Wednesday 28 September at 8:00 p.m.
Steve Martland (1959) Kick (1996, 6')
Christina Athinodorou (1981) Aktaí (2008, 8')
Carlo Boccadoro (1963) Hot shot Willie (2010, 12') (soloist Piercarlo Sacco)
Giovanni Verrando (1965) Dulle Griet (2010, 6')
Mark-Anthony Turnage (1960) Grazioso! (2009, 10')
Steve Reich Double Sextet (2007, 22')
flute Paola Fre - clarinet Mirco Ghirardini - vibraphone and percussion Andrea Dulbecco - piano Andrea Rebaudengo - violin Piercarlo Sacco - cello Aya Shimura
conductor Carlo Boccadoro
It might be the captivating mix of sounds and trends, or it might be the non-punitive concept of listening that has made the programmatic intent of Carlo Boccadoro and his ensemble Sentieri Selvaggi, to bring new music to a wider audience, so successful. But the arrival of this group onto the music scene, bringing together instrumentalists from the major orchestras and chamber formations with jazz musicians, is considered refreshing by music critics as well. A journey through the unexpected affinities between six composers is what Sentieri Selvaggi brings to Venice, with Steve Martland, Christina Athinodorou, Boccadoro himself, Giovanni Verrando, Mark-Anthony Turnage and Steve Reich.
The concert program that Sentieri Selvaggi presents as an exploration of the intersections between the contemporary practice of composition and “other” musical languages, focuses on scores in which composers have deliberately opened a confrontation with musical experiences that are apparently “barbarian”, in the etymological sense of the word, meaning founded on languages that are extraneous to the lingua franca of a specific community, and therefore considered “vulgar”, “impossible to understand”, “uncivil”.
The concert opens with Kick by Steve Martland, in which a popular seventeenth-century English melody for violin is subjected to a wild and irresistible series of variations that change its profile and meaning by using rhythmic and harmonic stylemes borrowed from the most diverse worlds in today’s sound landscape.
From the rich mosaic of influences that permeated her education in composition, the young Greek composer Christina Athinodorou has developed her own personal language: though she avoids explicitly highlighting the relationship with the popular music tradition of her own country, there is an almost unconscious “Mediterranean” wind blowing in Athinodorou’s scores that emerges in Aktaì, a piece commissioned by Sentieri Selvaggi in 2008.
In Hot shot Willie by Carlo Boccadoro, the blues world is explicitly evoked in the title, which refers to the pseudonym of the great bluesman Blind Willie McTell. Once again the violinist of the group, like in the composition by Martland, is the soloist of this chamber concerto, which compels him to use instrumental techniques similar to those of the great American fiddlers of the early Twenties, a way of playing the instrument that is totally extraneous to the European tradition.
The principles of interference of the signal and saturation of the sound space, practiced in certain extreme forms of trance music, animate the score by Giovanni Verrando entitled Dulle Griet, where the disharmony in the painting by Pieter Bruegel which inspired the title seems to want to depict the inferno and madness of everyday metropolitan alienation.
Grazioso! is not, as it might seem, the innocuous aspiration of a compliant score. It is on the contrary the name of the first model of electric guitar used by Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page: the impact of hard rock evoked in the title is substantiated in a rhythmic and aggressive piece that reveals a new facet of Mark Anthony Turnage’s creativity in composition.
Finally Double Sextet, a score that won the prestigious Pulitzer prize in 2009 and is a permanent part of the repertory of Sentieri Selvaggi, explicitly reveals the enormous influence that the harmonic system of jazz has had and continues to have on the language of Steve Reich, in his use of modal scale structures and sudden modulations strongly linked to the formal development of the musical discourse.
Steve Martland (Liverpool – Great Britain, 1959) studied composition at the University of Liverpool and in Holland with Louis Andrieseen. Martland refuses academic dogma in favour of a plurality of musical influences, both ancient and modern, both “serious” and vernacular. He often works with artists outside the academic institutions and with his Steve Martland Band has an intense international concert schedule. In 1998 he collaborated with the group Spiritualized on a project for the Flux Festival in Edinburgh. His music has often been used and adapted for film and television. He wrote and directed A Temporary Arrangement with the Sea, a film by Louis Andriessen commissioned by the BBC in co-production with NOS (Holland).
