January 2016 news

Looking forward to 2016

Premiers

Ayre: towed through plumes, thicket, asphalt, sawdust and hazardous air I shall not forget the sound of... was premiered by the Swedish NEO Ensemble conducted by Pierre Andre Valade in Sandoval, Sweden, as a part of a portrait concert where Lovesong, fardanceCLOSE and Seed I and Anea from the Anea Cycle were performed together with pieces of Klaus K. Hübler and Morton Feldman. The concert was on tour in north Sweden in January. The piece will see its U.S. premier on May 10 performed by ICE, and its German premier with ensemble recherche, Freiburg, in December.

Knights of the Strange (tutti) for accordion, electric guitar, and a mixed ensemble of 8 instruments, co-commissioned by the Ernst von Siemens Stiftung, Ensemble PHACE, and the LA Phil will see its U.S. premier on March 1 in the LA Green Umbrella series with Yaron Deutsch, Krassimir Sterev, and players of the LA Phil, conducted by Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.

Adiantum Capillus-Veneris, Etudes in fragility for voice and breath III, a commission of Deutschlandfunk and the Ernst von Siemens Stiftung will be performed on April 10 by Inbal Hever at Deutschlandfunk Forum Neue Musik.

Severine Ballon will give the premier of her arrangement of Adiantum Capillus-Veneris, Etudes in fragility  I for cello solo at the Monday evening concert series on March 28th 2016. 

PriZe

Chaya was awarded the 2016 Heidelberger Kuenstlerinnenpreis, a yearly prize given to a woman composer.
The prize ceremony is on February 24 and the piece White wind waiting, for amplified acoustic guitar and orchestra, will be performed by the Philharmonisches Orchester Heidelberg with Stefan Schmidt (guitar) and Johannes Kalitzke (conductor).
theaterheidelberg.de/sparten/konzert/kuenstlerinnenpreis-2016

Residencies

In February, I am in Spain:
6–7 February at the Centro Superior Katarina Gurska (CSKG);
9–10 February at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Aragón;
and 11 February at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Castilla la Mancha, Albacete, where Lovesong will be played.

6–7 April I will be in residence at the Karlsruhe Musikhochschule.

7–10 April Forum Neuer Musik, Deutschlandfunk Köln, will have its yearly edition around the subject “Jewish Identities.”
Chaya will give a talk and have the following pieces performed:

  • The premier of Adiantum Capillus-Veneris, Etudes in fragility, for voice and breath, III — a commission from Deutschlandfunk and the Ernst von Siemens Stiftung — will be given by Inbal Hever, who will also perform numbers I and II of the same cycle;
  • HIDDEN will be performed by JACK Quartet and IRCAM;
  • and Sahaf will be performed by ensemble 20/21.

Both HIDDEN and the Adiantum cycle will also be recorded at the studio of Deutschlandfunk for a new CD to be released by Wergo in 2017 in cooperation with Deutschlandfunk.

12–17 April Chaya's work will be the focus of New Perspectives Festival of the Royal College of Music of London. This will be the first large perspective on Czernowin’s work in England, with 2 concerts, a chamber concert and an orchestral concert. 10 pieces played, including White wind waiting, for guitar and large orchestra, and At the fringe of our gaze, for large orchestra. 

May 2nd: a short residency at NYU.  

Summer — This year Chaya will return to Tzlil Meudcan (Tel Aviv) in June and to the Darmstadt Ferienkurse in August, where HIDDEN will be performed by the Arditti Quartet and IRCAM. HIDDEN will be performed in Boston as well at the

ICA on April 28th, on the occasion of BU and IRCAM and ICA collaboration. 

Opera

On 17 June 2017 Freiburg Stadttheater will premier Zaide/Adama (Adama with Mozart’s Zaide) in a new version with the addition of a choir. The director will be Ludger Engels.

Recordings

2016 will see the release of two new solo CDs, plus a recording of a single piece.

