Duke Performances Spring 2022

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Junction Trio ABT Studio Company Yarn/Wire Annie Dorsen Pat Metheny Side-Eye Urban Bush Women Samantha Everette Eighth Blackbird, David Lang & Anne Bogart Eliot Quartett Frautschi/Manasse/Nakamatsu Trio Lorelei Ensemble Rafal Blechacz Imani Winds Building Deeper Connections Les Filles de Illighadad Quatuor Danel Three Lobed Recordings 21st Anniversary 21 Years of Three Lobed Recordings Company SBB/Stefanie Batten Bland The Movement of Our Times An Evening with Branford Marsalis Stile Antico Chris Pattishall Residency Ciompi Quartet Spotify Playlists Ticketing Info

CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS Jason Lord Jason Lord is an artist, arts educator, designer, musician, and actor based in Durham, NC. Lord is currently completing a BFA in Studio Art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. See his work at taftterrace.org and on Instagram @earlnc. (Pages Pages 4, 18, 19, 24–27, 36) Samantha Everette Samantha Everette is a visual artist who creates images of beautiful Black people, "honoring our beauty and affirming our humanity."See her work at samanthaeverette.com and on Instagram @theshootingbeauty. (Pages 12-15)


Experiencing live music together this fall was deeply moving. Thank you to our audience, artists, staff, and partners for being part of our return to the stage. We are especially grateful to American Tobacco Campus, which hosted four outdoor performances by North Carolina artists in September and October. (Pictured: Sylar Gudasz singing as the sun set on September 29). This spring, we invite you to experience Live & Essential offerings of music, dance, and theater. Meet emerging and established artists in the following pages, learn more about two of our current artists in residence (Chris Pattishall, page 42 and Imani Winds, page 24), and enjoy interviews with Cory Rayborn of Three Lobed Recordings (page 30) and Stefanie Battan Bland (page 36). We hope to see you soon! 3


SAT, JAN 15 | 8 PM BALDWIN AUDITORIUM Tickets: $35 | $10 Duke Students Reserved Seating

New, and already esteemed, the Junction Trio brings together three top-ranking soloists: violinist Stefan Jaciw, cellist Jay Campbell, and pianist Conrad Tao. Specialists in contemporary music, they also perform the classics at the highest level. They begin with John Zorn’s Ghosts (2015), which derives its inspiration f rom the ghostly middle movement of Beethoven’s Ghost trio. Charles Ives’s Piano Trio, well over one hundred years old now, remains ref reshingly new. Its second movement, nicknamed “TSIAJ” (standing for “This Scherzo Is A Joke”), is indeed full of jokes, with constant quotations from American folk songs and Yale drinking songs. And finally, we have Brahms's Piano Trio No. 1, op. 8 — of the most well-loved works of the entire piano trio repertoire. As the early op. number suggests, Brahms wrote this at the beginning of his career. He rewrote it towards the end of his career, making it one his most mature chamber works. PROGRAM Zorn: Ghosts Ives: Piano Trio Brahms: Piano Trio No. 1, op. 8 4


FRI, JAN 28 & SAT, JAN 29 | 8 PM REYNOLDS INDUSTRIES THEATER Tickets: $35 | $10 Duke Students Reserved Seating

In February 2018, Duke Performances unveiled an audacious three-year collaboration with American Ballet Theatre (ABT), one of the world’s leading classical ballet companies. Through its expansive programming, international engagements, and distinctly American style, ABT has served as a crucial ambassador of ballet since 1939. American Ballet Theatre’s virtuosic junior ensemble ABT Studio Company returns for its third and final year in residence (delayed because of the pandemic) in the Rubenstein Arts Center. This week of training and engagement with the Duke Dance Program will culminate in a series of public performances featuring mostly contemporary ballet works, many created by female choreographers. At the center of the program is For What Is It All Worth?, a ballet created by Durham native Hope Boykin, a choreographer and former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater company member. This rousing work is set to reinterpretations of Stephen Stills’ original composition by Billy Porter, Voices of East Harlem, and Bill Laurance — plus original text by Boykin.

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THU, FEB 4 | 8 PM BALDWIN AUDITORIUM Tickets: Free General Admission Seating

What is an instrumental ensemble to do when there isn't enough repertoire to play? Commission more, of course! This is the strategy of the piano and percussion quartet Yarn/Wire. Founded in 2005 at SUNY Stony Brook, the group has commissioned hundreds of new works, including Japanese composer Misato Mochizuki's Le Monde des ronds et des carrés ("The World of Circles and Squares"), which features on the group's Duke Performances debut. This 2015 composition, in the composer's own words, "attempts to install, in space and in music, geometric relationships possible among the musicians, whether opposed to one another (square) or united (circle)." The evening begins with Linda Catlin Smith's Morandi, a musical study of still life paintings, and closes with George Crumb's seminal Music for a Summer Evening. Yarn/Wire is committed to expanding the representation of composers from diverse backgrounds and their aesthetic perhaps best boils down to a quote from pianist and member Laura Barger: "As the pianist in the room... really, everything's a drum."

