Golden Hornet’s The Sound of Science featuring Jeffrey Zeigler
National Sawdust presents the World Premiere of Golden Hornet’s The Sound of Science, an evening-length concert presenting eight brand-new pieces of music by seven celebrated international composers. Written for amplified cello and electronics, all pieces will be performed by world-renowned cellist Jeffrey Zeigler, long time member of Kronos Quartet, cellist for John Zorn, Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, and many more.
From West African storytelling and collaborations with Herbie Hancock, to radioactive medical procedures and tours with St. Vincent, each composer involved is celebrated for their unfettered originality, yet unique in their creative process and experience. The composers self-selected an array of scientific minds which intrigued them musically, and which represent a range of research that has shaped humanity as a whole.
All eight new works are inspired by and reflective of the scientist’s practice, and in some cases, even incorporate sounds sourced directly from their research.
Featuring new works by & based on:
Yuka Honda (Japan/NYC) & Katherine Johnson (Mathematician)
Foday Musa Suso (The Gambia) & George Washington Carver (Botanist)
Felipe Pérez Santiago (Mexico City) & Jill Tarter (Astronomer)
Maja Ratkje (Norway) & Signe Kjelstrup (Chemist)
Sarah Lipstate (LA/Austin) & Marie Curie (Physicist)
Paola Prestini (NYC) & Andrew Kruczkiewicz (Climatologist)
Graham Reynolds (Austin) & Barry Chernoff (Biologist) + Kristen Harris (Neuroscientist)
Co-curated by Zeigler and acclaimed composer-bandleader Graham Reynolds, The Sound of Science brings the two disciplines together in a celebration of their shared culture of inquiry, and invites audiences to explore the importance of – and connections between – different kinds of creation and discovery in the quest for a deeper understanding of the world around us and each other.
The Sound of Science album will be released in tandem with this world premiere, and available for purchase at the performance.
Commissioned by Golden Hornet. Co-commissioned by Kathleen & Harvey Guion.
Learn more about Golden Hornet and each composer-scientist pair at www.goldenhornet.org
Yuka C. Honda is a musician/producer/composer/performer. Born in Tokyo, Honda spent part her childhood in Dusseldorf, Germany and in a small village in Denmark. She feels that having lived in different countries and learned different languages before her foundation was formed have had a major influence on her music, in which her major interest is in the integration of elements which may initially seem foreign. As such, her work naturally defies the concepts of genres and borders.
Currently residing in New York City, Honda is best known for the band Cibo Matto, which she co-founded with Miho Hatori in 1994 and in which she created a unique one man band sound by triggering samples ‘live’. Honda has released three solo albums (on the Tzadik label) and has produced recordings by Sean Lennon, Martha Wainwright, YOKO ONO PLASTIC ONO BAND, and Cibo Matto.
She has recorded and performed with a wide range of musicians such as Yoko Ono, Esperanza Spalding, Bernie Worrell, Marc Ribot, Laurie Anderson, Sean Lennon, YoshimiO (of The Boredoms), Kimbra, Thomas Bartlett, Trixie Whitley, and Nels Cline, among others.
Honda’s current projects include: CUP with Nels Cline (gtr); REVERT TO SEA with Nels Cline (gtr), Alex Cline (drums, perc, vocal), Zeena Parkins (harp), Devin Hoff (ac. bass); LIMBS with Susie Ibarra (perc), Kazu Kumagai (tap dancer), Andrew Nemr (tap dancer). She also performs as a solo electronics artist which she named EUCADEMIX.
Noveller is the solo electric guitar project of Brooklyn-based composer and filmmaker Sarah Lipstate. Handling the guitar as her muse, Lipstate summons a sonic palette so rich as to challenge the listener to conceive of how it’s housed in a single instrument manipulated by a solitary performer.
In 2014, Lipstate announced her signing with Fire Records. Fire released Noveller’s latest full-length ‘Fantastic Planet’ in January 2015 and also re-issued Noveller’s critically acclaimed albums ‘No Dreams’ and ‘Glacial Glow’ in early 2016. She’s previously released records on No Fun Productions, Important Records, Weird Forest, Taiga, and her own imprint Saffron Recordings.
