The tri-annual newsletter of RED LIGHT NEW MUSIC
A Word from the Red Light Directors Summer, for many of us in the music world, is a time to do something new, to clear our minds, reflect upon the previous season of music making and to imagine the possibilities of the season to come. Fall arrives. We measure our imagined possibilities up against our resources, trim away the excess and the underdeveloped, and start making music. As our organization matures, we are able to engage in this process further and further in advance, and the wheels of long-range planning are already in motion, developing a season for 20092010. But, the relationships and sustainable funding required to plan in the “long range” take time, and we are just beginning to bear the fruits of persistence. In this time of growth and change, we have set an ambitious fundraising goal of $20,000 for the 20082009 season, and we are over a quarter of the way there, thanks to the Argosy Foundation, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Meet the Composer/JP Morgan Chase our many generous donors. You can track the progress of this season’s fundraising on o u r w e b s i t e , www.redlightnewmusic.org, where you can also contribute. After a summer of grant writing and season planning, we are ready to start making music. The season to come is packed full of brave new works. You can read about the season opener below, with RED LIGHT NEW MUSIC Presents The Beaten Path Percussion Duo
three new commissions. Following this concert will be the Red Light Holiday Gala, featuring arrangements from thirteen composers of their favorite Holiday songs. The location of the Gala has yet to be finalized, so stay tuned for more news on that. We are looking forward to a brand new partnership with the Chelsea Art Gallery, with whom we are planning concerts for the winter/ spring portion of the season. And, this season will also feature the second installment of last years wildly successful New Works from Italy, and the second annual Red Light Tour. The focal point of the second annual Red Light Tour will be a collaboration between Red Light and Moving Collective, a dance company based in Louisville, KY. This collaboration will take place during our week-long residency in Kentucky which will also include performances at the WUOL radio station and presentations at several schools in the area. Several of our long-time ensemble members have taken their leave of New York City to move on to different projects. Michael Ibrahim, saxophonist extraordinaire takes up a teaching post at West Virginia University. And, Eric km Clark, ensemble violinist relocates to Los Angeles. With their extraordinary musicianship, enthusiasm, imagination, and warm personalities, both of them will succeed wherever they land. Best of luck to Michael and Eric.
Our Season Begins
Kevin Sims, performing Scott Wollschleger’s Brontal
No. 1 In Charleston, SC last spring.
In other news, three key members of the Red Light family return to the USA, after living abroad in Germany. Jessie Marino, featured cellist, returns to New York City from Berlin. Percussionist Kevin Sims returns to New York City after two years of study and performance in Freiburg, Germany. And, Co-Director Vincent Raikhel, returns from his studies in Berlin to begin graduate studies at UC San Diego. We are extremely glad to have all of them back.
(with a bang, scrape…etc.)
Featuring water fountains, bells, gongs, drums, sandpaper and marimbas, Red Light will kick off its 2008-2009 Season on November 9th with a concert of new works for Percussion Duo. The concert is our first collaboration with the Beaten Path Percussion Duo and will premiere four exciting and inventive November 9, 8 pm works by composers Nils Vigeland, Scott Wollschleger, Kyle Hillbrand and Vincent Raikhel. Alongside these works, the artists are collaborating on creating an audio and visual tapestry of film and environmental Tenri Cultural sounds which will both explore and expand the form of the concert. Institute The concert will be held at the new music hotspot the Tenri Cultural Institute at 43A West 13th St 43A West 13th St. in Manhattan. Red Light would like to thank Al Cerulo and Joe Bergen for their inspiration and energy in Manhattan this project, and the Argosy Foundation for their generous support of this endeavor.
Performer Spotlight: Natacha Diels
Composer Spotlight: Nils Vigeland
“Between composer and performer of contemporary music exists a balance I've always found interesting. Their (our) symbiotic relationship is essential and complex, completely reliant on both an understanding of the outlying goal, and on the inherent misunderstanding found in all forms of communication between humans. Without these elements, the resulting product is a static, nonliving being; thousands of possibilities lie unexplored, any one of these holding the potential for breaking out of the human mentality and creating a completely new and original work of art. To achieve success in a musical work, performer and composer must contribute equal parts. Many artists from each category never attain satisfaction in their careers due to an incomplete understanding of this symbiotic relationship. Unfortunately, as in most meaningful aspects of life, there is no formula to finding happiness in this collaboration. A composer's needs are as varied and confusing as the human psyche, and this is no less true of the performer. In a truly effective working relationship, the composer creates works allowing the performer to express herself without constraint, liberating her musical speech by establishing limitations or formulas which resonate with her artistic vocabulary. The musical end-product is as true to both performer and composer as to the energy of art itself (to pose a complete abstraction). Frequently both composers and performers tend to forget, or lost sight of, the reality that creating a balanced musical work in this manner (composer writes, performer plays) is a collaboration. To fulfill the potential of any composition, composer and performer must openly discuss musical and technical issues, and to do so must trust the other implicitly (artistically) to be open-minded, and even willing to fail (in the short term) to allow success (in the long term). This philosophy has led me over the years to seriously consider the issue of trust, and of the divide between personal and professional relationships. The barrier between personal and professional situations is essential to the development of Art, but is also completely fictional. Those we trust professionally tend to be those we trust personally, and personal relationships affect our professional lives, whether we like it or not. In fact, these very conflicts shape our performances and compositions, bringing into the mix a whole new batch of possibilities that may have never been conceived without extraneous issues. These complexities also place limitations on our performances and compositions, a necessary element to organizing sound in chaos (composing). If, as artists, we truly believe that the works we create are products of our time, experience, and self (as I do), I don't think we can really divide any aspect of life from our work. We need to dive wholeheartedly into the art of collaboration, hoping to succeed or at least learn enough from the process that eventually the music that emerges is true.” Natacha Diels is the long-time resident flautist of the Red Light Ensemble.
