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Machines Tracing Dust Back to the Body: Chartreuse + Elise Roy

  • Art Share LA 801 East 4th Street Los Angeles, CA, 90013 United States (map)

Angelino flutist Elise Roy joins forces with "tricoastal" string trio Chartreuse to present works by composers both young and established, including pieces by Kaija Saariaho, Salvatore Sciarrino, Erik Ulman, Matthew Chamberlain, Bethany Younge, and Los Angeles-based composer Kurt Isaacson.

Featuring several new works from a set of recent commissions, this program swings from unsettling and gritty to lyrical and flowing. Bethany Younge’s new work, created during a collaboration at Avaloch Farm New Music Institute with Chartreuse in Summer of 2015, pushes a short text to its limits: screaming, humming, murmuring, and whispering with instruments and voices. Matthew Chamberlain’s "Photo" depicts the most awkwardlysituated of man-made lakes, and questions the validity of any relationship to nature we might feel when faced with such waters. A group favorite, Kaija Saariaho’s "Cloud Trio" envisions the serenity and violence present in the changing moods of the sky above the French Alps. 

Roy will offer a set that explores two extremes -- stasis and complexity. Ulman's works are populated by a near-filigreed melodiousness that abruptly jumps, jolts, and stops on a dime, demanding from its performer extreme technical prowess combined with a lilting sensitivity to shape and tone. Sciarrino occupies an entirely different space altogether: his "Canzone di Ringraziamento" hovers in time and space with only the faintest hum reaching the ears from a roaring potential energy just underneath its surface.

Tying both sides of the program together are works by increasingly enigmatic composer Kurt Isaacson. Cellist Helen Newby pairs with Roy for "with billowing sheets tucked in at the edges, puckering like a healing wound" -- a deceptively meditative piece that is, itself, a skeletal duo from the composer's so-called "animal pieces." Chartreuse then confronts Isaacson's String Trio No. 1, "as a family of civilian ghosts phase-shifts through the fog lights," commissioned by the group in 2014 and played here for the first time on the West Coast.