HERE BE MONSTERS

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May 25, 2024

 

 


Day 2

Sunday, May 26th


10:20pm

Man, Woman, Friend, Computer take the stage and have a mellow and calm start to their set.  

Man, Woman, Friend, Computer

Man, Woman, Friend, Computer performing Some are Trees

Some are Trees" is a fusion of experimental electronic improvisations and original compositions from the Man, Woman, Friend, Computer repertoire. Led by Thomas Echols on guitar, electronics, and vocals, and Jordan Walsh on drums and synthesizer, the ensemble explores a continuous musical journey. Man, Woman, Friend, Computer is known for transcending traditional distinctions between "high" and "low" music, opting instead to blur the lines between educational and creative content. Their approach involves developing innovative improvisational techniques, particularly through unconventional methods applied to the guitar fretboard.

 

10:00pm

While we are on break, there is excitement at the unusual instruments that are sitting on stage for Man, Woman, Friend, Computer's upcoming set.

bunch of wires
piano pedal

 

 

keyboard
drumset

9:30pm

Inversion brings a comical religious tone to Radio East.

 

Godric & His Demons" by James Tecuatl-Lee features a captivating ensemble, with James Tabata portraying Godric, Katrina Saporsantos as the Demon, and Andrew Grainger taking on the roles of Narrator and Reginald of Durham. The musical accompaniment is provided by Benjamin Tibbetts on piano, under the direction of conductor Trevor Shaw.

man on stage

Andrew Grainger taking on the roles of Narrator and Reginald of Durham

During the rendition of "Godric & His Demons," the audience enthusiastically engaged with the performance, often erupting into laughter. Particularly memorable were moments when the humor revolved around a body so dismembered that even men of faith found it challenging to handle.

 

9:00pm

Density 512 takes the stage.  

Density 512 presents two world premieres: "imammatus" by Brayden Carr and "Passing A Certain Gate" by Hunter Preuger. Under the baton of conductor Jacob Schnitzer, the ensemble includes Nick Montopoli on violin 1, Fehérló Gortva on violin 2, Karli Leal on viola, Sophie Mathieu on cello, James Tabata on bass, Jordan Walsh on percussion 1, Francis Favis on percussion 2, and Sam Wheeler on percussion 3.

 

Conductor

Conductor Jacob Schnitzer conducts Brayden Carr's world premiere of imammatus

Density512 is an Austin-based chamber orchestra and new music collective of adventurous musicians who champion contemporary programming. 

 

8:45pm

The largest crowd of the whole festival is assembled to watch two scenes from the opera Stop Hitting Yourself.

 

large crowd at concert


Lola takes the stage in two scenes from "Stop Hitting Yourself," featuring music composed by Peter Stopschinski and libretto by Rude Mechs. Executively produced by Liz Cass and artistically produced by Rebecca Herman, the production boasts a talented ensemble including Stopschinski on electric piano, along with Finn Dickens and Nikki Birdsong on additional electric pianos, Sam Arnold on electric bass, Carolyn Trowbridge on percussion, and Scott Clark as the magnate and baritone vocalist. Micah Perry portrays the unknown prince with a tenor voice, while Mikaela Pace embodies the maid with a soprano voice. The production is further enriched by the contributions of Jessica Burton as production manager and a chorus consisting of Nicole Taylor, Anitra Coulter, Melody Chang, Haley Malin, Julián Gámez-Arizola, and Mark Istratie.

Opera Singer

A scene from Stop Hitting Yourself

 

8:20pm

Austin Unconducted takes the stage to play a world premiere of Karl Mitze's Tree

musicians on stage

Austin Unconducted

Austin Unconducted, a democratic orchestra formed in 2022 with a desire to present classical music in a way that is relatable, fresh, and fun. Unconfined by tradition, unafraid to feature unheard voices, & unapologetically Austin, they are keeping music current.

musicians on stage

Austin Unconducted

8:00pm 

Kraken Quartet takes the stage to play two world premiers.  They are Shapes Make Shapes and Fjord Explorer.

Man playing music on stage

 Chris Demetriou bows the Vibraphone

 

A massive force of percussion and electronics, The Kraken Quartet is a genre-crossing group known for its highly energetic and engaging performances. Since their formation in 2012, the Austin-based band has been heralded for merging elements of minimalism, math-rock, indie, post-rock, electronica, and the avant-garde.

 

7:50pm

Golden Hornet plays Alex Molina Shawver's world premiere of Prayers with Luis Eduardo Bellorín on viola.

Man playing viola

Luis Eduardo Bellorín playing Alex Molina Shawver's world premiere of Prayers

Co-founded by Artistic Director Graham Reynolds and Peter Stopschinski, Golden Hornet reimagines classical music through collaborative creations and adventurous programming with commitments to justice and innovation. Their core programs include the String Quartet Smackdown, SXSW Official ATX Composers Showcase, Young Composer Concert, and the ever-changing ambitious concert endeavor.

