Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Earplay will Conclude 2017 Season with Four Premieres

Later this month Earplay will present the last of the three concerts in its 2017 season. Four of the five works on the program will be premieres; and, while the title of the entire season is Air, Wind, Water, the last of those premieres, written on an Earplay commission, will go beyond this “elemental” theme. Eric Moe was commissioned to compose Tough Songs About Death in response to Earplay’s request for a memorial for the ensemble’s first conductor, J. Karla Lemon, who was also a close friend of the composer. The result, which will be given its world premiere, is a song cycle setting four poems by Dorianne Laux, each of which addresses the burdens of survivors. The work was scored for the complete Earplay sextet of Tod Brody (flute), Peter Josheff (clarinet), Terrie Baune (violin), Ellen Ruth Rose (viola), Thalia Moore (cello), and Brenda Tom (piano), which will be joined by soprano Christine Brandes. For this performance the violin part will be taken by guest artist Joe Edelberg.

In addition, Kyle Bruckmann will join the ensemble for the world premiere of his “centripetals/centrifugals,” which he scored for alto flute, cor anglais, bass clarinet, viola, and percussion. The last of the world premieres will be “Lift-up-over sounding,” scored for bass clarinet, cello, percussion, and piano by Cindy Cox. Composed in 2015, the piece is a reworking of “World A Tuning Fork,” which she composed in 2001 for amplified soprano saxophone, double bass, percussion, piano, and fixed media. Taken together, these titles are a couplet from a poem by John Campion. The score uses the resonant properties of low pitches and the piano’s sostenuto pedal to evoke the sound world of the Amazon rainforest. In addition John Liberatore’s 2011 duo for violin and viola, “while I sleep,” will be given its West Coast premiere. The one work on the program not receiving a premiere will be Toru Takemitsu’s piano trio “Between Tides,” which he composed in 1993. Takemitsu was selected as the featured composer of the season because of his attention to all three of the elements named in the season’s title.

This performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, May 15, in the ODC Theatre. The venue is located in the Mission at 3153 17th Street on the southwest corner of Shotwell Street. General admission will be $25 at the door and $10 for students. Tickets will be available at the box office before the performance. In addition, there will be a pre-concert talk that will begin at 6:45 p.m. and will be open to all ticket-holders; and a reception will follow the concert.

[added 5/13, 6:25 a.m.: Last night's news broadcast on ABC7 included Michael Finney's regular Finney's Friday Free Stuff feature. This week one of the options was free tickets to Earplay's final concert of the season. As always, Finney has set up a Web page for instructions for taking advantage of any of the free offers he announces.]

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