Wet Ink launches the 20th Anniversary season with a concert celebrating two album releases - Wet Ink:20, a 2-disc album featuring the Wet Ink Large Ensemble (Carrier Records) & Josh Modney: Engage, Modney's 3-disc debut solo violin album (New Focus Recordings), “one of the most intriguing programs of the year” - Seth Colter Walls, The New York Times
The concert will feature works by longtime Wet Ink collaborators Rick Burkhardt and Sky Macklay, performed by Wet Ink's core septet of composer-performers, alongside works by Wet Ink members Eric Wubbels ("the children of fire come looking for fire", for violin and piano) and Kate Soper, in the NYC premiere of her new solo work The Fragments of Parmenides, with Soper herself on piano and vocals. The concert will also feature the debut of Josh Modney's Engage Quintet, a new collaboration that recontextualizes Modney's Violin Solos from the Engage album in an ensemble setting with renowned creative musicans Cory Smythe (piano), Charmaine Lee (voice), Sam Pluta (electronics) and Ian Antonio (percussion).
Wet Ink is thrilled to join Kate Soper for her debut on the Miller Theatre at Columbia University Composer Portraits series in this fully staged production of IPSA DIXIT, directed by Ashley Tata. Composer/performer/writer Kate Soper's IPSA DIXIT is a genre-defying work of chamber music theatre that explores music, language, and meaning through blistering ensemble virtuosity and extended vocal technique. Developed over six years of collaboration with the Wet Ink Ensemble, IPSA DIXIT uses elements of monodrama, Greek tragedy, and performance art to skewer the treachery of language and the questionable authenticity of artistic expression. IPSA DIXIT was a finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in music.
This concert will also celebrate the CD release of IPSA DIXIT on New World Records (the album will be available on October 5, 2018), featuring liner notes by Steve Smith.
Wet Ink is pleased to be a part of FOR, the first evening of the FOR/WITH Festival, organized by trumpeter/composer/writer Nate Wooley, at ISSUE Project Room. Members of the Wet Ink Large Ensemble will present the U.S. Premiere of Catherine Lamb's Prisma Interius VIII.
Previously staged in London at Cafe Oto in March 2018, Lamb's work is the most recent development of a series of pieces constructed around the Secondary Rainbow Synthesizer, an instrument—in development with Bryan Eubanks—that spectrally filters a live sound input of the outer atmosphere to the listening space within which the the performance piece is situated. In this iteration, the piece is staged with violin, clarinet, guitar, cello, and the Secondary Rainbow Synthesizer.
For The People is a collection of compositions by Darius Jones, in collaboration with The Wet Ink Large Ensemble, that expresses the many reasons why American citizens should vote in this year’s November Congressional election. As artists, we have the power to inform, inspire, and empower our community to action.
Inspired by the idea of America as an experiment, Jones needed a compositional strategy that would be flexible, and due to of the experimentalism, improvisation, ensemble interaction, and theatricality inherent to the structure, writing game pieces was a natural choice. He created a scenario where participants must follow the rules of the piece while simultaneously giving their unique perspective: an important aspect that reflects American culture as a culmination of multiple opposing perspectives. There is never only one viewpoint. There is no dictator. We all have a voice.
The evening includes the world premiere of A Child Caged in Ice, followed by the second performance ever of America The Joke. Jones closes the evening with the return of LawNOrder (pronounced “law no order”), a 45-minute game piece dealing with social justice and American history. Each player represents a separate character (unknown to the other players) and is handed a law to follow at the beginning of the piece.
Wet Ink teams up with renowned trumpeter/composer and longtime collaborator Peter Evans for an evening of sonic adventure for large ensemble.
The concert features a new set of music by Peter Evans with a lineup that Evans describes as “an unholy amalgam of his current and closest collaborators in a holiday season blow-out”: 12 musicians from Wet Ink and Being & Becoming (Joel Ross, vibes; Nick Jozwiack, bass and cello; Savannah Grace Harris, drums; Peter Evans, trumpet), with special guests Mazz Swift (violin) and Levy Lorenzo (percussion). Evans writes, “this evening will represent an ongoing process of discovery and collaborative creativity with these players - it is not a culmination of anything. Old and new compositions will be combined together with the improvisational talents of all the musicians, creating an hour-long work tailored specifically for this concert.”
The evening also features Wet Ink flutist Erin Lesser in two intricately virtuosic works: Sam Pluta's Delay Line for solo flute and electronics, and Bryn Jacobs’ Dis Un Il Im Ir, for flute, piano, and midi keyboard. Wet Ink will also perform sextet works including Alex Mincek’s Thread (premiere of the sextet version) and a new work by Danish-American saxophonist, vocalist, and composer Louise D.E. Jensen.
