About the Concert
Under the direction of Strategic Partner Pauline Kim Harris, five superb EXO musicians have joined our Creative Team who have worked together in curating and designing a new chamber music series of three concerts. This will inaugurate the Ensemble Residency Series at Carnegie Hill Concerts in the 2023 Spring Season -- a new music chamber music series in New York City - Manhattan, co-curated by Nicholas Zork and Pauline Kim Harris. CHC Season runs on a calendar year, alternating between featuring Composers and Ensembles/Artists every other year. Participating artists are invited back to join the CHC Chamber players in future programs.
In this collaboration with CHC, EXO will present three concerts curated by our newly formed 2022-23 Creative Team: Alex Fortes, Lady Jess, Sami Merdinian, Michelle Ross and Henry Wang. In delving deeper into the overall theme of our 2022-23 season of “discovery,” EXO’s Creative Team has carefully molded an intertwining experience through the lens of storytelling. Over the course of three concerts, the audience will embark on new ways to experience and participate in the music. We will begin onThursday, February 23 at 7:30pm, with “CODE."
The idea that works of art can share a sort of cultural DNA across genres is at the center of Jessie Montgomery's 2013 string quartet, Source Code. Our Feb 23 concert, CODE, pairs this work with two other compositions by fellow composer-performers and EXO collaborators, Jessica Meyer and Michelle Ross, to explore the way their music interacts with poetry, dance, song, and folk traditions to reinforce, transform, and modulate the genetic code of the culture around us.
Michelle Ross STRING QUARTET (2022)
Jessie Montgomery SOURCE CODE (2013)
Jessica Meyer GET INTO THE NOW (2018)
"Michelle Ross's String Quartet was written in loving memory of Roger Tapping; commissioned by The Perlman Music Program and premiered on June 11, 2022 at The Perlman Music Program’s Chamber Music Workshop at The Jewish Center of the Hamptons."
"The first sketches of Source Code began as transcriptions of various sources from African American artists prominent during the peak of the Civil Rights era in the United States. I experimented by re-interpreting gestures, sentences, and musical syntax (the bare bones of rhythm and inflection) by choreographer Alvin Ailey, poets Langston Hughes and Rita Dove, and the great jazz songstress Ella Fitzgerald into musical sentences and tone paintings. Ultimately, this exercise of listening, re-imagining, and transcribing led me back to the Black spiritual as a common musical source across all three genres. The spiritual is a significant part of the DNA of Black folk music, and subsequently most (arguably all) American pop music forms that have developed to the present day. This one-movement work is a kind of dirge, which centers on a melody based on syntax derived from Black spirituals. The melody is continuous and cycles through like a gene strand with which all other textures play."
— Jessie Montgomery
"This piece is lovingly dedicated to the intrepid PubliQuartet, who are on the forefront of redefining what it means to be part of this kind of ensemble in the 21st Century. For my first string quartet, I wanted to incorporate all the sounds I love as a string player. I was also inspired by rhythms found in funk, tango, and bluegrass music, in addition to the expressive ways of playing that are inherent to each of these genres. This piece is driven by groove, pathos, and virtuosity, with moments of improvisation allowing each member of the group to put their own personal signature on the piece. Most importantly, it is written from a place of self-realization, empowerment, and celebration of not having to accept what is deemed unacceptable – anymore."
— Jessica Meyer
Concert Details TBD
Church of the Advent Hope
The listening experience is strikingly persuasive. Part of that is due to the splendor of the performance, powerfully conducted by James Blachly — a champion of the work and of Smyth’s music in general — and featuring remarkable vocal contributions by bass-baritone Dashon Burton and soprano Sarah Brailey.