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Ekmeles: Mystical Paths
The Crypt at Church of the Intercession
New York, NY
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Ekmeles: Mystical Paths
On May 10, Ekmeles - a "brilliant young ensemble... defining a fresh and virtuosic American
sound" (The New Yorker) presents Mystical Paths in the transporting acoustic of the crypt of the Church of the Intercession. The program includes musical realizations of five paths humans have used for centuries to transcend reality - food, fantasy, logic, religion and silence.

Anatra al Sal by Lucia Ronchetti, inspired by the late XVIth Century Italian tradition of madrigal rappresentativo is a short theatrical work, based on the discussion of some cooks about how to cook a duck. The bass plays the role of the most important and famous cook in the group. He quotes only Latin cook books, speaking Latin. His assistant and interpreter is a soprano part. She freely and poetically translates the severe remarks of the bass.
The Alphabet of the Ars Brevis by Agata Zubel is inspired by Medieval Catalan philosopher and mystic Ramon Llull. He developed a combinatorial logical system to discover the truth, conceived as an instrument to be used in interfaith dialogue to convert infidels. Though it was intended to be logical, the complexity of the system and its symbolic language verges on the psychedelic, reflected by Zubel in the overwhelming density of her setting.

Three in, ad abundantiam, and vo mesurando by Evan Johnson are best described by the composers words on the latter: If a madrigal is an unaccompanied chamber-scale vocal work, intimate, reliant on knife-edge unanimity of purpose and gesture, dedicated to the illustration and evocation of a poetic text, then vo mesurando is a madrigal. The Petrarch sonnet which lends detached phrases of its text, Solo e pensoso, describes an incommunicable state of inner torment, a compulsive evasion of connection and communication with humankind, and a denial of the possibilities of vocal eloquenceand so it is here. The material and energies of the work are private, quite often simply inaudible, and aimed if they are audible at a space as close to the singers as possible. The gently aggressive regularity of the gridded form; the fragmentary repetitions, sequences, and canons; the emergent shards of syllables and glimpsed phrases; these are all madrigalian figures that you are overhearing, but they are not for you.

Taylor Brooks Motorman Sextet likewise borrows material from older music; in this case both from Dietrich Buxtehude and Hank Williams. The work is a setting of nostalgic texts from David Oehles cult dystopian sci-fi novel Motorman, and weaves these musical references in with Brooks own personal language in a surreal and seamless blend. The harmonic language of the work is a mix of tunings and temperaments that serve to buttress the uncanny nature of the text.

Tighten to Nothing by Forrest Pierce explores the composers Sufi faith through a text by Hadewijch II, a Middle Dutch visionary and poet. The piece strikes a precarious balance between the freedom of the individual lines and their interdependence, beautifully mirroring the poets devotional reflection on the relation of the individual to the whole of creation.

Calendar Listing:
Friday, May 10th, 7:30PM
Mystical Paths
The Crypt of Church of the Intercession
550 W 155th Street, Manhattan
Between Broadway and Amsterdam


The Crypt at Church of the Intercession (View)
550 W 155th Street
New York, NY 10032
United States


Music > Classical
Music > Experimental

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!


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