THE GAMES WE PLAY is a program of five freshly commissioned works exploring the idea of human play. Each of the five composers in this project explores the theme of games and play in a deeply personal manner. Brendan Faegre's Love the Cheat (hate the spoilsport) centers around the financial games played by Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, using vocoded samples of his testimony following the 2008 financial crisis. Ethan Braun's Degrees of Silence asks the ensemble to navigate mathematical permutations of five improvisatory modes of playing. Christopher Fox's Revolutionary Movements explores short character-pieces around four game concepts: 'The Widening Gyre', 'Reel', 'Spindrift', and 'Wheel of Fortune'. Harry Stafylakis's Together We Grow combines his roots as a metal guitarist with game-instructions for the musicians. And in Genevieve Murphy's Violent Push of an Unpredictable Strategy, she joins the ensemble playing her bagpipes, forcing each musician to mold and blend with her motherland's instrument. This program showcases the infinitely diverse and oftentimes serious nature of "play".
Brendan Faegre – Love the Cheat (hate the spoilsport)
Ethan Braun - Degrees of Silence
Christopher Fox – Revolutionary Movements
Harry Stafylakis – Together we Grow
Genevieve Murphy – Violent Push of an Unpredictable Strategy
In their first multimedia project, the Edge Ensemble joins forces with Catalan soprano Elisenda Pujals for a semi-improvised soundtrack to Victor Sjöström's 1928 silent film THE WIND.
In The Wind, a naive young woman from Virginia moves to Texas, where family, local suitors, and the incessant wind drive her to madness and murder. Four men of the Edge Ensemble embody the physical and psychological wind of the film; storms and tornadoes assault the small village, and dark thoughts assault the characters' minds. Pujals and her 'breath' (the bass clarinetist) represent the fear and madness of Letty, the lone woman and protagonist of this film.
The Wind was a groundbreaking film in 1928, and through adding a radically contemporary soundworld, this production makes the film communicate strongly to a diverse audience today.
VIOLENT PUSH OF AN UNPREDICTABLE STRATEGY is a 20 minute meditative installation-improvisation with composer/bagpiper Genevieve Murphy and the Edge Ensemble. It was most recently performed on top of and inside Atelier van Lieshout’s massive ‘Blast Furnace’ sculpture.
It began as a mostly fixed concert piece by Murphy, as part of the Games We Play program. Following these performances, Murphy and the ensemble made an extended, more improvisatory version of the piece and presented it at the Ephémère concert series in The Hague. And this eventually evolved into its current state where the performers are spread far apart on a massive sculpture, each individually amplified to fill out the sonic space of the environment while encouraging the audience to wander, finding their own path through the piece.
The NEW MUSIC JAM consists of profound improvisations around the music of contemporary composers. The improvisations can range from an aurally reconstructed image of the original work, to wholly new pieces only subliminally related to the source.
Works explored thus far:Louis Andriessen - De Snelheid
For SIX VIEWS FROM THE EDGE, the Edge Ensemble commissioned new works from six young composers around the world, with only one rule: they must make creative use of the unique musical abilities of the five performers in this ensemble. Listen to the music and ideas of composers from Latvia, Japan, the USA, and the Netherlands, as they took on this challenge and wrote some fascinating, powerful music.
Brendan Faegre - Dreams Overcoming
Krists Auznieks – Grace
Akiko Ushijima - Southern Point
David Biedenbender – Ampersand
Corné Roos - Between Moderations
Nick Virsi - Rain Spell