nF Presents – Collective Lovemusic


(tap/click each work title to expand program notes)

Mouthpiece 38 (2022) - Erin Gee

dedicated to Emiliano Gavito

In her series of pieces (more than 30) entitled Mouthpiece, composer and vocalist Erin Gee uses the voice in hushed nonverbal sounds supported by subtle instrumental effects to project an intimate sound world, as if she were revealing her innermost but inscrutable feelings. The result is original, powerful, and haunting.

In the Mouthpieces, the voice is used as an instrument of sound production rather than as a vehicle of identity. Linguistic meaning is not the voice’s goal. The construction of the vocal text is often based on linguistic structure—vowel-consonant formation and the principle of the allophone—and is relatively quiet, with a high percentage of breath.

The Mouthpieces presuppose a state of listening. They engage physiology rather than psychology. The construction of the vocal text is relatively quiet, with a high percentage of breath: „lightness, and merging, about formlessness.“

The sounds that she uses are often remnants or artifacts of phonemes, however, when placed in a non-semantic context, they float in a liminal space with no overt connection to a language.

Merging the voice with both the instruments and with breath, and repeatedly returning to formlessness through “a more (or less) pronounced utterance of the mouth”. Degrees of pronounced utterance.  This has been the main idea behind the entire Mouthpiece series, which began in 2000 and consists of about 30 works for solo voice, voice and ensemble, choir, voice and orchestra, string quartet, opera and other combinations.  Not pre-meaning, simply never in the direction of meaning.

After working with lovemusic on Mouthpiece 37, commissioned by the collective, Erin Gee wrote Mouthpiece 38 for their flautist, Emiliano Gavito, incorporating and condensing elements from two previous ensemble mouthpieces that use the bass flute in very effective and original way amalgamating its sound with that of the performers voice.

If at first it sounded like rain (2019) - Santiago Díez Fischer

lovemusic have been working in close collaboration with Santiago Díez Fischer since the collective was founded. Later this year a monographic CD of the works the collective has created with the composer will be released on the NEOS label. This duo for bass clarinet and electric guitar is based on a poem Seated Figure with Red Angle (1988) by Betty Goodwin (by Anne Carson). The poem consists of a series of open-ended conditional clauses numbered from 1 – 72 creating a weightless and ethereal atmosphere. Here is a an excerpt with the numbers surrounding the section of the poem which the composer choose for the title of the piece:

12. If interrogation is a desire to get information which is not given or not given freely.
13. If buried all but traceless in the dark in its energy sitting, drifting within your own is another body.
14. If at first it sounded like rain.
15. If your defense is perfect after all it was the trees that walked away.
16. If objects are not solid.

Cove B-side (2023) - David Bird

As a descriptive or metaphorical title, Cove seemed to encapsulate a broad set of colors, themes, and concepts explored in the work. Just as its coastal recesses amass driftwood and oceanic material over time, my experience in writing Cove reflected a fluid creative environment which collected and fused many disparate musical ideas. As the initial premiere of the work was postponed due to the pandemic, I took advantage of the fluid timeline to gather new materials and shape the work in an entirely different fashion from how I initially intended it. The activity explored in the piece depicts a dense and symbiotic one, with performers often playing in strict relationship with one another, much like the symbiotic relationships found in coastal ecosystems or the intricate biological art of Ernst Haeckel. The balance between system and expression also seemed to be a common theme, with many features of the work structured around a distinct tone row. Despite being a reasonably active piece, Cove draws its most significant inspiration from themes of seclusion, intimacy, and memory, as well as my experiences of exploring tide pools as a child and the feeling of being isolated from my family in Southern California due to the pandemic.

Commissioned by lovemusic

Eyes On (2019) - Kelley Sheehan

Within eyes on the trio is asked to be staged closely to each other and within close proximity to a variety of small electronics to become, as I think of it, an interconnected “machine.” In this “machine” each performer engages with each other in new and compelling ways. By blending sound from electronics with instruments, use of mimicry, tape playback, and purposeful obfuscation,
the impression of one cohesive unit rather than three individual performers arises. Yet, importantly, each performer keeps their individual identity,
often giving agency to improvise and make decisions regarding the overall soundscape.