The Quiet on Wergo. A CD of 5 recent orchestral pieces. The crescendo trilogy: The Quiet, performed by Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchestra and Brad Lubman; Zohar Iver, with Nikel Ensemble and Bern Philharmonic conducted by Mario Venzago; Esh, with Kai Wessel (soloist), Cottbus Philharmonic Orchestra, and conducted by Evan Christ. And 2 orchestral pieces from the residency at the Lucerne Festival 2013: At the fringe of our gaze, performed by the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra and Daniel Barenboim; and White wind waiting, performed by Stefan Schmidt (guitar) and the SWR Orchestra with rançois-Xavier Roth conducting.

A Kairos CD with ICE, conducted by Steven Schick, with soloists Jeff Gavett and Kai Wessel, including Wintersongs II, IV, and V and numbers I, II, IV, and V of the Pencil-sketches.

Slow Summer Stay III, for 2 octets will e released on the CD of Wittener Musiktage 015 performed by OENM with Johannes Kalitzke and Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin with Manuel Nawri.

December 2014 news

Looking forward to 2015

A CD of 5 recent orchestral works (2010- 2013) will be released by Wergo in September 2015.

HIDDEN will be performed in Maerzmusik Berlin in collaboration with Kontraklang, on March 24 2015. Performers: JACK and Jeremie Henrot and Carlo Laurenzi- IRCAM. 

The Slow Summer Stay series I- III for 2 octets and for 16 instruments will be performed at Wittener Musiktage on April 25th 2015. Performers OENM with Johannes Kalitzke and Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin with Manuel Nawri. 

Premiers

A duo for E. guitar and Accordion knights of the strange (solo) written for Yaron Deutsch and Krassimir Sterev, to be premiered on a portrait concert at Gare Du Nord, Basel June 11th 2015. 

Adiantum Capillus-Veneris, Etudes in fragility for voice and breath I - II The first installment will be performed in April 2015 in tel Aviv, and the second installment will be performed at the ARD vocal competition competition in Munich (September 10th 2015 and by Jeff Gavett September 11th 2015 in New York). 

A short Encore piece written for Bamberg Symphoniker will be performed by them in October 2015. 

knights of the strange (tutti) for 10 instruments written for ensemble Phace, with Yaron Deutsch and Krassimir Sterev as soloists playing knights of the strange (solo) which is embedded into the tutti piece. The piece is co-commissioned by LA Philharmonic to be premiered at Wien Modern festival November 20th, 2015 and at the Green Umbrella series on March 1st, 2016 . 

Residencies

I will have longer residencies of combined teaching/presentations/concerts in the Conservatorium van Amsterdam (January), University of Minnesota (March), and North Texas University (April). I will be composer in residence for the 2015/2016 Festival at the Royal College of Music, London. 

Opera

The opera Zaide Adama, fragments, will have a new production at the Freiburg Stadttheater, in the season of 2015/2016 with a new version. 

The Opera INFINITE NOW (temporary name) which will be premiered in April 2017 will be a co commission of Vlaamse opera Antwerp and Ghent, Belgium, Mannheim Stadt Theater, Germany, and IRCAM Paris. It will be a hybrid opera, which will include Materials from World War I and a short story by the Chinese writer Can Xue, Home Coming. Luk Perceval will direct and the piece. Here are first thoughts about the opera: 

In "Front" the story of Remarque is mixed with many letters of soldiers from first world war. We hear voices of Germans, Belgians French and English soldiers but there are no soldiers and no tranches on the stage, just their voices and the stage of our imagination. The soldiers are trapped in a nightmarish situation which seems infinite and they struggle to keep afloat. It is a play of remembrance, but it also speaks of life in its utmost intensity trapped in a state of frozen absurd despair .The play will remain as pure theater which gradually becomes a theater of sung voices.

