And Nothing Remains the Same

Mark Winges composer
Paul Théberge composer
Pamela Sklar composer
John Newell composer
Jorge Amado composer
Péter Kőszeghy composer

Eight Strings & a Whistle

Release Date: November 19, 2021
Catalog #: RR8061
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Chamber
Cello
Flute
Viola

On …AND NOTHING REMAINS THE SAME… from Eight Strings & a Whistle and Ravello Records, the flute-viola-cello trio explores the constant cycle of transformation that defines human existence. Since 1998, Eight Strings & a Whistle has earned a reputation for championing Baroque, Classical, and Romantic repertoire while also premiering new works from living composers. …AND NOTHING REMAINS THE SAME… focuses on the music of contemporary composers, the majority of whom composed their pieces specifically for the Trio. The performances heard on the album offer a rewarding and intimate listening experience, with a deeply evocative sound rife with stark dissonance and rich harmony.

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Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Loki's Lair Mark Winges Eight Strings & a Whistle | Suzanne Gilchrest, flute and alto flute; Ina Litera, viola; Matt Goeke, cello 6:48
02 Maqām: I. Moderately Slow Paul Théberge Eight Strings & a Whistle | Suzanne Gilchrest, flute and alto flute; Ina Litera, viola; Matt Goeke, cello 3:11
03 Maqām: II. Moderately Paul Théberge Eight Strings & a Whistle | Suzanne Gilchrest, flute and alto flute; Ina Litera, viola; Matt Goeke, cello 1:45
04 Maqām: III. Slowly Paul Théberge Eight Strings & a Whistle | Suzanne Gilchrest, flute and alto flute; Ina Litera, viola; Matt Goeke, cello 3:24
05 Maqām: IV. Moderately Paul Théberge Eight Strings & a Whistle | Suzanne Gilchrest, flute and alto flute; Ina Litera, viola; Matt Goeke, cello 2:12
06 Maqām: V. Slow and Somewhat Freely Paul Théberge Eight Strings & a Whistle | Suzanne Gilchrest, flute and alto flute; Ina Litera, viola; Matt Goeke, cello 3:54
07 2 Journeys: No. 1, Third Eye Pamela Sklar Eight Strings & a Whistle | Suzanne Gilchrest, flute and alto flute; Ina Litera, viola; Matt Goeke, cello 6:15
08 2 Journeys: No. 2, The Inward Journey Pamela Sklar Eight Strings & a Whistle | Suzanne Gilchrest, flute and alto flute; Ina Litera, viola; Matt Goeke, cello 5:46
09 And Nothing Remains the Same John Newell Eight Strings & a Whistle | Suzanne Gilchrest, flute and alto flute; Ina Litera, viola; Matt Goeke, cello 6:46
10 Eidos II Jorge Amado Eight Strings & a Whistle | Suzanne Gilchrest, flute and alto flute; Ina Litera, viola; Matt Goeke, cello 8:33
11 Souls (Live) Péter Kőszeghy Eight Strings & a Whistle | Suzanne Gilchrest, flute and alto flute; Ina Litera, viola; Matt Goeke, cello 12:45

SPECIAL THANKS
Nothing happens in a vacuum. Special thanks to all of our supporters, plus one very special angel who made this recording possible. Special thanks to Chris Benham for reopening his studio as soon as he could in the midst of a world-wide pandemic, John Frisch for keeping us on track, both musically and grammatically, and Rick Van Benschoten for figuring out how to do post-production remotely and having a good sense of humor through it all.

Souls recorded live at the Tenri Cultural Institute, New York NY on November 27, 2017
Recording Session Engineer Peter Weitzner

All other tracks recorded February 18, June 16, July 20, 2020 and January 21, 2021 at Big Orange Sheep, Brooklyn NY
Recording Session Engineer Chris Benham

Editing and Mixing Engineer Rick Van Benschoten
Produced by John Frisch, Rick Van Benschoten, and Eight Strings & a Whistle

Mastering Shaun Michaud

Cover image Richard Cawley and Gustav Sculptor

Executive Producer Bob Lord

Executive A&R Sam Renshaw
A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Quinton Blue

VP of Production Jeff LeRoy
Audio Director Lucas Paquette

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming
Publicity Patrick Niland, Sara Warner

Artist Information

Eight Strings & a Whistle

Ensemble

Eight Strings & a Whistle has been committed to presenting and expanding the repertoire for the unique combination of flute, viola, and cello since 1998. A cutting-edge presence, the Trio champions Baroque, Classical, and Romantic repertoire  and collaborates regularly with a wide roster of living composers, premiering and performing their pieces throughout the concert season.