Wet Ink's debut program of works for piano trio featuring "if and only if", a new set-length trio by Eric Wubbels (piano) written over an extended period of close collaboration for Josh Modney (violin) and Mariel Roberts (cello). "if and only if" combines a microscopic attention to tuning with the austerity and simplicity of Medieval music, following complexes of resonant, beating sound as they accumulate, breathe, and dissipate over the course of 45 minutes.
The program will also include the US premiere of Toronto-based composer Linda Catlin Smith's "Dreamer Murmuring" (2014), a contemplative work evocative of Medieval chant and Messiaen-esque harmony, as well as Vicente Hansen Atria's dynamic trio "Speleology" (2016).
Wet Ink's Josh Modney (violin) and Eric Wubbels (piano) perform an evening-length rendition of Anthony Braxton's Composition No. 222 for violin and piano, from Braxton's Ghost Trance Music series. Wet Ink has become a champion of Braxton's music, from the ensemble's critically acclaimed portrait concert in celebration of Braxton's 70th birthday in 2016 (praised by The New York Times as "dense, wild, yet artfully controlled"), to Modney's solo violin recording of Composition No. 222 on his Engage album (New Focus Recordings - 2018), lauded by Seth Colter Walls as "both respectful in its intentions and radical in its execution" (The New York Times), and the Wet Ink Large Ensemble's 2018 recording of Composition No. 56 on Wet Ink: 20 (Carrier Records).
Offering great creative freedom to the performers and presenting infinite possibilities for reinterpretation, Braxton's Ghost Trance Music and his philosophy of creative musicmaking has been hugely influential on today's adventurous music community. Having performed as a duo for nearly a decade in projects ranging from Mathias Spahlinger's groundbreaking hourlong work extension (1979/80) to Wubbels's own "the children of fire looking for fire" (2012), this will be Wubbels and Modney's first performance of Composition No. 222.
Wet Ink brings a program of chamber music to Boston Conservatory and performs alongside students enrolled in the contemporary performance program as part of a multi-day residency.
Wet Ink presents a concert version of Kate Soper's "IPSA DIXIT" at the Univeristy of Northern Colorado, as well as a chamber concert of new works as part of UNC's Festival of New Music. Composer/performer/writer Kate Soper's IPSA DIXIT is a genre-defying work of chamber music theatre that explores music, language, and meaning through blistering ensemble virtuosity and extended vocal technique. Developed over six years of collaboration with the Wet Ink Ensemble, IPSA DIXIT uses elements of monodrama, Greek tragedy, and performance art to skewer the treachery of language and the questionable authenticity of artistic expression. IPSA DIXIT was a finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in music.
Wet Ink Ensemble celebrates 20 years of adventurous musicmaking in NYC and around the world with a concert celebrating the work of the ensemble's four acclaimed composer members - Alex Mincek, Sam Pluta, Kate Soper, and Eric Wubbels.
The concert will feature a restrospective look at "classics" of Wet Ink's repertoire, including Alex Mincek's From Nowhere to Nowhere and Kate Soper's Door, and new sounds including Sam Pluta's binary/momentary iii for solo cello (featuring Mariel Roberts) and the world premiere of a new work for Wet Ink's core septet of composer-performers by Eric Wubbels. Rounding out the program, the ensemble will perform Julien Malaussena’s dynamic quintet Concerning Articulated Sound Energy.
Wet Ink gives a concert of chamber music as part of a multi-day residency at Stetson University. The program will include Sam Pluta's Lines on Black, and a world premiere by Stetson composition faculty Charles Underriner, written for Wet Ink.
Wet Ink is thrilled to return to NMNC in a program featuring Kate Soper's Voices from the Killing Jar and a new septet by Eric Wubbels. Soper's work from 2010–12 depicts a series of female protagonists caught up in “hopeless situations, inescapable fates, impossible fantasies, and unlucky circumstances.” Soper writes, “The women in ‘Voices’ are bound together by their pain, their silence, their anger, their perception, connected not just via juxtaposition, but through their communal duress. As the narrator of their stories, I empower them by resurrecting their voices, which echo and forge connections across the movements, and by bringing them to life before an audience. I inhabit these voices in part by recalling the emotions and mental states which are the catalysts for their speech and song.”
Wet Ink performed an early version of Soper's "IPSA DIXIT" at NMNC in 2015. We are excited to perform at NMNC again, and to celebrate the 20th anniversary season of both organizations!