Monday, June 15, 2015

Esther Lamneck

clarinet and tárogató
Robert Rowe

Clapp Recital Hall
Saturday, December 9, 2006
8:00 p.m.



Guest Performer

The NY Times calls clarinetist Esther Lamneck "an astonishing virtuoso." Winner of the prestigious Pro Musicis Award, she has appeared as a soloist with major orchestras including the Houston Symphony and conductors such as Pierre Boulez, and in chamber music concerts with renowned artists throughout the world. A versatile performer and an advocate of contemporary music, she is known for her work with electronic media including interactive arts, movement, dance and improvisation. Her collaborations with composers have produced new compositions in many genres for the clarinet and the tárogató. Ms. Lamneck makes frequent solo appearances at music festivals world wide and maintains an active career performing and presenting Master Classes in Universities and Conservatories throughout the United States and Europe.

Esther Lamneck is one of few performers who plays the Hungarian tárogató, a single reed woodwind instrument with a hauntingly beautiful sound. She performs the tárogató frequently in new music improvisation festivals and has several recordings including "Manuscritti" distributed by FMP in Berlin, and a CD of new compositions for the tárogató on the Romeo/Qualiton label. New compositions written for the instrument explore all the facets of new music performance from improvisation, electronics and interactive computer programs to works which suggest the influence of Slavic and Hungarian folk music.

Ms. Lamneck currently serves as Director of Instrumental Studies and the Graduate Music/Dance Program in Italy for New York University. Artistic director of the NYU New Music and Dance Ensemble, the group maintains its residence at the University during the season and in Italy during the summers in collaboration with the University of Genoa. Ms. Lamneck and choreographer Douglas Dunn work with Antonio Camurri and the "Eyesweb" program using gestural control to process both live sound and video in multimedia productions.

Ms. Lamneck has appeared on major television and radio programs both here and abroad. She has recorded for companies including Capriccio Records, Centaur, Music and Arts, CRI, EMF, Opus One, Capstone, Romeo/Qualiton and SEAMUS.

The New York Times calls Ms. Lamneck, "An Astonishing Virtuoso."

Washington Post: "Her recital paired the versatility of her instrument with a performance as unrestrained in imagination as it was astounding in technique."

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Le Tracce Di Kronos, I Passi   James DASHOW
  clarinet and computer generated sounds  
Musicometry I   Lawrence FRITTS
  clarinet and computer processed sounds  
Cigar Smoke   Robert ROWE
  clarinet and computer  
  Brief Intermission  
Crack Hammer   Zack BROWNING
  clarinet and electronic sounds  
Shells   Robert ROWE
  tárogató and computer  


Notes & Bios


Le Tracce Di Kronos, I Passi

Le Tracce di Kronos, I Passi was composed for Esther Lamneck and was premiered in the summer of 1995 at the Montepulicano Festival. For dancer, clarinetist and computer generated tape, the work displays three dimensions on interaction. Dashow is the author of the MUSIC30 computer language for digital sound synthesis, used in generating the computer part for Le Tracce di Kronos, I Passi and other recent works.

James Dashow, born in Chicago, makes his home in the Italian countryside just north of Rome. He studied with Babbitt, Cone, Randall and Kim at Princeton University, with Berger, Shifrin, and Boykan at Brandeis University, and with Petrassi at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Rome. From 1985 to 1992 Dashow was producer of the weekly broadcast of contemparary music for Italian National Radio (RAI), Il Forum Internazionale. He has lectured widely in the U.S. and Europe, and he contributes to several professional journals and magazines, including Perspectives of New Music, Computer Music Journal, Fare Musica, Interface and La Musica. Bio as of 11/97

James Dashow has been making music with computers since 1967 and is one of the pioneers in the field. He has had commissions, awards and grants from the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Fromm Foundation, the Biennale di Venezia, RAI (Italian National Radio), the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bourges Electroacoustic Music Festival, the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and the Rockefeller Foundation. Dashow was one of the founders of the Centro di Sonologia Computazionale at the University of Padova, has taught at MIT, Princeton University, the Centro para la Difusion di Musica Contemporanea in Madrid, and has lectured extensively in the U.S. and Europe. He has served as the vice-president of the Computer Music Association, and was for many years the producer of the radio program "Il Forum Internazionale di Musica Contemporanea" for Italian Radio.

He is the author of the MUSIC30 language for digital sound synthesis (for the the T.I. dsp TMS320C30). His music has been recorded on WERGO (Mainz), Neuma (Boston), RCA-BMG (Roma), ProViva (Munich), Capstone Records (New York), CRI (New York) and Pan Roma.