Homecoming by Can Xue, is a singular particular and personal voice describing in an extremely vital and visceral way arriving at a house as if by a chance and then staying there, even though the heroin would like at first to continue in her journey. The house is build upon an abyss and for many reasons which are real or invented the heroine stays in that house. She came there by chance but this moment of chance has grown into an infinity where the voices of the surrounding slowly dissipate and there is a glimpse of a weary inner peace which is arrived at very gradually and which is only slowly, or perhaps never quite secure. The story will be partly read, and some of it sung. Homecoming is the tactile and extremely vital gravity pulse, which will work for long stretches simultaneously to Front. Together they will create a state of an intense relationship between two kind of imprisonments: the grandiose and absurd memories /nightmares of the war and of being trapped amidst the tranches in Front-- and the portrait of a moment stretched into eternity as the heroin approaches the state of living at the present. However even this state is never stable and only for moments become an oasis from death.

Looking back

2014 was a year where I wrote HIDDEN for string quartet and electronics (45' ) in collaboration with Ircam's RIM Carlo Laurenzi and Jack Quartet , Wintersongs IV for 14 instruments (12') and Wintersongs V, the last installment in the Wintersongs series, for 20 instruments and 2 singers, contra alt and counter tenor (27') and 5 Action sketches, for 2 singers and 5 instruments (b. flute, B. Clarinet, tenor saxophone Tuba and cello) 12'. Hidden was premiered at IRCAM and had a strong and positive reception. There was a radio program with an interview about the piece at Deutschlandfunk, a CD of the piece will be released in 2016 by DeutschlandFunk and Wergo, and various performances are scheduled for 2015/16 for Boston, Koeln and Berlin and Darmstadt Ferienkurse 2016. HIDDEN was the high point of a residency at Manifeste Festival at IRCAM, where I also taught at Manifeste academy. In this video I talk about HIDDEN and about teaching

HIDDEN and Wintersongs IV and V mark a strong change in my work, a change projected by the orchestral works from 2009 on, which found its new territory this year. 

Wintersongs IV V and 5 action sketches were premiered at Miller Theater Portrait concert with ICE, Kai Wessel, Jeff Gavett and conducted by Steven Schick. There was a preview to the concert in the New Yorker by Alex Ross with the lovely title early-frost, and there was also a New York Times review "Suggestions of Secrets beyond the Chaos" by David Allen.

Here is my composer Note for this concert.

“The series Wintersongs Started around 2002. it was a piece of 13 minutes with a septet of low instruments and a lot of noise and electronics. The piece was dark and its vitality halted. The low instruments were moving like the slow search of a plant toward light. As I was writing the piece, a very close friend, Mark Osborn, 33 at the time, died in a terrible and absurd car accident. The piece became a lament. Soon I recognized that Wintersongs I was a very concentrated layer of a larger piece. I wanted to hear the septet without the electronics and reinterpret the instrumental part a new. Three percussions were added and Wintersongs II: Stones was written. It included the same instrumental material of the septet but with some temporal variation and with a new added line of the percussion minus the electronics.

“Still the piece wanted to grow. It was as if the original was a photograph on which I could first paint and then write, and later erase and even glue on diverse media. For the next 9 years from 2004 to 2014 I had a plan to continue and invent new and very different interpretations to Wintersongs. It was a beautiful plan: Wintersongs IV supposed to have high septet coming in, scratching and erasing parts of the original low septet and creating strong tension between the high and fast new material to the slow and low orginal septet. In the last piece, Wintersongs V this very tension was supposed to break and its cracking was to expose a love song, the heart of the whole piece, which was a hidden as an archaeological layer which was discovered only at the end. A beautiful combination of piano cembalo and guitar and 2 singers was added for this layer. In all these reincarnations the original septet would be the basis and it should be present.

“However, the narrative of writing Wintersongs did not pan out as expected. When I came back to Wintersongs in 2014 to compose the last 2 movements, it was after a strong change has taken place in my work, While the instrumental groups stayed the same as they were for the last 10 years, I felt that i can not restrict myself with the narrative of the high contrast and the love song both with the original wintersongs always still there, present. Now, instead of Wintersongs being again a base over which one paints or write, the original septet of the first Wintersongs became a shade of a memory, a threatening memory in Wintersong V and a very poetic and disappearing one in Wintersong IV. The piece has now become an organic plant with layers of growth related but independent: a contemplation about how memory evolves and eludes us.

