Derek Bermel, Voices, Mannes Orchestra, Alice Tully Hall
On Monday evening, February 25 at 8PM, composer-clarinetist Derek Bermel takes the stage at Alice Tully Hall when the Mannes Orchestra performs Voices, his highly-praised clarinet concerto. Unheard in New York since its critically-acclaimed 1998 World Premiere, the work was co-commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra and Boston Modern Orchestra Project, premiered by ACO at Carnegie Hall, and recorded by BMOP on a Grammy-nominated disc for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (with orchestra). Bermel's performance is in conjunction with his spring term at Mannes, where he serves as composer-in-residence. His residency is unique, as he occupies a central role at the school, working with the entire student population to explore composition, improvisation, and composer collaborations, along with the performance of new music, regardless of style or genre.
Voices reflects Bermel's deep engagement with other musical cultures, which has become part of the fabric and force of his compositional language and where the human voice and its myriad inflections play a primary role. Voices explores the clarinet and the orchestra through a multitude of techniques. The first movement, "Id", evokes sounds of shouting, laughing, and mumbling; the second movement, "She Moved Thru the Fair," is haunted by the sounds, inflections, and gestures of Irish folk music; and the finale, "Jamm on Toast," features vocal techniques more commonly associated with funk and big-band music.
In an eclectic array of collaborations, residencies, and ground-breaking educational roles, Bermel has worked, as clarinetist and composer, with jazz great Wynton Marsalis, hip-hop legend Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), violinist Midori, installation artist Shimon Attie, the National and Boston Symphonies, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Guarneri and JACK Quartets, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Music from China and Music from Copland House, the Schoenberg Ensemble/Veenfabriek (Netherlands), Jazz Xchange (UK), and Figura (Denmark). He has also scored several films with composer/sound designer David Reid. His musical drama with poet Wendy Walters, Golden Motors, will be previewed on March 9 and 10 at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, where he is in his fourth and final year as artist-in-residence, and at Mannes later this spring. His newly-released CD, Canzonas Americanas, on the Cantaloupe label with Alarm Will Sound, was included on several "Best of the 2012" lists around the U.S.
Admission is free, but tickets are required, contact the Alice Tully box office at 212.671.4050.