Jennifer Walshe and Mivos Quartet
EVERYTHING IS IMPORTANT and AN GLÉACHT
6pm doors • 7pm show
Composer and vocalist Jennifer Walshe is “the most original compositional voice to emerge from Ireland in the past 20 years” (Irish Times). She has won acclaim and notoriety for her music, most notably for her first opera, which revives an ancient Greek comedy with a cast of Barbie dolls. With imagination, wit, and more than a hint of the surreal, Walshe’s compositions playfully, but pointedly, explore the complications and complexities of the 21st century.
Walshe is joined by the acclaimed Mivos Quartet for two recent compositions. In EVERYTHING IS IMPORTANT, Walshe considers our relationship with technology and the encroachment of the internet on every face of life, articulating a world of rapidly accumulating information that arrives at a frenetic, nearly punishing speed. AN GLÉACHT is based on an unfinished film by reclusive artist Caoimhín Breathnach, who for decades made tapes and films on astronomy, folkore, crystallography, and found video footage that he believed had the power to heal and shift consciousness. Walshe and Mivos perform a live score to accompany a screening of the film, which Walshe completed.
“The most original compositional voice to emerge from Ireland in the past 20 years” (Irish Times) and the “wild girl of Darmstadt” (Frankfurter Rundschau), composer and performer Jennifer Walshe was born in Dublin. Her music has been commissioned, broadcast, and performed all over the world. She has been the recipient of fellowships and prizes from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York, the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm, the Internationales Musikinstitut, Darmstadt, and Akademie Schloss Solitude, among others. Walshe has written a large number of operas and theatrical works, including XXX_LIVE_NUDE_GIRLS!!!, an opera for Barbie dolls, and TIME TIME TIME, with the philosopher Timothy Morton, which The Wire described as “a sprawling opus that spans the history of the planet… like Robert Ashley meets Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.” Her visual work has been exhibited in the Chelsea Art Museum, New York, Project Arts Centre, Dublin, and the ICA, London.
The Mivos Quartet, “one of America’s most daring and ferocious new-music ensembles” (Chicago Reader), is devoted to performing works of contemporary composers and presenting new music to diverse audiences. Since the quartet’s beginnings in 2008 they have performed and collaborated closely with an ever-expanding group of international composers representing multiple aesthetics of contemporary classical composition. They have appeared on prestigious series such as the New York Phil Biennial, Wien Modern (Austria), the Darmstadt Internationalen Ferienkurse für Neue Musik (Germany), Asphalt Festival (Düsseldorf, Germany), HellHOT! New Music Festival (Hong Kong), Shanghai New Music Week (Shanghai, China), Edgefest (Ann Arbor, MI), Música de Agora na Bahia (Brazil), Aldeburgh Music (UK), and Lo Spririto della musica di Venezia (La Fenice Theater, Italy). Mivos is invested in commissioning and premiering new music for string quartet, striving to work closely with composers over extended periods of time; recently Mivos has collaborated on new works with Sam Pluta (Lucerne Festival Commission), Dan Blake (Jerome Commission), Mark Barden (Wien Modern Festival Commission), Richard Carrick (Fromm Commission), George Lewis (ECLAT Festival Commission), Eric Wubbels (CMA Commission), Kate Soper, Scott Wollschleger, Patrick Higgins (ZS), and poet/musician Saul Williams. Every year, the quartet additionally awards the Mivos/Kanter String Quartet Composition Prize, established to support the work of emerging and mid-career composers, and the I-Creation prize, a competition for composers of Chinese descent. Beyond expanding the string quartet repertoire, Mivos is also committed to working with guest artists, exploring multi-media projects involving live video and electronics, and performing improvised music. In addition to collaborations with the aforementioned Blake and Williams, this has led to performances with artists such as Ambrose Akinmusire, Ned Rothenberg, Timucin Sahin, Cécile McLorin Salvant, and Nate Wooley. The quartet is the recipient of the 2019 Dwight and Ursula Mamlok Prize for Interpreters of Contemporary Music.
In addition to their performance season, Mivos is active in education and has conducted workshops at UC Berkeley, Duke University, CUNY Graduate Center, Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music, Royal Northern College of Music (UK), Shanghai Conservatory (China), University Malaya (Malaysia), Yong Siew Toh Conservatory (Singapore), the Hong Kong Art Center, and MIAM University in Istanbul (Turkey). The members of Mivos are: violinists Olivia De Prato and Maya Bennardo, violist Victor Lowrie Tafoya, and cellist Tyler J. Borden.