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Mark Winges

Mark Winges

Composer

Mark Winges was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and currently resides in San Francisco, where he has been resident composer/advisor for the chamber choir Volti since 1990. He was also composer-in-residence for the San Francisco Choral Artists in the 2012–13 season. He is a graduate of both the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and San Francisco State University, and has studied at the Musikhögskolan in Stockholm, Sweden, with composer Arne Mellnäs.

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Paul Theberge

Paul Théberge

Composer

Paul Théberge was born in Brunswick, Maine. In his late teens he emigrated to Canada, where he studied music at Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS, and later, Communications and Media Studies at Concordia University in Montreal. As a composer, he has created works for a variety of media and has received awards from the Canada Council for the Arts and from the National Endowment for the Arts (United States).

His works have been performed throughout North America, in Europe, and in the Middle East. Théberge is also well known for his writings on music, and technology and culture, including the award-winning book Any Sound You Can Imagine: Making Music/Consuming Technology (1997). He is co-editor of Living Stereo: Histories and Cultures of Multichannel Sound (2015). In 2012, he produced and engineered Glenn Gould: The Acoustic Orchestrations, a two-disc set for Sony Classical. He is presently a Canada Research Professor at Carleton University, Ottawa.

photo: courtesy of Carleton University

Pamela Sklar

Pamela Sklar

Composer

Born in New York City and based in Westchester County NY, Pamela Sklar collaborates as flutist and composer with various ensembles co-featuring classical, pop-rock, blues, meditative, and improvised music. Her critically acclaimed performances have included international tours and national/regional appearances with Claude Bolling, Dave Brubeck, Alan Hovhaness, Jack Wilkins, and Tony Bennett.

Sklar’s composing evolved naturally as an extension of her performing career. Her works have been praised as “…the listener is transformed into another time and place…hauntingly beautiful…full of colors…excellent…mastery” (The Flutist Quarterly) for her debut recording A Native American-Jazz Tribute/A Tune for America, and described as “Magical sound…expertly written, Sklar creates a fascinating exploration of Ancient Egypt using contemporary sound.” (Fanfare Magazine) for her recording, Silver Pharaoh/An Original Tribute to Ancient Egypt.

Recent projects include a 2020 Arts Initiative Award from ArtsWestchester for Words Into Music, inspired by her conversations with more than 40 individuals from Mount Vernon NY, who shared stories about family situations, community issues, and personal struggles.

Other premieres include: Mandolin on the Moon, written for members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and presented at the Hudson River Museum Planetarium to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing; Two Journeys, performed in Havana, Cuba and New York City by Eight Strings & a Whistle; The Chains of Love, performed in Madrid and New York City. Additional notable performances include works presented at the National Flute Association Convention in Chicago and the International Double Reed Society Conference in New York City.

New York Women Composers awarded Sklar for two seasons for New York Tapestries, a project with her duo 2Flutes with Laura Falzon. A copy of her score, Spell #166, for five various flutes and organ, is included in the Special Collection of the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts. To learn more, please visit: www.pamelasklar.com

Pamela Sklar has been interviewed as part of the 8SW Featured Composer series. You can read the full interview with her at eightstringsandawhistle.com/2019/03/17/pamela-sklar/

photo: Nestor Kyritsis

John Newell

John Newell

Composer

Born in Charlotte, North Carolina, John Newell graduated from Duke University, having pursued studies in composition, piano, and conducting. He earned his M.F.A from California Institute of the Arts, where his primary teacher was Mel Powell. Newell completed his formal training at SUNY Buffalo, working with Morton Feldman, as recipient of the first Edgard Varèse Fellowship. Since earning his Ph.D. in 1979, he has pursued an independent creative path.

