Cool Music-Clear Water Left Coast Chamber Ensemble 20th Season
Sublime Reflections on Nature
Thursday, January 31 8:00pm
$30 General Admission
Toru Takemitsu • Toward the Sea
Ramteen Sazegari• New Work for Flute and Guitar WORLD PREMIERE
Claude Debussy • Reflets dans l’eau (Reflections on Water) from Images
Claude Debussy • L’isle joyeuse (Island of Joy)
Eun Young Lee • New Work for Flute, Cello, and Piano WORLD PREMIERE
Jen Wang • New Work for Flute, Cello, and Piano WORLD PREMIERE
George Crumb • Vox balaenae (Voice of the Whale) for Three Masked Players
The Left Coast Chamber Ensemble (LCCE) continues its 20th anniversary season with Cool Music – Clear Water explores music inspired by water featuring George Crumb’s evocative 20th-century masterpiece Voice of the Whalefor Three Masked Players. Inspired by the singing of the humpback whale and composed for electric flute, electric cello and amplified piano, Crumb’s work suggests “a larger rhythm of nature and a sense of suspension in time.” To further explore the expansive themes of water and nature, Left Coast has commissioned Eun Young Lee and Jen Wang to write companion pieces to the Crumb. Both new works, composed for flute, cello, and piano, will receive their world premieres at the concert.
Cool Music – Clear Water also includes Toru Takemitsu’s Toward the Sea, an overtly political and philosophical piece composed as a contribution to Greenpeace, protesting the hunting of endangered whales. The composer viewed the sea as a "spiritual domain" and cited Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick: "Let the most absent-minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries...and he will infallibly lead you to water...Yes, as everyone knows, meditation and water are wedded together." Left Coast commissioned composer Ramteen Sazegari to create a companion piece to the Takemitsu. Sazegari’s new work Lattice for guitar and flute will be premiered. Water-themed selections from Debussy’s Images complete the program.
About the Composers with World Premieres
Eun Young Lee has been working with the New York New Music Ensemble, ALEA III, Pacifica Quartet, eighth blackbird, Gemini Ensemble and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, among other ensembles. Many of her works have been commissions and have received a number of awards, including first prize at the Tsang-Houei Hsu International Music Composition Competition in Taiwan. Her compositions have also been selected for broadcasts by Art of the States, EBU (European Broadcasting Union) and KBS (Korean Broadcasting System) and have been featured in the SCI Journal of Music Scores and its CD series.
Ramteen Sazegari earned his undergraduate degree in Music Composition and English Literature at the University of California, Davis, and earned a Master's Degree in Music Composition at Illinois State University. His primary composition teachers have been Kurt Rohde, Martha Horst and Carl Schimmel. In part, his music is informed by a synthesis of influences; the gestural and architectural framework shared by both concert and electronic music has lead him to create narratives that explore the juxtaposition of ambience against modernist structures. Notable events include the performance of his Overturefor Chamber Orchestra by the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra in 2008, the recording of his String Quartet Tough Breaks by the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble in 2011, and the performance of his duo A Quiet Breakfast at the 2012 Oklahoma State University Festival of Contemporary Music. In the fall of 2012, he will begin the Ph.D. program in Music Composition and Theory at the University of Pittsburgh on full scholarship.
Jen Wang’s work has been featured at the Wellesley Composers Conference, the International Computer Music Conference, the Bang On A Can Summer Institute, the California EAR Unit Residency at Arcosanti, and the SPARK Festival. Her commissions include works for the Iktus Percussion Quartet, Coro D’Amici, the UC Berkeley Chamber Chorus, flutist Janet McKay, NeXT Ens, and clarinetist Cristhian Rodriguez. Her first installation work, Black Cloud (for streaming data and electronics), premiered as part of Panorama, an evening-length multi-media performance featuring choreography by Merce Cunningham and Lisa Wymore. Ms. Wang has been commissioned to write a chamber work for the 2012 Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Darmstadt, as one of the recipients of the Staubach Honoraria. She has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony, where she was a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, and the Millay Colony of the Arts, where she was a Robert W. Simpson Fellow. Currently, Wang is a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, where she has been awarded the Eisner Award in Music, the Nicola de Lorenzo Prize (second place), and the William V. Power Graduate Award.
George Crumb’s evocative masterpiece, Voice of the Whale, explores the ocean, nature, and time; Left Coast has commissioned emerging composers Eun Young Lee and Jen Wang to write companion pieces to the Crumb. Water-themed selections from Debussy’s Images complement Toru Takemitsu’s Toward the Sea, an overtly political and philosophical piece Takemitsu wrote as a contribution to Greenpeace, protesting the hunting of endangered whales. The composer viewed the sea as a "spiritual domain" and cited Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick:
"Let the most absent-minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries...and he will infallibly lead you to water...Yes, as everyone knows, meditation and water are wedded together."
Founded in 1992, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble communicates with audiences through inspiring performances of new and old chamber music. By embracing both musics, we enrich the audience’s experience — we reawaken a feeling of immediacy in performances of familiar masterpieces and we reveal the powerful expressive intentions in the music of our time. The ensemble’s twelve musicians, many of whom have played together since the 1980s, perform in different combinations, using strings, winds, guitar and piano to present a wide range of repertoire.
The group has commissioned over 55 new works, sponsors an annual composition contest that draws over 150 applicants each year, and carries on a tradition of performing the very best that the composers of today (whether established or emerging) have to offer.