New Thread Quartet (NTQ) is partnering with composer Ben Hjertmann to commission a piece for saxophone quartet titled “Sunstruck”.
Sunstruck is an expansive work written for the adventurous talents of New Thread Quartet. It is part of what will be a cycle of four works for saxophones each focusing on a different compositional approach. The other completed work from this cycle is The Mares of ’33, premiered by the Anubis Quartet in 2010, which is focused on formal development. The focus of Sunstruck is intuition. The piece was composed freely at the piano in its entirety before the editing process began, in order to preserve the initial intuitive structure. The result is a contemplative microtonal work, with duration of approximately 30 minutes. The music was composed at 360 XOCHI QUETZAL residency in Chapala, Mexico and in Chicago, during July 2014.
NTQ’s primary focus has been performing music by NYC based composers. In September 2014 we will flip that idea by premiering Ben’s work in a concert program that features composers outside The Big Apple: Ben Hjertmann (Chicago), Michael Djupstrom (Philadelphia), Roberto Kalb (Boston/Mexico), and Marcelo F. Lazcano (San Diego/Chile).
Leading up to the premiere, Ben will participate in a conversation with NTQ about the piece and his music in general. We will live-stream this event on the Internet and interact with viewers by responding to questions and comments submitted via social media.
Ben will attend the premiere concert in NYC and participate in a pre-performance discussion of his piece. After the concert, audience members will have the opportunity to talk with Ben and NTQ during a reception. NTQ will record and share videos of our live-stream chat, pre-performance talk, and premiere performance on YouTube.
About Ben Hjertmann:
Ben Hjertmann is a Chicago-based composer, vocalist, and genre vagabond. He was a 2013 Bang on a Can Summer Festival Fellow and a resident artist at the MacDowell Colony, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and the Shell Lake Arts Center. Ben’s music has been performed by International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Spektral Quartet, Borromeo Quartet, Anubis Quartet, Callithumpian Consort, Other Minds Ensemble, and many others. This project will raise awareness of his music through our in-depth live-stream chat and dedicated performance in NYC. It will also introduce enthusiasts of NTQ to his music.
New Thread Quartet is composed of four of NYC’s leading new music saxophonists: Geoffrey Landman (soprano), Kristen McKeon (alto), Erin Rogers (tenor) and Zach Herchen (baritone). Our members have performed as soloists in Europe and North America, lectured at American institutions, and performed with elite new music chamber ensembles. This project will expand NTQ’s audience beyond NYC through live-streamed events, YouTube videos and by familiarizing enthusiasts of the composer with the quartet.