Music on the Edge: Ekmeles


January 30, 2016 - 8:00pm

Copresented with The Andy Warhol Museum

Music on the Edge and The Andy Warhol Museum launch their 2016 performance collaborations on Saturday, January 30th with a concert by Ekmeles, New York’s stellar a cappella vocal ensemble. The performance will take place in the reverberant acoustics of the Warhol’s Entrance Space.

Hailed by The New Yorker as a “brilliant young ensemble,” Ekmeles specializes in the performance of new and rarely-heard works, and gems of the historical avant garde. Director Jeffrey Gavett, an accomplished ensemble singer and performer of new works, has assembled a virtuoso group of colleagues who bring their own diverse backgrounds to bear on the unique challenges of this essential and neglected repertoire.

For their Pittsburgh performance, Gavett and Ekmeles have constructed a program around a range of modern interpretations and possibilities for the idea of the madrigal. In his In Dir, Stefano Gervasoni sets the tightly-constructed koan-like texts of medieval German mystic Angelus Silesius. Gervasoni uses the enigmatic texts as inspirations for a distinctive kind of text-painting that informs the structure of each movement. Salvatore Sciarrino’s L’alibi della parola leverages the composer’s unique language of skitters and sighs to create a space of wonder — of special interest is the pulsing of the second movement’s quasar. Jeffrey Gavett’s Peccavi fateor is based on a few lines of music from an eponymous work by Michael Praetorius, and explores every possible combination of the six voices of our ensemble. Peter Ablinger’s Studien nach der Natur is a collection of ten canons, each of which is a clever imitation of the sounds of everyday life. Finally, Elliott Carter’s Mad Regales brings the composer’s vital rhythmic impetus to bear on a set of witty and strange texts by John Ashbery.

Tickets are available through the University of Pittsburgh Stages Box Office, by calling 412-624-7529, or visiting Tickets in advance: general admission is $15; students and seniors are $10. At the door: general admission is $20; non-Pitt students and seniors are $15. (No free student tickets at the Warhol.) Purchase tickets.

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