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FRI, FEB 11 & SAT, FEB 12 | 8 PM VON DER HEYDEN STUDIO THEATER RUBENSTEIN ARTS CENTER Tickets: $35 | $10 Duke Students General Admission Seating

Humans are haunted by the question: Can robots do our jobs as well as we can? Even more daunting: Can an algorithm create art as adeptly as a human? Theater pioneer Annie Dorsen is among the first to explore the question onstage, creating the unprecedented medium of “algorithmic theater.” For Dorsen, the stage is less a venue than a laboratory: a place to pose and test hypotheses. In Yesterday, Tomorrow, an algorithm deconstructs the classic Beatles song “Yesterday” and reconstructs it as “Tomorrow” from the Broadway musical Annie. While the algorithm produces the new score, three singers perform the results live. The algorithm has its own capacity for improvisation — or does it just seem to? Does its output amount to creativity, or even consciousness? Dorsen is an Obie Award winner and MacArthur Fellow who blends math and performance to create a unique “Dorsen universe — wonderfully rational yet magical at the same time” (BOMB Magazine).

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WED, FEB 9 | 7 PM CAROLINA THEATRE Tickets: $45 | $55 | $65 $10 Duke Students Reserved Seating

When Pat Metheny landed on the international jazz scene in 1974, he quickly became known for his unique rhythmic and harmonic sensibility, bolstered by a tendency to phrase melodies like a horn player and innovate with new technology. When his debut album Bright Sized Life came out in 1975, people credited Metheny with steering the jazz genre in a new direction. For some artists, that would’ve been enough. But forty-six years later, Metheny is still refining his craft, redefining the guitar and improvisational music, and using his platform to lift up and mentor others — and his new touring group, Side-Eye, ticks all three boxes. With Side-Eye, the guitarist has designed a setting through which he can collaborate with, and feature, young artists that have piqued his ears along the way, and whom he “felt some kind of kinship with.” Tonight’s iteration of Side-Eye features Metheny, along with twentyfive-year-old New York-based keyboardist James Francies and thirty-year-old New Orleans native and drummer Joe Dyson.

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FRI, FEB 18 & SAT, FEB 19 | 8 PM VON DER HEYDEN STUDIO THEATER RUBENSTEIN ARTS CENTER Tickets: $35 | $10 Duke Students Reserved Seating

In 2020, Duke Performances presented the Urban Bush Women’s (UBW) groundbreaking virtual Artist Journal — an experimental Zoom-based performance combining dance party, conversation, and audience participation. Celebrating its thirty-seventh active year, the formidable Brooklyn-based performance ensemble returns to the proscenium stage, with Hair & Other Stories, an evening-length dance-theater work that remains both timely and timeless in its exploration of race, identity, and ideas of beauty through the lens of Black women’s hair. Choreographed and directed by UBW Co-Artistic Directors Chanon Judson and Samantha Speis, Hair & Other Stories is an interactive experience inspired by UBW Founder and 2021 MacArthur Fellow Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s HairStories (2001).

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We selected two photos from Samantha Everette’s series Crowning Glory to feature in our spring brochure because the imagery so perfectly expands upon themes in Urban Bush Women’s Hair & Other Stories. Crowning Glory was on view at Artspace in Raleigh and at The Fruit in Durham earlier this year. Everette is a photographer based in Durham, NC, her hometown. Reflecting on leaving a “dream job” in the fashion industry for practicing photography, she shared: “A sense of freedom is what drew me to photography, but the creative community is what sustains me.” Read the complete artist interview at dukeperformances.duke.edu/blog

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We were instantly drawn to the beauty and magic of your Crowning Glory photographs, and the stories the complicated staging seems to suggest. Tell us about your vision for the series. Crowning Glory was an idea that just popped into my head one night. The idea was to create a display of exaltation of Black women. The original idea was to simply photograph women on pedestals. The rest of the visual story came about due to the women involved. I am blessed with a community of Black women that are creative and generous. So I expanded the idea of photographing just one Black woman to include of all of the women that create the visuals but who often are left out of the final presentations. The result is a celebration of womanhood, sisterhood, and the beauty within those connections. 13


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FRI, FEB 25 | 8 PM SAT, FEB 26 | 2 PM & 8 PM VON DER HEYDEN STUDIO THEATER RUBENSTEIN ARTS CENTER Tickets: $35 | $10 Duke Students General Admission Seating

COMMISSIONED BY DUKE PERFORMANCES

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Founded by Lisa Kaplan and Matthew Duvall in 1996, the four-time GRAMMY Awardwinning sextet Eighth Blackbird has been hailed as “one of the smartest, most dynamic contemporary classical ensembles on the planet” (Chicago Tribune). The group, known for commissioning unexpected and intrepid music, has a repertoire of contemporary classical works that verge on the post-modern and the avant-garde. Composed by Pulitzer Prize and GRAMMY winner David Lang, composition as explanation, commissioned by Duke Performances, is a scored nod to Gertrude Stein’s candid and circular 1926 lecture. True to form, Lang integrates classical composition and innovative aspects of theater, performance, and choreography. To create actors out of Eighth Blackbird, Lang sought out Anne Bogart, the acclaimed theater director and the co-artistic director of SITI Company. With Bogart at the helm, Lang envisions a new kind of musical artist, one with the formal training of actors on stage. At the world premiere of composition as explanation, watch Lang’s experiment in empowering musicians to become more than the conduits that deliver music to the listener.