“In contrast to the Wintersongs series, which is like a mixed dish cooked over a very long time, The 5 action sketches are very spontaneous, quick and focused fragments, which complement Wintersong V in particular and the whole series. Wintersongs V is dedicated to Dieter Schnebel on his 85th birthday in celebration of his music and thinking, and to ICE, with joy and admiration.”

A recent video in Russian about Zaide Adama: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jx12_0cevqI 

December 2013 news

A new opera for 2017! The opera will be developed with director Luk Perceval, in an attempt to create a meaningful dialogue between Music and Theater. This is a commission of Vlaamse Opera Gent Antwerp (and other partners) and it will be related to first world war. 

I am now working on HIDDEN a 40-minute long string quartet with electronics for the JACK Quartet with IRCAM electronics. The musical assistant is Carlo Laurenzi. The Premier will be in June 21 2014 at IRCAM in the framework of ManiFeste festival. 

The year 2014 will see the release of a number of recordings: Lovesong with ensemble Recherche in Wergo, also in Wergo: The Last leaf with Peter Veale on the Musikfabrik edition ; Shu Hai Practices Javelin with Noa Frenkel and the SWR experimental Studio for the 40 years anniversary of the experimental Studio on Neos; Unitel will release a DVD of At the fringe of our gaze with Daniel Barenboim and Diwan Orchestra; Gradual Edge with Christina Meissner and Poul Skjølstrup Larsen; For Violin solo 1981 with Moshe Aharonov; and a portrait CD with orchestral pieces on Wergo (The crescendo trilogy: The quiet with Bayerischer Rundfunk and brad Lubmann ; Zohar Iver with ensemble Nikel and Bern Symphony Orchestra with Mario Venzago, and Esh With Kai Wessel Cottbus Philharmonie and Evan Christ) and the piece White wind waiting with guitarist Stephan Schmidt SWR Freiburg and Francois Xavier Roth. 

I just returned from a residency in Cologne Hochschule where I gave a "Rim Lessung" on my work under the title: Synesthetic music: can the ear see, touch or think? In addition to this I gave a composition masterclass and the pieces While Liquid amber and FardanceCLOSE were played in a concert. 

An additional short residency will take place in Jerusalem Academy of music at Jerusalem University on January 5th. On January 9th I will give a presentation about my work at IRCAM Paris.

A new podcast: an interview by Daniel Vezza in the series Composers Conversations.

Recent Videos

MAIM in Finland, an interview: Lothar Zagroseck and Czernowin are interviewed by Darren Acosta. 

A Pre-concert Interview at the Library of congress, Washington, April 2013, with David Plylar and Anne McLean, on the occasion of the premier of Slow Summer Stay II: Lakes. First David and Anne interview David Nelson, a percussionist of Orchestra 2001, talking about Crumb. From minute 17 to 50 it is an interview with Czernowin.

Czernowin in Lucerne: A Lucern Festival video

 PNIMA Ins Innere (chamber opera — see details below) a video with some superimposed segments from the Lucern Theater production and with director David Hermann talking about the production.

Latest News

September 10th: the premier of White Wind Waiting for amplified guitar and large orchestra (also amplified violin) 2013. A 20 minutes duration. Program notes are below:

White Wind Waiting is a piece about waiting. Waiting: time is hovering – there is an expectation and also memory but nothing is actually happening right at the present moment. A lacuna in time when one looks around, noticing the dust – grains slowly floating in the last ray of sun still lingering through the side window…

The piece peels away layer after layer of this notion – in a progression of expectation and memory. But is someone waiting at all? Is someone there at all or is everything and everyone gone already and only the sun ray still lingers through the side window, in a place which has been long abandoned, deserted, forgotten...The orchestra is divided to a few groups and the guitar is closely associated with two hidden twins: the piano and harp and the solo first violinist. The piece is dedicated to Stephan Schmidt and to Mark Sattler with deep gratitude. 

