Stephanie Griffin of the Momenta Quartet performing along to the video projection of the Vase Shattering. Image Credit: Nikolai Fox
The Momenta Quartet premiered The François Vase to a full house at The Rotunda, Philadelphia, PA on Wednesday 30 October 2013. The tragic story of The François Vase was preceded by a moving performance of Bach’s Chaconne by Noco Kawamura.
Parker’s Box Gallery is sponsoring The New York premiere tonight, 1 November 2013, at Soapbox Gallery in Brooklyn. Before tonight’s performance Guy Hedreen will give a lecture and slideshow on “The Dance of Death/Seduction/Triumph on the François Vase.” On Saturday we are headed to the recording studios at the Tisch School of Art to record the Momenta Quartet with John Gurrin.
Gabriela Vainsencher and I are collaborating on a new work for string quartet and video. The video features Green Chair Dance Group and the Momenta Quartet will perform the score live at the following two events:
Wednesday 30 October 2013, Philadelphia, PA: The François Vase at The Rotunda.
Friday 1 November 2013, Brooklyn, NY: Parker’s Box and Soapbox Gallery present the François Vase at the Soapbox.
The Soapbox event will also feature a lecture by the art historian Guy Hedreen, whose work on the François Vase and the Greek labyrinth myth helped shape the direction of my collaboration with Gabriela.
Gabriela Vainsencher’s most recent video, Reconstruction,
premiered at the Musée d’art moderne André Malraux, Le Havre, France
in fall 2012. The score is a piano improvisation I performed on a Cable Nelson spinet.
On 16 January the Momenta Quartet performed my string quartet The Francois Vase at Matthew Greenbaum’s Amphibian Series at the HiArt! space in Chelsea. Alex Ross reviewed the concert in the 4 February 2013 issue of The New Yorker and referred to The Francois Vase as “strongly imagined” and “driven by propulsive counterpoint.”
The first and third movements of the quartet will be performed in an arrangement for string orchestra by the Temple Composers Orchestra on 28 February and 4 March in Philadelphia.
[The article mistakenly identifies me as David Fox and should correct it in the future.]
Noco Kawamura (violin) and Irene Moretto (piano) will premiere my Sonata for violin and piano on Thursday 1 November as part of the Temple Composers Orchestra and New Chamber Music Concert in Rock Hall, Temple University Main Campus. The concert is at 7:30PM.
This three movement sonata for violin and piano opens with grand gestures interrupted by short outbursts. The violin and piano have trouble synchronizing themselves. They become more aligned as the movement progresses and wander hand-in-hand to a strange place as the movement ends.
The second movement mourns something that was lost in the first. Brief moments of rising hope suffer enharmonic slight-of-hand, revealing that the music has in fact not progressed. In an attempt to break free, the piano delivers a momentous outburst. The result is a short, off-kilter dance for piano solo. This offers little solace. The piano turns to unfruitful meditations: note-by-note it builds up a tone cluster that drives the violin into an unbearable state of agitation.
The third movement releases the potential energy built over the first two movements by providing the music freedom of motion. Without shedding certain nervous twitches it has acquired during the journey, the music finds peace and ends quietly.
-Daniel Fox, 2012
My work for chamber orchestra Derailed will premiere on 4 April at 8pm at the Ethical Society of Philadelphia in a concert featuring new works by Temple student composers. Adam Vidiksis will lead the Contemplum Orchestra. A repeat performance will be held at Temple’s Ambler Campus on 13 April.