“Tones made tactile, objects made audible, noise made beautiful.” That’s how The New York Times describes Ashley Fure’s work. In her world, all materials are potent and active with lives of their own. We often take things for granted, but Fure does not. She has given them their own voice and consciousness in The Force of Things: An Opera for Objects. This wordless drama, created with her architect brother Adam Fure and International Contemporary Ensemble, “probes the animate vitality of matter.” The audience sits beneath a canopy of familiar and exotic objects, while performers spur them into action and singers, like the sirens of mythology, shout and whisper warnings, luring the audience into an entirely new way of listening. (Details at PEAK Performances.)
The Newport Contemporary Music Festival brings an ambitious rarity to the stage, Pierre Boulez’s spatially conceived Repons for large ensemble. The virtuoso solo piano, percussion, dulcimer, and harp parts are played by members of ICE who have deep experience with Boulez and his endlessly colorful idiom. The midsummer festival should be an ideal time for New England audiences to devote their ears to this masterwork.
San Diego's eastern escarpment plunges into the vast and forbidding Sonoran desert—a true land of drought interrupted by rare and precious deluge. The desert climate lays bare the earth and its history; the vastness of time and space impress upon the senses with ecstatic clarity. Desert Visions is a journey through the desert sublime, a hallucinatory passage through geologic and spiritual time, with visions at the edge of prehistoric seas and in cavernous valleys. Curator Christopher Adler presents two of his compositions, Strata for solo celesta and Song for a Form Carved by Water for solo saxophone, along with Walk in Beauty by legend of west coast postminimalism Peter Garland, and two works that feature saxophonist Allison Adams, Christohper's colleague from the annual nief-norf Summer Festival in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Details at San Diego New Music.)
ICE presents an encore performance of Ashley Fure's The Force of Things as part of an extended residency and workshop period at the University of Michigan, where Adam Fure, the collaborator and brother of the composer, is a professor of architecture. Other activities include chamber music classes, open rehearsals, and lectures at the University of Michigan School of Music. (Details at ICEorg.org.)
Join us in celebrating John Fonville's more than 30 years in UC San Diego's Department of Music. His former students from across the globe present a concert of his works and works dedicated to him, including a re-creation of the original choreography to Fonville's "Music for Sarah" by Austin based dancer Sarah Brumgart. Other special guests include Lisa Cella, Anne La Berge, Batya MacAdam-Somer, Reiko Manabe, Elizabeth McNutt, Jane Rigler, Christine Tavolacci, Berglind María Tómasdóttir, and Ine Vanoeveren.