Ekmeles: Octet

  • May 25, 2024 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • The DiMenna Center

    450 West 37th Street
    New York, New York 10018
Ticket Price $15.00-$20.00 This event is now over

Saturday, May 25th, at 7:30PM at the DiMenna Center's Cary Hall, Ekmeles performs Octet, a program expanding Ekmeles's normal roster of six singers to take on repertoire for larger forces.

Ben Johnston's Sonnets of Desolation is a monumental setting of texts by Gerard Manley Hopkins, which expresses the spiritual intensity and formal experimentation of the poet through the composer's groundbreaking microtonal language. It has been ten years since Ekmeles's first performances of this neglected masterpiece, and we are excited to return to it. Cassandra Miller's Guide also uses a religious text as an underpinning - here it is Maria Muldaur's recording of Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah, each detail of which the singers learn by rote and then perform in various permutations and timescales.

Josh Levine's Cicada June | Geheimlicht is, as its title suggests, a kind of interweaving of two pieces that are performed simultaneously. The macaronic text, written by the composer, supports a kaleidoscopic harmonic approach. Elaine Mitchener's BloodCirclesEarWhistles builds on the vocalist/composer's experience as an improviser, creating a parallax view of the same material through multiple performers. Both works will be heard here in their US premieres.

Dai Fujikura's Zawazawa sets a number of onomatopoetic words in Japanese, including the title which translates to "noisy, murmuring", as well as text by Harry Ross. The overall effect explores the nature of onomatopoeia, creating a texture that percolates with sound and meaning. Eric Dudley's QuietUs on the other hand collages together several texts from William Shakespeare, setting them with a range of vocal colors tied to the subtle affect of the words.

Director and baritone Jeffrey Gavett will be joined by sopranos Charlotte Mundy and Amber Evans, mezzo soprano Elisa Sutherland, countertenor Timothy Parsons, tenors Eric Dudley and Tomás Cruz, and bass Steven Hrycelak.

Date & Time

Sat, May 25, 2024 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Venue Details

The DiMenna Center

450 West 37th Street
New York, New York 10018 The DiMenna Center
Ekmeles, Inc.

Ekmeles is a vocal ensemble dedicated to the performance of new and rarely-heard works, and gems of the historical avant garde. They have a special focus on microtonal works, and have been praised for their “extraordinary sense of pitch” by the New York Times. They are the recipients of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation’s 2023 Ensemble Prize, the first American group to receive the honor.