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SAT, FEB 26 | 8 PM BALDWIN AUDITORIUM Tickets: $35 | $10 Duke Students Reserved Seating

The Eliot Quartett occupies the slot in the Chamber Arts Society series that is reserved each year for one of the world’s brightest up-and-coming string quartets. Honoring with its name the poet T.S. Eliot, this quartet was enthusiastically recognized at the 2018 international competition in Salzburg, the 2019 Banff competition, and others. They open with Mozart's K. 575, the first of the quartets commissioned by the King of Prussia. Like with the others of this commission, Mozart features the cello, so avidly played by his patron. In the face of the 1942 Nazi invasion of Russia, Prokofiev and other leading musicians were evacuated 900 miles to the Kabardino-Balkar region. There he wrote his second string quartet, utilizing local folk themes. In the second movement, we can hear an imitation of the kjamantchi, a string instrument from the Caucasus. The Eliot Quartett concludes with Franck's String Quartet in D Major, commemorating the composer's 200th birthday. On February 27 at 7 PM, George Gopen, a T.S. Eliot scholar at Duke and the longtime director of the Chamber Arts Society of Durham, will present a reading of Eliot’s “Four Quartets” alongside his own music, written to directly echo major moments of musicality in his reading. PROGRAM Mozart: K. 575 in D Major Prokofiev: String Quartet #2 Franck: String Quartet in D Major 18

SPECIAL PERFORMANCE T.S. ELIOT’S FOUR QUARTETS SUN, FEB 27 | 7 PM


SAT, MAR 19 | 8 PM BALDWIN AUDITORIUM Tickets: $35 | $10 Duke Students Reserved Seating

Violinist and two-time GRAMMY nominee Jennifer Frautschi joins forces with the Manasse/Nakamatsu Duo for a devilish program of virtuosity and expressive freedom. They will perform for us in a variety of combinations. Pianist Jon Nakamatsu — gold medalist in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and the US National Chopin Piano Competition — gives us Chopin's mesmerizing F Minor Fantasy. Jon Manasse, one of this generation's most celebrated clarinetists, joins him for Weber’s sparkling Duo Concertante. Together, Frautschi and Nakamatsu attack Ravel's Tzigane, an exhilarating work tinged with extraordinary romantic power and musical pyrotechnics. All three musicians combine for both Khatchaturian’s G Minor Trio and the most impressive twentieth-century work for these instruments, Bartok’s Contrasts. With this concert we continue to honor longtime Chamber Arts Society advisory board member Horst Meyer’s generous bequest that provides us with one wind instrument program per year. PROGRAM Ysaÿe: Sonata for Solo Violin in D Minor, Ballade, op. 27, no. 3 Carl Maria von Weber: Grand Duo Concertante for Clarinet and Piano, op. 48 Chopin: Fantasy in F Minor, op. 49 Khachaturian: Trio in G Minor for Clarinet, Violin, and Piano (1932) Bartok: Contrasts for Clarinet, Violin, and Piano, Sz 111/BB116 19


THU, MAR 24 | 8 PM BALDWIN AUDITORIUM Tickets: $35 | $10 Duke Students Reserved Seating

Lorelei Ensemble return to Duke Performances after their acclaimed 2018 performance of John Supko and Bill Seaman’s compelling THE_OPER&. Esteemed for their “full-bodied and radiant sound” (The New York Times), Lorelei bring an eclectic and refreshing program, fusing music from the Italian Renaissance and Baroque and the twenty-first century. Founded in Boston in 2007, Lorelei is a vocal ensemble renowned for virtuoso performance and bold programming; they are also committed to enriching the repertoire through collaboration, leading to a “new normal” for women in music. Lorelei open with four selections by Italian madrigalists, from Luzzaschi to Strozzi, showing the dramatic range of the genre and touching on the themes of hidden passion and desperate hopes. Caroline Shaw’s Dolce Cantavi, a modern take on seventeenthcentury madrigal music, offers a link to a set of modern selections. Lorelei offer a stunning rendition of Björk’s Solstice, and the weighty meditation on true love by Jessica Meyer, I long and seek after, setting poetry by Sappho. David Lang’s love fail comprises the program’s second half, retelling the story of Tristan and Isolde through medieval and modern authors and musical techniques. PROGRAM For complete program, please visit dukeperformances.org 20


FRI, MAR 25 | 8 PM BALDWIN AUDITORIUM Tickets: $35 | $10 Duke Students Reserved Seating

In an all-minor-key program not for the faint of heart, internationally acclaimed pianist Rafal Blechacz’s return to Duke Performances explores technically dazzling music by Beethoven, Bach, Franck, and Chopin. Johann Sebastian Bach's Partita No. 2 in C Minor begins in a doleful C minor before proceeding through a set of six dances inspired by the courtly, stylized steps of the Baroque era. Beethoven's Sonata No. 5 in C Minor kicks off with an explosion of dotted rhythms in the melody that propel the piece forward, while his 32 Variations in C Minor offer a comprehensive study of a simple eight-bar melody that transforms time and again over the course of an agitated fifteen minutes. Blechacz — whose career launched on the international stage after he won the 15th International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 2005 at the tender age of twenty — next turns to the plate-cleansing elegance of Cesar Franck's Prelude, Fugue and Variations in B Minor, before the evening concludes with Chopin's Sonata No. 3 in B-flat Minor, perhaps the composer's most difficult composition.

