New York-based ensemble Exceptet performs three brand new works — Episodic Memory (learning to hurt) by Brendon Randall-Myers, which draws on brain processes regarding trauma; mesh by Matt Evans, inspired by human’s impact on the environment; and Mouth Full of Ears by Exceptet’s very own violinist Sarah Goldfeather, which illustrates contemporary political discourse in a musical manner.
Episodic Memory (learning to hurt) by Brendon Randall-Myers is a 25-minute work in three sections that reflects the way our brains process trauma and learn from mistakes. The piece grows out of subtly shifting polyrhythms that emerge from the psychoacoustic effects of microtonal inflections of a single pitch. These rhythms are gradually picked up by the ensemble, transformed and focused, and finally gathered together in a huge, oscillating mass of sound. Randall-Myers was a 2017 Roulette Artist-in-Residence.
mesh by Matt Evans is a 20-minute work in two continuous parts that unpacks anxieties concerning the anthropocene / capitalocene and the brilliant interconnectedness of sensual / temporal objects. The piece draws inspiration from the sublime quality of the earth’s magnitude, constructing a musical topography of chromatic polyrhythmic dissonances, gradients of noise, and stillness / nowhere music.
Mouth Full of Ears by Sarah Goldfeather is a 5-minute song featuring a simple melody that builds in orchestration and intensity. The text describes a person who cannot or does not think or speak for themselves — one who simply regurgitates information he or she hears without any synthesis, and on whom it is easy to project your own opinions and designs. This is a prevalent archetype on both sides of the today’s political spectrum, where so many default to a stance without critical thought, thus creating an even greater rift between us and near impossibility of sensible discourse.
Read Sarah’s Spotlight Q+A with Roulette here.
Founded on the rag-tag instrumentation of Igor Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat, New York-based Exceptet is an ensemble with “vast emotional range and onomatopoetic charm” (I Care If You Listen) dedicated to commissioning today’s most compelling emerging composers. Exceptet recently performed on the Ecstatic Music Festival as part of the MATA Interval Series, The Times Two Series in Boston, the Queens New Music Festival, The UPenn Composers Guild, and has been showcased several times on WQXR. The group has commissioned new works from a wide range of composers, including Scott Wollschleger, Matt Evans, Brendon Randall-Myers, Sarah Goldfeather, Fay Kueen Wang, Alex Weiser, Fjola Evans, Brooks Frederickson, Paul Kerekes, Brian Petuch, and Eric Shanfield. The ensemble also collaborated with Exceptet violinist Sarah Goldfeather’s indie folk-band, Goldfeather.
Episodic Memory by Brendon Randall-Myers was commissioned by Exceptet and generously funded by Justus Schlichting.
Sarah Goldfeather – Violin/Voice
Chuck Furlong – Clarinet
Allison Nicotera – Bassoon
Evan Honse – Trumpet
Daniel Lindon – Trombone
Eleonore Oppenheim – Double Bass
David Stevens – Percussion
Sarah Goldfeather – Mouth Full of Ears *
Matt Evans – mesh *
Brendon Randall-Myers – Episodic Memory *
* World Premiere