Noveller has toured with Iggy Pop, St. Vincent, Radiolab, Xiu Xiu, the Jesus Lizard, U.S. Girls, & Aidan Baker. Lipstate has collaborated with several renowned musicians, including JG Thirlwell (Foetus, Manorexia), Carla Bozulich (Evangelista, The Geraldine Fibbers), David Wm. Sims (the Jesus Lizard, Scratch Acid), Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth).
She has previously performed as a member of Cold Cave, Parts & Labor, and One Umbrella. Lipstate has also participated in Rhys Chatham’s Guitar Army, Ben Frost’s “Music for 6 Guitars” Ensemble, and Glenn Branca’s 100 guitar ensemble.
Named one of Musical America’s “Top 30 Musical Innovators 2016″ and one of the “Top 35 Female Composers in Classical Music” (The Washington Post), Prestini’s music has been commissioned by and been performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, BAM, and the Barbican Centre, by groups such as Brooklyn Rider, Attacca Quartet, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, The New York Philharmonic, and Choir of Trinity Wall Street, among others. She is the founding CEO and Artistic Director of National Sawdust (NS), a nonprofit Brooklyn-based space for arts incubation and performance, and the “visionary-in-chief” (Time Out New York) of VisionIntoArt, the multimedia production company she co-founded in 1999, now merged with National Sawdust.
Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje, composer and performer (born Dec. 29th 1973 in Trondheim, Norway), finished composition studies at the Norwegian State Academy of Music in Oslo in 2000. Her music is performed worldwide by performers such as Ensemble Intercontemporain, Klangforum Wien, Oslo Sinfonietta, The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Fretwork, Cikada, Mivos and Bozzini string quartets, Quatuor Renoir, Engegård Quartet, Red Note Ensemble, Andreas Borregaard, Torben Snekkestad, Marianne Beate Kielland, SPUNK, Frode Haltli, POING and many more. Portrait concerts with her music has been heard in Toronto and Vienna, she has been composer in residence at festivals like Other Minds in San Francisco, Trondheim Chamber Music Festival, Nordland Music Festival in Bodø, Avanti! Summer Festival in Finland, Båstad Chamber Music Festival and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.
Ratkje has received awards such as the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris for composers below 30 years of age, the Norwegian Edvard prize (work of the year) twice, Scottish Award for New Music for Aeolian, second prize at the Russolo Foundation, and in 2001 she was the first composer ever to receive the Norwegian Arne Nordheim prize. Her solo album Voice got a Distinction Award at Prix Ars Electronica in 2003. In 2013 she was nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize for her vocal work. She was in 2017 accepted as a member of Akademie der Künste, Berlin.
Ratkje is active as a singer/voice user and electronics performer and engineer, as a soloist or in groups such as SPUNK and BRAK RUG. She has been soloist with orchestras such as The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Klangforum Wien, Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Other collaborations include Jaap Blonk, Joëlle Léandre, Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins, Stephen O’Malley, Lasse Marhaug, Agrare, POING and many more. Ratkje has performed her own music for films, dance and theatre, installations, and numerous other projects. Visual art or text material is often a part of her own work, in installations or staged works. She has made large gallery works with SPUNK, she has made music for a radio play by Elfriede Jelinek, and in 2003, she played a part in her own opera, based on the texts from the Nag Hammadi Library.
Her scores are found at the National Library of Norway’s publishing service, NB noter, and her records are released on Tzadik, Rune Grammofon, 2L, ECM, Important Records and many other labels. Her homepage may be visited at www.ratkje.com
A remarkable and unique voice, who to an unprecedented level has united audiences and critics alike from all genres of experimental music – contemporary classical, improvisation, electronic and noise!
-Graham McKenzie, Artistic Director, Huddersfield Conteporary Music Festival
Called “the quintessential modern composer” by the London Independent, Austin-based composer-bandleader-improviser Graham Reynolds creates, performs, and records music for film, theater, dance, rock clubs, and concert halls with a wide range of collaborators across a multitude of disciplines.