 

 

August 29th 2013 the premier of Pnima... ins Innere at the Luzerner theater with Howard Arman conductor, David Hermann, director, and Magdalena Gut costume and stage. Additional shows on Sept 1, 2, 4 6, 8. 

From Pnima in Lucern. Photos by Tanja Dorendorf see additional pictures here.

Recent Portraits

The Boston Globe October 24 2013 Chaya Czernowin wants listeners to feel the effects of her music by David Weininger.

Neue Zuercher Zeitung August 17 2013 Das schmerzlich Schonene zum klingen gebracht by Marco Frei. 

Interviews

Lucerner Zeitung Musik ist fast immer politisch an interview with simon bordier.

I care if you listen Dec 2012, 5 questions to Chaya Czernowin by Andrew Tham

El Compositor habla – Ruth Pierto


Chaya Czernowin Artist in Residence at Lucern Festival 2013.

The events start on August 18th. Here is the full list from Schott:

Lucerne Festival Features Composer-in-Residence Chaya Czernowin

As composer-in-residence at the 2013 Lucerne Festival, Chaya Czernowin is honored by several orchestral and chamber performances throughout the summer, including two world premieres and a new production of her chamber opera, Pnima… Inwards.

At the fringe of our gaze, for orchestra and concertino ensemble, was commissioned by the Lucerne Festival and receives its world premiere by the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra on August 18 under the direction of Daniel Barenboim. Scored for large orchestra and a separate ensemble of violin, viola, cello, clarinet, piano and percussion, At the fringe of our gaze focuses on a stripping of traditional musical layers that reveals the essential identity of the work underneath. Czernowin elaborates on her process in the piece:

In order to bring the orchestra into my world I decided to start from ‘music’, or what we usually think about as music, with melodies, harmonies, counterpoint etc., and then gradually stop the ‘music’, peeling its layers away so that one suddenly faces what is underneath, what is the undercurrent moving in the air on which it rides, which is where my music really starts. In this sense, the piece is really trying to make the foreign familiar. Indeed it does it to such extent that the familiar ‘music’ becomes estranged in the middle of the piece … because the music of the ‘underneath’ was really put in the middle of the field of our attention.

On August 29, the Lucerne Festival offers a new production as well as the national premiere of Pnima… Inwards, Czernowin’s chamber opera for four vocal soloists, instrumental soloists and string orchestra. The production, which runs through September 8, (Aug. 29th Sept. 1, 2, 4, 6, 8) features the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and soloists of the Lucerne Theater conducted by Howard Arman with direction by David Hermann and stage design by Magdalena Gut.

In a program on September 10, the Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra offers the world premiere of White Wind Waiting, a concerto for guitar and orchestra conducted by François-Xavier Roth and featuring guitarist Stephan Schmidt as soloist. The program also includes Ivan Wyschnegradsky "Arc-en-Ciel" für sechs Klaviere im Zwölfteltonabstand op. 37, Georg Friedrich Haas’s Limited Approximations for six microtonally-tuned pianos and orchestra as well as György Ligeti’s Chamber Concerto for 13 instrumentalists.

Additional events dedicated to Czernowin’s music include a performance of Anea Crystal by the JACK Quartet and Quatuor Diotima, (August 24 at 11.00) as well as Lovesong performed by Ensemble Intercontemporain, (Aug. 18) Sheva by Ensemble Ascolta, (Sept 6) and a portrait concert featuring AfatsimDie KreuzungManoalchadiaSahaffardanceCLOSE, and Czernowin’s recent Slow Summer Stay No. 1: Lakes (Sept 14).

