November 19–20, 2009 / 7:30pm
Le Poisson Rouge / 158 Bleecker Street NYC


A concert of commissions and premieres

Jakub Ciupinski, Composer
Vivian Fung, Composer
Cristina Spinei, Composer
Erin Gee, Vocals / Composer
Jenny Lin, Piano
Britton Matthews, Percussion
Meia Noite, Percussion
Luke Rinderknecht, Percussion

On the Program

Erin Gee: Mouthpiece X
for piano and electronics — U.S. premiere
Featuring Erin Gee on vocals

Vivian Fung: Piano Concerto: Dreamscapes
for piano and electronics — world premiere
Featuring Jenny Lin on piano

Cristina Spinei: Jolt
for piano and electronics — world premiere
Featuring Britton Matthews, Meia Noite, and Luke Rinderknecht on percussion

Jakub Ciupinski: Flashbacks
for piano and electronics — world premiere


Andrew Cyr, Artistic Director / Conductor
Kristin Lee, Violin / Leader
Ying Xue, Violin
Maurycy Banaszek, Viola
Na-Young Baek, Cello
Rachel Calin, Contrabass
Lance Suzuki, Flute
James Austin Smith, Oboe
Bill Kalinkos, Clarinet
Adrian Morejon, Bassoon
Katie Miller, Trumpet
Alana Vegter, Horn
David Nelson, Trombone

About the Concert

A concert of commissions and premieres: works by four composers of the new generation each exploring a profoundly different source for composition and a different conception of the future of music.

Erin Gee and her propulsive, toccata-like work, Mouthpiece X, will feature the composer as solo vocalist. Mouthpiece X is one in a series of pieces bearing the title, each exploring aspects of speech and vocalization. The virtuosic solo part ventures far beyond traditional singing, incorporating whistles, clicks, groans, and other vocal gymnastics, set in a semi-improvised made up lexicography based on the International Phonetic Alphabet. This performance will be the U.S. premiere.

Vivian Fung will present a newly-commissioned piano concerto, subtitled Dreamscapes. Fung creates music for Western instruments that she says "reflects a non-Western dynamic between performer and audience." Dreamscapes is a riot of orchestral color, melding bird calls, wine glasses, and other unexpected noisemakers with extended piano techniques and more traditional, intensely contrapuntal orchestral writing. Star new-music pianist and Metropolis Ensemble collaborator Jenny Lin will perform the kaleidoscopic solo part.

Cristina Spinei brings a literal Jolt of energy to the program in a piece that, like much of the composer's work, shows the influence of traditional Brazilian music. This three-movement score is a concerto for three percussionists, filled with propulsive rhythms, ostinati, and playful hockets. Percussionist Meia Noite will play berimbau (an Afro-Brazilian stringed instrument), surdo and timbau (drums), and other traditional instruments, alongside Luke Rinderknecht and Britton Matthews playing Western percussion.

Jakub Ciupinski fuses his interests in pop music, electronica, and orchestral writing in Flashbacks for orchestra and electronics. The piece sets out to capture the sensation of very brief moments of recollection. These moments are expressed as short interruptions of the piece's narrative arc, as well as a stylistic contrast shifting between pointillistic and minimal textures.

Piano Concerto: Dreamscapes is a Metropolis Ensemble commission with funds generously provided by the De Rosa Foundation. Jolt is a Metropolis Ensemble commission with a grant provided by the New York State Council for the Arts. Flashbacks is a Metropolis Ensemble commission.