Heard throughout the world in films, TV, stage, and radio, he recently scored Richard Linklater’s “Last Flag Flying” with Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, and Laurence Fishburne for Amazon Studios, the Rude Mechs’ “Stop Hitting Yourself” for Lincoln Center Theater, Ballet Austin’s “Belle Redux”, and a multi-year commission from Ballroom Marfa, “The Marfa Triptych.” His Creative Capital Award winning project, “Pancho Villa from a Safe Distance,” a bilingual cross-border opera created with librettists Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol (Mexico City) and director Shawn Sides, is currently touring.
With the jazz-based but far reaching Golden Arm Trio, Reynolds has repeatedly toured the country and released four critically acclaimed albums. As Artistic Director of the non-profit Golden Hornet, he leads efforts which draw on the collaborative spirit of rock bands and the composer-led nature of classical music, with a focus on commissioning new music, fostering young and emerging composers, and presenting adventurous works in non-traditional settings. He is a company member with the internationally acclaimed Rude Mechs theater collective and resident composer with Salvage Vanguard Theater and Forklift Danceworks. His accolades include a Creative Capital Award, an Independent Music Award, two Frederick R. Loewe Music Theatre Awards, nine Austin Critics Table Awards, the John Bustin Award, multiple Austin Chronicle Best Composer wins, and a B. Iden Payne Award. Graham released a twelve album set on Innova Recordings in early 2017.
Felipe Pérez Santiago is a Mexican/Dutch composer considered by the international press as one of the most active and recognized musicians of the current artistic scene. He has received several prizes and recognitions in Europe, United States and Latin America including many composition awards and a platinum album for his work as musical director of the project “Symphonic Rock in your Language”, and has been invited as resident composer and lecturer to conservatories, universities and institutions all over the world.
His music has been played and commissioned in more than 40 countries by internationally renowned formations such as the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, the Dutch Chamber Choir, the Choir of Madrid, the Cello Octet “Conjunto Iberico”, the Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra, and the internationally renowned Kronos Quartet, amongst many others soloists, ensembles and orchestras worldwide; and has been performed in major venues such as the Theatre de la Ville in Paris, the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, the Forbidden City Music Hall in China, the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico, the Sidney Opera House, the Auditorio Nacional of Madrid and the Carnegie Hall in New York and has conducted many orchestras, chamber ensembles and choirs for recordings, concerts and world premieres.
His compositions are included in over 10 discographic productions and in 2010 he became part of the National System of Art Creators in Mexico where in 2013 he was considered honorary member. In 2014 he was considered one of the seven most important artists in Mexico being the only musician in this category and in 2017 he was chosen, together with other two artists, to represent Mexico at the “Keep Walking” campaign of Johhnie Walker.
He is founder and artistic director of the “MalAkh Ensemble”, formation that combines contemporary music with rock, free jazz, improvisation, folklore and with a very important element of electronic music and multimedia; with this ensemble he has been awarded with many grants and prizes and has toured extensively through Mexico, the US and Latinamerica.
His work includes orchestral pieces, opera, chamber music, electronic works and music for films, dance, video and multimedia installations.
Foday Musa Suso is an internationally recognized musician and a Mandingo griot from the West African nation of Gambia. Griots are the oral historians and musicians of the Mandingo people, who live in several West African nations. Griots are a living library for the community, providing history, entertainment, and wisdom while playing and singing their songs. The history of empires and kingdoms, tribal conflicts, cultural heroes, and family lineage are all part of a griot’s traditional repertoire. It is an extensive verbal and musical heritage that can only be passed down within a griot family.
Foday is a direct descendent of Jali Madi Wlen Suso, the griot who invented the kora over four centuries ago. Foday spent his childhood in a traditional Gambian village, in a household filled with kora music. He began to play his father’s kora even before he could hold the instrument on his own. Though his father was a master kora player, in griot tradition a father does not teach his own children the instrument. So from age 9-18, Foday studied music and history under master kora player Sekou Suso in the village of Pasamasi, Wuli District.