"When I was 13 years old (1963) and becoming aware that after 8 years of study, my piano lessons with my first teacher were perhaps, too comfortable , I asked my parents if there weren't someone else I might study with. A new person had joined the faculty of SUNY Buffalo, a pianist/composer named Leo Smit. I went to play for him, the Bach Prelude and Fugue in B flat Minor, WTC, Book I. He didn't say much about the playing but asked me what music I was interested in. A: (me) Stravinsky and Copland (both personal friends of his). Q: (him) What do you think of them? A: Well, I think Symphony in C starts and stops alot. Q: Doesn't all Classical Music? And Copland? A: Isn't it too Americana? Q: Well. I wouldn't call it folk music. And so I was introduced to the culture wars of evaluation and response, this after a childhood with two parents, both professional musicians, wonderful, curious people, who toiled in the field of "functional music" (school/ church/synagogue). Leo and I had a long friendship. In fact I was with him when he died 36 years later. Through his playing and discussion of his own work, an entire universe of music was opened up to me. There are two other mentors I must also mention which conditioned my idea about the relationship between past and present, Lukas Foss and Morton Feldman. The first thing that should be noted about the three of them is that they were all Jewish, and not more than one generation removed from Europe. They were a part of that incredible diaspora of displaced people who found their lives in America. Smit and Feldman were born in the US of European parents but Foss was born in Germany. I didn’t understand when I first met them how important this was in their own assertion of a creative viewpoint. At the risk of a too elliptical formulation of their sense of a cultural inheritance, here goes (in order of my meeting them): Smit - an American with a European sensibility. Foss - a European with an American sensibility. Feldman- an American with an American sensibility. Well, WHAT does that mean? Leo, especially because he was a great pianist, was devoted to the idea that Classical Music was a permanent value; that it could be renewed. Lukas wanted to shake off his past, that of a prodigal student of Hindemith, and embrace his new country’s open road (Cage), but he could not sustain the journey. Morty was an original, blissfully, arrogantly defiant that he didn’t “know anything” and in so being, became unique. So what happens to someone (me) approaching 60 with such a legacy? Who am I, who adored all three of these amazingly gifted people? I’m myself, I think, very content to try and discover whatever seems the next right way and very grateful to have that possibility.” Nils Vigeland is a New York composer and has mentored many members of the Red Light community as a teacher and a friend.
Red Light in the Summertime Around the Globe
The Orchestre National de Lorraine rehearsed Christopher Cerrone's Invisible Overture.
Thank you to our family of donors for making our season possible. Commissioners’ Circle ($1,000-$2,499) Argosy Foundation Foundation for the Contemporary Arts Meet the Composer/JP Morgan Chase
Benefactors’ Circle ($500-$999) Jason Dickinson The Italian Academy for Advanced Study at Columbia University The Fannie and Stephen Kahn Foundation The Puffin Foundation Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, P.C
John Popham (center) performed chamber music at the annual Darmstadt festival in Germany.
Sponsors’ Circle ($250-$499)
While at Tanglewood Yegor Shevtov (left) performed works by Carter, Messiaen, Dohnanyi, Barber, Satie, Rachmaninov, Eisler, Brahms, and played for Garrick Ohlsson, Renee Fleming and James Levine.
Josephine Arduini Michael and Rose M. Emanuele Alexander Raikhel Natasha Raikhel Joanne Chory & Steven Worland
Patrons’ Circle ($100-$249)
Liam Robinson returned for the third year to the Food Farm, organic vegetable producer near Duluth, MN.
Vincent Raikhel crossed one ocean and a continent in his move from Berlin, Germany to San Diego, CA, where he is beginning graduate studies at UCSD
Red Light and friends shared a Labor Day picnic in New York’s Fort Tryon Park.
Leslie & Erik Andresen Burt Building Materials Corporation Rosalie Bulger Buzzi Phil & Diana Caparotta Dominick and Rita Cavouto Lisa & Michael Ceriello Barbara & Ben Cerrone Marc a & Kate Cerrone Reiko Fueting Peggy & David Little Molly Marino Florence & Steven Roffman Bill Sims Chris & Shana Sommerville Shelly Cryer & Michael Stern Nils Vigeland Ann & Dave Wollschleger
Friends’ Circle ($10-$99) Anonymous Joan Asher Joseph Carvelli Ralph & Donna Gordyan Chuck & Valerie Hashim Carol B. Levin Denise Melato Mary Jo Melato Olga Palermo Diana & James Robertson Cathy Testani
To become a Red Light donor, click the “support” heading on our website.