fall is upon us.

The ensemble is on the road this weekend, launching our fall season in Providence as part of a double-bill with Caroline Park, at Brown University. Caroline, or CPark, will perform a set of electoacoustic pieces, with our own Derek Beckvold, among performers. From nonce, the show will include performances of Cardew, Saariaho, Xenakis, and Krause, and shall serve as a snapshot preview of what is to come for the rest of 2011.

Chris Watford and Derek Beckvold will join to perform Ryan Krause’s “Splenetic Cultures.” This summer, the two had put together a joint, low-frequency winds concert, for which they had commissioned this Krause duo. In the realm of abstract sounds the group tends to include in its palette, this piece pushes past the instruments, and includes a whole slew of mouth noises between those of the instruments, primarily those sounds of sickness – coughing, groaning, breathing – as well as a structured reading of Krause’s own poetic texts. The piece itself paints a sonic landscape of despair and black humor, as the suffering of the performers gives way to a purely aural experience inside this narrative of illness, ennui, eroticism, and disgust.

Diamanda LaBerge Dramm and Aaron Likness have a vibrant history as a violin and piano duo, playing Ives, Feldman, and Schubert. This weekend the two will step inside the chaotic and virtuosic machine that is Xenakis’s “Dikthas,” a piece built of algorithms, polyrhythms, incessant drive, and fiery bursts of sound, which is as captivating and exacting in its structure as the two in their performance.

And, these two duos shall merge to form a quartet! In the early sixties, British composer Cornelius Cardew was part of a wave of musical thought that drew influence from the art world as composers began to see their scores not merely as functional symbols necessary to capture and convey the sounds of a piece of music, but as a graphic system, much like a painting, capable of conveying tone and ambiguity, that could allow for subjective interpretation and be reflective of their content. With the complete history of musical language as his lexicon, Cardew, a graphic designer himself, erected a multi-traversable course of twisted symbols and layered meanings in the sixty small fragments that make up “Octet ’61,” drawing on Jasper Johns’ use of targets and numbers in a show Cardew had witnessed in Paris. For Friday, Derek, Chris, Aaron, and Diamanda have each orchestrated realizations of their own individual parts, and, together as an ensemble, then pieced them back together to create a version of this piece that is as representative of each individual as it is the ensemble as a whole.

Finally, we are pleased to feature two friends of the nonce family as guest performers this weekend. On Kaija Saariaho’s dazzling trio, “Adjö,” our resident soprano Ceceilia Allwein will be joined by Maarten Stragier, guitarist, who will be performing later in the evening with CPark, and flautist Jessi Rosinski, who has a history going back all the way to nonce’s debut concert, where she performed a solo piece of Trevor Bača.

And for those who can’t make it to Providence on Friday, Huntington Avenue shall be abuzz with an opening at Yes.Oui.Si. of Adrian Molina’s sculpture show “Perpetual In-Terra-Action,” as well as a lecture at NEC on Xenakis’ music featuring Stratis Minakakis, Katarina Miljkovic, and Trevor Bača in advance of the following night’s concert, which is to feature several of nonce’s members.

11/11/11 @ 8PM

Grant Hall at Brown University – Providence, RI


Iannis Xenakis “Dikthas”

Kaija Saariaho “Adjö”

Ryan Krause “Splenetic Cultures”

Cornelius Cardew “Octet ’61”


Caroline Park on laptop,

featuring Derek Beckvold, Michael Unterman, and Maarten Stragier

a snippet from Cardew’s “Octet ’61″next to some numbers of Jasper Johns:



One thought on “fall is upon us.

  1. Pingback: Octet for Four | NONCE WORDS

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