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Color Theory 2.0: Saxophones and Percussion / PRISM Quartet with Susie Ibarra and Tyshawn Sorey in NYC

Date, location, and tickets

Sunday, June 3, 2018
at 3:00 PM

Christ & St. Stephen's Church
120 W 69th St.
New York, NY 10023


event image for Color Theory 2.0: Saxophones and Percussion / PRISM Quartet with Susie Ibarra and Tyshawn Sorey in NYC

Event Information

The PRISM Quartet presents Color Theory 2.0: Saxophones and Percussion following the 2017 release of the group’s critically acclaimed COLOR THEORY album with So Percussion and Partch. Color Theory 2.0 spotlights Susie Ibarra and Tyshawn Sorey, groundbreaking percussionist/composers who join PRISM as soloists in world premieres of their own works. 

Both Ibarra and Sorey share PRISM’s dedication to crossing musical boundaries; they bring a vast array of cultural, compositional, and improvisatory practices to the project. Color Theory 2.0 also features world premieres of stand-alone saxophone quartets by Elizabeth Hoffman, Professor of Composition at New York University, and Max Chung, winner of the annual PRISM Quartet/Walden School Young Composer Commissioning Award.

Complete info at https://www.prismquartet.com/concerts/color-theory-2-0/


Color Theory 2.0 is a music project inspired by science and the visual arts. In the 1670s, Sir Isaac Newton discovered the origin of color by shining a beam of light through a prism, splitting it into the colors of a rainbow. Throughout the centuries, visual artists have developed a body of knowledge (color theory) about mixing pigments to create color combinations that provoke powerful emotional responses.

We are using the idea of “color” as a framework to explore the spectra that make up instrumental sound, to create a new body of music combining saxophones and percussion. Color Theory pioneers new possibilities of orchestration and musical color with first-time collaborations that represent enormous unexplored potential.


Coincidentally, all four world premieres on Color Theory 2.0 are deeply connected to nature. Susie Ibarra’s Procession, along the Aciga Tree is inspired by the “tradition of processional music through forests in the north of the Philippines to the Aciga Tree (tree of treasures), one of the largest acacia trees known in the province of Kalinga.” Tyshawn Sorey’s Aural Nebulae is a meditation on the movement and merging of clouds to “create new forms and identities, sometimes at an imperceptibly slow pace, other times in quick cascading motion.” Elizabeth Hoffman’s parcels of clarity uses saxophones to realize her own computer-assisted transcription of the sound of flowing water. The music connotes “the image of a stream that sweeps us up in it, without regard for our volition, yet is still nurturing in serendipitous ways.” Max Chung’s Subaquatic Rift references a boundary of the ocean floor where tectonic plates meet, and attempts to capture “the ways in which water moves though this mysterious deep space.” (Click HERE for complete program notes.)

This event is supported by a grant from New Music USA.