Claire Chase and the Blackbird

ICE will be in residence at the Mostly Mozart festival again this year with performances on August 5th at the Rose Theatre, August 8th at the Kaplan Penthouse, August 11th at Alice Tully, and August 12th at the Park Avenue Armory.  We’ve recorded some of the bird calls found in Messiaen’s Oiseaux Exotiques and Le Merle Noir.  Listen to Claire Chase’s below and add it as ringtone to your phone.

Any special reason why you chose the birdcall excerpt you picked to record?
The first few precious measures of Le Merle Noir make up some of the most inspired, ecstatic flute writing in the literature. I can’t wait to play this piece with Jacob in Tully!
What do you want people to listen for when they come to the Mostly Mozart concerts?
The sounds around them, the sounds within them. City sounds, nature sounds. Crude sounds and wondrous sounds. The sound of a mack-truck, the sound of a heartbeat, the sound of a wave, the sound of a cell phone, the sound of the ocean hundreds of miles underwater, the sound of stars. It’s all there. These are colorful, fanciful, provocative programs and I hope that people’s imaginations catch fire during these concerts, that they leave hearing things they didn’t know they could hear.
Which piece are you most excited about performing at Mostly Mozart this year?
Of all the marvelous pieces from the literature (spanning four centuries!) that we’re playing at the festival this year, I must say that I am most excited about the unknowns - the three world premieres that we are honored to be birthing by three spectacular young voices: Suzanne Farrin, Patricia Alessandrini and Marcos Balter.
If your instrument were an actual animal what would it be? Imaginary animals count. I think that the flute would be a Bakunawa dragon - a serpentine dragon in Filipino mythology that has two sets of wings, whiskers, a red tongue and a mouth the size of a lake.

Download as a ringtone HERE.

Nathan Davis and the Orchard Oriole

ICE will be in residence at the Mostly Mozart festival again this year with performances on August 5th at the Rose Theatre, August 8th at the Kaplan Penthouse, August 11th at Alice Tully, and August 12th at the Park Avenue Armory.  We’ve recorded some of the bird calls found in Messiaen’s Oiseaux Exotiques and Le Merle Noir.  Listen to Nathan Davis’ below and add it as ringtone to your phone.

Questions and Answers:

Which piece are you most excited about performing at Mostly Mozart this year?
Messiaen - “Oiseaux Exotiques”

Messiaen thought that the Orchard Oriole would sound good on Xylophone.  If your instrument were an actual animal what would it be?  Imaginary animals count.
A hedgehog.

 

Download as a ringtone HERE.

Eric Lamb and the Whip-poor-will

ICE will be in residence at the Mostly Mozart festival again this year with performances on August 5th at the Rose Theatre, August 8th at the Kaplan Penthouse, August 11th at Alice Tully, and August 12th at the Park Avenue Armory.  We’ve recorded some of the bird calls found in Messiaen’s Oiseaux Exotiques and Le Merle Noir.  Listen to Eric Lamb’s below and add it as ringtone to your phone.

Any special reason why you chose the birdcall excerpt you picked to record?
I chose the Engoulevent criard (Whip-poor-will) because I was curious to see if at could pop out those high B-flat’s first thing in the morning.

Which piece are you most excited about performing at Mostly Mozart this year?
The program this year for Mostly Mozart is epic.  Apart from the Messiaen (Oiseaux exotiques), which I’ve wanted to tackle with ICE since I joined the group in ‘08, I’m super excited about the two world premiers. Marcos Balter and I have had a great working relationship for years and I’m always super excited to play his latest creations. Suzanne Farrin and I are new friends and have spent a lot time together already discovering sounds on the flutes that she will use.

What do you hope they will talk about on their way home from the Mostly Mozart concerts?
I want people to walk away wanting more! 

Download as a ringtone HERE.

