The Latest Update
Miller Theatre premiere!!!
Beaufort Scales is fully funded!
Chris Cerrone‘s new piece for me is fully funded, thanks to support from New Music USA and New York’s wonderful Miller Theatre. The work will be premiered in November at Miller Theatre, and will tour nationally thereafter.
Chris has been in Italy for much of this season as a Rome Prize recipient, but he and I met recently for a two-day workshop in New York City. Chris bought himself a $60 flute (watch Chris’s first sounds in the attached video), and we went round and round about the inclusion of bottles, beautiful low-register multiphonics, sung vs spoken texts, complex vs simple electronics. And I was lucky to hear a live a performance of Chris’s amazing work, the pieces that fall to earth, and cried like a baby. After the show, I said to Chris, “write me a piece that will make other people cry like that.” No pressure…
Chris and I will have further workshops in August and November 2016. Watch this space for videos, audio clips and interviews over the next six months, as Chris’s piece comes to life!
Composer Christopher Cerrone and flutist Tim Munro come from opposite sides of the globe, but share a goal: to move audiences with unusual, unexpected sounds. Tim, a member of Grammy-winning ensemble eighth blackbird, tells tall tales with flute, speech, singing and movement. Christopher, a composer whose opera “Invisible Cities” was a 2014 Pulitzer Prize finalist, creates evocative soundscapes with shimmering textures, unusual playing-techniques and ambient electronic sounds.
Munro and Cerrone will collaborate on “beaufort scales,” a 20-minute musical work in which acoustics tell stories. A gun is fired in a hidden Scottish tunnel, built to protect oil stores from bombings, and the sound trails for 75 seconds. A man whispers into the ear of his lover, 100 feet away, kindling a distant intimacy. A heartbeat thuds in an echo-free room, dulling the senses to sounds outside of the body, turning the mind inwards.
Modern flute sounds (flickering harmonics, buzzing tones, soft song) and sung and spoken texts evoke sights and sounds from another time, bringing to life a sort of “memory palace” (the title of another work by Cerrone). Munro plays flute as well as bottles, tubes and other “wind” instruments. The electronic treatment of these sounds alters the acoustics of a performance venue, transporting audience members to a different time, a different place.
The world premiere of beaufort scales will take place in September 2016, and the work will act as the centepiece of Munro’s first international solo touring program, and, following that, his second solo album. Both album and touring program focus on the different ways that Munro can tell affecting, simple stories through music. Munro will tour the program through the United States and Australia in the seasons 2016/17 and 2017/18. Cerrone will benefit from the exposure that both recording and performances (particularly those in Australia and other countries) will have at a time when his career is growing at an exponential rate. The collaboration has already struck creative sparks in both musicians, and will undoubtedly initiate a long and fruitful professional and personal friendship.
“beaufort scales” can be seen as something of a musical sequel, or at least companion piece, to “Memory Palace,” in the way that it uses simple, affecting harmonies and unusual sounds to evoke another time and place. The composer writes: “‘Memory Palace’ is a kind of paean to places and people that have deeply affected me. The title refers to an ancient technique of memorization that helped orators remember very long speeches by placing mental signposts in an imaginary location and ‘walking’ through it. In this piece, the palace is my life.”
“Pirouette” is the result of a prior, fruitful collaboration between Tim Munro and a talented composer, in this case Amy Beth Kirsten. Kirsten’s musical language is rooted in the voice, breath, and storytelling, and Munro challenged her to push him to his technical and emotional limit. Kirsten writes: “I’d like to introduce you to Harlequin: an obsessive trickster, a devilish cad, a caustic judge, a demented jury of one. We find him here, pirouetting over the edge of sanity, spinning a mad scene of unhinged chaos.”
Start and End Dates
09/01/2016 — 09/30/2016