Babi Yar (1983), an ample symphonic work he wrote, was performed for the first time almost simultaneously in America by the St.Louis Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin and in Great Britain by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; the piece was later recorded for the legendary record label Factory. Martand recently re-elaborated the score and this new version was performed in Glasgow by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jurjen Hempel. Starry Night for percussions and string quartet is a recent piece, composed for the TROMP International Music Festival and Competition. His choral music, often performed, includes Street Songs, originally written for the King’s Singers and Evelyn Glennie and later presented by the Monteverdi Choir and Colin Currie and conducted by John Eliot Gardiner; in this field, he also will be collaborating with Paul Hillier.
His music has often been used by choreographers: Drill for the Sydney Opera House, Crossing the Border for the National Ballet of Amsterdam. Danceworks, expressly commissioned by the London Contemporary Dance Theatre, and performed throughout the world by great companies such as les Grand Ballets Canadiens and the Ballet Tech of New York.
Christina Athinodorou (Cyprus – Greece, 1981). A composer and a conductor, she trained in France and England. She studied composition with Julian Philips and conducting with Alan Hazeldine earning a degree in music and a master at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London; she followed courses in orchestration, composition and electronic music with Robert Pascal, Olivier Kaspar and Denis Lorrain at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Lyon. She spent a year at the University of North Texas (Denton), where she studied composition with Joseph Klein and piano with Nikita Fitenko. She then earned a Ph.D in composition at the Royal Halloway University in London (2011), where she had taught previously. Between 2009 and 2010 she was artist-in-residence at the Cité International des Arts in Paris.
Her music is performed by famous ensembles and orchestras (Pierrot Lunaire Ensemble Wien, Sentieri selvaggi, Aldworth Philarmonic Orchestra, St Albans Symphony Orchestra/City of London Sinfonia, Endymion Ensemble, Guildhall Percussion Ensemble, Cyprus Symphony Orchestra…) and was presented in various classical and contemporary music festivals, and in various venues and concert series, including: MiTo 2008, Italia Classic-Wave Florence 2007, Spaziomusica Cagliari 2008, Teatro dal Verme Milan, Festival Forfest 2006 – Czech Republic, Viitasaari Musiikin Aika Festival 2008, New Music Festival PeriFÈRIA 2009 - Finland, Reading and Dartington Halls, Lauderdale House, Warehouse London, British Music Information Centre New Music Mart 2008 – Great Britain, Kulturhaus Lüdenscheid, Düsseldorfer Tonhalle, Musikclub Konzerthaus Berlin (Germany), Kanagawa Art Hall - Japan, Chamber Concert Series of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra 2009 - Belgium.
Carlo Boccadoro (Italy 1963) studied at the Conservatory in Milan where he earned a diploma in piano and percussion instruments. In the same institute he studied composition with various teachers, including Paolo Arata, Bruno Cerchio, Ivan Fedele and Marco Tutino.
Since 1990 his music has been performed in important concert seasons such as: Teatro alla Scala, La Biennale di Venezia, Bang On A Can Marathon in New York, Aspen Music Festival, Monday Evening Concerts (Los Angeles), Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, Filarmonica '900 from the Regio di Torino, Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Festival of Lucerne, Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, National Concert Hall Dublin, Royal Academy in Glasgow, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, Pomeriggi Musicali, Orchestra "G.Verdi", Arena of Verona, Festival MiTo, Unione Musicale in Turin, Mittelfest in Cividale del Friuli, Teatro Comunale in Bologna, Ferrara Musica, Aterforum, Orchestra "A.Toscanini" in Emilia Romagna, Teatro Regio of Parma, Orchestra della Toscana, Cantiere Internazionale D’Arte di Montepulciano, Accademia Filarmonica Romana, RomaEuropa Festival, Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Teatro Comunale in Cagliari, and many others. He has written a lot of music for the theatre collaborating with Luca Ronconi, Valter Malosti, Renato Sarti, Giorgio Gallione, Serena Sinigaglia. He has collaborated with jazz musicians such as Abdullah Ibrahim, Jim Hall, Paolo Fresu, Maria Pia De Vito, Mauro Negri, Paolo Birro, Bebo Ferra, Glauco Venier, Roberto Dani, Andrea Dulbecco, Paolino Dalla Porta, Emanuele Cisi, Chris Collins.
