Mary Halvorson & Jessica Pavone

Inside the Whale presents

Mary Halvorson & Jessica Pavone

Mantra Percussion - performing an excerpt from Michael Gordon's "Timber", Pretty Monsters

Thu, April 28, 2011

8:00 pm

$8.00

This event is 21 and over

$8 in advance, $10 at the door

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Mary Halvorson & Jessica Pavone
Mary Halvorson & Jessica Pavone
"Thorny compositions that sound as if female teen punkers the Shaggs received doctorates in the music of 12-tone composer Alban Berg, and then rewrote their Philosophy of the World.... Carefully notated structures and interplay morph effortlessly into free improvisation that is intelligent and expressive, but never self-indulgent. Also featuring intense lyrics sung with their clear and melodic voices, the two women make transcendent chamber music outside of any genre." -Elliott Sharp, Guitar Player Magazine

"The guitarist Mary Halvorson and the violist Jessica Pavone have worked together in ensembles led by the avant-garde eminence Anthony Braxton, and separately in a wide array of upstart new-music groups. As an acoustic duo they produce something distinct and beguiling: an amalgam of experimental folk, rock and chamber music that feels both meticulous and raw. Their debut, "On and Off" (Skirl), presents a dozen pieces of modest scale but impressive metabolism. There's a disarming openness to their interaction, never more pronounced than when the two are blending their voices in something like a campfire harmony. But this music isn't clever or cute. Its core is steely, and its execution clear." -Nate Chinen, The New York Times

"They listen as though they're hotwired into each other's brain, their taut structural discipline prompting a domino effect of great ideas." - Philip Clark, The Wire
Mantra Percussion - performing an excerpt from Michael Gordon's "Timber"
Mantra Percussion - performing an excerpt from Michael Gordon's "Timber"
Mantra Percussion is pleased to announce a new commission with American composer Michael Gordon. Gordon's new piece, Timber, is an evening-length tour de force. Scored for six graduated wooden Simantras — percussion instruments devised by French composer Iannis Xenakis — the work brings the physicality, endurance and technique of percussion performance to a new level. In this new work, Gordon shapes the music in both polyrhythmic and dynamic waves of textures — often each players' hands are in separate rhythmic 'worlds', each traversing a different dynamic contour from loud to soft to loud, similar in some respects to his solo for percussion, XY.

Mantra Percussion will be performing an excerpt from this new work - for the very first time - at Littlefield!

About Mantra Percussion:
Hailed by the New York Times as "...finely polished...a fresh source of energy," Mantra Percussion is committed to substantially expanding the future of percussion repertoire by commissioning and performing new, significant works for large percussion ensemble by both prominent and emerging composers to breathe new life into the art. Our aim is for most of these works to engage cross-discipline collaborations to produce evening-length events that look toward a grander artistic vision.

Formed in 2007, Mantra Percussion has been featured at festivals and music series throughout the country including Moving Sounds Festival, Ear Heart Music Festival, F(x) Miami Marathon, Hi Fi Music Festival, Music on MacDougal Series, and Make Music New York. The group has performed in some of the leading contemporary music spaces in New York City including Le Possioun Rouge, The Tank, and the Tenri Cultural Institute. Mantra's 2010 collaboration with the Dither Guitar Quartet yielded 3 new works for combined electric guitar quartet and percussion quartet with music written by Philip Schuessler, Daniel Wohl, and Eric Km Clark. Recently, Mantra Percussion commissioned renowned composer Michael Gordon along with Slagwerkgroep Den Haag, and the Dutch Dance company Club Guy and Roni (with support from the Queens Council on the Arts and the Nief-Norf Project) to write an evening-length percussion sextet. Mantra will give the work's United States premiere on October 14, 2011 at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
Pretty Monsters
Pretty Monsters
The four-piece PRETTY MONSTERS drifts and lurches between heavy, noisy, doomy improv and eerie, experimental chamber music. With compositions and leadership by bassoonist Katherine Young, the band's unique sound world amasses from the idiosyncrasies and strengths of each of the integral members: Young, violinist Erica Dicker, guitarist Owen Stewart-Robertson, and drummer/percussionist Mike Pride.

Formed in early 2010 as an extension of Young’s solo amplified bassoon project, the band’s repertoire has since greatly expanded. Young’s compositions vary widely in their structures and mechanisms: Some are wide-open scores utilizing verbal notation and relying heavily on the band’s deep improvisational resources. Others are fully notated forms that underscore the ensemble’s precision playing. Most are somewhere in between.

Young regularly employs pedals, with which she enhances the bassoon’s acoustic sound, draws out interior resonances, and creates monolithic soundscapes. A dynamic and mercurial musical project, Pretty Monsters combines Young’s personal approach to her instrument with Dicker’s creative and technical virtuosity, Stewart-Robertson’s tactile approach to the guitar, and Pride’s heavy-hitting experience. Pretty Monsters’ debut full-length is currently in production.

Photo credit: Peter Gannushkin