January 21, 2005 at 7:30 PM
Algunas metáforas que aluden al tormento, a la angustia
y a la guerra (2004)
Carlos Carillo was born in 1968, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
He currently resides in Greencastle, IN.
The piece is scored for flute/alto flute, oboe, clarinet/bass clarinet,
bassoon, horn, trumpet,
trombone, piano, and percussion quartet. Performance time is approximately
This piece was commissioned for ACO by the BMI Foundation, Inc./Carlos
Composer Carlos Carrillo holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music,
Yale University, and
the University of Pennsylvania. His teachers have included Tania León,
Christopher Rouse, Jacob Druckman, Martin Bresnick, Roberto Sierra,
George Crumb, James Primosch, Jay Reise, and Steve Mackey. Mr.
Carrillo is the recipient of numerous awards including the Bearns Prize,
the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters,
BMI and ASCAP awards, and he has been commissioned by Music and the
Anthology for the Da Capo Chamber Players, the New York Youth Symphony,
Concert Artists Guild, and the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association
for their 2001 convention. His music has been performed at the
American Composers Orchestra’s Sonidos de las Americas Festival,
Casals Festival, Young Musician Foundation’s Debut Orchestra,
Puerto Rico Symphony
Orchestra, New York Youth Symphony, and by members of the New Jersey
In 2002 his symphonic work Cantares was featured at the inaugural
Synergy: Composer and Conductor program presented by the Los Angeles
Philharmonic and American Symphony Orchestra League. In 1998 he
received one of the first Aaron Copland Awards from the
Copland Heritage Association and he was the 2001–03 Van Lier Emerging
Composer Fellow with ACO. Last fall he joined the faculty of Indiana’s
DePauw University as a post-doctoral fellow. He lives in Indiana
with his wife Kirsten and their three children.
About this work the composer writes:
A question that I have asked myself often is how to create art that
reflects my heritage? One of my answers has been to engage Puerto
Rican literature as a basis for musical works. Poetry, plays,
and essays become central to my creative process. The play La
Pasion segun Antigona Perez by Luis Rafael Sanchez, an important
figure in Puerto Rican literature, was, in the form of an opera, one
of the first works in which I attempted this process. In his book
of essays No llores por nosotros, Puerto Rico, Mr. Sanchez
says “Hablo del acto de escribir que, a falta de otras explicaciones
coherentes y racionales, se intenta definir mediante algunas metáforas
que aluden al tormento, a la angustia y a la guerra. Como la metáfora
de los demonios. Como la metáfora de las obsesiones circulares.
Como la metáfora de la batalla con el ángel.” The
beauty and power of a work of art as a metaphor for things that otherwise
would remain indescribable is central to my piece for So Percussion
and the American Composers Orchestra.
I used these lines of Mr. Sanchez for the title of my work and for each
one of its three movements. Although first movement “Como
la metáfora de la batalla con el angel” (“like the
metaphor of the battle with the angel”) is “interrupted”
by the second movement creating in effect only two sections. The
second movement “Como la metáfora de las obsesiones circulares”
(“like the metaphor of the circular obsessions”) is like
a thought that is always there, that dwells in us without resolution.
The first movement returns precisely where it was interrupted followed
by the final metaphor “La metáfora de los demonios”
(“like the metaphor of the demons”) leading us at the end,
perhaps back to the point where we began.
DAN TRUEMAN Traps Relaxed
Dan Trueman was born in 1968, in Port Jefferson, NY.
He now lives in Princeton, NJ.
Traps Relaxed is scored for strings, percussion, and electric violin/laptop.
Performance time is
approximately 13 minutes.
Traps Relaxed was commissioned by ACO as part of its Orchestra Tech
plays and composes for a variety of violins, including the 6-string
electric violin, the Norwegian Hardanger fiddle, and the Bowed- Sensor-Speaker-Array.
