The Blue Sage Center for the Arts concert series with bring composer Paula Matthusen and the Splinter Reeds ensemble to perform an original work in collaboration with local public radio station, KVNF, offering a live feed and interactive radio broadcast as part of the composition. Splinter Reeds will perform two concerts and offer outreach presentations to public school kids as part of our Modern Music Festival taking place the week of March 5, 2018 on the 2017-18 Blue Sage’s concert season.
Paula Matthusen will compose a piece for Splinter Reeds, Antenna Studies by melding different types of intimacy invoked in performance spaces as well as the spaces for listening to and receiving and radio broadcasts. Splinter Reeds will continue this sonic exploration through the live manipulation of radio signals emanating from our local public radio station. A number of her recent works (i.e. see Work Sample 3, ‘So Much of Any Year is Flammable’) involve musicians manipulating and working with the live signals of local radio stations in performance.
Specifically, the group will perform alongside a separate and independent audio track that is broadcast simultaneous to their live performance. Remote audience members may tune into the broadcast as normal, but those in the space may (through a combination of analog radios and streaming services playable on tablets and smartphones) play back the live audio track while Splinter Reeds performs, sustaining long tones that are punctuated by small noise bursts both in the written material and in the broadcast. In this way, the audience and the group build the piece together, developing shifting chordal material and sonic textures through these interactions.
Since its 1994 inception, the Blue Sage Center has been a center of arts and culture in the rural North Fork Valley on the Western Slope of Colorado serving the towns of Paonia, Hotchkiss and Crawford and over 10,000 locals and visitors each year.
Beginning in the summer of 2011 when the community raised $27,000 to purchase a piano, the Blue Sage’s Concert Series was launched and is currently in its sixth season of programming. The Center’s Curtis Hall seats 144 and artists consistently perform to sold out audiences.
A strong outreach initiative connects the North Fork community with advanced music education opportunities rarely seen in a rural area of this size. Workshops, master classes, and free fieldtrips/assemblies for local schools connect with over 500 students and adults each season.
Composer Paula Matthusen writes both electroacoustic and acoustic music and realizes sound installations. She has written for diverse instrumentations, such as “run-on sentence of the pavement” for piano, ping-pong balls, and electronics, which Alex Ross of The New Yorker noted as being “entrancing”.
Splinter Reeds is the Bay Area’s first reed quintet, comprised of five innovative musicians with a shared passion for new music. The ensemble is committed to presenting top-tier performances of today’s best contemporary composition, showcasing the vast possibilities of the reed quintet, commissioning new works, and collaborating with fellow musicians and artists.