Navigation Menu+

spectra and labyrinths

Posted on Mar 13, 2015 in Events | 0 comments
Tagged on: , , , , , ,

This Saturday JACK will perform three works by very different composers, who nonetheless share some commonalities and affinities. What I find most exciting in Saturday’s program is the labyrinthine quality of these works, and the exploration of sound territories in which microtonality, non-linearity and a concentrated sculptural sonic investigation offer as many rich and different forms as they do different ways of perception.

I will let everyone enjoy and discover the original voice of each of the composers, but I would like to point out the peculiar “sculptural” quality that is embodied in these works through an intense investigation of the microtonal characteristics of sound spectra. Here, hearing is actually well suited to the task of sculpture, and in both Georg Friedrich Haas’ and Horațiu Rădulescu’s quartets, sound achieves the potential to be in the round, simultaneously avoiding the limitation of the discontinued and sequenced frontalisations of seeing. Taylor Brook adds another dimension to all of this with El jardin de senderos que se bifurcan. With his labyrinthine and multidimensional approach inspired by Jorge Luis Borges’ short novel that lends its name to the piece, Taylor’s music seeks to capture the listeners’ (and performers’) imagination with the perplexities of interpretation. He meanders in possible directions that while confounding the subject, also allow for an open dialogue between many ears searching among many possible centers.

In these great works we discover that in spite of the differences of their compositional endeavors and their original valorization of timbre, all three share an interest in ‘difference’ and ‘hybridity’ as compositional prerogatives. On one level, the sound of these works participates in “forming”, but in doing so also blurs the dichotomies of orthodox parametric thinking, leading us toward another way of understanding: a way that, paraphrasing Gérard Grisey, “possesses a priori a correlated ensemble of energies”.

So let’s walk in these wonderful labyrinths while listening to this music. JACK Quartet is here to guide us with intense and exuberant musicianship through liminal spaces in which we will wander on the verge of discovering (or revealing…) ourselves.

Artist Chat: 00:00-32:30 • Georg Friedrich Haas: 51:30-1:12:24 • Taylor’s remarks: 1:13:30-1:21:24
Taylor Brook: 1:22:30-1:47:08 • Giorgio’s remarks: 1:51:43-2:04:08 • Horațiu Rădulescu: 2:10:10-2:39:42


JACK Quartet (NYC)

Saturday, March 14, 2015; 8PM
Doors at 7PM, FREE pre-show chat at 7:15PM

Orpheum Annex (823 Seymour Street, 2nd floor) [map]
Single tickets $35 regular, $15 students (includes taxes and venue surcharges)
Advance tickets available at and 1.800.838.3006

An internationally lauded ensemble of “explosive virtuosity” (Boston Globe), the JACK Quartet wowed Vancouver audiences at the 2011 Vancouver New Music Festival with their performances of Iannis Xenakis’ string quartets.  They return to Vancouver in March 2015 with a phenomenal program of featuring a new work by emerging Canadian composer Taylor Brook (El jardin de senderos que se bifurcan *), alongside pieces by Georg Friedrich Haas (String Quartet no. 8 *), and Horațiu Rădulescu (String Quartet no. 5 “before the universe was born” *).

* Canadian premiere


Radicalizing: listening is attention, not apprehension;
to listen is evidence of what happens as sound,
not knowledge of what happens with sound.
So: sound is the presence of an absolute,
his annunciation is its own revelation,
listening then it certainly is not the act by which
you come to a discursive apprehension,
but the moment at which perception mediates
and joins the multiplicity in the unity of formal knowledge.
Listening is immediate experience in which knowledge
coincides with the action: listening is ascesis.
(Franco Donatoni)

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *