Wesleyan Experimental Music Festival

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From Ben Zucker ’15:

This weekend, the Wesleyan Experimental Music Group proudly presents a season of concerts condensed into a three-day festival. Throughout these nights at Russell House (at corner of Washington and High streets), we will celebrate the musical duo: from jazz and new music composition to electro-acoustic improvisations and everything in between.

NIGHT 1: Saturday, November 23rd

9pm: Avant-operatic goddess Stephanie Lavon Trotter (voice) and inimitable performer Ben Zucker (piano) play works from the new song cycle by Wesleyan graduate composer Nathan Friedman, blended with improvisations. The music is elegant, oblique, and aims to defy genre categorization – art songs for the 21st century.

9:30pm: Menschenduett: Graduate composers Sean Sonderegger and Nathan Friedman (clarinets) play a repertoire of composed and improvised music, originals and arrangements, that emphasize complex interplay and powerful difference tones. These musicians prove that sometimes 1+1=3.

10pm: Guest artist Cat Toren is a Canadian-born and Brooklyn-based jazz pianist. Her new duo with graduate composer Jasmine Lovell-Smith (soprano saxophone) arises from their longstanding collaborations and mutual gifts for effortlessly lyrical improvisation. The two perform original compositions, written and spontaneous, as well as realizations of intaglio-print graphic scores.

NIGHT 2: Sunday, November 24th

JACK Quartet’s Christopher Otto (violin) and Kevin McFarland (cello)

5pm: Preconcert discussion with the performers and composers at MusicStudios 301

9pm: Christopher Otto and Kevin McFarland of the esteemed NYC-based JACK Quartet play a set of freshly composed music by featured composers. JACK is one of the leading string quartets in new music, with an extensive repertoire spanning Dufay and Bach to Xenakis and Zorn, but emphasizing the work of living composers.The CK duo is a more intimate offshoot of this potent ensemble, realizing the most rigorous and demanding contemporary works for cello and violin.

NIGHT 3: Monday, November 25th

9pm: Daniel Fishkin (pathos) and Matt Chilton (woodwinds, voices) fight for possession of the demon realm your wind is gone, only the wood remain

9:30pm: Sam Pluta (electronics) and Peter Evans (trumpet) loom large on the New York avant-garde scene as electro-acoustic performers par excellence. Together they build an otherworldly improvised soundscape, making and warping sounds in spontaneous fusillades of activity. The results are shocking, challenging, and full of exuberant interplay.

All events are free and open to the public – Bring your friends for a night or three of unforgettable experimental music.

Date: Nov. 23 to Nov. 25
Time: 9PM
Place: Russell House
Cost: Free
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