Newell’s objective is to create works that reflect his personal sensibility, that are inspiring and rewarding for performers and listeners alike. He is equally at home composing for orchestra, solo instruments, vocal ensembles, and chamber groups.

Organizations that have commissioned works include Resinosa Ensemble, Eight Strings & a Whistle, Atlantic Sinfonietta, The Bowery Ensemble, Monday Evening Concerts (Los Angeles), the Enid Symphony Orchestra (Oklahoma), as well as a number of amateur groups such as Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony Orchestra (Maine). His work has received support from the American Music Center, the Massachusetts Cultural Council and Meet the Composer. Newell’s works are self-published through Abierto Music, and he is a member of Broadcast Music Inc. An accomplished pianist, conductor, and teacher, Newell lives with his wife, Linda, in Downeast Maine. He serves on the faculty of the SummerKeys music program and is founding director of the choral ensemble Quoddy Voices. To learn more, please visit: https://www.johnnewellmusic.com/

John Newell has been interviewed as part of the 8SW Featured Composer series. You can read the full interview with him at https://eightstringsandawhistle.com/2019/03/09/john-newell/

photo: Robin Farrin

Jorge Amado

Jorge Amado

Composer

Jorge Amado is an up-and-coming young Cuban composer and violinist. Since winning the 8SW Composer Competition, Amado has received commissions for his work by ensembles such as the Catalyst Quartet and organizations such as the Centro Nacional de la Música de Concerto de Cuba. He has received numerous awards from such competitions as Mexico’s 2019 International Composition Competition for String Quartet and the Ojalá 2018 Symphonic Composition Award.

His orchestral work, Reencuentro, was premiered by the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic in Chicago in 2016.

Other awards include several from “Concurso Musicalia” sponsored by Cuba’s Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA), the “Harold Gramatges” Competition (Cuba), the Alfred Schnittke Competition and Composers’ Forum (Ukraine). Amado’s work has been presented at several festivals, including the Festival de Música Contemporánea de la Habana and the Festival de Música de Cámara (Havana, Cuba), and in the United States at the Austin Chamber Music Festival (Texas), and the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival (Virginia).

As a violinist, Amado has performed with orchestras, including the Orchestra of Cuban Radio and Television (Miguel Patterson, conductor), the orchestra from the Chicago-ISA project (Orbert Davis, conductor), and the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic (Orbert Davis, conductor). Amado has performed in concerts and workshops presented by Casa de las Américas in Havana, as part of their Composition Awards concerts, and as a soloist he has participated in the recording of five albums, sponsored by AHS (Asociación Hermanos Saíz), and the Colibrí and EGREM labels.

Amado is a member of the Cuban Association of Musical Copyright (ACDAM) and the General Society of Authors and Editors (SGAE). He is a 2019 recipient of Cuba’s AHS 2019 Scholarship for composition and a 2020 graduate of ISA (Instituto Superior de Arte) with degrees in both violin and composition. A catalogue of his works can be found at cayomusic.org

Jorge Amado has been interviewed as part of the 8SW Featured Composer series. You can read the full interview with him at: eightstringsandawhistle.com/2019/03/17/jorge-amado

photo: Pedro Suárez

Peter Koszeghy

Péter Kőszeghy

Composer

Péter Kőszeghy’s work is inspired by Greek mythology and Hungarian Shamanism — and the connection between the physical and spiritual worlds. His interests lie in the beauty, the colors, and the expression of the sensibility and delicacy of music itself.

Kőszeghy has been awarded numerous prizes for his work. He has been commissioned by such organizations and ensembles as the Berlin Senate, the Long Night of Electronic Sounds of the AdK (Berlin), the Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, Deutschlandfunk, the Ensemble EAR (Budapest), the Tonhalle Düsseldorf, and the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.