After many years of rigorous study, in 1974 Foday spent 3 years teaching the kora at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Legon, Ghana. In 1977, he moved to Chicago and became the first kora player to establish himself in the United States. He formed The Mandingo Griot Society with 3 American musicians, playing a fusion of traditional and jazz that is now known as “world music”. Since 1977, he has performed as a soloist and with other musicians throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America. Interested in both traditional and cutting-edge music, he has also written many original compositions, toured and recorded with many prominent musicians. In addition to his virtuosic kora playing and singing, Foday Musa Suso is very skilled in playing traditional West African drums, as well as many other instruments.
Foday Musa Suso’s collaboration with Herbie Hancock began in 1984, when Bill Laswell introduced them and they co-wrote a composition for the Los Angeles Olympics entitled ‘Junku’ (‘Let’s Do It’). This song was included on the official Olympic album and on Herbie’s ‘Sound System’ album. Herbie then invited Foday to join his band for a tour of the U.S. and Japan, where they co-wrote and recorded a duet album entitled ‘Village Life’. Afterwards, Foday invited Herbie to play with his band Mandingo on the ‘Watto Sitta’ album. In 1987, both Herbie’s and Foday’s bands joined forces to record ‘Jazz Africa’, a live concert which was released as a CD and video.
Between 1987 and 1997, the musical collaboration between Foday and Bill Laswellresulted in a myriad of recordings and live performances. They co-produced 2 of Foday’s solo CDs, 2 Mandingo Griot Society CDs, and a compilation entitled ‘Ancient Heart: Mandinka and Fulani Music of The Gambia’. In 1991 and 1993, Foday joined Bill and Ginger Baker to tour Europe and Japan, which resulted in the release of 2 live CDs, ‘Imabari Meeting’ and ‘Material: Live in Japan’. Bill also introduced Foday to Pharoah Sanders and produced the 1996 ‘Message From Home’ CD that featured a collaboration between Foday and Pharoah. In 1997, Foday and Bill traveled to Gambia, Senegal, and Guinea Bissau to record ‘Jali Kunda: Griots of West Africa & Beyond’. Foday performed on and co-produced this CD, which was accompanied by a 96-page full-color book of photos and interviews from Foday, his family, and the other griots involved.
Foday also has a long history of collaboration and performance with renowned composer Philip Glass. In 1985 they co-wrote the soundtrack for the movie ‘Powaqqatsi’, and in 1990 co-wrote the music for a revival of the Jean Genet play ‘The Screens’. In 2004 they collaborated on the music for ‘Orion’, a concert work commissioned by the Cultural Oympiad which premiered in Athens Greece preceding the Olympic Games. Since the early 1990’s, Foday and Philip have performed in concerts together at venues all over the world, including Carnegie Hall, and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Barbican Center in London, and the Melbourne Arts Centre.
In addition, Foday has worked closely with the Kronos Quartet, an ensemble who commissioned him to compose five works. ‘Tillyboyo’ (Sunset) was released on their 1992 CD ‘Pieces of Africa’. Foday and Kronos have performed together at venues such as Lincoln Center in New York, Staatsoper Opera House in Vienna, and the Royal Festival Hall in London.
From 2003-2005, Foday and Jack De Johnette toured extensively together and recorded 2 CDs, ‘Music from the Heart of the Masters’ and ‘Ripple Effect’.
In 2008, Paul Simon invited Foday to perform with him in ‘American Songs’, a weeklong musical retrospective at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Also in 2008, Foday composed music for the acclaimed Susan Cohn Rockefeller documentary about Dr. Rick Hodes work in Ethiopia, entitled ‘Making the Crooked Straight’, due to be released on HBO in 2010. After 32 years in Chicago, Foday Musa Suso now makes his U.S. home in Seattle, Washington.
