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Livewire 11: Rewired

September 30, 2021 2:59 PM

The Department of Music is pleased to present its eleventh Livewire Festival, an exploration of today’s music featuring faculty artists as well as leading guest composers and performers. 

After a year of isolation, we celebrate our return to togetherness with REWIRED, an exploration of the unique power of music as an art of physical and material presence. Over an intensive three days, October 21-23, we present renowned contemporary ensembles Yarn/Wire and Cantata Profana, host eminent guest composers Robert Morris and Victoria Cheah, and present outstanding faculty and student musicians in a series of concerts.

Thursday evening, faculty ensemble RUCKUS opens the festival with a program called PRESENCE, with music by Robert Morris, Jo Kondo, Robert Carl, Amy Williams, Olly Wilson, and Viet Cuong. Ranging from solo voice with electronics to sextet, the works on this program explore the real-time dialogue central to chamber music: from the intertwined lines of Morris’s Traces and Carl’s Waterlight to the delicate timbral interplay of Kondo’s Aquarelle to the tenor voice in dialogue with itself in Wilson’s Sometimes.

Early on Friday afternoon, UMBC music students curate a program of contemporary music. 

Opening later on Friday afternoon and continuing on Saturday, UMBC music faculty Linda Dusman and Alan Wonneberger join with Information Systems faculty Foad Hamidi and Keith R. Porter Imaging Facility director Tagide deCarvalho toshare their new work Raaz. According to the artists, “Raaz, which means secret in Farsi, is a multimedia bioart installation that centers on the concept of poetry-infused transgenic wine created using genetically modified yeast. The text, a canonical Sufi poem by the 14th century Persian poet Hafiz, is a meditation on timelessness through transformative love.”

On Friday evening, Cantata Profana will present an avant-garde, multimedia salon show that will gradually deconstruct a small instrumental chamber ensemble back into its fundamental theatrical and material components. Along the way, Cantata Profana's core performers will be joined by UMBC faculty Airi Yoshioka and Lisa Cella. The program features work by Claude Vivier, Victoria Cheah, Gleb Kanasevich, and Steven Kazuo Takasugi.

On Saturday afternoon, RUCKUS is joined by additional faculty and student performers to present a special performance of Robert Morris’s Arboretum. This event is presented in partnership with the Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture and the Joseph Beuys Sculpture Park. Arboretum is a concert-lengthed work that is designed as an immersive experience. Performers move around the Sculpture Park as they play, and audience members are encouraged to move as well, changing their perspective on the work over its duration. The composer describes this work as “a slowing unfolding … the experience of this music is like watching sunsets, clouds passing, or sea changes.” The event also marks the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the Joseph Beuys Tree Partnership and will include remarks on the Partnership's history and presence at UMBC and in Baltimore. A limited number of grass beach mats and hot cider will be provided, or bring your own blanket, lawn chairs, and picnic to sit on the lawn.

The festival concludes on Saturday night with a performance by the dynamic piano-percussion quartet Yarn/Wire in a mind-bending program of works by Klaus Lang and Misato Mochizuki. In Lang’s gorgeous work, time seems to stand still; while in Mochizuki’s explosive work, the theatricality of chamber music once more bursts to the fore.

Livewire is produced by the Department of Music with support from CIRCA, the CAHSS Office of the Dean, and the Provost’s Office.


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