In 2001 he was selected by RAI to participate in the International Rostrum of Composers of UNESCO in Paris. His books on the subject of music are published by Einaudi. Together with Filippo Del Corno and Angelo Miotto he is one of the creators of the musical project Sentieri Selvaggi.
Giovanni Verrando (Sanremo – Italy, 1965) began his studies in France, at a very early age, in piano and classical guitar. He later studied composition at the Conservatory in Milan with G.Manzoni, N. Castiglioni and G.Zosi, and philosophy at the Università Statale in Milan. He pursued his training at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena with F. Donatoni, earning the SIAE award in 1990 and the Diploma of Merit. From 1993 to 1997 he was in Paris, where he attended the one-year Course in Computer Music at IRCAM. In the Nineties and 2000 he won awards in many international competitions, including: IRCAM/Ensemble InterContemporain Comité de Lecture, Gaudeamus Music Week in Amsterdam, the Festival International d’art Lyrique of Aix-en-Provence, ISCM World Music Days and others. In recent years, his music has been presented in festivals and concert seasons throughout the world: Wien Modern, Centre G. Pompidou in Paris, Berliner Festspiele, Festival Musica in Strasbourg, Opera Bastille in Paris, La Biennale di Venezia, Tonhalle of Zurich, Milano Musica, Stockholm New Music, Roma Europa, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Archipel de Genève, Festival Ultima in Oslo, Shanghai, Warsaw, Tokyo, Royaumont, Köln, Helsinki, Amsterdam, etc.?
Starting in 2005 his musical research has concentrated on the inharmonic part of the spectre, on noise and the micro-properties of sounds (Triptych, Memorial Art Show, Dulle Griet). In April 2003 he staged Alex Brücke Lange, a portrait commissioned by the Festival International d’Art Lyrique in Aix-En-Provence and the Fondazione Nuovo Teatro Comunale di Bolzano, directed by Yoshi Oida.
In 2007, with the help of a patron, he founded RepertorioZero. He teaches composition at the Scuola Civica in Milan. His music is published by Edizioni Suvini Zerboni.
Mark Anthony Turnage (Corringham – Great Britain, 1960) studied with Oliver Knussen and John Lambert, then with Gunther Schuller; Night Dances (’81) for orchestra won the Guinness Composition Prize and the Mendelssohn Prize. The turning point in his career was Greek (1988), an opera from the homonymous piece by Steven Berkoff, commissioned by Henze for the Munich Biennial. It would be followed by Three Screaming Popes, Kai, Momentum and Drowned Out, the result of four years of work as an associated composer at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (1989/1993). Blood on the Floor, commissioned by the Ensemble Modern and written in 1996 for jazz musicians John Scofield, Peter Erskine and Martin Robertson, was performed by Simon Rattle with the Berliner Philharmoniker. His second opera, The Silver Tassle (1997-1999), was highly acclaimed at its debut with the English National Opera in February 2000 and won both the South Bank Show and the Olivier Awards for Opera in 2001. In 2000, he was the first associated composer with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, a period he inaugurated with Another Set, followed by: the triptych for orchestra Etudes and Elegies (Barbican Weekend of the BBC 2003, in the context of a monographic portrayal); Bass Inventions, commissioned by the Asko Ensemble, Birmingham Jazz and BCM, with a world premiere performance by bassist Dave Holland in Amsterdam (2001); Dark Crossing for Oliver Knussen and the London Sinfonietta; Scorched, written with John Scofield for jazz trio and orchestra (2002). His most recent compositions include: the concerto for viola On Opened Ground (Yuri Bashmet and Cleveland Orchestra, 2002); Crying Out Loud performed by the Ensemble Modern (2004); A Constant Obsession for the Nash Ensemble and Mark Padmore; Five Views of a Mouth for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and flutist Dietmar Wiesner; Out of Black Dust for the Berliner Philharmoniker.
His work is currently published by Boosey & Hawkes. His earlier works through the year 2003 are published by Schott.