JAKOB ULLMAN, Müntzers stern (2015)
for solo bassoon & prerecorded voice
Dafne Vicente-Sandoval, bassoon
ANDRE CORMIER, Sol Branche Feuille Pluie (2018)
for solo cello & modular synthesizer
Mem1 (Laura Cetilia, cello; Mark Cetilia, modular synthesizer)
JAKOB ULLMANN (b. Freiberg, Germany 1958) is a composer and organist whose barely-there minimal music dwells at the edge of perception, quiet to an extreme so as to enhance our ability to hear. Refusing the East German draft as a conscientious objector, he was accused of defamation and of passing information on with the intention of hurting state interests, consequently denied official enrollment in the masterclass of the GDR Academy of Arts, and forced to continue his composition studies with Friedrich Goldmann in private until 1984. In resistance to the “cruel noise” of ubiquitous childhood propaganda songs, the radical softness of his liminal music thus articulates a refusal of absorption into the dogma of the state apparatus and power structures. Writing Disappearing Musics among others, the absolute subtlety of Ullmann’s threshold volumes necessitates an extended duration that exceeds the conventions of typical concert music—“the length came about”, he says, “because in soft music, you need time to adjust to it.” Listeners, making a more concerted effort to hear the whispered texts and fragile, wavering pitches of his patient, peripheral music enter a state of acute attentiveness equalled by its performers’ balancing of their instruments at the interstice between vibrational response and silence. Ullmann’s music is published by Edition RZ and he was a featured artist in documenta 14. He currently lives and teaches in Switzerland.
DAFNE VICENTE-SANDOVAL is a bassoon player who explores sound through improvisation, contemporary music performance, and sound installations. Her instrumental approach is centered on the fragility of sound and its emergence within a given space, testing the threshold between instability and control. Vicente-Sandoval currently lives in Paris. She favors long-term collaborations that preserve her work’s integrity while sustaining dialogue with others (current collaborations with Jakob Ullmann, Éliane Radigue, Klaus Lang, Peter Ablinger). This will be her Boston debut.
ANDRE CORMIER’s (b 1969, Canada) work has been presented in Canada, the US, Europe and New Zealand. He has written for solo, small and large chamber ensembles, as well as music for opera, dance and collaborative work with visual artists. His works have been commissioned from a variety of artists in Canada, the US and Europe. In 2004 he founded Ensemble Ordinature and has since served as artistic director. He produced their debut recording of Kurt Schwitters’ Ursonate, which is featured on ubu.com and was favourably reviewed in UK new music magazine The Wire. Along with violist Mieka Kohut and artist Donna Kelly, Cormier co-founded CO•LAB, a multi-disciplinary collaborative project. In 2008 he launched Éditions musique SISYPHE (emsis.ca) a music publishing house focusing on experimental music. Cormier is an Acadian, originally from Moncton NB, and has lived on the west coast since the early nineties. In July 2009, with the help of the Canada Council, he undertook an intensive one-month composition study with Antoine Beuger in Düsseldorf, Germany. While in Düsseldorf, Begegnung, a concert programme entirely dedicated to some of his string works was presented by members of the Quatuor Bozzini as part of the Klangraum Series 2009 at the Düsseldorf Kunstraum.
MEM1 blends the sounds of cello and electronics to create a limitless palette of sonic possibilities. In their improvisation-based performances, Mark and Laura Cetilia’s use of custom hardware and software, in conjunction with a uniquely subtle approach to extended cello technique and realtime modular synthesis patching, results in the creation of a single voice rather than a duet between two individuals. Their music moves beyond melody, lyricism and traditional structural confines, revealing an organic evolution of sound that has been called “a perfect blend of harmony and cacophony” (Forced Exposure). Throughout their career, they have collaborated with a variety of musicians and sound artists including the Penderecki String Quartet, Steve Roden, Jan Jelinek, Frank Bretschneider, and Stephen Vitiello. Together, Mem1 curates the experimental music series Ctrl+Alt+Repeat and the record label Estuary Ltd.