George Lewis: A Recital for Terry Adkins (2014)
George Lewis, interactive media
A Recital for Terry Adkins is a large-scale open-form with live interaction between instruments, electronic sounds, and digitized still and moving images drawn from the work or artists Terry Adkins and Romare Bearden.
Ensemble Pamplemousse is a performer/composer collective devoted to presenting the works of its members and other like-minded composers from around the world. Founded in 2003 to provide a focal point for like-minded creators with a thirst for sonic exploration, Pamplemousse is a close-knit group of divergent artistic personalities, emergent from training in disparate musical fields. Described in the Chicago Reader as "the absurd danc[ing] with the sublime," the music takes notes from the American experimental movement, the European avant-garde, and experimental theatre. Their collective love for the exquisite in all sonic realms leads the ensemble to persistently discover new vistas of sound at the frayed edges of dissective instrumental performance technique. Compositions aggregate each member's unique virtuosic talents into extraordinary magical moments, and in the flexible moments of performance, the ensemble weaves together shapes of resonance, clusters of glitch, skitters of hyper action, and masses of absurdity into impeccable structures of unified beauty. Uncompromising in its artistic values, the ensemble works to expand the realm of historically relevant music by sharing the music of compelling American and international composers with New York and other culturally vibrant or thirsty cities.
George E. Lewis is the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music at Columbia University. A 2002 MacArthur Fellow and a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) since 1971, Lewis's compositions are documented on more than 140 recordings, and have been presented by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Talea Ensemble, Dinosaur Annex, Ensemble Pamplemousse, Wet Ink, Ensemble Erik Satie, Eco Ensemble, and others, with commissions from American Composers Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Harvestworks, Ensemble Either/Or, Orkestra Futura, Turning Point Ensemble, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, 2010 Vancouver Cultural Olympiad, IRCAM, Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, and others. Most recently, Lewis has served as Ernest Bloch Visiting Professor, University of California, Berkeley; Paul Fromm Composer in Residence, American Academy in Rome; and Resident Scholar, Center for Disciplinary Innovation, University of Chicago. Lewis received the 2012 SEAMUS Award from the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States, and his widely acclaimed book, A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (University of Chicago Press, 2008) received the American Book Award and the American Musicological Society’s first Music in American Culture Award. Lewis and Benjamin Piekut are co-editors of the forthcoming two-volume Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies (2015).
Artist, performer, and multi-instrumentalist Terry Adkins (1953-2014) received a BS from Fisk University in 1975, a MS from Illinois State University in 1977, and a MFA from the University of Kentucky in 1979. Adkins has had solo museum exhibitions at such venues as the Whitney Museum of American Art (1995); SculptureCenter, New York (1997); and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (1999). His work is included in the permanent collections of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Tate, London. Adkins frequently performed with his longtime ensemble, the Lone Wolf Recital Corps; their last performance together was held at the Studio Museum in Harlem in November 2013. Adkins’s final body of work—three-dimensional representations of bird songs, constructed from cymbals and other percussion instruments—was posthumously featured in the 2014 Whitney Biennial.
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