Present Music cast a light on generations of compositional gender imbalance this week with “Women in the Chamber,” featuring new music written by women.
Members of the Present Music Ensemble presented the nine pieces by female composers in the ballroom of the Woman’s Club of Wisconsin on E. Kilbourn Ave. on Thursday afternoon.
The program was built of pieces for chamber ensembles, solo piano and solo instrument accompanied by electronics. Poet Dasha Kelly appeared with engaging readings from her own work and from Euripides.
Among the highlights of the program were Vivian Fung’s 2006 “Glimpses” for prepared piano (piano with objects placed on the strings, hammers or dampers to alter its sound).
Pianist Cory Smythe coaxed a fascinating palette of timbres from the piano, making it sound as though a single line was being handed from a harp to a lute and then a “fuzz guitar,” among other effects over the course of a musically fascinating piece.
Composer Liza White appeared to introduce a 2013 piece “Freestyle,” written for violin, piano, cello and soprano sax. The piece gave sometimes clear, sometimes vague musical form to 20 types of hip-hop music and dance.
The lovely, lyrical “String Quartet No. 1” by Judith Moy, a senior at the Kettle Moraine School for the Arts and Performance, mixed the warmth of sound you might find in an old Appalachian hymn with modern tonal and structural freedom.
Lisa Bielawa’s “Du haut de l’Orillon” for clarinet and electronics, performed by William Helmers, was a fascinating mix of live clarinet, a prepared recording and computer-manipulated sounds of the clarinet.
Eve Beglarian’s “I’m Worried Now but I Won’t Be Worried Long” for violin and electronics, performed by Eric Segnitz, mixed live violin with electronic effects based on, of all things, dripping plumbing sounds from the Beijing Conservatory — once again a fascinating piece.
The program also featured performances by violinist Margot Schwartz, violist Erin Pipal and cellist Adrien Zitoun, including a tight, commanding performance of Kaija Saariaho’s “Je Sens Un Deuxime Coeur” by Smythe, Pipal and Zitoun.
“Women in the Chamber” will be repeated at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Anodyne Coffee, 224 W. Bruce St. For ticket information visit www.presentmusic.org or call (414) 271-0711 Ext. 2.
– Elaine Schmidt, Journal Sentinel
Get our latest update via email
You can purchase or rent my music at Bill Holab Music
For general inquiries, just click below!CONTACT US