This, to me, forms an environment that is at once mechanical but avoids the methodic and encroaches on wonder. Overall, this “machine” merges lo-fi technology with acoustic instruments to form new sound worlds, controlled
unpredictability, and a tape cassette that, by the double bar, will be entirely warped and brand new.

Due to the nature and fragility of the feedback and lo- electronics incorporated in this work, the entire performance hinges on acoustics, prescribed proximity, discovery, and connection. With these aspects at play each action and sound of the trio can be predicted but not assured.

Second Nightmare for Kiku (2014) - Natacha Diels

Fairytales for performers:

Descent into the nightmare’s urn
Heads bobble as assistants churn
a cup of fullsome wholesome song-
the terror near the end forgotten

Wistful falling delicate screech
Possess the nightmare’s careful essence!
A troubled unison assistants find-
deeper through the nightmare reach.

The lady learns each gesture slowly
absorbs and tears the notes asunder
Shortly she will be abandoned
to the nightmare’s terrific thunder.

Dedicated to Kiku Enomoto

The Hyacinth Garden (2023) - Finbar Hosie

The Hyacinth Garden grew from themes explored within T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land: the author’s apparent disillusionment with British society, is mournful, yet at times a derisive critique. The poem was written soon after WWI and while the Eliot was recovering in a sanatorium, following a nervous breakdown experienced during his work as a clerk in London’s financial district. Vignettes of the 1922 poem punctuate the work: an incompetent clairvoyant, references to the myths of Hyacinthus and Tristan and Isolde, and the recurring theme of water as a mark of regeneration as well as drought.
Finbar Hosie’s new work invites us on a political and sensuous exploration through wastelands and gardens, in search of togetherness and separation in space and sound

lovemusic is:

Emiliano Gavito – flutes

Adam Starkie – clarinets

Emily Yabe – violin/viola

Christian Lozano – guitar

Finbar Hosie – composition, electronics, and lights

'ensemble bio

lovemusic is a collective of musicians specialised in new music based in Strasbourg.

Working with composers on new and exciting works that will enrich the musical world is at the heart of what we do. This means collaborating with artists who wish to create new music together in which both the composer and musicians are actively involved in the creative process. We have had the pleasure of working with Santiago Diez Fischer, Michelle Agnes Magalhaes, David Bird, Erin Gee, Jesse Broekman, Michele Abondano, Finbar Hosie, Annette Schlünz, Jérôme Combier, Malin Bång, Philip Venables, Kelley Sheehan, Raphael Languillat, Maria Laura Dissandro…

We want to dismantle the patriarchal and hierarchical systems engrained in the new music world, creating a safe and inclusive environment in which musicians can decide for themselves how they contribute to each project, the music they want to perform and the composers they wish to work with.

The members of lovemusic have diverse backgrounds and tastes which nourish the choices of the music we perform. We welcome the multiplicity of aesthetics that new music today offers and our programmes are the result of extensive research which allows us to programme creatively, bringing new voices to new audiences. Diversity is important and we strive to programme music that takes into consideration ethnicity, gender and sexual identity.

The way in which we present music on stage is always taken into consideration. We perform un-conducted, which creates not only intimate bonds between the musicians but also an active and exciting connection with the public. We like working with lighting, video and scenography which contribute to creating an immersive listening experience. lovemusic concerts are colourful, fun and innovative drawing the public into our diverse musical world.

nF Acknowledgements

nienteForte would like to give heartfelt thanks to our Season 13 donors and sponsors. We would also like to give acknowledge the following people and organizations who have offered their time and resources to make this season possible:

  • Michael Batt
  • Kari Bersharse
  • Sophia Blessinger
  • Maxwell Dulaney
  • Ray Evanoff
  • Chelsea Hines
  • Lisa Hooper
  • Megan Ihnen
  • Dylan Koester
  • Kyle Peeples
  • Heather Penton
  • Phillip Schuessler
  • Daniel Sharp
  • Rick Snow
  • Andrew Szypula
  • Alan Theisen
  • Hotel Peter and Paul
  • Kappa Kappa Psi Rho Chapter
  • Tulane University’s Music and Science Technology Program
  • Versipel New Music

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