7:40pm

The pool is open at Radio East

Kids in a pool

Kids play in a cowboy pool while Golden Hornet performs in the background

 

7:10pm

Less Than 10 takes the stage

 

Less Than 10 is an Austin-based new music ensemble of performers and composers, whose creative voice is formed by intersecting the boundaries between technology, concert music, songwriting, and experimental music. 

Less than 10 comprises James Tabata on double bass and kazoo, Page Stephens on mezzo-soprano vocals, Kyle Jones on alto saxophone, Sophie Mathieu on cello, Tim Jones on piano, and Francis Favis on drums.

 

Hold Music by Jacob Mann

Lilac Wine as performed by Jeff Buckley

Uffe's Woodshop by Tyondai Braxton


Day 1 

Saturday, May 25th


10:50pm

Highway Lights takes the stage.  Pianist Justin Sherburn joined forces with cellist Sara Nelson to form the ambient modern classical group Highway Lights. Combining synthesizers, sound design, and cello, Highway Lights performances have been called “stunning and transcendent” by the Austin Chronicle.  A Space of Partial Illumination, their new album, modulates between expanses of drone and noise sculpture to counterpoint and melody driven songs that feature cello.

Cello player on stage

Cellist Sara Nelson

Composer Justin Sherburn and cellist Sara Nelson, partners in life and music, form the core duo of the band Montopolis, occasionally transforming into the two-person ensemble Highway Lights. Their shared passion for composing music inspired by the natural world led them to create a music suite for the solar eclipse, titled "A Space of Partial Illumination." 

10:30pm

VAMP takes the stage.

They will be performing.

Between the Planets: Venus, Mercury, Jupiter" features music and lyrics by Laura Mercado-Wright, alongside "Invisible Women: Push" by Russell Podgorsek, making its world premiere, and "Blood I Bled" arranged by Benjamin Dia, originally by The Staves (Jessica Staveley-Taylor, Camilla Staveley-Taylor, Emily Staveley-Taylor). 

Woman singing

VAMP performing Laura Mercado-Wright's Between the Planets

The performance showcases vocal talents including Mary Ashton, Adrienne Pedrotti Bingamon, Katrina Saporsantos, Page Stephens, and Laura Mercado-Wright, all mezzo sopranos, accompanied by Carolyn Trowbridge on percussion. 

Singers on a stage

VAMP performing Russell Podgorsek's world premiere of Push


Page Stephens introduces composer Russell Podgorsek and discusses the creative process behind "Push." Stephens reveals that she and Podgorsek have been longtime friends and colleagues, with Podgorsek enduring years of Stephens' complaining about navigating a patriarchal society as a woman. This served as the catalyst for Podgorsek to compose "Push." Stephens explains that Podgorsek spent six hours interviewing women in VAMP about their experiences in a patriarchal society, using their insights as the foundation for "Push." She emphasizes that the overarching message of the piece is the collective struggle of individuals within this societal structure. "Push" serves as a segment of a larger composition set to premiere at a later date.

10:00pm

Composer Talking on Stage

Composer Benjamin Dia discusses Sounds of Manila While Riding on a Jeep

Composer Benjamin Dia discusses his piece Mga Tunog ng Maynila Sakay ang Isang Dyip (Sounds of Manila While Riding on a Jeep).   It is a brief soundtrack capturing the essence of a fictional journey aboard a jeepney in Manila, Philippines. Jeepneys, repurposed from surplus military jeeps post-World War II, have become an iconic symbol of Filipino culture and a ubiquitous sight in the country. The composition commences with the exclamation "Mâ, pára" – a common call for passengers signaling the driver to stop – followed by a medley of sounds encountered during the ride: from blaring rock music from loudspeakers entertaining commuters, to nostalgic love songs lingering from the 70s and 80s, to the rhythmic pop-pop of a loose muffler, and the vibrant clamor of vendors hustling to make a living. This piece serves as a tribute to the composer's homeland and the cherished memories associated with the humble yet significant jeepney, a fixture of their childhood.

Man playing trumpet

Kenken Gorder playing trumpet on Sounds of Manila While Riding on a Jeep

9:30pm

One Ounce Opera takes the stage.   One Ounce Opera is dedicated to reimagining opera in unexpected spaces, exploring contemporary topics through the lenses of diverse trailblazers, and forging new paths in the art form for the next generations to enjoy.  They are doing 3 world premiers tonight.


Julia Watkins-Davis performs "Brünnhilde in the Flames," composed by Graham Yates

Julia Watkins-Davis lends her voice to "Brünnhilde in the Flames" composed by Graham Yates. Yates shares that while the song initially approached the apocalypse with sarcasm, it evolved into a deeper exploration of Brünnhilde's journey from the Ring Cycle. Beginning with a quote from her final moments in Götterdämmerung, the song delves into Brünnhilde's perspective, contemplating whether her act was a protest against personal injustices or a messianic sacrifice.

 

Carol Brown performs "Musetta’s Lost Scena," composed by Carol Brown


Carol Brown wrote and performed "Musetta’s Lost Scena". Inspired by the iconic character Musetta from Puccini's La Boheme, Brown delves into Musetta's complexities beyond her flirtatious facade. Exploring Musetta's quest for security in relationships, fear of commitment, and emotional walls, Brown questions the authenticity behind Musetta's fiery persona and her growth throughout the opera. Set against the backdrop of Parisian streets, Musetta grapples with Marcello's attempts to win her back and reflects on her past experiences, pondering her ability to trust and love unconditionally. Brown's aria delves into themes of self-love and authenticity amidst her own insecurities.