Kőszeghy’s work has been performed internationally at such festivals as Ultraschall Berlin, Ensemblia Mönchengladbach, AdeVantgarde (Munich), Tongyoeng International Music Festival (Korea), and First Bohlen-Pierce Conference (Boston). He has been invited to appear at conferences such as the 4th Young Talent Forum of the GNM and Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt aM); the CDMC 1° Forum International des jeunes compositeurs (Paris); Musik unser Zeit (Münster); and was Composer in Residence at the Kunst-Station Sankt Peter in Cologne.

Performers of his work include the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the MusikFabrik NRW, the Ensemble Zagros (Finland), the Ensemble Aleph (France), the vocal ensemble AuditivVokal (Dresden), the e-mex Ensemble (Düsseldorf), and Eight Strings & a Whistle (United States). Soloist performers include Camilla Hoitenga, Peter Veale, Istvàn Matùz, Pascal Gallois, and Carin Levine.

In 2018 Kőszeghy co-founded the HDES ensemble for contemporary music with his composition student Fabian Blum. Kőszeghy is also the founder and director of the Contemporary Music Festival at the Reinickendorf Music School in Berlin, where he has been a faculty member since 2018.

Born in Hungary, Kőszeghy moved to Berlin in 1992 after studying flute and music pedagogy at the Franz Liszt Musikakademie in Györ. He earned a degree from the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin in 1999, where he studied composition with Paul-Heinz Dittrich and electronic music with Andre Bartetzki. He continues to make Berlin his home. To learn more, please visit his website at www.koeszeghy.net

Péter Kőszeghy has been interviewed as part of the 8SW Featured Composer series. You can read the full interview with him at eightstringsandawhistle.com/2019/03/08/peter-koszeghy/

photo: Henrieke I. Strecker

Notes

Change is constant.

Whether happening on a scale of geologic time, the span of one human lifetime, or even of immediate experience, everything is changing. The immediacy of shape-shifting illusion, lifetime “milestones,” even a five-minute trip to the grocery store — we experience change all the time.

And in that change, there is transformation; we’re different now, even from that trip to the grocery store, than we were just minutes ago. Yet, despite the changes, we’re still who we are. The same, yet different. Both, And.

This album is a reflection on this circle — change, transformation, and return. We hope you enjoy the journey with us.

— 8SW

Loki’s Lair (2018) is a short tour of a slightly quirky place. Like its owner, the dwelling has a mischievous air. Rooms sometimes have curved walls or odd angles. The eyes of the portraits follow your movements as you walk down the hallway. The furniture is nice enough, but something about the fabric choices combined with the shadows seem to play tricks with your eyes. The door you thought opened to the side yard leads instead back into another curved passageway. The whole time you’re there, music plays in your head, unbidden. It too is slightly quirky. Lines that seem to be a simple unison melody aren’t quite so, slip-sliding apart. A passage whose direction seems straightforward has an unexpected shift in register. Which instrument is playing this line or playing the lowest note in that chord? Two instruments play similar patterns, but they never line up. The music stops. You find yourself back outside, facing a little drawbridge, unable to remember the last few steps that got you there.

Loki’s Lair is affectionately dedicated to Eight Strings & a Whistle, whose superb musicianship has graced Winges-notes since the previous century.

— Mark Winges

Maqām was written in 1978, after a period in which I had been largely immersed in composing electronic music. In returning to the chamber medium, I was interested in rethinking my approach to melody and began to study traditional systems of melodic types and formulae: such systems are common to a number of ancient musical cultures, including those of Greece, the Middle East, and India. In particular, I was drawn to maqām, an Arabic system of melodic motives, tonal/spatial formulas, and improvisational techniques with roots in early Persian music. While neither the specific melodic material nor the tonal language found in my work is derived from this system, I feel that my approach to melodic invention nevertheless has a certain affinity with it. The title of this work is intended as an acknowledgement of a learning process, a gesture of respect, an attempt to create a point of resonance with this musical tradition rather than an appropriation of it.

Maqām was written for The Galliard Ensemble, in Toronto, and was premiered by them.

— Paul Théberge

Written for Eight Strings & a Whistle, Two Journeys (“Third Eye,” 2018; “The Inward Journey,” 2019) represents separate but connected journeys towards self-awakening, awareness, enlightenment, and greater spirituality.