Jeffrey Zeigler is one of the most versatile cellists of our time. Acclaimed for his independent streak, he has commissioned over three dozen works, and is admired as a potent collaborator and unique improviser. Zeigler has been described as “fiery”, and a player who performs “with unforced simplicity and beauty of tone” by the New York Times.
Jeffrey Zeigler was the cellist of the internationally renowned Kronos Quartet for eight seasons. During his tenure, Zeigler had the opportunity to collaborate with a wide range of luminaries from John Adams to Noam Chomsky, from Damon Albarn (Gorillaz) to Trimpin and from Henryk Gorecki and Steve Reich to Tom Waits.
Since moving on from Kronos, Zeigler has enjoyed a wonderfully multifaceted career which has led to collaborations from Yo-Yo Ma and Laurie Anderson to Hauschka and Roomful of Teeth, from Philip Glass and Foday Musa Suso to John Corigliano and Vijay Iyer, from Tanya Tagaq and Terry Riley to Vladimir Feltsman and John Zorn. Zeigler has also collaborated with members of the Eroica Trio and the Cleveland and St. Lawrence Quartets.
Recently, Zeigler gave the world premier of The Colorado Project at Da Camera in Houston and at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Narrated by the Academy Award winning actor Mark Rylance, the film, directed by Murat Eyuboglu is performed live along side Glenn Kotche and Roomful of Teeth with music written by Pulitzer Prize winning composer, John Luther Adams, Bill Brittelle, Glenn Kotche, Shara Nova and Paola Prestini. The Colorado will next appear at Stanford Live in Spring 2017.
In 2016 Zeigler launched his new quartet, (M)iyamoto is Black Enoughwith the powerful Trinidadian poet Roger Bonair-Agard, brilliant composer and steel pan musician Andy Akiho and the virtuosic drummer Sean Dixon.
In 2018, Zeigler will premier a new work in collaboration with the distinguished stage director, Robert Wilson and remarkable composer, Paola Prestini. The work is entitled Two Oars.
In the Fall 2014, Zeigler released his first solo album, Something of Life. A collaborative release with Innova Records and VIA Records, the album features world premier recordings of works by Philip Glass, Glenn Kotche, Felipe Perez Santiago, Paola Prestini, Gity Razaz and John Zorn.
Mr. Zeigler has released dozens of recordings for Nonesuch Records, Deutsche Grammophon, Cantaloupe and Smithsonian Folkways and has appeared with Norah Jones on her album Not Too Late on Blue Note Records. Zeigler can also be heard on the film soundtrack for Paolo Sorrentino’s Academy Award winning film, La Grande Bellezza,as well as Darren Aronofsky’s Golden Globe winning film, The Fountain, featuring music by Clint Mansell and including performances by the Scottish band, Mogwai. Zeigler can also be seen making an on screen cameo in Season 4 of the Amazon Prime’s Golden Globe Award winning series Mozart in the Jungle.
Mr. Zeigler has appeared as a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Toronto Symphony, the Royal Danish Radio Symphony, the Basel Symphonie, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Mannes Symphony and the Vancouver-based jazz band, The Hard Rubber Orchestra under the batons of John Adams, JoAnn Falletta, Dennis Russell Davies, Thomas Dausgaard and Peter Oundjian.
Jeffrey Zeigler holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music where he was a student of Stephen Doane and a Master of Music degree from Rice University where he served as the Teaching Assistant for Paul Katz. He then continued his studies at Indiana University under Janos Starker. Mr. Zeigler has also studied at the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh, England where he was a pupil of William Pleeth and Zara Nelsova. From 1998-2004 he was a member of the Fischoff Grand Prize winning Corigliano Quartet which served as the Lisa Arnholt Quartet-in-Residence at the Juilliard School.
Zeigler has been the recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize, the Polar Music Prize, the President’s Merit Award from the National Academy of Recorded Arts and the Chamber Music America Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award and The Asia Society’s Cultural Achievement Award. Zeigler is on the Cello Faculty at Mannes College The New School For Music and has been published on John Zorn’s ARCANA series and is a regular contributor to CelloBello and to Q2 of WQXR.