The UCSB Ensemble for Contemporary Music’s brilliant and mischievous director, Jeremy Haladyna, explains the concert motto this way: “Some contemporary music is highly controlled. And some contemporary music isn’t. This is a ‘split melon’ of a concert to be savored; two succulent halves as dissimilar as they come.”
In the first half of the program, called “Control,” we will hear Tom Johnson’s Tilework for Flute, with flautist Azeem Ward, and Bedtime Stories for Clarinet and Narrator (1985), with clarinetist Amanda Kritzberg and Haladyna as the narrator; plus UCSB Corwin Chair Clarence Barlow’s “...until…”, in a version for retuned guitar and drone, with guitarist Ori Barel.
The second half of the program, “De-Control,” will feature arguably more familiar works by Heitor Villa-Lobos, John Cage and what Haladyna refers to as “the relative musical lunacy of Boris Chaikovskii, in a cross-genre seeding experiment.”
Johnson publicly acknowledges that he is a minimalist — if he didn’t, he would be liable to the charge of disingenuousness. Indeed, it would be fair to say that, with his strictly mathematical approach to composition, he is — don’t try saying this out loud — a minimalist’s minimalist.
He composed his Tilework series (2002-05) as tentative answers to the question: “How can different rhythmic patterns be combined in such a way that no two patterns ever occur simultaneously and every beat is filled?” He appears to think that Bedtime Stories, having a text, is self-explanatory, but he does provide the information that it is “available in French as Histoires à dormir debout, and in German as Gutenachtgeschichten.”
Tickets to ECM are $15 for general admission and $7 for students, and can be purchased at the door or online by clicking here. Call 805.893.7001 for more information.