The first Journey, “Third Eye,” begins with a solo flute line that starts with a long, middle-range F# (one of the more mystical-sounding flute notes, to me). Quickly flowing from that F# tone is a rapid group of six repeating notes (the sixth chakra is the third eye chakra). This solo represents a brief ceremonial calling—willingness—to open and seek one’s inner truth. Thus, the odyssey can begin.

The three instruments share similar energy — the viola and cello vibrating wood via bowed or plucked strings, the flute using life breath to vibrate a silver tube.

Throughout the movement, long stretches of uneven time signatures and sustained notes of differing lengths enable listeners to experience a feeling of being in the moment without measuring time as we do in the physical plane. “Third Eye” ends much as it began – with a single suspended flute note, but now with a high E. A seventh above the opening tone, the higher E symbolizes the seventh chakra (the crown chakra) which relates to pure consciousness.

“The Inward Journey” is a very sustained, slow-moving, meditative, and probing experience musically, as it is the actual journey (rather than a description) of leaving your world, the physical, the Earth plane, and all things familiar, including your comfort zone…at times. It is hypnotic and it might ‘test’ your patience, as some phrases don’t resolve as immediately as we experience in much of our popular and classical music culture. Nonetheless there is an energy coming through, which overrides the initial Patience Stage — waiting/trying to hear or feel something/settling our thoughts/letting go of where we are, as we begin to transition in order to move into ‘being in the moment.’ The ending of this particular journey feels mystical to me.

— Pamela Sklar

This work is a musical essay on the ephemeral nature of our world. Things are never the same; each moment, each passing day, is but a prelude to the next. The constancy of change is a truth that poets and thinkers have wrestled with for centuries.

“…and nothing remains the same.” (2012) is the second movement of a larger work: On Impermanence. The first movement, “A Coming Together,” was composed in 2020. “…and nothing remains the same.” was composed eight years earlier.

It was inspired by this beautiful short poem* :

This world of ours
To what shall I compare it?
Put to sea in the morning,
A boat which rowed away
And left no track.

The opening unison note and static chords evolve into individual instrumental lines, gradually becoming more expressive and distinct. The instruments take turns breaking away into their own short cadenzas, leading to a polyphony of independent gestures. The work ends as the instrumental lines dissolve into fleeting, vaporous scale passages.

— John Newell

* “‘This world of ours. . .’ by Shami Mansei (Manyoshu version),’’ translated by Kenneth Rexroth, from ONE HUNDRED MORE POEMS FROM THE JAPANESE, copyright ©1974, 1976 by Kenneth Rexroth. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.

Eidos II (2017) won the inaugural 8SW Composer Competition in 2018. The work is greatly influenced by Afro-Cuban rhythms and the folkloric ensembles used for Santería ceremonial music: three batá drummers, an akpwón (lead singer), and a choir that responds to the improvised calls of the akpwón. In Eidos II, the timbral homogeneity of the strings is used to create the percussion section, imitating the rhythmic patterns of batá drums. While the akpwón is represented by the flute, the singer’s improvised calls can be heard in the melodic lines throughout the work as well as the flute cadenza. The dialogues between the flute, viola, and cello reflect the responsorial element of these Afro-Cuban traditions.

Eidos II is the second of what will be a set of independent pieces for diverse instrumental ensembles. Eidos is a Greek term that means “type” or “species” and is a reference to the great diversity of musical instruments that can be played in different chamber ensembles.

— 8SW

Souls was composed for Eight Strings & a Whistle in 2011. It draws its inspiration from the Hungarian Shaman tradition, which focuses on the connection between the physical and spiritual worlds. In this work, Kőszeghy explores different tone colors through the layering of notes and bending of pitch. Coupling intricate rhythms with accentuation, he creates a unique ethereal sound environment. Souls is a pathway, created by sound, from the material world to the spiritual world, where the soul is free to move without restrictions. This is very much how Kőszeghy believes music should be — emotionally stirring without being encumbered by a set of technical, theory-based rules.

— 8SW