Here are some shots from last night's CONTACT! at the Biennial: Solo Works by Young American Composers. Above, Associate Principal Viola Rebecca Young plays Oscar Bettison's Threaded Madrigals.
Philharmonic clarinetist Pascual Martínez Forteza came onstage marching in rhythm, letting the audience know they were in for something funkadelic. The piece — Chris Kapica's Fandanglish — called for extended techniques including breathing in and out of the clarinet in rhythm, tongue clicks, flutter tongue, altissimo register wails, and lots of foot stamping:
Principal Trombone Joseph Alessi played As Above, So Below by Eric Nathan. Nathan is a trumpet player, and when he found out he had a chance to write a piece for Joe Alessi, one of his heroes growing up, he bought a trombone off Italian eBay (he was studying in Italy at the time). In this piece he takes the F slide off the trombone so that every time the piece calls for the F-slide trigger, the resulting sound is small, shrill, and shoots out the back of the instrument. So half the time the trombone sounds like a regular trombone, and half the time it sounds like a tiny trombone:
A Play Date followed, in SubCulture's bar. Music Director Alan Gilbert joined the fun, along with Yulia Ziskel (second from right), who performed Michael Hersch's Of Sorrow Born: Seven Elegies.
(Photos: Chris Lee)
(Reportage: Jen Luzzo)