The event will highlight remarkable works from a diverse selection of contemporary artists.
Photo: Evan Williams, wearing a dark blue blazer and a solid blue dress shirt, leans against an old brick wall, smiling. (Photograph by SnoStudios Photography.)
The Madison New Music FestivalFriday, July 30’s return to the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is expected to provide a compact but compelling showcase of new perspectives on classical and avant-garde music. This year’s program features works by composers Eric Delgado, Chiayu hsu, Evan williams, and the duo Anastasia Adams and nibiiwakamigkwe.
Last year, Delgado released “Lilies abound, âWhich drew on the deep and hypnotic effect of the vibraphone with masterful simplicity, displaying the nuances of his compositional talent. The ever-curious Madison-based percussion project Filament Duo will perform this piece at the festival, along with âPhased Meditations,â which is in a way a musical staging of the Socratic method. The piece allows the audience to participate in the performance and encourages them to add a layer of improvisation to the composition, with all the instruments at their disposal (vocalization is as encouraged as the incorporation of cell phone sounds) . Using the ethic of collective creativity, Delgado manages to intentionally erase the familiar boundaries with âPhased Meditations,â fostering a sense of community to surprising effect in the process.
Composer and music teacher UW-Eau Claire Chiayu hsu described his approach as “the combination of Chinese elements and Western techniques.” Hsu’s pieces have been performed by various acclaimed ensembles around the world. But the composer’s affinity for Wisconsin remains palpable.
Milwaukee Town Hall, once the tallest building in town, inspired Hsu to compose his two-part piece Renaissance city for Doors Open Milwaukee, an event that showcases the beauty of the city’s architecture. In Renaissance cityIn the first section, Hsu mimics the atmospheric calm of the building at dawn. The second section is oriented around the feeling of the building when the sun is at its peak, allowing the room to follow its inevitable descent, eventually returning to a poetic stillness. Flautist Emilio Rutllant and cellist Trace Johnson will be responsible here for translating the piece into Madison’s horizon.
âFor composers, it is always crucial to have interpretations of our music and to reach more audiences,â says Hsu. “I really appreciate the MMoCA team for organizing and scheduling this diverse musical evening, so that audiences can have the opportunity to explore different types of composition.”
Evan Williams’ music tend to move from the harshness of the avant-garde to the tender new-romanticism while emphasizing the unifying elements between the two. Digging into Williams’ work, songs like Steve Reich’s “Music pendulum“are as likely to come to mind as any sharp minimalism composition. There are sounds that look like clouds, enveloped in atmosphere, and then there are others that look like chairs. of metal coffee streaks on stained tiles. Spaces between the woods “The breaths roll and your ears swear they can still hear the beauty. Steph Lippert, on bass trombone, will perform Williams’ composition “Amber Waves” at the festival.
In its most traditional sense, the Inuit version of throat singing is a half game, half competition designed for two women. For nibiiwakamigkwe and Anastasia Adams, the practice resonated. Their friendship and creative partnership was forged on common bonds that they discovered they shared as colleagues. âHaving a musical connection and a common experience was part of our survival tools, and we are grateful that this has become something we can share with others,â says nibiiwakamigkwe.
For the Madison New Music Festival, Adams, who is trained as a musical performer, educator and direct descendant of the Western Yup’ik tribe, will sing her native throat songs, while the nibiiwakamigkwe will dance in their traditional fringed dress. . âI didn’t sing for 10 years because I didn’t have anyone to lead me. This is a good principle to have for any extra-cultural work: involvement comes with permission and the ability to listen, âsays nibiiwakamigkwe.
âThere aren’t many throat singers this far south (the closest one I know of is in Toronto),â continues nibiiwakamigkwe, âand the practice is relatively unknown to non-natives in this area. Throat singing, like many other forms of Indigenous music, is often relegated to intra-tribal or Indigenous-focused gatherings where people have established an understanding or is widely viewed as one-time educational entertainment for non-Indigenous people, which is part of the colonial narrative. that Indigenous peoples are relics of a situational historical past as opposed to a contemporary and active present. We are always there, creating new works and contributing to members of our communities. “
This year’s edition of the Madison New Music Festival is free, and event organizers have downsized the event capacity for safety. The music is expected to take place in the MMoCA’s rooftop sculpture garden, but will move inside the museum’s conference room if it rains. Masks will be mandatory inside.
Correction: The original version of this article misrepresented Anastasia Adams’ tribal affiliation. This is the Yup’ik of the West, not the Yup’ik of Alaska. The reference has been corrected.