PROGRAM J.S. Bach: Partita No. 2 in C Minor, BWV. 826 Beethoven: Sonata No. 5 in C Minor, op. 10, No. 1 Beethoven: 32 Variations in C Minor WoO. 80 Franck: Prelude, Fugue and Variation in B minor op. 18 Chopin: Sonata No. 3 in B-flat Minor, op. 58 21


SUN, MAR 27 | 7 PM BALDWIN AUDITORIUM Tickets: $35 | $10 Duke Students Reserved Seating

For more than two decades, New York City-based and GRAMMY Award-nominated wind quintet Imani Winds has brought diversity, virtuosity, and vision to classical music. Founded by flutist Valerie Coleman in 1997, Imani Winds is a groundbreaking ensemble that plays traditional chamber music and premieres new compositions that reflect both historical events and the socio-political issues of our present moment. Six contemporary masterworks by women composers comprise A Woman’s Perspective, which includes Colman’s Afro-Cuban Concerto, Ruth Crawford Seeger’s Suite for Wind Quintet, and Nathalie Joachim’s Seen, which premiered in March 2021 and was commissioned by The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. Philadelphia Inquirer praises the Quintet’s “technical ease with extravagant gestures, intense production of sound, and the daring expressive liberties that come only after musicians have developed a sixth sense of ensemble-bonding.” Remaining true to their name — Imani means “faith” in Swahili — the musicians have faith in each other and the worlds of sound they create. 22


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BY MIRIAM SAULS

Over the past decade, the visiting artist program developed by Duke Performances and the Duke Music department has grown more and more sophisticated. Now, the multi-year artistin-residence model is the envy of many other universities. “Rather than have artists here for one week and cramming the itinerary, we discovered over time that real sympathy can build up between students, faculty, and visiting artists with multi-year residencies,” said Scott Lindroth, a professor of music and former vice provost of for the arts, who developed the program with Duke Performances. “Students have a chance to have that initial encounter, reflect on it, make revisions, recalibrate and then have more encounters with the visiting artists. And with professional musicians recording their dissertation compositions, they have pieces in their portfolio that they can use as professional calling cards. In that sense, it's been really fabulous.” Imani Winds is currently one of the ensembles working with composition students. They are the kind of ensemble that speaks many musical languages,” Lindroth remarked. “Some of them are accomplished improvisers. They are interested in theatrical kinds of performing, — sometimes they sing, or they may recite text during the performance. They have a very expansive view of what musicians might do on stage. Artists with that kind of imagination and ability are invaluable to work with.” “It's not just the fact that we play our instruments well, which we do,” said Imani Winds member Toyin Spellman-Diaz. “But when you come to an Imani Winds concert, you’re seeing and hearing and experiencing a connectedness amongst the five of us that then transfers to the audience.” And it transfers to the composition students as well. Spellman-Diaz continued, “It’s a real honor for us to be role models for a successful relationship. I think one of the things we've learned to do when we come into a university is to really hear the students, because that's what happens in a good ensemble.” 24


“We encourage composing students to try things — take an instrument out, change the dynamic, raise the octave, add more notes. We’re always looking for more notes,” SpellmanDiaz mused. “We are note junkies! It's a real treat and a real honor to work with these students, and it's not something we take lightly.” Imani Winds will visit Duke two more times this spring. In addition to recording student works on March 27, 2022, they will perform A Woman’s Perspective, six contemporary masterworks by women composers. In September 2022, they will premiere works by Jeff Scott and Duke alumnus David Kirkland Garner. “In my reading session with Imani Winds in 2019, they flawlessly read through a new composition I wrote for them,” said James Budinich, a music composition PhD student. “And they gave great feedback on my writing for each instrument: things that worked well, not so well, or ideas about how other timbres could complement the material I’ve already written for them.” For his dissertation piece, Budinich will be working with members of Imani Winds along with soprano Mellissa Hughes, the percussion and piano quartet Yarn/Wire, and members of the Ciompi Quartet (Duke’s faculty string quartet-in-residence). Yarn/Wire will begin work with Duke Performances and Duke Music in February, and they'll come back in late March or early April to record graduate student compositions. “Imani Winds agreed to be part of my dissertation,” said music composition PhD student Dayton Kinney. “The give-and-take working with Imani Winds and the Ciompi Quartet for my dissertation piece was a really wonderful experience. I was very fortunate to experience through them how music is very much a living organism that develops not just from paper to pen, or on your music notation software, but rather it comes to life through the performers. I would recommend this program to anybody.” “I think this type of repeating engagement where an ensemble comes in six times over the course of two years and really develops a rapport with the students is pretty unique and sets the program apart,” shared Brian Valentyn, for Duke Performances. “We have students who tell us this is a huge part of why they’re here.” “We are deeply grateful for the collaboration with Duke Performances, Duke Arts, and the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation for their support of these multi-year residencies,” said Stephen Jaffe, Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Distinguished Professor of Music Composition. “To create the environment wherein contemporary music thrives has been our goal for many years.” “Having such amazing recordings when they graduate — to say nothing of the imaginative process of learning and collaborating that the program allows — places our students at an advantage to enter the professional and very competitive world of music,” Jaffe added. “They are doing so as composers, as teachers, and as instigators of cultural life across the world.”

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THU, MAR 31 | 8 PM MOTORCO MUSIC HALL Tickets: $35 | $10 Duke Students Standing Room, Extremely Limited Seating

Founded by Fatou Seidi Ghali, Les Filles de Illighadad hail from Illighadad, a secluded Tuareg village composed of nomadic families in the Sahara Desert in central Niger. Their sound is captivating — a union of voice, tende percussion (a traditional drum), handclaps, and Ghali’s revolutionary guitar playing. Ghali, who taught herself to play with her brother’s guitar, is arguably the first and one of the only female Tuareg guitarists. The tradition of Tuareg men playing guitar began in the 1970s, when young men living in exile in Libya and Algeria composed political ballads to convey their unrest. Tende is both a type of music and a drum made from a mortar stretched with goatskin and played with pestles. Tuareg women learn to play the tende at a young age, singing of village life, love, and their ancestors. Together with Ghali’s guitar, the sound of Les Filles de Illighadad is both local and global, pointing to the development of the bluegrass of the American South, yet firmly rooted in Tuareg culture.

