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Tales from the Deep, Neighborhood of Make-Believe, and Gardens are Prolific

Tales from the Deep, Neighborhood of Make-Believe, and Gardens are Prolific

Local compositions to and for local communities.

Updates

June 18, 2017COMPOSE YOURSELF! CONTEST – ROUND 2 WINNER: Scott Senko

Posted by: MPLS (imPulse)

The second round of MPLS (imPulse)’s Compose Yourself! Contest is over, and Scott Senko is the winner! A veteran of four previous MPLS projects, Scott submitted Un Mundo Bello for MPLS (imPulse)’s Won’t you be my neighbor? project. As in the first round, submissions were judged blind. After notifying him of his win, we asked Scott to share how his submission came together:

“When I first listened to the excerpts from Bart Buch’s interviews with the community members of the Phillips Neighborhood, I noticed a recurring theme. Several of the interviewees described, in their own words, the idea that art, community, and kindness spread and reproduce themselves through the actions of individuals. That good works in the community ripple outward and inspire good works in others.

I thought the theme of “rippling outward” would be a good basis for a piece of music. A voice (or section) would introduce a small musical idea that would be continuously mimicked by other sections, blooming into a larger texture.  I decided that a short simple text would lend itself well to the musical idea I was working toward so I began to search for proverbs about community. I settled on “It takes all kinds to make a world” which I adapted to “It takes every kind of person to build a beautiful world.” The phrase “beautiful world” (“mundo bello”) is pulled directly from one of Buch’s interviews. 

Curious about how the phrase would read/sound in a language other than English, I asked a friend to translate it into Spanish (Ed. Note: the friend was Minneapolis musician and fellow MPLS veteran Natalia Romero). This is the text I ultimately set for the piece. “Para crear un mundo bello, necesitamos todo tipo de personas.”

Come hear the second fruit of our New Music USA project grant on July 28, 2017! Time, location and ticket information here.

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June 3, 2017: Recording new works in the studio with Zack Pentecost

Posted by: MPLS (imPulse)

In April, MPLS (imPulse) was invited to record the studio versions of three new pieces by local composer Zack Pentecost. It was a novel opportunity for both parties: Zack took the chance to blend his skills in home-made electronica music and sampling with the many colors of the human voice, and MPLS (imPulse) was able to try its hand in a professional studio environment.

The project was a great success on many levels. Zack and his engineering team were a joy to work with; our Artistic Director and singers proved adept studio musicians; we got to perform while wearing loafers and sweatpants; some of our biggest donors got a sneak peek into our rehearsal process; and of course, the results sounded new and beautiful. Check out some of the results for yourself.

Zack has already parlayed these recordings into further professional success. Just last month, Zack was selected on the merits of “Clear Midnight” (the recording linked above) as one of four winners in the VocalEssence ReMix competition, where break-out musical artists are encouraged to write for voice. This gives Zack the opportunity to write two new pieces – one for high schoolers and a “more adventurous” one to be premiered at the Minnesota American Choral Directors Association Conference in November 2017.

We loved having the opportunity to further our mission of supporting living composers and new music. Thank you Zack!

 

January 5, 2017: Compose Yourself! Contest – Round 1 Winner: Ian Cook

Posted by: MPLS (imPulse)

We are thrilled to announce that our very own Ian Cook has won MPLS (imPulse)’s first Compose Yourself! Contest. This was our first round in a completely blind submission process.

Ian’s piece was written for imPulse Happy Hour: Tales from the Deep taking place at Lake Monster Brewing. Drawing on the theme of the brewery, the concert is centered around legends and folk tales from the deep. Ian took inspiration from the Finnish story of Kalevala for his piece, Out of the River of Tuoni.

Here’s what Ian had to say when asked about his inspiration for his piece:

“Ever since I first started learning about Finnish culture, I have been fascinated by its language and mythologies. This includes the Kalevala, which is widely considered to be the national epic of Finland, containing many of Finland’s most important folktales and mythology. The text used in Out of the River of Tuoni is excerpted from a story arc that is referenced in several other works of art and music, including Jean Sibelius’ Lemminkäinen Suite, most famously the second movement “The Swan of Tuonela” (Tuonela is an alternate form of the word Tuoni).

In Runo XIV of the Kalevala, Lemminkäinen hunts the black swan that lives on the river of Tuoni in the underworld in order to win a daughter of Louhi as his wife. While searching for the swan, he is killed and his body is dumped into the river. In Runo XV, Lemminkäinen’s mother searches all over the world for him before discovering his fate. She fashions a rake and uses it to recover her son’s body from the bottom of the river, then sews his body back together and uses a drop of honey from the god Ukko as an ointment. She uses her magic to restore her son to life.

Out of the River of Tuoni illustrates the story of Lemminkäinen’s mother, from the moment she begins her search until the moment her son has returned to life. The music expresses the transformation she goes through during this process, while also capturing the mysteriousness and the magic of the story.”

October 18, 2016: Video Narrative, Call for scores, Mexican music, & Snazzy clothes

Posted by: MPLS (imPulse)

Hello, NMUSA followers! With the leaves all but turned and the Twin Cities choral engine in full gear, we have emerged from our summer planning sessions with four exciting bits of news to share with you:
 
First, we recently produced the above video narrative of our core mission with the aid of local production house QuarterTon. If anyone asks you (or you’re asking yourself) what MPLS (imPulse) is about, this video gives the answer.
 
