Sunday 13 July 2014, 8pm
Apartment House perform the UK premiere of Harley Gaber's monumental work 'The Winds Rise in The North' for amplified string quintet. One of the holy grails of early minimalism, it is scored for a quintet of 3 violins, viola and cello, the instruments are amplified and much of the music is performed sul ponticello (on or near the bridge of the instruments) creating a richly incandescent web of overtones and harmonics.
Harley Gaber was an experimental composer from the USA. The Winds Rise in the North was composed in the Winter of 1973/74 and revised a year later. It is a monumental work, in duration and intensity of expression, lasting some 90-100 minutes and is in 4 parts. Scored for a quintet of 3 violins, viola and cello, the instruments are amplified and much of the music is performed sul ponticello (on or near the bridge of the instruments) creating a richly incandescent web of overtones and harmonics. Gaber wrote that the piece ‘exists as a tipping point into the interior World of musical sound where only a vague patina of music and musical structures as we commonly think of it and them, remain. It is not a slowed down, protracted conventional musical structure, nor is it really a form of drone music. It moves more directionally than most music of that genre. It was at its inception modeled after my perception of Nature’s ‘natural’ process of evolvement, movement and cyclical change seen simultaneously from a micro and macro vantage point.’
The group, created by cellist Anton Lukoszevieze in 1995, has been captivating audiences with performances of avant-garde and experimental music all over the World, from Moscow to Vancouver and from Barcelona to Vilnius. Recent performances further afield include tours of Russia, Canada and a nine-concert series in Melbourne, Australia.
The ensemble has been a firm fixture on the British concert scene, with regular performances at Café Oto and a recent residency at the Wigmore Hall. Apartment House is the most frequently featured UK ensemble in the history of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and its 2011 concert of music by John Cage sold out the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre. The ensemble has made a substantial number of live and studio recordings for BBC Radio 3 as well as live recordings for many European stations including Danish Radio DR, Swedish Radio 2, WDR Cologne, ORTF Austria, Radio France and Deutschlandfunk, Berlin.
Over the past 20 years or so it has championed music by emerging or undeservedly little-known composers and has commissioned over 100 new works. Highlights along the way include Jennifer Walshe’s radical ‘Barbie’ opera XXX_LIVE_NUDE_GIRLS!!!, with performances in six countries, and Saskia Moore’s Dead Symphony, a fusion of social documentary, art, biological science and music on near death experiences. Notable portrait events have featured composers Christian Wolff, Luc Ferrari, Alison Knowles, Christopher Fox, Vitalija Gloivackyte, Laurence Crane, Helmut Oehring, Claudia Molitor, David Behrman, Jobina Tinnemans and Richard Ayres.
Unusually for a new music ensemble, Apartment House is equally at home at classical music venues (Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre), crossover venues (Cafe Oto), art galleries (Serpentine Galleries, Turner Contemporary, Whitechapel Gallery) and international festivals (HCMF, MaerzMusik, Wien Modern, Ultima, Witten New Music Days), demonstrating its appeal to a wide range of audiences.
Over the years Apartment House has gradually increased its recording output, focusing on key releases by experimental composers such as George Maciunas and Laurence Crane, which received widespread acclaim (‘compellingly beautiful’ The Guardian). The group recently began a long term relationship with the UK label Another Timbre, releasing albums of music by Joseph Kudirka, James Saunders, Chiyoko Slavnics, Linda Catlin Smith and Martin Arnold.