Ensemble Pi’s Ninth Peace Project Concert
World Premieres by Laura Kaminsky and Susan Botti
Works by Jason Eckardt, Bryant Kong, Penderecki, and Shostakovich
Language gets appropriated, translated, and sometimes “reformed” by culture and politics. For their annual Peace Project’s ninth installment, music collective Ensemble Pi performs new commissions and other works which examine the relationship of language, truth and politics – and how words change meaning when used in contexts different than the ones intended.
Clarinetist Moran Katz then joined the trio for another world premiere, Laura Kaminsky‘s strikingly intense diptych, Deception. Katz’s moody, richly burnished low register in tandem with the cello built an air of mystery and foreboding, occasionally punctured by the piano. The second movement worked clever variations via individual voices in a very Debussy-esque arrangement that also offered a nod to Shostakovich and possibly Penderecki as well.
Read the review of the concert here.
Laura Kaminsky’s Deception, for b-flat clarinet, violin, cello, and piano (2014) – a work exploring the manipulation of language in situations such as reconsidered statements, solo pronouncements, intertwined dialogue, and that which is unspoken. Musical gestures and interruptions are used to symbolize two ways of creating language, then using it in a different context to create new meaning.
Performers include Idith Meshulam, piano; Airi Yoshioka, violin; Katie Schlaikjer Schlaikjer, cello; Moran Katz, clarinet; Kristin Norderval, voice; with guest artist Rachel Rosales, voice.
Ensemble Pi, a socially conscious new music group founded in 2002, features composers whose work seeks to open a dialogue between ideas and music on some of the world’s current and critical issues. For the last ten years, Ensemble Pi has presented an annual Peace Project concert, praised by The New York Times as “gracefully played…a fiery and emotive performance.” The Ensemble has commissioned new works and collaborated with visual artists, writers, actors, and journalists, among them South African artist William Kentridge and American journalist/writer Naomi Wolf, Frederic Rzewski, and Philip Miller. The ensemble was in residence for four American music festivals presented by the American Composers Alliance and now collaborates with the APNM. Ensemble Pi has also created artistic and educational programs in response to major exhibitions at Chelsea Art Museum, The Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art, and the Museum of Modern Art. Gramophone wrote of the Ensemble’s first CD, Keep Going, “a touching tribute to Ellias Tanenbaum, played with conviction and verve”. A second CD featuring Laura Kaminsky’s music was released by Albany Record this year and was described as “played with warmth and variety… in effective fashion” (American Record Guide). www.ensemble-pi.org