His electronic improvisation ensemble “interface” has performed
widely and recently released a DVD of improvisations and dance pieces
with guest Pauline Oliveros. His duo Trollstilt released its first CD
of original tunes in 2000 and has performed internationally at both
contemporary music festivals and folk music festivals. As a composer
of concert music, Dan recently completed commissions from the American
Composers Forum (Hardanger fiddle and orchestra), the Society for New
Music (electronic chamber ensemble), the Tarab Cello Ensemble (8 cellos),
and is working on an evening-length multimedia work for Trollstilt,
So Percussion, “performance weaving” by Tomie Hahn, and
animated paintings by Judy Trueman, commissioned in part by the New
Jersey Council for the Arts. Bridge Records released a CD of his
chamber works—titled Machine Language—this past summer.
He teaches composition and electronic music at Princeton University.
About this work the composer writes:
Traps Relaxed is an expanded version of Traps, which
I composed for string quartet and electric violin/laptop in March 2003,
as the Second Gulf War began. Traps Relaxed, composed during
the run-up to the elections of 2004, follows a similar process as did
Traps, so I’ll begin by including some notes from the
“… I don’t usually get technical in program notes,
but here goes… Traps is a delicate exploration of a simple
process I call “traps.” A trap is a way of forcing
whatever note I play to be transposed to a single pitch (or set of pitches);
while I play, the computer remembers that last couple seconds of what
I have played and then, depending on the note that I play, transposes
its memory to the “trap” pitch. So, for instance,
when the trap is a high F, if I play an A below that, the “trap”
will, some short time later, transpose my remembered A up a minor-sixth,
so it sounds a high F. The only “problem” is that
sometimes the trap’s memory might be long enough to remember other
pitches I had played prior to the A, say, a low open D string, so that
D will also get transposed up a minor-sixth,to B flat, yielding a not-quitesimultaneous
sonority D–Bflat –A–F. This is precisely how
Traps begins, and it continues slowly through a series of ascending
traps, some of which are single notes, others two-note traps.”
Traps Relaxed opens like the original Traps, but gradually diverges,
relaxing into new possibilities offered by the larger ensemble, and
ending up half-again as long (about 13 minutes). In tonight’s
performance, I am using eight hemispherical speakers to distribute the
sounds of the “traps” throughout the ensemble. These speakers,
which I designed with my father and Perry Cook, radiate sound more like
conventional instruments and, if things go well, should help the electronic
sounds emerge seamlessly from the acoustic ensemble. I have used
these speakers with smaller ensembles, but never on this scale before,
and I can safely say that I would never have composed this piece without
them; I simply can’t imagine this piece realized with a conventional
Jason Freeman was born in 1977, in Miami, Florida.
He now lives in New York City
Glimmer is scored for flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, horn, trumpet,
trombone, tuba, percussion,
strings, and audience. Performance time is 10 minutes.
Glimmer was funded by ACO as part of its Orchestra Tech initiative and
funded in part by the Composer Assistance Program of the American Music
Jason Freeman’s works break down conventional barriers between
composers, performers, and listeners, using cutting-edge technology
and unconventional notation to turn audiences and musicians into compositional
collaborators. His music has been performed by Speculum
Musicae, So Percussion, the Nieuw Ensemble, Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne,
and Evan Ziporyn; his interactive installations and software art have
been exhibited at the Lincoln Center Festival, the Boston CyberArt Festival,
and the Transmediale Festival and featured in the New York Times and
on National Public Radio. N.A.G. (Network Auralization for Gnutella)
commission from Turbulence.org, was described by Billboard as “…an
example of the web’s mind-expanding possibilities.”
Freeman graduated summa cum laude from Yale University and is
currently a doctoral candidate at Columbia University, where he also
teaches computer music. He recently completed a year-long fellowship
at Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany, where he worked
with a team led by sound artist Max Neuhaus to create
Auracle, a voice-controlled networked sound instrument.
work the composer writes:
Glimmer engages you not only as a listener, but also as a musical
collaborator who actively shapes the performance. As you switch
a light stick on and off over the course of the ten-minute piece, computer
software will interpret your actions by analyzing live video of the
audience, and it will relay instructions to the orchestra by changing
the colors of lights on each player’s stand. You are seated in
one of seven audience groups, and your group controls a specific section
of the orchestra. The music played by that section depends on
the percentage of people in your group whose light sticks are turned
on. The music also depends on how your group’s light-stick
activity changes over time, and on how it compares to the activities
of other groups.
