Bond Chapel, 1050 East 59th Street
This program features the world premiere of Mathias Spahlinger’s bracing, unpredictable solo drum-kit piece ausnahmslos ausnahmen (2013) performed by Christoph Brunner. Berlin-based trio XelmYa opens the concert with the American premiere of rundweg (2010), while Eric Wubbels and Josh Modney of the Wet Ink Ensemble perform the olympian hour-long duo extension (1980).
This event is part of the retrospective there is no repetition: Mathias Spahlinger at 70, taking place Friday, March 6 through Sunday, March 15. It is generously supported by the Goethe-Institut Chicago. You can download the full program here.
Program: Mathias Spahlinger, rundweg (2010), for recorder, violin, & cello — American premiere
Mathias Spahlinger, ausnahmslos ausnahmen (2014), for drum-set — World premiere
Mathias Spahlinger, extension (1979-80), for violin & piano
Christoph Brunner was influenced at an early age by the free jazz pioneer Pierre Favre. Subsequently he studied classical percussion at the Winterthur Conservatory of Music (Switzerland), as well as contemporary music in Paris (with Gaston Sylvestre), Brussels (Robert Van Sice) and San Diego (Steven Schick). As a soloist he has commissioned and premiered numerous works, and has received invitations to renowned festivals (Zurich, Geneva, Lucerne, Stuttgart, Witten, Berlin, Nashville, Chicago and Cairo). Since 2008, he’s been concentrating on the drumset for his solistic work. From 1994 to 2014, Christoph Brunner has been a member of the Collegium Novum Zurich. The Ensemble hosts concert series in various locations in Zurich and is regularly invited by most of the european festivals for contemporary music. Their CDs with works by Bernd Alois Zimmermann, Luciano Berio/Morton Feldman, Roberto Gerhard and Georg Friedrich Haas have been awarded repeatedly. In 1999, he founded the duo canto battuto with Eva Nievergelt in order to create their own repertoire for voice and percussion. In the past fifteen years they commissioned almost thirty works and gave concerts on various tours in Switzerland, Germany, France, England, Poland and the US. Christoph Brunner lives with his family in the Bernese Jura, Switzerland.
XelmYa (Alexa Renger – violin, Sylvia Hinz – recorder, Ulrike Ruf – violoncello) was founded in 2008. One of their goals: to push, foster and develop the instrumentation of the baroque trio sonata into contemporary music and modern times. Since their formation, they performed numerous premieres composed especially for this trio by e.g. Matthias Spahlinger (DE), Makiko Nishikaze (JP), Gunnar Karel Másson (IS), Luis Hilario Arévalo (MX), and John Strieder (DE). They also perform rarely known pieces. The promotion of contemporary music and music by female composers are two of the main topics of XelmYa. Sylvia holds contact with many international composers and develops concepts and programmes for concerts, realised at e.g. the festival “Klangwerkstatt Berlin” and the concert series “Unerhörte Musik”.
Joshua Modney is a NYC-based violinist dedicated to performing contemporary music, collaborating closely with composers on new work over extended time periods, and exploring innovative interpretations of classical music. Joshua is violinist and Executive Director of the Wet Ink Ensemble and a founding member of Mivos Quartet. Hailed as “superb” and “flamboyant”, “a new-music luminary” (New York Times), Joshua has performed as a soloist and chamber musician at festivals and concert series across four continents, and was a featured solo performer at the 2013 Zürich Tage für Neue Musik. He has presented hundreds of premieres, and worked closely with major figures including Helmut Lachenmann, George Lewis, Christian Wolff, and Peter Ablinger. Collaboration has long been a focus of Joshua’s practice, and he has developed new large-scale work with composers including Kate Soper, Alex Mincek, Eric Wubbels, Sam Pluta, and Rick Burkhardt, among others. Joshua has recorded for Carrier Records, Deutsche Grammophon, hat[now]ART, and Tzadik Records.
Eric Wubbels is a composer, pianist, and Executive Director of the Wet Ink Ensemble, a New York collective devoted to creating, promoting, and organizing adventurous contemporary music. Wubbels’s music has been performed throughout Europe, Asia and the U.S., by groups such as the Wet Ink Ensemble, Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, ICE, Yarn/Wire, Ensemble Linea, Talea Ensemble, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, and the Mivos Quartet, and featured on festivals including the Zurich Tage für Neue Musik (2013), Metz Festival (2014), and MATA Festival (2012). He has received commissioning grants from Chamber Music America’s Classical Commissioning Program, ISSUE Project Room, the Jerome Foundation, New Music USA, and Yvar Mikhashoff Trust, and has been awarded residencies at the MacDowell Colony and Civitella Ranieri Center (Italy). As a performer, he has given U.S. and world premieres of works by major figures such as Peter Ablinger, Richard Barrett, Michael Finnissy, Beat Furrer, George Lewis, and Mathias Spahlinger. He has recorded for hat[NOW]art, Spektral, Albany Records, Carrier, and Quiet Design. He holds a D.M.A. and M.A. in composition from Columbia University, and a B.A. from Amherst College, and has held teaching positions at Amherst College (2009-11) and Oberlin Conservatory (2012-13). His principal teachers include Lewis Spratlan, Tristan Murail, and Fred Lerdahl.
For over 15 years, the New York-based Wet Ink Ensemble has presented concerts featuring consistently diverse, fresh and exciting repertoire. The group has commissioned, premiered and recorded works by many of today’s most promising emerging composers, while also collaborating with a broad range of renowned artists, from Evan Parker and George Lewis to Christian Wolff, Peter Ablinger, Weasel Walter, and Zs. Wet Ink most commonly performs as a septet comprised of a core group of composer- performers that collaborate in a band-like fashion, writing, improvising, preparing, and touring pieces together over long stretches of time. The approach has allowed the ensemble to develop a uniquely exciting performance practice, and Wet Ink has won praise for its “staggering” performances (Sound Projector, UK), “combining striking stylistic and aesthetic assurance with technical perfection (Dissonanz, Switzerland).” The group also regularly functions as a large ensemble comprised of an extended network of soloists, dedicated to pushing musical boundaries. The Wet Ink Large Ensemble has given the U.S. premieres of works by major figures such as Peter Ablinger, Beat Furrer, Phil Niblock, and Matthias Spahlinger, as well as younger artists such as Bryn Harrison, James Saunders, and Simon Steen-Andersen.