Empyrean Ensemble: “Rzewski’s ‘Coming Together’”

Five musicians sit and play on stage conducted by a woman in a black suit.  From left to right as the audience sees: Violinist wearing a red blouse reads her music and plays,  cellist in blue shirt faces to her left reading music, pianist wearing bright blue button down is nearly obscured behind them.  Clarinetist wears a bright orange button down and plays while facing forward, he is obscured by the conductor.  A piccolo player faces left and he leans forward to read his music. A pair of drums is off to the right side behind the group.
Recital Hall, Ann E. Pitzer Center

Sam Nichols, director

“Preconcert Discussion from 6:15  to 6:45 pm with Empyrean director Sam Nichols.”


Philip Acimovic (Ph.D. composition ‘18): New Work WORLD PREMIERE

Annea Lockwood: Immersion

Composed by New Zealand-born American composer Annea Lockwood, Immersion (1998) for marimba and two tam-tams was written for Dominic Donato and Frank Cassara and arranged for the Talujon Percussion Quartet in 2001. It grew out of a fascination with the rich beating frequencies generated by long cluster rolls in the low register of the marimba and the interaction between the marimba and a quartz bowl gong tuned to F.

Pablo Ortiz: New Work WORLD PREMIERE
with video by Daniel Godsil (Ph.D. composition ‘21)

Frederic Rzewski: Coming Together (Part I)
with Omari Tau, voice

Composed for a flexible number of collaborative performers, Frederic Rzewski’s Coming Together was written in response to the 1971 uprising at the Attica Correctional Facility. Our performance of Coming Together will feature both undergraduate and graduate student instrumentalists, playing alongside the professional musicians of the Empyrean Ensemble. The performance will feature Omari Tau, voice, reciting a text written by Sam Melville that reflects the conditions at Attica during his incarceration there. 

Steve Reich: Pendulum Music
performed in the Noda Lobby

The program ends with Steve Reich’s Pendulum Music (1968) in a performance staged by Alysa Banks (B.A., human development, with minors in music and sociology ’21), in the lobby of the Pitzer Center. Pendulum Music makes use of multiple microphones swinging, pendulum-style, over loudspeakers. Featuring dramatic squawks of feedback, the piece concludes when the inertia of the swinging microphones naturally come to rest. Sharp rhythms gradually wind down into a sustained drone piece. The composer writes, “If it’s done right, it’s kind of funny.”


Ann E. Pitzer Center, Davis, CA

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