christian Wolff, and Frederic Rzewski. The group gives concerts both inside and outside of the Conservatory, and has performed regularly at the Zeitgeist Gallery in Cambridge and Tonic and The Stone in New York.

Stephen Drury created the Callithumpian Consort in the belief that new music should be an exciting adventure shared by performers and listeners alike, and that the brand new masterpieces of our day are beautiful, sensuous, challenging, delightful, provocative, and a unique joy. Callithumpian’s repertoire is the new and unusual, encompassing a huge stylistic spectrum from the classics of the last 100 years to works of the avant-garde and experimental jazz and rock. It is grounded in the musical discoveries of John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Zorn, Giacinto Scelsi, Morton Feldman, and Iannis Xenakis.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Boston Cultural Council and administered by the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture.

This is an in-person event with a private stream available to the NEC community here: https://necmusic.edu/live

  1. [nec]shivaree

  2. Alvin Lucier | Music for Cello with One or More Amplified Vases (1993)

    • Shannon Ross, cello
  3. Lior Navok | Mysterious Pond (2004)

    Program note

    Mysterious Pond was written during my artist residency at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, USA. From my studio which was sited in the midst of the forest I could hear remote sounds that came from the nearby pond: Frog peepers created a most haunting sound texture, the sounds of night birds and the distant howls. My mind started to work towards imagining the pond and its mysterious atmosphere at different times of the day, but especially from dusk to sunrise. I imagined small episodes, involving the water creatures, their sounds, the lighting, rustle of the leaves and the whisper of the water. All these created a continuum of musical scenes, woven one into the other.                                                                                      
    – Lior Navok

    • Honor Hickman, flute
    • Corinne Foley, oboe
    • Kexin Tian, piano
  4. Alvin Lucier | Music for Piano with Magnetic Strings (1995)

    Program note

    Years ago I met a music critic who said he didn’t like music made with wires. He was referring to my Music on a Long Thin Wire which had just been installed at the Landmark Center in Saint Paul, as part of New Music America Minneapolis 1980. I retorted that he must not like the piano; it contained over two hundred and fifty of them.
           When Lois Svard asked me to write her a piece, my mind flashed back to that encounter and I imagined a work in which the strings of a piano would sound by themselves. In Music on a Long Thin Wire a large horseshoe magnet straddles the wire creating a flux field around it which, in conjunction with a current from an oscillator, causes the wire to vibrate and sound. For a piano work I would need several small magnets to activate more than one string at a time. I bought several EBows, small electromagnets used primarily with electric guitars. I experimented, placing them on the strings of my piano. I discovered that if I waited long enough, certain strings would begin sounding.

            I wrote Lois a prose score, describing the process and suggesting she freely position and reposition five EBows on the piano strings, creating strands of sounds of varying density and texture. Much of her time was spent listening for harmonics, audible beating, occasional rhythms produced as one or more magnets vibrates against adjacent strings, and other acoustic phenomena.
           Music for Piano with Magnetic Strings was first performed by Lois Svard on the Interpretations Series, Merkin Hall, New York, May 11, 1995.                    
    – Alvin Lucier

    • Hidemi Akaiwa, piano
  5. Elliott Carter | Figment No. 1 for solo cello (1994)

    Program note

    The idea of composing a solo cello piece had been in the back of my mind for many years, especially since many cellists had been urging me to do so. When Thomas Demenga asked me for this at my 85th birthday concert in Basel (in 1994) for a concert he was giving sponsored by the Naumburg Foundation in New York, I soon set to work. Thomas Demenga had already impressed me greatly when he played some of my chamber works at my 80th birthday concert in Badenweiler, Germany and especially by his wonderful recording of these works for ECM, New Series.
            Figment, for solo cello, presents a variety of contrasting, dramatic moments, using material derived from one musical idea.                                             
    – Elliott Carter

    • Shannon Ross, cello

  7. The Callithumpian Consort

  8. György Ligeti | Trio for Violin, Horn and Piano (1982), “Hommage à Brahms”

    Andante con tenerezza
    Vivacissimo molto ritmico
    Alla Marcia
    Lamento: Adagio


    Program note

    In 1982, Ligeti completed his Trio for Violin, Horn and Piano, a piece which was a turning point in his career. Ligeti had composed little since he completed his opera, Le Grand Macabre, in 1977, having only finished a few smaller pieces, like Hungarian Rock (chaconne) and Passacaglia ungherese for harpsichord. Influenced by sources as diverse as sub-Saharan African drumming, the music of Conlon Nancarrow, and the piano music of Chopin and Schumann, the Trio is considered to be the watershed moment that opened up his "third way," a style that Ligeti claimed to be neither modern nor postmodern.
           Ligeti wrote the Trio at the suggestion of pianist Eckart Besch as a companion to Johannes Brahms' Horn Trio, one of the few other examples in the genre, which is why the Ligeti Trio is marked Hommage à Brahms. Ligeti recalled his reaction to the suggestion: "[a]s soon as he pronounced the word 'horn' somewhere inside my head I heard the sound of a horn as if coming from a distant forest in a fairy tale, just as in a poem by Eichendorff.”                                                                                              
    – Wikipedia

    • Lilit Hartunian, violin
    • Sarah Sutherland, French horn
    • Yukiko Takagi, piano