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SAT, APR 2 | 8 PM BALDWIN AUDITORIUM Tickets: $35 | $10 Duke Students Reserved Seating

For Quatuor Danel, now celebrating thirty years together, Russian music is a distinct specialty and point of pride. The quartet was the first to record all seventeen of Mieczyslaw Weinberg's stunning string quartets. They single-handedly are leading the revival of this Polish/Soviet Jewish composer's chamber music, long silenced due to its "degenerate" designation by the Nazi regime and his imprisonment by the Stalin government. Quatuor Danel’s all-Russian program includes Weinberg’s Quartet No. 9 and features the North American premiere of Lera Auerbach's Quartet No. 5, "Songs of Alkonost" (2011). They conclude with Tchaikovsky's Quartet No. 3, op. 30, written as a poignant tribute to Ferdinand Laub, the man Tchaikovsky called "the best violinist of our time." When the piece was first played for him, he is known to have commented: “At first I didn’t much like the Finale, but now I can see that it is quite good.” PROGRAM Weinberg: Quartet No. 9 in F-sharp minor, op. 80 Lera Auerbach: Quartet No. 5, “Songs of Alkonost” (North American Premiere) Tchaikovsky: Quartet No. 3 in E-flat minor, op. 30 27


THU, APR 14 | 8 PM FRI, APR 15 | 8 PM SAT, APR 16 | 12 PM SAT, APR 16 | 6 PM Tickets: $20 | $25 | $10 Duke Students Reserved Seating

Three Lobed Recordings founder and director Cory Rayborn characterized the seven new releases that mark the label’s twenty-year anniversary as leaning “into the slightly weirder side of what you may expect” (Indy Week). It’s also an apt descriptor for the overall aim of Three Lobed, the vinyl-centric boutique record label that Rayborn, a Duke alumnus and practicing lawyer, has run entirely part-time from his home in Jamestown, NC, for the last two decades. Making space for a variety of artists experimenting with sonic psychedelia, Three Lobed counts among its cadre Sonic Youth’s and Body/Head’s Kim Gordon, pioneering Philadelphia psych-rock group Bardo Bond, harpist Mary Lattimore, virtuosic guitarists Daniel Bachman, William Tyler, and Chuck Johnson, and singer-songwriters Steve Gunn and Kurt Vile. Originally scheduled for fall 2020, this Three Lobed anniversary festival — an unprecedented collaboration between Three Lobed, WXDU 88.7 FM, Duke Coffeehouse, Duke Arts, and Duke Performances — will finally find its intended form as an impressive set of label artists take up residence at indoor and outdoor venues around campus. Across the three-day festival, expect to see solo and collaborative configurations of Gordon, Gunn, Lattimore, Bachman, and Tyler, in addition to the likes of Meg Baird, Sunburned Hand of the Man, Pelt, Lee Ranaldo, and many more (including some to be announced later). 28


DAY 1

THU, APR 14 | 8 PM DUKE COFFEEHOUSE

DAY 2

FRI, APR 15 | 8 PM VON DER HEYDEN STUDIO THEATER RUBENSTEIN ARTS CENTER

DAY 3 | AFTERNOON SESSION

SAT, APR 16 | 12 PM KARSH ALUMNI CENTER

DAY 3 | EVENING SESSION

SAT, APR 16 | 6 PM VON DER HEYDEN STUDIO THEATER RUBENSTEIN ARTS CENTER

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BY WILL ATKINSON

When I last spoke to Cory Rayborn, the founder of Three Lobed Recordings had put a pin in his plans for the label’s twentieth anniversary celebration. It was October 2020, and though the first vaccines were around the corner, live music was still little more than a dim light on the horizon. A year later, that celebration has finally arrived — even if it’s a bit behind schedule. “Everything I’ve ever done regarding the record label with anniversaries tends to fall a year late, somehow,” jokes Rayborn, who has single-handedly run Three Lobed out of his basement in Jamestown, NC — when he’s not working his day job as a business lawyer — since 2000. When he set out to create a box set in 2010 for the record label’s tenth anniversary, he explains, it arrived a year late; the next landmark anniversary, at fifteen years, quickly turned into a “sweet sixteen.” The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year has turned the twentieth birthday into yet another extended-release affair that will have entered its third calendar year by the time it arrives on Duke’s campus in spring 2022. Co-presented with Duke Performances across three venues from April 14 to 16, Three Lobed Recordings’ twentieth Anniversary Festival showcases the left-field sonic experimentation 30


