From Stravinsky-esque rhythms and impressionistic harmonies to Xerox® machine-inspired gestures, Eight Strings & a Whistle - comprised of flutist Suzanne Gilchrest, violist Ina Litera, and cellist Matthew Goeke - present a diverse selection of contemporary and 20th-century works that highlight the ensemble's blend of technical prowess and emotive interpretation on their debut Ravello Records release ALBERT'S WINDOW.
Going Up? by Martin Rokeach and commissioned by Eight Strings & a Whistle, ensnares the listener in its elliptical orbit, as each theme gradually ascends to nebulous, whimsical resolutions. Aloysia Serenade, Op. 19 by Peter Jona Korn (1922-1998) was written for Boston Symphony Orchestra flautist Doriot Anthony Dwyer, the first woman to hold a principal chair in a major U.S. orchestra. The composition leaps from spirited, energetic peaks to brooding, contemplative valleys, traversing a vast amount of emotional and musical territory.
Written for and dedicated to Eight Strings & a Whistle, Bad Robots by composer Edmonds Cionek explores man's relationship with technology, drawing inspiration from the sounds of a copy machine and its rhythms. The album closes with the lyrical Trio, Op. 40 by Albert Roussel (1869-1937), an example of what the composer called "music willed and realized for its own sake:" abstract, colored, cyclic, and unique.
In these works we hear an ensemble of knowledge, elegance, and depth performing music of equal caliber and inspiration - a combination as perfect, in its idiosyncratic and unique own way, as the eight strings and a whistle of Eight Strings & a Whistle.
Click here to visit 8 Strings & a Whistles's website eightstringsandawhistle.com
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Amos Elkana was born in Boston, but grew up in Jerusalem. At the age of 15, he picked up the electric guitar and began to study music, which soon became his primary occupation in life. In 1987, aged 20, he returned to Boston to study jazz guitar at the Berklee College of Music and composition at The New England Conservatory of Music. In 1990, he moved to Paris where he studied composition with Michele Reverdy. He also took composition classes with Erik Norby in Copenhagen, and with Paul-Heinz Dittrich and Edison Denisov in Berlin. Two years later he returned to Israel where he has been living since. In 2007 Elkana received his M.F.A. in music/sound from Bard College, New York. While at Bard, he focused on electronic music and took lessons with Pauline Oliveros, David Behrman, Richard Teitelbaum, George Lewis, Maryanne Amacher and Larry Polansky, among others.
Elkana composes concert music for orchestras, ensembles and individual performers as well as music for dance, theatre and films. His works have been performed and recorded by ensembles and musicians from all over the world.
Elkana is also an active performer. He regularly participates in concerts and performances of improvised music where he plays electric guitar and does real-time audio processing using his computer.
During his career Elkana received several important prizes for his compositions. Among them are the ACUM Golden Feather Award (2002), The Rozenblum Prize for Excellent artists (2012) and the 2011 Prime Minister Prize for Music Composition. This prize is the highest award of its kind for composers in Israel. In their decision the jury noted that Elkana is the author of "very original music, independent of the prevailing fashion, guided by unique and delicate taste," and radiates "a strong sense of honesty."
In its review of Arabic Lessons, the nglish daily Jerusalem Post called it “a perplexing, beguiling 40-minute opus in which the composer challenges the so-called 'acceptable' form of the lieder, shattering it and building it anew, as if constructing a new world from its ashes. ... Arabic Lessons is one of the most significant works composed in Israel for quite a while.”
After the premiere of Casino Umbro the review said, “The wonderful Casino Umbro summed up and cast its shadow on the ones that came before it. This one had it all: spicy changing rhythms, hints of French baroque in the beginning and ending, clear structure, quasi American mechanistic minimalism that somehow gained energy and in no way felt monotonous and on the other hand transitions into a softer sound up to a full of vibrato violin solo, totally romantic, shameless and beautiful. And all this logical, one thing leads to the next and closing exactly at the right moment.”
Founded in 2001 by pianist Idith Meshulam, Ensemble Pi is a new music ensemble dedicated to performing the music of living composers, undiscovered composers of the past, and masterpieces of chamber music. Through innovative programming and collaborations with visual artists, writers and dancers, Ensemble Pi bridges the gap between new music and new audiences while engaging with political and social issues.
Keep Going is Ensemble p’s tribute to Elias Tanenbaum. Although admired by a group of dedicated followers during his lifetime, he has never received the widespread recognition he deserves. With this selection of solo and chamber works, Ensemble Pi brings Tanenbaum’s beautiful and thought-provoking music to a wider audience in the hope of inspiring many more performances and recordings of the work of this truly great American composer.
For more information about Ensemble Pi, please visit their website.
Turkish composer HAKKI CENGIZ EREN's (b. 1984) music has been performed across the United States and Europe. Recent performances of his music have been given by renowned soloists and ensembles, including Garth Knox, Calvin Wiersma, Mak Grgic, members of ECCE (Diamanda Dramm, Paolo Vignoroli, Vasko Dukovski and Virginie Tarrête), Argus Quartet, Ensemble Nodus and the Thornton Edge.
Recipient of the Peter David Faith Memorial Award in Composition, Cengiz has also been a finalist in both the 2015 Donald Aird Earplay Competition and the 2013 Ensemble Et Cetera Composition Competition. In addition, he was one of the only chosen composers for the Ablaze Records Orchestral Masters, Vol.4.
Cengiz has participated in various international festivals, such as the Darmstadt Summer Course, Etchings Festival, Soundscape Festival, Once Festival Ann Arbor, Midwest Composers' Symposium, Cappadocia Composers' Cauldron Festival and Los Angeles Micro-Fest. In such festivals, he has studied so far with internationally renowned names like Beat Furrer, Franck Bedrossian, Mark Andre, Onur Türkmen, Joël Bons, Brian Hulse and Michael Quell among others.
He has completed his Bachelor's degree in guitar performance at the Peabody Institute. This was followed by a Master's degree in composition at University of Michigan. Cengiz has recently obtained a DMA in composition from the USC Thornton School of Music, where his main teachers have been Stephen Hartke, Donald Crockett and Sean Friar. In recent times, his music has evolved through the incorporation of microtonality and with it, a significantly revitalized pitch language.www.hakkicengizerencomposer.com
F. Gerard Errante is a clarinetist of international stature whose performances throughout the world have received critical acclaim. He has performed widely in the global community presenting solo recitals and lecturing in countries from Australia to Zimbabwe. A native of New York City, he earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan with further study at L'Académie Internationale d'Eté in Nice, France. He has published two books and numerous articles, composed ten works for clarinet, and recorded for eleven record labels. In addition, he has had many compositions written for him and is a well-known proponent of contemporary music. He is a prizewinner in the International Gaudeamus Competition for Interpreters of Contemporary Music and has served as Co-Director of the Norfolk Chamber Consort for 38 years. In addition, Errante served as Professor of Music at Norfolk State University of 30 years where he received the Teacher of the Year Award on two occasions. A former President of the International Clarinet Association, Errante was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by that organization. F. Gerard Errante is a Yamaha performing artist and performs on a Custom SE-V clarinet.