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[Postponed to Nov. 14] The Music of Sound

New Music Works

New Music Works [Postponed to Nov. 14] The Music of Sound

CONCERT 3: THE MUSIC OF SOUND (not the other way around)

Saturday, April 4, 2020; 7:30 pm, Peace United Church of Christ, Santa Cruz
NMW Ensemble, Phil Collins, Music Director
Sheila Willey, soprano; The Ariose Singers, directed by Camille Couture
Tickets @

Fresh, powerful sounds of dissimilar upbringings elope together for an evening's adventure of picturesque and rare sonic discoveries!!
Cowboy tunes made anew and askew - beguiling sonic psychedelia, and vocal music of solo-to-choral dimensions. Choral evocations of nocturnal and morning worlds, along with Panda Bear conjurings of animated pandemonium.

Bryce Dessner: Murder Ballades (2013) (West Coast Premiere) flute/alto flute; clarinet/bass clarinet; percussion; piano; violin; violoncello

Bryce Dessner is a vital and rare force in new music. His seven-movement Murder Ballades span a captivating range of American-born musical resources. Dessner has won Grammy Awards as a classical composer and with the band The National, of which he is founding member, guitarist, arranger and co-principal song-writer. He is commissioned to write for the world’s leading ensembles, from Orchestre de Paris to the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Meanwhile he is a high-profile presence in film score composition, with credits including Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant - for which he was Grammy and Golden Globe nominated. The breadth and level of Dessner’s creative output is remarkable.

James Tenney (1934 –2006) Tableaux Vivants (1990)
clarinet; bassoon; soprano saxophone, piano, vibraphone, violin

Tableaux Vivants is one of James Tenney's most beautiful chamber works. A musical mosaic of gently shifting colors and intricacies. It flows through a slippery continuum of rare sonorities and surprised timings. Tenney is one of 20th century America's great musical mavericks, and Tableaux Vivants uniquely testifies to that title.

Barry Phillips, harp, violin & violoncello (2019) (world premiere)

Grammy-honored composer, arranger and cellist, Barry Phillips brings his lyric aplomb to the warmly resonant consort of harp, violin and cello. NMW is honored that Barry - as well as Michael McGushin - have contributed their compositions for premiere performances at tonight's concert.

Michael McGushin, Oddities and Observations (songs on poems of Kay Ryan)
soprano and piano (2019) (world premiere)

Michael McGushin and Sheila Willey continue their lyrical simpatico with Michael's newly composed "Oddities and Observations." McGushin's sensitivity to voice is born anew in the simple setting of voice and piano. The composer's affection for Kay Ryan's poetry spans an expansive range of moods and motions.

The Ariose Singers, Camille Couture, Music Director and Conductor
György Ligeti Nacht und Morgen (1965)
Meredith Monk, Panda Chant (1984)

The Ariose Singers sing music by György Ligeti and Meredith Monk. Textural plays of night and day ignite Ligeti's Nacht und Morgen, while Monk's Panda Chant approaches the choral medium in unbelievably playful and imaginative ways!

Buy Tickets


Bryce Dessner

The Murder Ballades (2013) West Coast Premiere

James Tenney

Tableaux Vivants

Michael McGushin

Oddities and Observations (world premiere)

Barry Phillips

Trio for Strings (world premiere)

György Ligeti & Meredith Monk

Nacht und Morgen & Panda Chant


Sheila Willey, soprano

NMW Ensemble, Phil Collins, conductor