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that has been a hallmark of the label. With its emphasis on one-off collaborations, extended improvisation, and carefully-packaged vinyl releases, Three Lobed tends to give artists something of a sandbox for their weirder, wilder impulses. It’s a strategy that has made this one-man operation a destination for heavy-hitters in the indie rock world — hosting projects by Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo, and Kurt Vile, to name a few — while carving out a niche for a certain strain of the avant-garde, a line that runs from Philadelphia psych-rock to American Primitive guitar and crosses nearly everything in between. The festival’s lineup is a who’s-who of the core group of acts that have made Three Lobed a home for the last two decades: a Thursday evening performance at the Duke Coffeehouse features a slate of virtuosic guitarists in Daniel Bachman, Danny Paul Grody, Marisa Anderson, and William Tyler; an outdoor set on Saturday afternoon includes a collaborative tribute to the late guitarist Jack Rose, who released several albums on the label; two evening performances at the Rubenstein Arts Center’s von der Heyden Studio Theater feature a set with visual projections from former Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo, the voice and harp duo of Meg Baird and Mary Lattimore, and Three Lobed stalwarts Steve Gunn, Bill Orcutt, Chris Corsano, and the psychedelic outfit Sunburned Hand of the Man. Nearly every artist performing at the festival in April has released a record with Rayborn, who enjoys a unique trust with the musicians that work with him. “He’s just so psyched and so excited about what he is presenting, and you can tell he loves every single thing on his label. It’s just Cory, doing what he loves and supporting you as a musician, and you don't have to jump through a million hoops,” says harpist Mary Lattimore, who has released two collaborative records (with Meg Baird and Mac McCaughan, respectively) on Three Lobed. “You’re in really good hands when you agree to put out something for Cory.” For Rayborn, who graduated from Duke in 1998, the festival commemorates the past in more ways than one. As an undergraduate, he regularly booked concerts for Major Attractions, an early incarnation of the student committees (Duke University Union Campus Concerts and LDOC) that now run music programming for major student events. He was introduced early on to the world of independent music, often traveling to Chapel Hill to see shows by the likes of Superchunk, Archers of Loaf, and Polvo, catching the tail end of the area’s hype as the “new Seattle.” One show Rayborn programmed at Duke Coffeehouse in 1997 featured The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle in his first show in the Triangle, well before he made Durham his home. The story of Three Lobed began when Rayborn started law school at UNC-Chapel Hill. (“The best time to start any record label is when you’re insanely busy,” he once quipped.) His first, limited release — 500 copies of a ten-inch EP by Philadelphia psych-rockers Bardo Pond — was originally intended as a one-off project. But as the years went on, what started as a hobby turned into a full-fledged label, even as it remained confined to Rayborn’s basement. An annual day party at Raleigh’s Hopscotch Music Festival — often hosted in collaboration with Duke’s campus radio station, WXDU 88.7 FM — has served as a meeting point for the network of like-minded artists surrounding Three Lobed, embedding it in the local music scene. That the anniversary festival will go on, despite the many months of waiting, is an important milestone for a label where the spontaneity and community of live performance has been so central to its character. For Rayborn’s part, he hopes that the world’s gradual return to live music serves as a reminder to value the artists who make it happen. “People have hopefully re-examined the dynamic between the performer, the venue, and the audience, and what goes into making a show. It’s a complicated affair,” Rayborn says. “Hopefully, people can remedy that situation a little bit, and realize this is not something to take for granted.” 33


FRI, APR 15 & SAT, APR 16 | 8 PM REYNOLDS INDUSTRIES THEATER Tickets: $35 | $10 Duke Students Reserved Seating

Always working to explode the boundaries of dance theater and installation, Jerome Robbins Award-winning choreographer/director Stefanie Batten Bland stages crossdisciplinary movement works sensitive to shifting environments. This spring, Batten Bland, a frequent visitor and artistic catalyst at Duke and in Durham over the past three years as part of her choreographic partnership with ABT and studio company, returns to campus with her Company SBB to present the world premiere of Embarqued: Stories of Soil. Employing a performative shipmast as its material and conceptual centerpiece, Embarqued continues Batten Bland’s recent investigations into our cultural, political, and spiritual relationships with memorials. The new work centers African ancestral stories to insist on the full complexity of our country’s historical continuum and shed light on postcolonial histories and possible futures.

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In 2019 and 2020, dancer-choreographer Stefanie Batten Bland, founder of Company SBB, was in residence in the Rubenstein Arts Center together with dancers and instructors from the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company. These residencies were the creative core of Duke University’s three-year partnership with ABT. Embarqued: Stories of Soil represents the outgrowth and evolution of themes developed during that residency period. How did your time in residence at Duke influence the development of Embarqued? Place has everything to do with why things pop into one’s mind. The south is ripe with territorial and monumental memory tributes. When I was first in Durham (working with a ballet company that is called the company of America), it made sense to begin investigating: How do we claim our Americana inside of this vernacular that is often attributed to only European influence? To me, classical dance is embedded in European as well as Africanist expression. This planted the seeds for what would later become two separate works developed for ABT. 36


MonuMents: Finding the me inside the monumental premiered at the Five Moons Festival in August 2021 and celebrated Native American ballerinas. In Embarqued, we explore how our Americana is — and has always been — deeply connected with Africana. I am deeply honored that there are partners like Duke, where support and exploration are long term relationships. It is time that allows the artist to mature, allows ideas to mature, allows work to ripen. In early May, you shared your ideas with us on redefining success in the performing arts during the pandemic, writing “this experience will oblige us to honor that the small and the medium have impact and are successful” and that “what we will make on the other side will remind us that we must see the world differently, see and hear one another differently.” As we continue to adapt to life with COVID-19, how is your perspective evolving? I am convinced that size matters. I am also movement director and casting director for Emursive Productions, producers of large shows that have suffered their share of postponement. Audiences as well as performers house and hold trauma of proximity. With US borders opening only as of yesterday, we will begin (I hope) to regain audience confidence with spatial safety. That safety is still tied to: How am I facing? Is it towards a stage? Is it moving around freely in space with other people and variables that I cannot control? These are the real questions I see in my large commercial work. In my own, medium-scale work, I am not seeing this. People seem to feel comfortable with the realm of 40- 400 seats, be it in pod or free-form seating. The desire to connect, make connection safely with others, is seen and felt, because it is tangible and real. Small- and medium-scale work is directly impacting communities as well as audiences in different models that reflect our desire for performance and the rituals of theatre-ship. Our performing art form is one that is socially and economically important in terms of making good people, good communities, and good countries. I feel lucky that our work has always thrived in live and cinematic spaces. Meaning that there are many ways one can be in conversation with us. I love this about our work. Since you began developing Embarqued in 2019, the topic of monuments and memorials has become even more popular, more contested. How has your work responded to all the turmoil of the last year and a half? Turmoil has been ongoing since the creation of the United States. Sustaining fear within a created caste system is not new to the last year and a half. What I see is a reckoning. Social platforms no longer enable the hiding of systemic behaviors. This is the moment and movement of our times, one that is situated in people demanding equality. True equality comes from doing the hard work of examining past and present behaviors. My work hasn’t changed. I think the world is simply starting to catch up. Is there anything else you wish to share with our audience before returning to Durham to premiere Embarqued? It will be a pleasure to come back and to integrate into the town and people again. During each residency, we meet so many new people and learn about ourselves and others. 37


