CHAYA CZERNOWIN and
A DREAM WHICH HAUNTS YOU STILL
8pm | Zipper Hall | The Colburn School
Robert Schumann - PIANO QUINTET in E-flat major, Op. 44
for piano and string quartet
Chaya Czernowin - HIDDEN (West Coast premiere)
for string quartet and electronics
"Now the sonorities should fade away, grow fainter and dimmer, and you are left simply in the presence of a dream which haunts you still."
- Alfred Cortot (on Schumann's Kinderszenen)
Of her new work for string quartet and electronics, composer Chaya Czernowin writes:
"HIDDEN is an attempt to get at what is hidden underneath expression or underneath music. It attempts to reach even further where there is a barely audible presence, which is on the edge of our perception. We do not know this presence, and it might be foreign, undecipherable. HIDDEN is a very slow-moving 45-minute experience transforming the ear into an eye. The ear is given space and time to observe and orient itself in the unpredictable aural landscape. It is an underwater, submerged landscape of rocks, inhabited by low vibrations which are felt rather than heard and with layers and layers of peeling away fog. Monolithic groups of sonic ‘rocks’ are seen/heard from various angles. The piece is about observation; it tries to trace/perceive/sense the emergence of expression."
This piece, performed by the riveting JACK Quartet and IRCAM (electronics by the composer and Carlo Laurenzi), finds a perhaps unexpected historical companion in Robert Schumann's transcendental Piano Quintet. Though the Schumann and Czernowin serve as archetypal works of the Romantic and High Modernist eras respectively, they both seem to employ sound as a means of yearning for something beyond.