by Mike Telin
This weekend, Cleveland-based new music ensemble No Exit will present three concerts that showcase an eclectic mix of avant-garde electronic and electro-acoustic works. “This is a really exciting series,” No Exit’s artistic director Tim Beyer said during a telephone conversation. “We’re fortunate to have performers who are not only amazing ensemble players, but virtuosic soloists as well. And these pieces will allow each member of the ensemble to shine.”
The first performance is scheduled for Friday, April 17 at Heights Arts. The program will be repeated on Saturday, April 18 at SPACES and on Monday, April 20 at Cleveland State University’s Drinko Recital Hall. All concerts will begin at 8:00 pm.
Beyer thinks it’s important for No Exit to present a program of this kind. “In one form or another, electronics are part of the new music landscape. This program is interesting because of the many different ways each composer uses electronics.”
I asked Beyer to give some of his insights into the music.
“Andy Akiho’s 21 (2008) for marimba (Luke Rinderknecht) and cello (Nick Diodore) is a fun piece with a global feel. And Chris Goddard was one of the first composers whose music No Exit performed, so we’re happy to be doing his And Chase (2013) for violin (Cara Tweed) and viola (James Rhodes). It is a great piece where the nimble violin is being chased by the more bulky viola.”
Beyer said that Christopher Stark is a composer No Exit has been wanting to work with for a long time. Two-Handed Storytelling (2012) for piano (Nicholas Underhill) and electronics is the composer’s first electronic work. “Nick uses a foot pedal that triggers events. It’s not a rhythmically fixed part, although the timing of the electronic events does need to be correct. And Edmund Campion’s Losing Touch (1994) for percussion and electronics is just a very cool piece of music.”
The program will also include Beyer’s Afflictions (2010) for solo cello. “It’s a dark and somber series of miniatures where solo line embodies each of several afflictions: Atrophy, Inflammation, Lesions, Paresthesia and Insomnolence. I use a lot of extended techniques, but I think I’ve used them in a meaningful way.”
The concerts will also feature three world premieres by local composers James Praznik, Greg DʼAlessio and Eric M. C. Gonzalez. “James, Greg, and Eric are all coming from very different places with their music, but they all have really strong concepts of what they want to accomplish. These works explore the possibilities and variety that a purely electronic medium can evoke, and they’re all engaging pieces.”
Beyers explained that DʼAlessioʼs To Cleave, and to Cleave not (2015) is a multimedia work that deals with the “concept” of Cleveland and features a visual component. Gonzalez’s A Concise Autobiography of Clarence Leone (2015), with narration by Ray Caspio, combines electronics with pre-recorded piano sounds.
“James Praznik’s Exo-Narrative 1: Thanks for the Memories (2014) is a purely electronic piece of music that is very profound,” Beyer said. “I’m so pleased with all of the premiere pieces. It’s a great program, and the audience is in for a real treat.”
Published on ClevelandClassical.com April 14, 2015.
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