HERAKLEITOS – Cyrus Meurant | WORLD PREMIERE – 09.06.2018 | LAEISZHALLE HAMBURG
KREUZBERGER KAMERATA | Birger Radde – Baritone | Ziad Nehme – Tenor | Samantha Britt – Soprano | Video – Christina Voigt
LET A NEW EARTH RISE – REBECCA LANG | ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
ROTHKO STRING QUARTET
AN ARTISTIC STATEMENT FOR FUTURE::CITIES LEUPHANA UNIVERSITY LÜNEBURG 9 October 2020
JESSIE MONTGOMERY | BREAK AWAY
LILTING | SONG BIRD | SMOKE | QUICK PASS | BREAK AWAY
INTI FIGGIS-VIZUETA | TEA EN MI CASA
VIDEOGRAPHY | MARIA VAN ALST
CAROLINE SHAW | PLAN & ELEVATION
THE ELLIPSE | THE CUTTING GARDEN THE HERBACEOUS BORDER THE ORANGERY | THE BEECH TREE
VISUAL ARTIST | SADIE WEIS
FUTURE::CITIES | LET A NEW EARTH RISE
»Let a new earth rise. Let another world be born. Let a bloody peace be written in the sky. Let a second generation full of courage issue forth; let a people loving freedom come to growth. Let a beauty full of healing and a strength of final clenching be the pulsing in our spirits and our blood. Let the martial songs be written, let the dirges disappear. Let a race of men now rise and take control.«
Margaret Walker [African-American Poet, 1915-1998]
As artists working in the classical music world, we, the members of the Rothko String Quartet,
believe there are many reasons to widen the lens of our industry.
In a time when society is grappling with issues such as social injustice and gender-inequality, in addition to the long term effects of white supremacy and racism, we want to contribute by providing a platform for the ideas and works of living artists. We seek to actively consider and include these themes in our artistic work. Our goal is to participate in shaping a musical world in which all artists are able to claim their space – regardless of ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.
Margaret Walker’s poem Let A New Earth Rise has inspired us to sharpen our focus towards this goal and serves as a manifesto in our work as an ensemble. We are extremely excited to perform the music of three female composers of our generation, who, in their unique and fascinating ways, offer new ideas and ways forward for classical music.
FUTURE::CITIES need new mindsets - this is our contribution.
THE ARTISTS IN THEIR OWN WORDS
»I have always loved drawing the architecture around me when traveling, and some of my favourite lessons in musical composition have occurred by chance in my drawing practice over the years. While writing a string quartet to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Stravinsky’s Dumbarton Oaks, I returned to these essential ideas of space and proportion — to the challenges of trying to represent them on paper. The title, Plan & Elevation, refers to two standard ways of representing architecture — essentially an orthographic, or bird’s eye perspective (plan), and a side view which features more ornamental detail (elevation). This
binary is also a gentle metaphor for one’s path in any endeavour — often the actual journey and results are quite different (and perhaps more elevated) than the original plan.«
Caroline Shaw [born 1982] http://carolineshaw.com/#bio
»Stories focusing on childhood and experiences growing up, the voice of women of color and queer people of color make up most of the playback track accompanied by string quartet. Set within the sound environment of making tea, the water boiling, the kettle whistling, and eventually the pour, the stories appear as if being spoken in dialogue or concurrently in different parts of the same space. The stories and sounds are offered uncut, with only their placement and fades prescribed.«
Inti Figgis-Vizueta [born 1993] https://www.inticomposes.com/bio.html
»The score calls on the quartet to both play with and break away from the score at various points, thereby attempting a seamless dialogue between the written score and the whims of the quartet, in which the piece takes on further transformation at each performance. The first movement, Lilting, is an homage to Anton Webern with a focus on gestural dialogue. The
second movement, Songbird, is an image of an individual’s voice trying to emerge against a harsh facade and includes the first improvised passages in the work. The third movement,
Smoke, is loosely based on the form of a jazz tune of my own design. The 4th movement, Quick Pass, serves as a transition to the final movement Break Away, in which the quartet incorporates it's most open improvised sections.«
Jessie Montgomery [born 1981]
»I always find my interpretation of the universe to be a magical and enchanting one but paradoxically dystopian and futuristic. My philosophy in creating comes from the spiritual restoration of the journeys of the mind in relation to the life surrounding you – like a mental odyssey.«
Sadie Weis [born 1980] http://www.sadieweis.com
ROTHKO STRING QUARTET
»A picture lives by companionship, expanding and quickening in the eyes of the sensitive observer. It dies by the same token.« - Mark Rothko
The Rothko String Quartet (RSQ) was founded in Lüneburg, Germany in 2017 and consists of Marc Kopitzki (viola), Jakob Nierenz (cello), Joosten Ellée (violin), and William Overcash (violin). Both Ellée and Overcash have specialized in early and contemporary music – this has informed the group’s flexibility in its approach to different genres and allows for the most versatile programming. With diversity of style inherent to their nature, the quartet finds it imperative to perform music by marginalized composers and to bring lesser-known works to light.
Their collaborative spirit inspires not only the work they do with living composers and artists of various disciplines, but also the approach they take towards working with each other. In addition to performing newly written classical music, the RSQ is interested in exploring the possibilities of crossing genres from jazz to techno and working with producers, composers and improvisers in these fields. Important partners to date have included composer Kaan Bulak, the techno-band dOP, and the jazz-focused HOLON Trio.