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Concept Lab is Sunday, February 18 in Manhattan

My new series Concept Lab is a home for experimentation, works in progress and the destruction of boundaries.  The first one will be this Sunday, the 18th at Cornelia Street Cafe in Manhattan.  It’s a great program, details below!

Concept Lab is an exciting new music series featuring finished works, works in progress, improvised works and collaborative and multi-disciplinary projects in all stages of completion.

Run as a collective, Concept Lab is a showcase of the newest of the new and an exciting sneak preview of mainstays on the upcoming New York performance scene.

Sunday, February 18, 6:00 PM
Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street
$10 (includes a drink ticket)



Mei Trio
Fresh off of a sold-out performance at LPR, the Mei Trio comes to Concept Lab with a short set of works by Nino Rota, James Romig, Fernando Arruda and Seth Boustead inspired by nature, specifically trees, birdsong and fractals.

Saint Cecilia, or the Power of Music by Ryan Homsey and Joseph Cernatori
Collaborators Ryan Homsey (composer) and Joseph Cermatori (librettist) will workshop selected instrumental excerpts from their opera in development, currently titled Saint Cecilia, or the Power of Music, based off of the 1810 short story of the same name by Heinrich von Kleist.

A legend and a mystery set during the Protestant reformation, the story follows four brothers who lose their wits under obscure circumstances while attempting to deface a local cathedral. Homsey’s musical language draws influence from various forms of 16th-century polyphony and contemporary post-minimalism.

Together, he and Cermatori will discuss the project and present sketches of material from several significant moments of it in performance, to be performed by Concept’s Lab musical team.
Distress by Seth Boustead
Distress is part of a larger work called Fire and Fury which features musical accompaniments to the dramatic audio book reading of the infamous Trump administration tell-all.  This movement, Distress, is a provocative, hilarious look at Steve Bannon’s pre-Breitbart “career.”
Eric Tanguy’s Sonate pour violon & violoncelle
Irene Fitzgerald-Cherry and Talia Dicker will perform the second movement of this work originally written for and premiered by Renaud and Gauthier Capuçon in 2003. In this movement, marked Dolce, the violin and cello lines expand and contract from a base note, weaving around each other in almost palindromic fashion and sometimes stopping to meet on C.
Kumbhaka by Will Rowe
Kumbhaka is the space between inhale and exhale. This is the concept I sought to embody in this new piece for oboe and piano, written for Grant Luhmann. The teleology of the piece is very static, meant to encapsulate and expand a moment rather than take the listener to a destination. The warbly textures allow the sounds to hang in time and space until that moment has run its course, and that static tension can resolve in an exhale.

ergo by Grant Luhman
In this piece a new, strange, and sometimes- uncomfortable common ground is created between the piano and English horn by preparing the piano with fifteen strong magnets placed at specific points (harmonic nodes) along certain strings while the English horn utilizes a variety of unusual techniques that are designed to match the modified timbre of the piano.

Notes prepared with a magnet gain a transparent bell-like quality similar to a flute or violin harmonic and produce a different pitch than what is played on the keyboard.  The character of the movement is free and somewhat improvisatory, as if both players are learning this language together for the first time and discovering how to communicate with each other.

The mood is distant, quiet, and subdued throughout, perhaps like an elegy in a language nobody remembers.
Labyrinth by Stanislav Fridman
This solo piano work explores the idea of underground spaces through mysterious sonorities, sonic shadings representing the contrast between dark and light, and a frequent claustrophobic heaviness.

Hristina Blagoeva – flute
Talia Dicker – cello
Irene Fitzgerald-Cherry – violin
Joenne Dumitrascu – violin
Stanislav Fridman – piano
Grant Luhman – oboe and English horn
Miles Massicotte – piano

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