THU, APR 21 & FRI, APR 22 | 8 PM BALDWIN AUDITORIUM Tickets: $50 | $62 | $10 Duke Students Reserved Seating

For more than thirty years, the Branford Marsalis Quartet has told stories through sound with compositions original and classic, familiar and avant-garde. Joined by pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis, and drummer Justin Faulkner, Marsalis leads us into emotive soundscapes from the quartet’s latest album, The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul, influenced by African percussion ensembles, European opera, and saxophone greats such as Ornette Coleman and Wayne Shorter. “Sonny Rollins provided the template for playing each piece with a ton of vocabulary and how to use the sound of one’s instrument,” says Marsalis, and the musicianship is remarkable. Compositions such as "Evil Toys" and an interpretation of Keith Jarrett’s 1970 song “The Windup” are playful, complex, and ambitious. Held together by the dance of keyboard, saxophone, and the deeper elements of percussion and bass, “Conversation Among the Ruins” and “Life Filtering from the Water” are elegant and beautifully haunting. “We mold the harmony to the melody, where too many people let the harmony dictate,” Marsalis says, “and we play in the cracks” where they can apply their “own ideas.” And from the cracks, compositions ranging from cerebral to deceptively graceful emerge. 38


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FRI, APR 29 | 8 PM DUKE CHAPEL Tickets: $35 | $10 Duke Students Reserved Seating

The London-based Stile Antico are more than a vocal ensemble. They are a GRAMMY Award-nominated, twelve-member collective committed to exploring cherished Renaissance repertoire as well as developing and furthering the polyphonic tradition with colorful new compositions and premieres. In their celebrated program Toward the Dawn, the ensemble chant and incant their way through early choral repertoire by composers ranging from Ward, Wilbye, and White to Morley, Monteverdi, and contemporary American composer Nico Muhly. Beginning with music of the evening, this program transports listeners onward to nightfall, then the small hours, then dawn in a musical exploration of the seduction of the dark and the unknown. The term “stile antico” denotes the standard polyphonic style of the seventeenth century, but this ensemble is anything but average in its artistic quality, which has carried the group to four continents and some of the best concert halls on the planet.

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Following the world premiere of his debut album Zodiac in November 2021 at Duke’s Rubenstein Arts Center, Grammy-nominated jazz pianist Chris Pattishall will return to Durham twice this spring to continue his yearlong residency. In February, Pattishall will perform on Duke’s campus with the Duke Jazz Ensemble, working closely with the ensemble’s Associate Director Evan Roberson and Vice Provost for the Arts John Brown. He’ll also reconnect with high school students in the band program at Durham School of the Arts (pictured) and collaborate with them on new arrangements of Williams’ compositions. Pattishall’s residency will culminate in a performance later in spring featuring Durham School of the Arts students alongside Pattishall and a selection of musicians from Durham’s vibrant jazz scene. More details for these free, public events will be announced online this spring. “A big takeaway from my experience with Mary Lou Williams has been the significance of community,” Pattishall shared during a November visit to North Carolina Central University. “I think a lot about how important my experiences growing up in Durham were ... To be able to give that energy back continually motivates me.” 42


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SAT, FEB 19 | 8 PM BALDWIN AUDITORIUM

Tickets: Free General Admission seating

In a celebration of juxtapositions, Duke's own Ciompi Quartet will perform the world premiere of long-time collaborator and fellow faculty member John Supko's 2020 Soleil Noir ("Black Sun"), a "sinister-absurd" work — according to the composer — that rams aggressive chords against a tortured melodic line. To contrast, the program opens with a suite of airy English renaissance songs by John Dowland arranged for piano quintet, with the piano line delivered by Lithuanian pianist and Duke Music faculty member Ieva Jokubaviciute, another frequent Ciompi collaborator. The fivesome also explores the haunting soundscapes of Piano Quintet, op. 18 by Shostakovich-contemporary Miecyslaw Weinberg, whose music is experiencing something of a renaissance after being suppressed for decades by Nazi influence. The concert closes with William Grant Still's 1960 Lyric Quartette, a musical portrait of three of the composer's friends, identified only as “the sentimental one,” “the quiet one,” and “the jovial one.” PROGRAM John Dowland: Suite of Songs (arranged for piano quintet by Andrew Waggoner) Miecyslaw Weinberg: Piano Quintet, op. 18 John Supko: Soleil Noir William Grant Still: Lyric Quartette 44


