The Garden of Diverging Paths
This project represents Mivos Quartet’s second full-length album release, following the group’s critically acclaimed debut “Reappearances” on Carrier Records, featuring works primarily by young American composers. Mivos’s second album, “The Garden of Diverging Paths”, will also focus on the work of young American composers, each of whom were inspired by or responded to literary works. These composers are among the finest of their generation, and cover a remarkable range of musical styles, from the expansive, theatrical approach of composer/soprano Kate Soper, to the rigorous complexity of Andrew Greenwald and the justly-tuned lyricism of Taylor Brook.
The opening work by Kate Soper, “Nadja” for string quartet and voice, grapples with the struggle for supremacy of a soprano amidst instrumentalists. Players come together through fused identity and shared patterns of expression, then split apart, through scheming, melodrama, and mere chance. Guiding them through the match are a handful of characters whose reason for being rests on the talkative excesses of femininity, including the nymph Echo, the first person speaker of a Tennyson love poem, and the titular heroine of Andre Breton’s 1928 surrealist masterpiece for whom the piece is named. Andrew Greenwald’s “A Thing is a Hole in a Thing it is Not” takes its title from a quote by the sculptor and poet Carl Andre. This somewhat cryptic statement relates to his experimentation with the idea of inverting the normal perception of positive and negative space, both with objects related to space and words related to the page they are printed on. Greenwald’s piece weaves a thread of nine musical phrases that methodically explore every possible combination of quartet players, while employing a hyper-specific hybrid of standard and graphic notation. The closing piece will be Taylor Brook’s “El jardin de senderos que se bifurcan”. The title of the work comes from a short story by Jorge Luis Borges, which describes a conception of time where all possible outcomes of any given situation are realized and co-exist. Brook’s work imagines an alternate history of music, variously diverging off in independent directions throughout the past. Each of the six movements belong to a different imagined musical genre that includes its own harmonic rules and formal schemes.
Literary works can be very malleable and varied in form – a work can be narrative, allusive, impressionistic, all at the same time or in any succession. Similarly, musical compositions are very free to take on any form imaginable or use any number of conventions to establish a sense of arch. The expressivity and intricacy of these three pieces demonstrate the creative potential when artists and thinkers respond deeply to each other’s work.
The release of this second solo album is an important step for Mivos Quartet, and represents the group’s continued commitment to the thoughtfully curated presentation of adventurous American music.
Start and End Dates
08/14/2015 — 06/07/2016
New York, New York