I am grateful to the American Composers Orchestra for commissioning
Glimmer, to Akademie Schloss Solitude for providing the perfect setting
in which to write
it, and to the Columbia University Computer Music Center for their technical
and logistical support.
BEGLARIAN FlamingO, revised version (2004)
Eve Beglarian was born in 1958, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
She now lives in New York City.
FlamingO is scored for flute, oboe, English horn, clarinet/bass
clarinet, bassoon, French horns, trumpet, trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion,
piano, and synthesizers. Performance time is approximately 16 minutes.
Eve Beglarian’s chamber and orchestral music has been commissioned
and performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, the California EAR Unit,
Relâche, the Paul Dresher Ensemble, the American Composers Orchestra,
Sequitur, Dinosaur Annex, and the Robin Cox Ensemble, among many others.
Her experience in music theater includes music for Mabou Mines’
Obie-winning Dollhouse, Animal Magnetism, and Ecco
Porco, directed by Lee Breuer; the collaboration Hildegurls’
Ordo Virtutum, directed by Grethe Barrett Holby, which premiered
at the Lincoln Center Festival; twisted tutu, a performance project
with Kathleen Supové; Forgiveness, a collaboration with
Chen Shi-Zheng and Noh master Akira Matsui; and the China National Beijing
Opera Theater’s production of The Bacchae, also directed
by Chen Shi-Zheng. Current projects include Re-Thinking Mary,
a performance project that will be developed at the Atlantic Center
for the Arts; a Meet the Composer co-commission for The Bilitis Songbook,
a song cycle/concept CD with boombox virtuoso and composer Phil Kline;
a major piece for cellist Maya Beiser that will premiere at Carnegie’s
Zankel Hall; and A Book of Days, a long-term project of 365
multimedia pieces for live performance as well as internet delivery.
Recordings of Eve’s music are available on CRI Emergency Music,
OO Discs, Canteloupe, Accurate Distortion, Atavistic, and Kill Rock
About this work the composer writes:
FlamingO is a sixteen-minute piece for three simultaneous bands:
the first, on your left, is
the wolf chaser band, named after the whirling Inuit instrument (given
to me by violinist
Robin Lorentz) played by the percussionist of that band at the beginning
and end of the
piece. The wolf chaser has also been recorded and electronically transformed:
way down in speed without changing the pitch, and then ring-modulated
warped, to create a bed (played back on CD) for the whole piece. The
remaining wolf chaser band members focus on arpeggiations, which are
all melodic outgrowths of
the sound of the wolf chaser. The flamingo band (center) similarly
gets their music from a
sampled source: they are playing with flamingo calls (given to me by
sound engineer Stephen Erickson), and their take on the flamingo tends
to be a sort of honky homophonic hocketing.
In contrast to the arpeggiations and homophony of the other two bands,
band (right) plays an oddly groovy Mozartean canon, taking as their
primary starting point an unidentified birdcall sample (given to me
by sound designer Marilyn Ries).
Each band has a solo section: first the metalastics with Bill Ware soloing
on vibes, then
the flamingos, and finally the wolf chasers. These solo sections are
framed by tutti sections when things are complicated in a way I find
more fun than straight cacophony: you can still hear the characteristic
musics of all three bands, and you can choose what to focus on. Depending
on your choice, all the other bands seem to support you. At the
end of the piece, the wolf chaser band wins out, and the other two bands
join their music.
FlamingO was originally commissioned by Eric Grunin for his ground-breaking
and imaginative Crosstown Ensemble and premiered by them in 1995. Thanks
to Derek Bermel and Aaron Kernis for their advice while I was revising
the piece and to ACO for taking it on.