Pushing Boundaries is a genre bending concert experience that explores idioms of pop, indie, electronic, and folk music through the lens of composed concert works. It brings audiences inside a world of repertoire that knows no bounds and challenges the notion of a standard chamber music performance.
Beginning the program is Judd Greenstein's At the end of a really great day, a beat driven yet reflective elegy for a lost friend that comments on "how it becomes possible to live with the unavoidable tragedies that life presents." Using heavily syncopated motives borrowed from popular music, the piece concludes with an epic coda marked "funky with attitude." Following the Greenstein is Kirsten Volness' Little Tiny Stone Full of Blue Fire, commissioned by Hub New Music. Through grooving rhythmic figures and sweeping lyricism, Volness build a magical sound world that explores "surreal images of a long journey, sacrifice, self-actualization through transformation, and cyclic inevitability."
Concluding the first half is a newly commissioned arrangement from Daniel Wohl, a composer who seamlessly merges electric and acoustic sound worlds. Originally for saxophone quartet, Microfluctuations in Plainchant uses electronic samples of the ensemble to evoke a " futuristic form of plainchant."
Inserted between the Wohl and the final piece is Nico Muhly's brief work I Know Where Everything Is. The unfolds as a series variations incorporating a broad spectrum of timbres within Muhly's chordal framework . Concluding the program is Mason Bates’ lighthearted collection of miniatures The Life of Birds. Unfolding as six short yet dense movements, Bates creates complex orchestral-like textures while pulling from a huge number of musical influences. One especially hears the influence of swing in the fourth movement "On a Wire Mating Dance."
Each composer on the program has a genre-defying language, pulling from innumerable musical traditions within and outside of western art music. Through this program listeners are transported to a world of truly uninhibited 21st century sound.
Works on Pushing Boundaries
Judd Greenstein, At the End of a Really Great Day (2008)
Kirsten Volness. little tiny Stone, full of blue fire
Daniel Wohl, Microfluctuations in Plainchant (2012/2015)
Nico Muhly, I Know Where Everything Is (2007)
Mason Bates, The Life of Birds (2008)