Musicometry I

From Bach to Stockhausen, improvisation and composition have been inextricably linked. One of the most important current advocates of improvisation in composition is the clarinetist, Esther Lamneck, who integrates improvisation with fixed medium electronic music compositions, including my works Mappaemundi and Doctrine of Chances. In her initial improvisations that formed the basis of Musicometry I, I found that her playing reflected the measure of such important qualities of my musical language as timbral texture, rhythmic gesture, pitch contour, and harmonic structure. Using these improvisations as the compositional basis of Musicometry I, I similarly sought to represent the measure of these qualities that I found in her own playing. The result is a truly collaborative work, in which the performer and composer adopt the essential aspects of the musical language of the other, as expressed in the dedication: "To, from, and for Esther Lamneck."

Lawrence Fritts is Associate Professor and Area Head of Composition and Theory at the University of Iowa, where he has directed the Electronic Music Studios since 1994. He received his Ph.D. in Composition from the University of Chicago, where he studied with Shulamit Ran, John Eaton, and Ralph Shapey. His writings appear in Music Theory Spectrum, Computer Music Journal, Journal SEAMUS, and papers presented to the American Mathematical Society, and Systems Research in the Arts. His music is recorded on the Innova, Frog Peak, Tempo Primo, and Albany labels.


Cigar Smoke for Clarinet and Computer

Cigar Smoke (2004) was written at the request of Esther Lamneck, to whom the work is dedicated. In the piece, notated sections alternate with cadenzas in which the soloist provokes and responds to sounds arising from the computer, which themselves consist of processed clarinet material and synthesized gestures generated during the performance. Software for the piece was written in C++ by the composer. The title refers to a large-scale work I envision based on the story of a different composer living under an occupation who steps outside for a smoke and is mistakenly shot by a nervous soldier (as happened to Webern). This music would accompany the moment when the composer begins to idle outside.


Shells is written for Tárogató, a traditional Hungarian single-reed wind instrument, and an interactive music system. The tárogató part includes notated and improvised material and was inspired by the long history of performance on the noble instrument. The computer is listening to the tárogató performance and adding drones, ostinati, and counterpoint as the piece progresses. The software generating the computer part, a program written by the composer called Cypher, is capable of analyzing the human performance and responding with new material of its own. Because of this capability, the program can acompany both notated material (when it improvises itself, elaborating material taken from the tarogato part.) "Shells" was written in collaboration with Esther Lamneck, who premiered the work, and it is dedicated to the memory of Mary Cowin Rowe.

Robert Rowe received degrees in music history & theory (B.M. Wisconsin 1976), composition (M.A. Iowa 1978), and music & cognition (Ph.D. MIT 1991). From 1978 to 1987 he lived and worked in Europe, associated with the Institute of Sonology in Utrecht, the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, the ASKO Ensemble of Amsterdam, and with IRCAM in Paris, where he developed control level software for the 4X machine. In 1990 his composition Flood Gate won first prize in the "live electroacoustic" category of the Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition. In 1991 he became the first composer to complete the Ph.D. in Music and Cognition at the MIT Media Laboratory and is currently Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Music Technology program at New York University. His music is performed throughout North America, Europe, and Japan and is available on compact discs from New World, Romeo, Quindecim, Harmonia Mundi, and the International Computer Music Association, and his book/CD-ROM projects Interactive Music Systems (1993) and Machine Musicianship (2001) are available from the MIT Press.


Crack Hammer

Crack Hammer (2004) for clarinet and computer-generated sound was commissioned by NYU clarinetist Esther Lamneck. This composition continues a series of works written over the last ten years that explore the application of magic squares to musical structure. A magic square consists of a series of numbers arranged so that the sum of each row, column and diagonal is the same amount. The unique position of each number within the square is paralleled in the musical score by a particular style, rhythm, density, timbre and orchestration. Of the enormous number of magic squares it is possible to form, seven have been associated with the seven bodies of the Ptolemaic Universe (Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, The Sun, Venus, Mercury, and the Moon). These "Ptolemaic Magic Squares" appear in De Occulta Philosophia, a book on magic by the Renaissance polymath Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa Von Nettesheim published in 1531. The "Magic Square of Mars" provides the structure and inspiration for the composition. The score and CD part were prepared with the assistance of David Bohn and Cyrus Pireh. The tape part was produced using GACSS (Genetic Algorithms in Composition and Sound Synthesis) which is an original computer music software package developed by Benjamin Grosser at the Beckman Institute of the University of Illinois.

Zack Browning is an Associate Professor of Music Composition and Theory at the University of Illinois. He received his Bachelors Degree from Florida State University and his Masters and Doctorate from the University of Illinois. Recent awards include a 2001 Illinois Arts Council Composer Fellowship and a 2002 Chamber Music America Commission for "Back Speed Double Circuit" for the Bang On A Cans All-Stars. In 2003, Browning's music was performed at the Bonk Festival of New Music in Tampa, the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) Festival in Miami, the Electronic Music Midwest Festival in Chicago and the Three Two Festival in New York City. "Network Slammer" was performed at the 2004 Gaudeamus Music Week in Amsterdam and Browning's recent CD "Banjaxed" on Capstone Records contains eight of his original compositions for voice, instruments and computer-generated sounds.