Korean cellist, composer, and improviser, Okkyung Lee talks with Sonosphere about her time at this year’s Big Ears festival in Knoxville, TN, working with Evan Parker, learning to love the cello, and what’s in store for her this year.
New York City-based composer collective ICEBERG New Music was in residence at Crosstown Arts here in Memphis for two weeks of concerts, workshops, and lectures back in June of 2017.
We spoke with composers from the second of the two concerts in the Crosstown Arts series, and attended their workshops and lectures that ranged from a “Sound Scavenger Hunt” to a lecture on “Popular and Classical Music in 1960s America.” Memphis-based contemporary chamber group Blueshift Ensemble collaborated with ICEBERG and performed the collective’s original compositions for the concert series.
I hope you enjoy our talk about Iceberg’s mission, the future of new music, collaboration, blending genre’s and more!
Special thanks to Iceberg New Music, Jenny Davis and the Blueshift Ensemble, and Justin Thompson and the whole Crosstown Arts Community.
Alex Burtzos – OMAHA (all the things you could be you are you were) for string quartet
Drake Andersen – Photons for flute and clarinet
Yu-Chun Chien – Co-Composition for a cellist
Jonathan Russ – Eat Your Vegetables for solo clarinet
Harry Stafylakis – Unrelent for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion
WWII wreaked havoc in the world, as Schoenberg was fleeing Germany, young soldiers in Italy, Greece, Germany and Great Britain were fighting on all fronts – a few of these soldiers would become the leaders of the musical scene after WWII and they were stained by the tragedies they witnessed in this war, one of which was Karlheinz Stockhausen.
Hardly anyone had a lasting impact on electronic music as did Stockhausen.
This month’s podcast episode features Karlheinz Stockhausen – check out this playlist featuring his work.
Welcome back to Sonosphere’s Birth of Modern Music series featuring modern European, classical composers that inspired the experimental, avant garde art and music scenes of the 50s, 60s and resonate in music composition today.
In the first episode of the series we highlighted Arnold Schoenberg whose atonal works ushered in a new school of composers. Then we moved to Erik Satie whose Vexations and other “sonic experiments” influenced his peers and John Cage who discovered the piece years later. After that we covered Edgard Varese, a peculiar composer who sculpted sounds in a way never accomplished previously. Today we will delve into the life and works of Olivier Messiaen.
Messiaen escaped the world of composition’s shift to serialism through religion, nature, and birdsong, but he had a profound influence on the evolution of electronic music composition through composers like Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Boulez, and Xenakis.
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Songs in this month’s episode:
photo: Catalogue d’Oiseaux: styriarte.com
Varese searched for the modern sound, the sound that would define his generation. Like Schoenberg before him, Varese’s early atonal period broke down language and form into a stream of sensations – “his screaming chords seemed to have no emotion tied to them, no history or future” – just very present in the now.
Join us on the journey through the life and mind of French American composer Edgard Varese.
The next episode of Sonosphere will feature French composer Edgard Varese, often described as the “Father of Electronic Music.” A Sunday Times review called Varese “The great emancipator of noise, he transformed the clamor of big city life into clear musical images.”
John Cage said of Varese, he “fathered forth noise,” which “makes him more relative to the present musical necessity than even the Viennese masters.” Check out the playlist below and whet your appetite for this “ultra-modern” composer.
This episode is the first in a series of European composers that start a change in music, paving the way for avant-garde and disruptive sounds from the classical minimalist genre, to punk and rock and roll we hear today.
This episode is an introduction to our series on the Birth of Modern Music. It will highlight radical dissonance in Western classical compositions. We will individually describe the work and influence of Arnold Schoenberg, Erik Satie, Edgard Varese, Olivier Messiaen, Karlheinz Stockhausen and John Cage. They were powerhouses in the classical composition revolution at the turn of the 20th century and their influence permeated into mid-century beatnik, free improv and psychedelic culture.
Look for the first episode in this series next week. Until then, we have prepared for you a playlist highlighting the work of Arnold Schoenberg, the first modernist we’ll explore in our next episode. Check it out at sonospherepodcast.com and click on Press Play. Enjoy!
Pierre Boulez – Le Marteau sans Maitre VI Bourreaux de Solitude