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Strange in Other Ways

A new choral work by Travis Weller, inspired by a century-old alternative theory about our universe, which may be poised for a comeback.

The Latest Update

Concert footage

Posted on August 3, 2017 by Austin New Music Co-op
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And finally, here is a video of the live performance. Thanks to everyone who made this project possible!

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Brent Baldwin

Posted on August 3, 2017 by Austin New Music Co-op

Brent Baldwin, director

Update

Posted on August 3, 2017 by Austin New Music Co-op

Matt, Thomas and the right flank of the chorus from above.

Brent Fariss

Posted on August 3, 2017 by Austin New Music Co-op

Bassist Brent Fariss (New Music Co-op) and Cullen Faulk (line upon line) with the alto section of the chorus.

line upon line

Posted on August 3, 2017 by Austin New Music Co-op

Matt Teodori and Adam Bedell of line upon line percussion

Thomas Helton

Posted on August 3, 2017 by Austin New Music Co-op

Bassist and long time collaborator Thomas Helton (of Houston).

Audience

Posted on August 3, 2017 by Austin New Music Co-op

We had a fantastic turnout for the show. Thanks to everyone who came out!

Brent Baldwin

Posted on August 3, 2017 by Austin New Music Co-op

Brent Baldwin, conductor and director of Panoramic Voices was amazing to work with on this project. He not only expertly guided the chorus through this unusual piece, but he also helped shape the final realization of the music with some great editorial suggestions.

Thanks to the Blanton!

Posted on August 3, 2017 by Austin New Music Co-op

Thanks to New Music USA for supporting our project! Thanks also to the Blanton Museum of Art for hosting our performance. It was, as always, a fantastic space to present new music.

Strange in Other Ways (update 1)

Posted on August 3, 2017 by Austin New Music Co-op

We are thrilled to be one of the 107 awardees for the Winter 2017 round of New Music USA project grants! Since our performance happened way back in February, I already have several updates to post. I’ll start with a few photos from the concert.

KMFA Broadcast

Posted on July 27, 2017 by Austin New Music Co-op

KMFA, Austin’s excellent classical music station, will be broadcasting the recording from the premiere of “Strange in Other Ways” tomorrow (Friday July 28th) at 6pm central time. In addition to the concert recording, there will be an interview with composer Travis Weller and conductor/director Brent Baldwin. This is part of their Listen Local series. You can listen over the air in Austin at 89.5FM or stream from their website at KMFA.org.

Overview

“Strange in Other Ways” is a work by Travis Weller for large (40+) chorus, three percussionists, and two contrabasses to be premiered at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas on February 16th 2017. This will be the composer’s fourth time writing for voice and his third time collaborating with Brent Baldwin (director) and Panoramic Voices (formerly known as Texas Choral Consort). The work of Panoramic Voices, New Music Co-op, Travis Weller, and line upon line percussion, are all staples of the Central Texas new music community. Each have received multiple Austin Critics Table awards and funding from Texas Commission on the Arts and the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division.

The performance space is the beautiful atrium of the Blanton Museum of Art in downtown Austin. The acoustics of the space are fantastic and the open and inviting central hall has been home to countless contemporary performances in the past decade. The audience will be welcome to move about the space and enjoy the music from multiple perspectives. The concert will be free and open to the public.

“Strange in Other Ways” gets its title from an article by Dan Falk about Bohmian mechanics, which is a theory at odds with the orthodox or “standard” interpretation of how sub-atomic particles behave. Neither of these two theories have been proven beyond a doubt. While the standard theory embraces difficult to grasp concepts, such as infinite multiple universes, according to the more deterministic Bohmian model: “the world must be strange in other ways.” The text material of the piece, by poet Dorothy Meiburg Weller, explores the dichotomy of these two theories using conversational dialogue. The nature of the music is also informed by these infinitesimal and mysterious particles moving about, permeating every aspect of our universe.

Project Media

Symmetrographia at the Blanton (2014)
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Symmetrographia is a program-length work by Travis Weller for ten musicians playing traditional and custom-built instruments. The piece is titled for a vaguely documented and possibly congenital ability to produce mirror image writing with one’s non-dominant hand. Projections of symmetry are explored in many aspects of the composition including: the formal structure; pitch material; and the design of the instruments. The work premiered at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, TX on September 28th, 2014.

Winter Scenes (Performed by Quince, 2016)
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A set of songs for three voice setting poetry written by Dorothy Meiburg Weller. An early decision for this project ended up shaping the identity of Winter Scenes: the core pitch material would come from the natural harmonics of the two lowest strings of the cello. Using this elemental approach to pitch selection resulted in a very consonant foundation with some unusually tuned upper pitches. These pitches are heard as touch harmonics in the cello part, and in the bowed metal bells, which are precisely tuned to odd cello harmonics.

The Tetrachromat sees dances in the desert (Performed by Yarn|Wire, 2016)
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Features: Travis Weller

The Big Bend in West Texas has a mesmerizing color palette. There are shades of raw sienna and laurel green out there that defy description and resist being captured in a photograph, let alone a pantone swatch. Save for magic, my assumption is that these colors are countless subtle points of earth and flora, combined to form some estimation that resists simple categorization. A tetrachromat is an organism who can perceive four, instead of the usual three, channels of color information, due to an extra type of cone cell in the eye.

Start and End Dates

02/15/201702/16/2017

Location

Austin, Texas

11 updates
Last update on August 3, 2017

Project Created By

Austin, Texas
New Music Co-op is a community of composers and performers from the Austin area dedicated to promoting awareness and understanding of new music. Since 2001 NMC has presented over 50 concerts featuring over to 200 new works. Notable New Music Co-op concerts have included multiple collaborations with Ellen Fullman and her Long String Instrument, the…

In Collaboration With

Presenter, Chorus
Austin, Texas
Composer
Austin, Texas
Percussion section
Austin, Texas

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