Jacob Greenberg and the Cardinal

ICE will be in residence at the Mostly Mozart festival again this year with performances on August 5th at the Rose Theatre, August 8th at the Kaplan Penthouse, August 11th at Alice Tully, and August 12th at the Park Avenue Armory.  We’ve recorded some of the bird calls found in Messiaen’s Oiseaux Exotiques and Le Merle Noir.  Listen to Jacob Greenberg’s below and add it as ringtone to your phone.

What do you want people to listen for when they come to the Mostly Mozart concerts?
I’m hoping an audience for Oiseaux Exotiques will be able to zero in on one instrument’s birdcalls, and then be able to pan out to the whole landscape of birds, and back again to one.  It’s a listening experience that invites so many perspectives.  The calls themselves are masterfully transcribed, but it’s also about the total texture of the wind and percussion orchestra.

What do you hope they will talk about on their way home from the Mostly Mozart concerts?
“Birds!  I can’t get the birds…out of my head!…”

Which piece are you most excited about performing at Mostly Mozart this year?
I can’t wait for Tristan Murail’s La Barque Mystique — genius spectral composing, but also a magically evocative seascape.  It’s unusual for a small-ensemble chamber piece to be conducted, but I know Susanna Mälkki will be like one of us, participating in the chamber music dynamic.

Download as a ringtone HERE.

David Byrd-Marrow and the Indian Myna

ICE will be in residence at the Mostly Mozart festival again this year with performances on August 5th at the Rose Theatre, August 8th at the Kaplan Penthouse, August 11th at Alice Tully, and August 12th at the Park Avenue Armory.  We’ve recorded some of the bird calls found in Messiaen’s Oiseaux Exotiques and Le Merle Noir.  Listen to David Byrd-Marrow's below and add it as ringtone to your phone.

Any special reason why you chose the birdcall excerpt you picked to record?
Everyone plays during the Mainate Hindou (Indian Myna) call at the beginning, but the horn can really do the rip in a way that represents a wild animal!

What do you want people to listen for when they come to the Mostly Mozart concerts?
They should watch out for the way we react to each other and embrace the primal nature of each different call. 

What do you hope they will talk about on their way home from the Mostly Mozart concerts?
How wild and crazy it was.

Which piece are you most excited about performing at Mostly Mozart this year?
Oiseaux Exotiques, for sure. It’s an amazing piece that gets better with every performance.

Download as a ringtone HERE.

Ross Karre and the Red-billed Leiothrix

ICE will be in residence at the Mostly Mozart festival again this year with performances on August 5th at the Rose Theatre, August 8th at the Kaplan Penthouse, August 11th at Alice Tully, and August 12th at the Park Avenue Armory.  We’ve recorded some of the bird calls found in Messiaen’s Oiseaux Exotiques and Le Merle Noir.  Listen to Ross Karre’s below and add it as ringtone to your phone.


What do you want people to listen for when they come to the Mostly Mozart concerts?
The interesting thing about these bird calls is that they are not recognizable as specific birds because of the tempo adjustments that Messiaen makes. Most of the bird calls are much faster than we play them. Messiaen intentionally recomposes them so that they can make interesting musical counterpoint. The piece evokes an aviary but it doesn’t try to represent it. In other works (like Sept Haikai), bird calls at tempo are more “accurately” represented. The interested place for the listener to reside is in this middle ground between individual bird calls and an imagined aviary all accompanied by fascinating rhythmic material from the wood block, snare, gongs, and temple blocks. Try to hone in on an instrument for a few seconds to hear their phrase and them zoom out to hear the whole sanctuary.

What do you hope they will talk about on their way home from the Mostly Mozart concerts?
ICE is the perfect group to realize that phenomenon: solo birds who love to play their solos in precise rhythmic hocket with other solo birds. 

Messiaen thought that the Red-billed Leiothrix would sound good on Glockenspiel. If your instrument were an actual animal what would it be? (Imaginary animals count.)
I’m not sure. It would have to fit three criteria that are also true for percussion: loud, and difficult to move from venue to venue. Pterodactyl? (Having seen one in real life, I can assure you they are very loud and do not like to be checked in luggage.)

Download as a ringtone HERE.

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