The full Concert of Diwan orchetsra, which includes the premier of Saed Haddad's Que la lumière soit and music by Verdi and Wagner, in addition to the premier of At the fringe of our gaze will be broadcast live on TV please see here and here. After the premier in Lucern the orchestra will present the piece again on August 22 at the Musikfest Stuttgart; and the Austrian premiere will follow on 24 August at the Salzburg Festival.

PROGRAM NOTES FOR THE TWO ORCHESTRAL PREMIERS

At the fringe of our gaze was written for Daniel Barenboim and the Divan orchestra. This played an important roll in the way in which it came into being. I heard the orchestra and Daniel Barenboim in rehearsals and was deeply impressed by the energy of the players, but the way they related to Barenboim and how the rehearsal was conducted, from the music, on the music and into the music, not too much text. I also got a sense of the young musicians, brilliant, and many of them seemed not very different from the musicians who were studying with me at the time I was studying at the Tel Aviv academy – very sensitive musicians to whom new music might be something a bit foreign. I wanted to write something which will open the door for them into my world. I wanted them to be persuaded, brought into my world in a way which will enable them to experience it from the inside. This was one of my first impulses, growing directly from the rehearsal, wishing to have these young people on my side, musically. This is a rare impulse in my compositional world: in fact a lot of what I have done in the past was meant to conceal my music from the ears of others.

In order to bring the orchestra into my world I decided to start from 'music', or what we usually think about as music, with melodies, harmonies, counterpoint etc, and then gradually stop the 'music', peeling its layers away so that one suddenly faces what is underneath, what is the undercurrent moving in the air on which it rides, which is where my music really starts.
In this sense, the piece is really trying to make the foreign familiar. Indeed it does it to such extent that the familiar 'music' becomes estranged in the middle of the piece...because the music of the 'underneath' was really put in the middle of the field of our attention. Thus, the foreign became close and acquainted with and what was in the fringe has moved to the center of our attention. These are two processes which has strong political resonances.

The piece is one movement of about 21 minutes, but there are titles to the various segments of the piece: music I / underneath / unmoveable I / horizon I / music II / unmoveable II / Horizon II

The soloists are not soloists in the regular meaning of the word. They are like the fringe of the fringe: when we listen to the orchestral material which is then in focus and we look at its very strange and elusive features, there is still something further away, tucked at the edge of where we can hear, and this is the material of the soloists, which strangely enough does show some 'musical' characteristics. However in Horizon I which has only one pitch, a vast field is open, like a place which is so huge and empty, so that one can see for miles, (maybe something like a stretch of a huge flat beach and people with their presences and feelings are not yet? anymore? there). Sometime that which is tucked away at the very edge of our attention is the very thing which ends up having the strongest effect on the shape of things to come. 

 White Wind Waiting is a piece about waiting. Waiting: time is hovering – there is an expectation and also memory but nothing is actually happening right at the present moment. A lacuna in time when one looks around, noticing the dust – grains slowly floating in the last ray of sun still lingering through the side window...

The piece peels away layer after layer of this notion – in a progression of expectation and memory. But is someone waiting at all? Is someone there at all or is everything and everyone gone already and only the sun ray still lingers through the side window, in a place which has been long abandoned, deserted, forgotten...The orchestra is divided to a few groups and the guitar is closely associated with two hidden twins: the piano and harp and the solo first violinist. The piece is dedicated to Stephan Schmidt and to Mark Sattler with deep gratitude. 


Rega, sheket bevakasha ani rotze lomar dvar ma (Hebrew. In Englsih: Just a moment, silence please, I would like to say something). Text Nathan Zach
For Choir and orchestra 2012 Premier: 20.6. 2013 Leipzig Bachfest performed by Vocal consort Leipzig and Leipzig Sinfonietta. Conductor Felix Bender. Preparation of the choir: Gregor Meyer. Schott Music

Slow Summer Stay I: Lakes performed by Orchetsra 2001 conductor: James D. freeman. Premier: May 3rd 2013 in the library of congress. http://www.schott-music.com/news/archive/show,8831.html?oldLocale=de_DE