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Latitude 49

Waco, TX            

Latitude 49 is a powerhouse ensemble exploring new sounds, engaging diverse audiences, and holding hands with composers of today. With members hailing from across the United States and Canada, Latitude 49 represents a diverse family of instruments, voices, and experiences. 

​L49’s work with living composers is at the heart of its mission, yielding over sixty premieres since the group’s founding. The ensemble’s extended family of composers includes Jared Miller, who workshopped Fuse with L49 at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute, and Garrett Schumann, whose work Bound was recently premiered by L49 and soprano Megan Ihnen and featured on icareifyoulisten’s Spring 2015 mixtape. The impending release of the ensemble’s second album Wax and Wire on New Amsterdam Records features premiere recordings of six astonishing new works. Latitude’s debut album, Curious Minds, has been described as a “tapestry …of oft-dazzling hues.” During the past few seasons, L49 has welcomed many new composers into the family, performing works by Mark Kilstofte and Loren Loiacono (winners of L49’s 2016 Call for Scores), Viet Cuong, Timothy Page, Shulamit Ran, Justin Rito, Chris Sies, Annika Socolofsky, and Phil Taylor. New works from Andrew McManus, Juri Seo,  and Evan Ware and Christopher Cerrone will be features in future programs.

​The ensemble’s 2018/19 season features a collaboration with Chicago Fringe Opera to present a staged production of Love Wounds featuring a newly-commissioned arrangement by composer-in-residence Christopher Cerrone (2015 Rome Prize winner and Pulitzer finalist) of his opera All Wounds Bleed. Extensive residencies at Princeton University and Baylor University round out the season.

L49 has become known for a vibrant, passionate onstage presence, which the group has brought to past performances at the Ravinia Festival, Chicago Cultural Center, the Bowling Green New Music Festival (alongside featured composers Sarah Kirkland Snider and Steven Mackey), Constellation Chicago, the Detroit Institute of Art,(le) Poisson Rouge, the Juilliard School and the Ear Taxi Festival in Chicago, where the ensemble premiered a new version of Pulitzer-Prize winner Shulamit Ran’s “Birkat Haderekh—Blessing for the Road II”. Past seasons have seen a succession of conceptual programs, exploring themes through a weaving of music and other mediums: SHE celebrated the music of seven living women; Labyrinths explored mazes both ancient and modern, literal and imagined; Time Past and Time Present dived into the experiences and mechanisms of memory; This Might Hurt a Little addressed the topic of violence from varying perspectives. The 2018/19 season will unveil a new whimsical and virtuosic program: PLAY!

L49 carries its contagious energy beyond the concert hall, with an extensive list of residencies and partnerships. These include recent appearances at the University of Michigan through the EXCEL entrepreneurship program, community work at the Kenosha Creative Space (Kenosha Wisconsin), as well as a residency at SUNY Fredonia. Past seasons have included an extensive residence at the University of Illinois-Chicago as well as an appearance as featured ensemble at the 2016 MGMC Composers Conference, jointly hosted by the University of Chicago, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Northwestern University. The ensemble has also presented workshops on commissioning and entrepreneurship as part of residencies at University of Western Kentucky, Concordia College, Elmhurst College and University of Toledo.

Gabriella Smith’s Number Nine at SUNY Fredonia

Gabriella Smith’s Number Nine is a slow burn of work that explores the unique colors of this sextet instrumentation. Taking inspiration from the famously recorded “Revolution 9” on the Beatles’ seminal White Album, Smith’s rendition takes themes from the recording and arranges them for certain instruments of the ensemble within the incredibly visceral atmosphere she creates. The most recognizable is the famous repetition of “number nine, number nine, number nine…” as heard in the glissandi between the drums and cello.

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World Premiere of Jared Miller’s Fuse at (le) Poisson Rouge

Jared Miller’s Fuse explores the joining of many elements into a single entity. The critically acclaimed Attacca Quartet and Latitude 49 combine in a variety of guises while musical motives and harmonic languages are fused into a gradually changing yet unified organism. Fuse highlights the collaborative spirit of these two dynamic groups, and was premiered in March 2017 at (le) Poisson Rouge.

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Sarah Kirkland Snider’s You Are Free at SUNY Fredonia

This tender work from Sarah Kirkland Snider brings listeners into a more intimate interaction with the ensemble as voices undulate gently with each other throughout the work. The audio sample featured in the beginning of the work is an interview between Icelandic pop star Björk and seminal composer Arvo Pärt, discussing the effects of music on listeners. Pärt discusses the choice artists have in their work to either cause violence of pain, or perhaps offer healing and solace. We are free to choose, as Snider has expressed in this work.

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