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Composer Triple Bill:
For voice and...
THIS EVENT HAS OCCURRED
Sunday, March 11 at 5 PM MAP IT | REMINDER
A contemporary music concert featuring recent and new vocal works by three uptown based New Yorkers, For Voice and... refers to the different takes the composers have chosen in composing for voice: Distler’s use of humor through unlikely texts, spoken word and some salty language; Kitzke’s vocalizations, beat-infused word-play and influences from the natural world; and Windbiel’s bridging of the through-composed art song with dramatic playfulness derived from cabaret. The text authors include James Tate, Ed Schmidt, The Tewa, Allen Ginsburg and The Lakota.
The works to be performed are Jed Distler’s Anegada, two movements from The Gold Standard and Resurrection; Jerome Kitzke’s Bringing Roses With Her Words, The Green Automobile and Mad Coyote Madly Sings; Robert Windbiel’s You Look Like a God Sitting There: A James Tate Cabaret-Art Song Cycle and a new, yet to be titled Tate cycle.
The featured singers are Elizabeth Farnum, Kimberley Jean, Lisa Karrer, Wendy Luck and Kamala Sankaram. They will be variously accompanied by the composers (Distler and Kitzke, piano; Windbiel, electric guitar) as well as an impressive cast of players: Keith Burton and Lisa Moore (piano), James Noyes (saxophone), Michael Lowenstern (bass clarinet), Dave Phillips (double bass) and Barbara Merjan (drums).
About the Composers
Guitarist/Composer Robert Windbiel has written for chamber ensembles, jazz and blues groups, vocalists and pop bands. In summing up this eclectic history, Windbiel simply dubs himself an “American Melodist.” Recent works include Suite for Pied Piper Children’s Theatre’s (of Inwood) Northern Manhattan Variety Gala, Perpetual Motion/Postlude (for tuned percussion quartet), Bob Windbiel Plays Music for Lovers & Other Strangers (a series of songs without words for electric guitar, bass and drums) and You Look Like God Sitting There, a song cycle based on the poems of James Tate. As a performer, he has scored successes with both the Sorgen/Rust/Windbiel trio's Outlet (released on the historic jazz label ESP) and his own pop-rock-indie band, Marcel Monroe, which charted nationally on college radio with its releases Love is Not and Framed. He has also performed and recorded with Patrick Grant, Leslie Nuchow, Joe Giardullo, Walter Thompson, Harvey Sorgen and Lisa Hogan. Windbiel has studied guitar with Barry Finnerty, piano with Samuel Aster,and composition with Lawrence Widdoes. He has been the recipient of Meet the Composer grants and his discography as a guitarist runs to ten releases. In 2007, after going back to school for a music teaching degree, he received the John Corigliano Composition Scholarship at Lehman College in the Bronx. A native New Yorker, Windbiel lives in Manhattan with his wife, the singer Kimberley Jean, and their two children Bix and Genevieve.
Little did composer Jed Distler suspect that his toy piano suite, Three Landscapes for Peter Wyer, recorded by Margaret Leng Tan, would hit major venues around the world from Singapore to the South Bank, and do service for no less than three films. But his considerable compositional output encompasses more than just toys, and with no less humor (concert music can be funny, ask Haydn and Rossini!). Two decades ago, Jed’s evening-length song cycle, The Death of Lottie Shapiro, for four sopranos and piano, was hailed as "a masterpiece, a song cycle without parallel in the serious music of contemporary America" (Newark Star Ledger). Over the years, other notable works spewing from Jed’s restless black magic marker (he hates pencil) include the Violin Sonata (written for ETHYL’s Cornelius Duffalo), Assault on Pepper, Loose Changesfor Two Pianos (recorded for Bridge Records by Quattro Mani), and, in collaboration with playwright Ed Schmidt, his magnum opus piano theater work, The Gold Standard, developed on Composers Collaborative inc.’s (CCi) Serial Underground with direction by Arnold Barkus and lighting design by David Lovett. A long-awaited grand opera based on John Waters’s cult film classic Pink Flamingos premiered during the 2007-08 season. From San Francisco to Switzerland, Jed's piano recitals embrace the widest gamut of 20th and 21st century works, including premiers by Richard Rodney Bennett, Wendy Chambers, Alvin Curran, Frederic Rzewski, Lois V Vierk, and many more. His transcriptions and arrangements of piano solos by jazz giant Bill Evans were recorded by pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet for Decca. A widely read CD reviewer for ClassicsToday.com and Gramophone, Jed taught for many years at Sarah Lawrence College, and has participated in guest composer/teacher residencies across the United States. He has served as CCi’s Artistic Director since its inception in 1987.
Jerome Kitzke lives in New York City but grew up along the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee, where he was born in 1955. Since his first work in 1970, he has thought himself to be as much a storyteller as he is a composer. Some of the stories are about life's personal roads, like The Redness of Bloodand Sunflower Sutra which both express the composer's love for his blood family. Many, however, like Haunted America and The Paha Sapa Give-Back are about the roads that go looking for what it means to be an American early in the 21st Century, especially as it relates to the connection between how we live on this land and the way we came to live on it. Kitzke's music celebrates American Vitality in its purest forms. It thrives on the spirit of driving jazz, plains Indian song, and Beat Generation poetry, where freedom and ritual converge. It is direct, dramatic, and visceral — always with an ear to the sacred ground. Mr. Kitzke composes for and performs with his group The Mad Coyote. His music has been performed in North and South American, Europe, Asia and Australia by such organizations as the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Milwaukee Symphony, the New Juilliard Ensemble, Essential Music, The New Jersey Percussion Ensemble, Present Music, Earplay, Zeitgeist,Trio AKKOBASSO, Tales and Scales, and such artists as Guy Klucevsek, Margaret Leng Tan, Kathleen Supové, Michael Lowenstern, Christine Schadeberg, Dora Ohrenstein, Wendy Chambers, Anthony de Mare, Lisa Karrer, Tom Kolor, Tom Linker, Sally Wilson, Patrick Lawrence, Guy du Blet, Marianne Gythfeldt, Leah Scholes, Pamela Reimer, Gregory Oh, Bonnie Whiting Smith, and Michael Kirkendoll. Mr. Kitzke's first CD, "The Character of American Sunlight," is available from Koch International Classics (3-7456-2 H1), and his piece Haunted America is available on a compilation disc released by Present Music on the Innova Label (Innova 590). His Sunflower Sutra will appear in 2009 on Anthony de Mare's new Koch International Classics CD and Zeitgeist will record his In Bone-Colored Light for an Innova release in 2009. His music is published by Peer Music in New York City. Mr. Kitzke has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Millay Colony, the Civitella Ranieri Center, the Copland House, the Bellagio Study and Conference Center, and the Ucross Foundation. He will be in residence at the Djerassi Foundation in the fall of 2009. In 2005, he was the Macgeorge Fellow at the University of Melbourne in Australia, where he appeared on ABC Radio’s The Morning Show with Andrew Ford.