Second, we have posted a Call for Scores for each of the projects backed our NMUSA grant! Do you qualify? If you do, please consider submitting.
 
Third, MPLS (imPulse) is eagerly gearing up for its first concert of the 2016-17 season – Cuéntame un cuento – a pairing with ComMUSICation where we’ll perform music by Mexican-American composers, interspersed with a dramatic reading of the folktale”The Lizard and the Sun.” November 18, 7:30pm @ The Wellstone Center. Tickets on sale now!
 
Fourth, we believe that reimagining the choral experience includes reimagining traditional choral dress. Chorus America agrees, and they recently highlighted our attire! Click this link to read the entire article on choral fashion.
 
That’s all we have to share for now. Have you anything you want to share with us? Send an e-mail to info@mplsimpulse.org. We’re especially interested in hearing from potential artistic collaborators and (unconventional) venues!

July 4, 2016: 2016-2017 season is a go-go

Posted by: MPLS (imPulse)

We’re jumping for joy this week. Why? Your support has skyrocketed us into our third season! At the beginning of our new fiscal year, we want to thank ALL of our ticket buyers, donors, and volunteers for all of your support last season. With your help, we more than exceeded our budget goal for the year.

In ADDITION to this, we received news this week that we have received two very important grant awards. The first is an arts activities grant award from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, which will help support three projects in our upcoming season. The second award is a New Music USA award that we will use to commission three new choral works for our upcoming season. Stay tuned for a season announcement later this summer!

Thank you, MRAC! “This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.”

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Overview

MPLS (imPulse) performs three distinct concert cycles during our program year. Each cycle uses a theme to guide our repertoire, collaborators, and choice of venue. Our eclectic programming has attracted a loyal audience hungry for new and experimental choral music they do not hear elsewhere in the Twin Cities.

We also count many "choral newbies" among our fans; people who wait in line for tickets to see Beyonce or The Pogues, but couldn't tell you where the Minnesota Orchestra performs. They come for the themes, collaborators, and venues outside of the choral tradition...think beer, an old-time folk trio, psychedelic dreams, or a planetarium.

This audience cross-pollination benefits our collaborators. By using their spaces as concert venues, we bring new people and new energy to them. In a more direct contribution to their bottom-lines, we also encourage them to promote and sell their wares, services, and programs during the course of our performances.

In previous years, our concert cycles have accommodated two performances and 120-300 ticket-buying audience members. However, we sold out so many concerts this past year that we are planning to accommodate 350-400 audience members per cycle this upcoming season, through bigger venues, more varied locations, and/or more performances.

A few times, we have commissioned local composers for new pieces of music that suit our themes, but only when funds allowed (the Media page features a recording of our favorite result). For the 2016-2017 season, we want to up the ante and commission a new piece for each of our concert cycles.

Our upcoming year includes the following themes and collaborators:

1) imPulse Happy Hour: Tales from the Deep (February 3 & 4, 2017) - We are teaming up with Lake Monster Brewing Company in St. Paul to celebrate beer, underwater monster myths, and the folk rhymes that bring these two together.

2) The Neighborhood of Make-Believe (July 28, 2017) - Will you be my neighbor? MPLS (imPulse) joins Bart Buch and In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre for a staged summer production celebrating Phillips Neighborhood of Minneapolis. The performance will feature music and staged vignettes with puppets that utilize texts and themes from residents living in Phillips. The event will culminate with a parade and outdoor celebration following the performance.

3) Gardens are Prolific (October 2017) - Helping plants grow by singing in the urban greenhouses and rural barnyards managed by the Shared Ground Cooperative, a Twin-Cities based Community Supported Agriculture organization. Besides the scientifically-proven benefits of singing to plants, the concerts will immerse our audience in the a new way of sourcing and supporting healthy, locally-grown food in an urban environment.

Building community is the essence of MPLS (imPulse), and we, a community built on making music, believe we make our greatest artistic and social impacts when we leverage local composition talents in the name of our collaborators. The more Twin-Cities locals we connect, the better.

Project-related Media

All the Hemispheres

Composed by Connor J Koppin (http://www.connorjkoppin.com/) The text is an excerpt of Daniel Ledinsky's English translation of "The Subject Tonight is Love," a poem originally penned in Arabic by the 14th-century Persian-Sufi poet Hafez. Performed by MPLS (ImPulse) and Scotty Horey (tambourine). Commissioned by MPLS (ImPulse) for our Fall 2015 concert cycle about dreams: "Falling Awake." The attached recording is a mono take from our October 8, 2015 dress rehearsal at the cycle's venue, the Capri Theater in north Minneapolis.

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Project Details


Start and End Date

10/28/2016 - 10/31/2017

Location

Twin Cities, Minnesota

Updates (5 RECENT)

Last Updated June 18, 2017

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MPLS (imPulse)

Twin Cities, Minnesota

MPLS (imPulse) is a 24-voice festival chamber chorus based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Founded in 2014 by Samuel Grace, the ensemble seeks to re-imagine traditional conventions in choral music and to engage audiences with eclectic music in diverse spaces. Artists in MPLS (imPulse) prepare music in advance of scheduled festival appearances where the ensemble rehearses, builds...


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