SAT, MAR 26 | 8 PM BALDWIN AUDITORIUM

Tickets: Free General Admission seating

American composer Christopher Theofanidis found inspiration in a twelfth-century Sufi allegorical poem for his 2018 Conference of the Birds, a work that combines music and poetry to illuminate a seeker's journey toward God. Ciompi Quartet, Duke University’s resident quartet comprised of faculty members, will lead listeners in this quest through seven mythical valleys, each represented by a short movement inspired by the flocking movements of birds. The program opens with selections from Janacek's On an Overgrown Path, a collection of works that began their life as musical reminisces of Janacek's childhood ramblings in the Czech Republic before expanding and taking on new significance after the premature death of his daughter. The same composer's String Quartet No. 1, titled "Kreutzer Sonata" after Tolstoy's novel about the famous Beethoven sonata, also deals heavily with the macabre specter of death, before the evening brightens and closes with Haydn's String Quartet in B-flat Major, nicknamed "Sunrise" after the way in which the opening violin melody ascends and peeks over a horizon of lush chordal accompaniment. PROGRAM Leos Janacek: Selections from “On an Overgrown Path” (arranged for string quartet by Jarmil Burghauser) Janacek: String Quartet No. 1 “Kreutzer Sonata” Christopher Theofanidis: Conference of the Birds Josef Haydn: String Quartet in B-Flat Major, op. 76, no. 4 (“Sunrise”)

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From the Branford Marsalis Quartet to Imani Winds to Eighth Blackbird, Duke Performances' fronts enormous musical variety in the strains of jazz and capital "C" classical and more contemporary works throughout the season, but the unifying factor is the A-list quality each of these soloists and chamber groups brings to the stage. Thrill to a bevy of music by rarely heard American composers — William Grant Still, Ruth Crawford Seeger, and Valerie Coleman, for example — balanced with the usual suspects like Haydn, Beethoven, and Bach in this instrumental playlist guaranteed to excite and inspire.

Packing 400 years' worth of vocal music into Duke Performances' spring season makes for some zany juxtapositions, but for the musically curious, the variety of voices represents a feast for the ear. At one end of the smorgasbord, there's Renaissance polyphony and the stripped-down stylings of contemporary composer and Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lang. In the middle, a variety of indie and folk-inspired groups like Sunburned Hand of the Man and Black Oak and fusion group The Illustrious Blacks. And on the other side, an AI-generated score based on the Beatles hit "Yesterday" and contemporary dancers interpreting covers of Stephen Stills' "For What It's Worth." 46


FOR TICKETS, FULL PROGRAM DETAILS & OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION VISIT DUKEPERFORMANCES.ORG

LIVE & ESSENTIAL VISITOR INFORMATION Duke Performances will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our extended community. Current audience guidelines are available at dukeperformances.duke.edu/discounts-policies We strongly encourage all individuals to be fully vaccinated before attending performances on the Duke University campus and at our venues in the community. Duke Performances will adhere to all university, local, and state regulations on and off campus, which are subject to change on short notice depending on public health conditions.

TICKETS Tickets are on sale now and available for purchase at dukeperformances.org Single tickets are $35 with the following exceptions: Pat Metheny Side-Eye ($45 / $55 / $65) Branford Marsalis ($50 / $62) Three Lobed Recordings Festival ($20 / $25) Tickets are always $10 for Duke students

Accessibility If you anticipate ​​​an accommodation or have questions about physical access please contact the University Box Office at tickets@duke.edu in advance of the performance.

GIVE TO DUKE PERFORMANCES We need your support to showcase world-class performance, make our offerings accessible, and facilitate engagement with artists, campus, and community. With your support, we can continue to make our work deeper, richer, and more meaningful. Visit dukeperformances.duke.edu/support/ to make your fully tax-deductible contribution to Duke Performances. If you have any questions about how to further support Duke Performances, please contact Maggie Brandt at maggie.brandt@duke.edu or 919-660-3314.

DUKE PERFORMANCES STAFF John V. Brown Vice Provost for the Arts 919-684-0540 / jbrown@duke.edu

Questions regarding ticket purchases? Email tickets@duke.edu.

Suzanne Despres Director of Artist Services & Production 919-660-3379 / suzanne.despres@duke.edu

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Joel Peter Johnson Art Director 919-660-3371 / joel.johnson@duke.edu

Directions & Parking For full driving directions and parking information, please visit dukeperformances.org and click on the button marked VENUES. Late Seating Policy Please allow enough time to park, claim your tickets, and get seated before the start-time of performances. Latecomers will be seated at the discretion of the house manager and Duke Performances staff.

Brian Valentyn Manager of Campus & Community Initiatives 919-660-3175 / brian.valentyn@duke.edu Sibyl Kemp Artist Services & Engagement Coordinator 919-660-8121 / sibyl.kemp@duke.edu Maggie Brandt Development 919-660-3314 / maggie.brandt@duke.edu

Lost Tickets If you lose your tickets and need replacements, please email the University Box Office at tickets@duke.edu.

Jamila Belk Business Manager 919-660-3356 / jamila.belk@duke.edu

Performance Changes & Performance Cancellation Programs are subject to change without notice for reasons outside the control of Duke Performances. If a performance is canceled, you will be notified via email as early as possible and offered either an exchange or a refund.

CONTRIBUTING STAFF

Website & Email Updates Visit dukeperformances.org for updates on all events. We also encourage you to join Duke Performances’ email list which can be accessed through our website. We will use this list to inform you of any changes to the season.

Katy Clune Director of Communications Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts 919-660-6682 / katy.clune@duke.edu Nina Wilder Arts Administration Fellow Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts nina.wilder@duke.edu

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