Elise Leung Kotara performs "Queen of the Morning After," composed by Ben Tibbetts

Elise Leung Kotara brings to life "Queen of the Morning After," composed by Ben Tibbetts. Inspired by The Magic Flute's Queen's intense animosity towards Sarastro, Tibbetts created this aria as a playful exploration of their imagined history. While there may be subtle hints of social commentary, Tibbetts primarily emphasizes the sheer joy of crafting music and diving into Mozart's style.

 

Opera Singer

One Ounce Opera's Elise Leung Kotara sings Queen of the Morning After by Ben Tibbetts 

9:10pm

No Austin music festival is complete without a touch of banjo. Get ready as Invoke steps onto the stage!

Banjo player

Nick Montopoli playing Banjo 

Invoke, comprised of Nick Montopoli on violin, banjo, and vocals, Zach Matteson on violin and vocals, Karl Mitze on viola, mandolin, and vocals, and Geoff Manyin on cello and vocals, defies genre classification with their eclectic blend of classical, folk, bluegrass, and Americana.  Selected as the Young Professional String Quartet in Residence at the University of Texas at Austin from 2016-2018, Invoke's accolades extend far beyond their hometown. From being featured artists at the Interlochen Adult Chamber Music Camp to participating in prestigious programs like the Emerging String Quartet Program at Stanford, the quartet has garnered recognition for their exceptional talent and artistry. Their collaborations span diverse musical genres, from chamber rock to indie, showcasing their versatility and dedication to pushing musical boundaries. With upcoming collaborative programs with acclaimed composer-performer Clarice Assad, Invoke continues to leave an indelible mark on the contemporary music landscape

Band playin on stage

Nick Montopoli, Zach Matteson, Karl Mitze and Geoff Manyin

8:47pm


Sophie Mathieu starts out Panoramic Voices set with discussing the world premiere of "Watermelon," her latest composition.   

Person talking on stage


Sophie Mathieu discusses the world premiere of "Watermelon," by Panoramic Voices.

Sophie Mathieu, a composer and cellist based in Austin, Texas, is dedicated to crafting immersive works inspired by the vastness and timelessness of the natural world. Her musical prowess has earned her numerous accolades, notably for her orchestral piece "moons," which recently garnered an ASCAP Morton Gould award.  Actively engaged in Austin's thriving new music scene, she regularly performs with ensembles like Less Than Ten and Density512, and contributes to her community as the principal cellist of UT Austin's New Music Ensemble and director of the CLUTCH concert series. 

In addition to her recently completed masters in composition at the Butler School of Music, Sophie completed her undergraduate studies in composition at the University of Southern California. Her primary teachers include Ted Hearne, Andrew Norman, Alyssa Weinberg, Omar Thomas, and Donald Crockett.

musicians on stage

Juli Orlandini conducting Panoramic Voices singing Watermelon.

people singing

Members of Panoramic Voices singing Watermelon.

 

8:45pm

Panoramic Voices takes the stage.  Led by Juli Orlandini, Panoramic Voices, an innovative choral collective, embraces a boundary-breaking approach to music, collaborating across genres like classical, country, rock, and hip hop with a diverse array of artists including Mobley, Roky Erickson, Carson McHone, Calliope Musicals, Zeale, and Grammy Award-winners Roomful of Teeth. Known for commissioning new works, they've premiered compositions by notable figures like Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw, Wilco’s Glenn Kotche, and Austin luminary Graham Reynolds. 

 

8:20pm

Tetractys starts with another world premiere. 

Group playing on stage

 Tetractys performs with the composer and conductor behind the performers with a laptop and a score.

8:12pm

Studio A takes the stage with a world premiere of a solo piano piece.

Piano Player on stage

The world premiere of In Memorium a solo piano piece performed by composer and pianist Highsmith Strickland 

Next on the program is a participatory piece titled "Cyclical Colors," making its world premiere, composed by Avek Dongol and Wren Griffis. Featuring two pianos and a synthesizer, this innovative composition engages the entire audience, prompting them to clap and breathe in response to cues from the performers.

Performer explains with hand genstures

A performer of Studio A explains to the audience what his cue will be for the audience to clap.

Studio A is a collaborative environment where students receive excellent music instruction incorporating a broad mix of musical genres and a variety of music-making opportunities. Their goal is to develop the overall musician by incorporating technology, collaboration, and embracing the music of diverse cultures.

7:40pm

Invoke starts off their set with a tribute to the late P.D.Q. Bach.  P.D.Q. Bach was a fictional composer created by Peter Schickele who passed away earlier this year.  Invoke was chosen to be the Young Professional String Quartet in Residence at the University of Texas at Austin from 2016-2018.

Band Playing on the Stage

Nick Montopoli, Zach Matteson, Karl Mitze and Geoff Manyin

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