monodramas

Artist: loadbang
Title: monodramas
Labels: ANALOG arts
Release Date: November 5, 2014

 

Monodramas is the first full-length album from ‘formidable new-music force’ loadbang, a quartet comprised of trumpet, trombone, bass clarinet, and baritone voice. It features new theatrical works by Hannah Lash, Andy Akiho, Paul Pinto, and Eve Beglarian that tell solitary but universal stories - monodramas. Each piece explores the porous boundary between voice and instrument where sonic and expressive capabilities blend.

 

Each of the new works explores a different approach to telling a story. Hannah Lash's Stoned Prince is a tragicomic psychological portrait of Prince Harry, the rascal royal; Andy Akiho's Six Haikus takes an abstracted and rhythmic approach to telling a story of desire and loneliness; Paul Pinto's g3db.Did0 (goodbye, Dido) explodes an iconic moment from operatic history; and Eve Beglarian's Island of the Sirens explores the point at which the intensity of personal experience is impossible to convey.

 

Program:
Hannah LASH Stoned Prince
Eve BEGLARIAN Island of the Sirens
Andy AKIHO Six Haikus
Paul PINTO g3db.Did0 (goodbye, Dido)

Recorded by loadbang (Carlos Cordiero, bass clarinet; Jeffrey Gavett, baritone voice; Andy Kozar, trumpet; Will Lang, trombone).

Track Listing
1. Stoned Prince: Stoned Prince 2:06
2. Stoned Prince: Over A Fry-Up 3:08
3. Stoned Prince: Convenience 0:47
4. Stoned Prince: Calling C., Part I (Hung Over) 2:04
5. Stoned Prince: HRH 1:18
6. Stoned Prince: War 3:23
7. Stoned Prince: King 1:30
8. Stoned Prince: Calling C., Part II (Pissed, Again) 1:58
9. Stoned Prince: Bright Idea 2:12
10. Stoned Prince: To My Mum 5:22
11. Stoned Prince: Calling C., Part III (Legless, Again) 2:07
12. Stoned Prince: Over a Fry-Up (Reprise) 1:38
13. Stoned Prince: Vegas 1:17
14. Island of the Sirens 10:53
15. Six Haikus: Love 3:24
16. Six Haikus: (~*~) 3:45
17. Six Haikus: Lost 2:48
18. Six Haikus: Lust 1:36
19. Six Haikus: (••) 3:27
20. Six Haikus: Lone 2:24
21. g3db.Did0 (Goodbye, Dido) 5:27
Liner Notes Loadbang’s founding members, with a shared passion for performing new music, came together to create a repertoire where none existed before, for the unusual combination of baritone voice, trumpet, trombone, and bass clarinet. All of the pieces performed by the ensemble were commissioned by and written for the ensemble, and they are therefore the product of a very close artistic and at times personal relationship between the loadbang musicians and the composers. As the history of music is to a large extent the history of collaborations between composers and performers, the works on this recording belong to a long and rich tradition of reciprocal inspiration.

Each composer represented on this CD approached writing for the ensemble in a unique way. The individual musical vocabularies and formal designs range from conventional instrumental playing to “extended” techniques, from pulse-oriented patters to spacious timelessness, and from static sonic areas to directional developments, to name only a few musical characteristics. But there are also many ways of how the entire ensemble “speaks”, of how this unusual combination of instruments “sounds”. This is mainly achieved through a variety of textural explorations.

Andy Akiho, in his Six Haikus, from 2011, exploits different instrumental alliances in each movement. In the first, the two brass instruments are treated as a unit, with the baritone and bass clarinet playing independently against them; whereas in the second haiku, the three wind players are a unit supporting the baritone solo. In the third haiku, the baritone and the trumpet are treated as a unit that functions – along with the trombone – as an accompaniment to the bass clarinet. The fourth haiku eliminates the trumpet to concentrate on the lower registers; and the fifth haiku is for the two brass instruments alone. The last haiku includes theatrical elements, and functions as a final cadence to the whole cycle. Hannah Lash, in her Stoned Prince, from 2013, also explores a variety of instrumental combinations within the ensemble, which she extends by the inclusion of a liquor bottle (“War”) and a lighter (“Interlude: Calling C., Part II (Legless, again)”). Unlike that of the brief Haikus, the text is long and continuous, resulting in a more through-composed work. Stoned Prince’s libretto was written by Royce Vavrek in close collaboration with Ms. Lash. Paul Pinto’s g3db.Did0 (goodbye, Dido), from 2008, utilizes extended playing techniques, amplification, and a spatial component in which the four players surround the audience to bring out the individuality of each instrument. Eve Beglarian’s Island of the Sirens, from 2011, takes a different approach to composition. There is no complete score, only a written part for the baritone, with the instruments performing from audio scores with their origins in the same materials as the accompanying electronics. – notes by Reiko Fueting
Loadbang New York-based new music chamber group loadbang is building a new kind of music for mixed ensemble. Since their founding in 2008, their unique lung-powered instrumentation (bass clarinet, trumpet, trombone, baritone voice) has provoked diverse responses from composers, resulting in a stylistic palette ranging from whistled Brazilian rhythms and microtonal jazz standards to the decoupled and deconstructed sounds of the second modernity. They have been praised as ‘cultivated’ by The New Yorker, ‘exhilarating’ by the Baltimore Sun, ‘inventive’ by the New York Times and called a 'formidable new-music force' by TimeOutNY. Symphony Space, Avant Music Festival, MATA, and North River Music at Greenwich House Music School are some of their recent presenters.

 

loadbang has premiered more than 100 works, including many written by members of the ensemble. Other composers who have written originals and new arrangements for loadbang include Pulitzer Prize winners Charles Wuorinen and David Lang, Guggenheim Fellowship winner Alex Mincek, Eve Beglarian, Nick Didkovsky, Reiko Füting, and Andy Akiho and Alexandre Lunsqui, who were both recently commissioned by the New York Philharmonic. Not content to dwell solely in the realm of notated music, loadbang is known for its searing and unpredictable improvisations, exploring the edges of instrumental and vocal timbre and technique, and blurring the line between composed and extemporaneous music. To this end, they have embarked on a project to record improvisations and works written by members of the ensemble. These recordings are designed, fabricated, and released in hand-made limited editions. They can also be heard on a 2012 release of the music by John Cage on Avant Media Records and a 2013 release of the music of loadbang member Andy Kozar on ANALOG Arts Records which was called ‘virtuosic’ by The New Yorker.