Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community

Sat, Feb 10 2018 8:00 PM

The Mills College Music Department and the Center for Contemporary Music present

Jean Macduff Vaux Composer-in-Residence

Saturday, February 10, 2018 8:00 pm
Littlefield Concert Hall

Ashley Fure is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic concert music as well as intermedia art. Her work explores the kinetic source of sound, bringing focus to the muscular act of music making and the vital behaviors of raw acoustic matter.

Performers are Amaranth Quartet, cellist Crystal Pascucci, and percussionist William Winant.


Wire & Wool
For solo cello and live electronics (2009)
Crystal Pascucci: cello

Shiver Lung 2
For percussion and electronics (2017)
William Winant: percussion

For augmented string quartet (2017)
Amaranth Quartet
Emily Botel: violin, Abigail Shiman: violin, Julie Michael: viola, Helen Newby: cello

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($15 general, $10 seniors/students/Mills alums)

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Ashley Fure: “Something to Hunt”


Ashley Fure
Called “raw, elemental,” and “richly satisfying” by the New York Times, Ashley Fure’s work explores the kinetic source of sound, bringing focus to the muscular act of music making and the chaotic behaviors of raw acoustic matter. She holds a PhD in Music Composition from Harvard University and joined the Dartmouth College Music Department as an Assistant Professor in 2015. A finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Music, Fure also won a 2017 Rome Prize in Music Composition, a 2017 Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2016 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant for Artists, a 2015 Siemens Foundation Commission Grant, the 2014 Kranichsteiner Composition Prize from Darmstadt, the 2014 Busoni Prize from the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, a 2014 Mellon Post-doctoral Fellowship from Columbia University, a 2013 Fulbright Fellowship to France, a 2013 Impuls International Composition Prize, a 2012 Darmstadt Stipendienpreis, a 2012 Staubach Honorarium, a 2011 Jezek Prize, and a 2011 10-month residency at Akademie Schloss Solitude. Her work has been commissioned and performed by major ensembles at festivals throughout Europe and the United States. Notable recent projects include The Force of Things: An Opera for Objects, an immersive intermedia opera commissioned by ICE for the 2016 Darmstadt Internationalen Ferienkursen für Neue Musik; Bound to the Bow, for Orchestra and Electronics, commissioned by the 2016 New York Philharmonic Biennial; and Feed Forward, for large ensemble, commissioned by Klangforum Wien for the 2015 Impuls Festival.

Amaranth Quartet
With a love of tackling the string quartet canon and as fierce a passion for discovering newly composed works, Amaranth Quartet was founded in 2013 and proudly calls the Bay Area home. Members Emily Botel, Abigail Shiman, Julie Michael, and Helen Newby strive to present classical music to divergent audiences in a variety of locales. Mentored by the Cypress String Quartet and members of the Ives Quartet, they have received additional guidance from members of the Kronos, Pacifica, Brentano, Concord, and St. Lawrence String Quartets. Exciting projects this season include a residency in New Hampshire at Avaloch Farm with L.A. based composer Kenji Oh and appearances on concert series such as The Presidio Sessions, Old First Concerts, and the Shenson Faculty Series. Amaranth Quartet firmly believes in the importance of community engagement. They are actively involved in and committed to outreach at grade schools across the United States.

Commissioning and premiering new music for string quartet is essential to the quartet's mission; Amaranth has performed and recorded works by emerging and established composers including Sahba Aminikia, Nick Benavides, Ryan Brown, James Craft, Brian Fitzsousa, Dylan Mattingly, and Riley Nicholson. This season, Amaranth Quartet will workshop, premiere and record new works written by Haley Shaw, Jodie Rottle, Stephanie Neumann and Kenji Oh.

Beyond bringing the established string quartet repertoire to life, Amaranth Quartet is committed to working with a diverse group of Bay Area artists. Collaborators include Amy LaCour, Kendra McKinley, Diana Gameros, Madeline Tasquin, and Nahuel Bronzini. Amaranth Quartet has performed at the historic Fillmore West as part of the venue’s first all-female lineup, and has also appeared at Freight and Salvage, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the late Viracocha. Amaranth has been a featured guest artist on several Bay Area radio programs including KPOO, KPFA and KALX.

Amaranth Quartet is fiscally sponsored by the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music.

Crystal Pascucci
Crystal Pascucci is a cellist, composer and improviser. She began playing her instrument at age nine and has always had a strong connection to music. While studying chamber music, she was assigned to play, "December 1952" by Earle Brown. This was an introduction to graphic notation and the start of an intense interest in the relationship of notation and improvisation.

An active performer in the Bay Area, she has recently performed the work of Roscoe Mitchell at Yoshi’s Jazz Club in Oakland, as a featured solo performer at both the NextNow Music Series and the Light A Fire Music Series, at the SIMM Series (duo with Eric Glick Rieman), the graphic-score work of Christina Stanley at the 11th Annual Outsound Summit New Music Festival, and at the 11th Annual Transbay Skronathon with Matt Davignon – performances with Aaron Bennett's Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra, Oakland Active Orchestra, the work of Polly Moller at the Soundwave Festival, with Opera Wolf as guest artists for the New Music Works: CAGE 950, John Cage 100th Birthday Celebration and more. Crystal is a Co-founding member of the Oakland Composer’s Union and performing with renowned clarinetist, Rachel Condry, in the improv duo, Chocolate for Breakfast.

Crystal holds a Bachelor's of Music Performance from SUNY Fredonia, a graduate professional degree from The Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford and has attended Mills College. Her past teachers include, Fred Frith, Roscoe Mitchell, Zeena Parkins, Joan Jeanrenaud, Robert Black, Marion Feldman, Mihai Tetel, Bryan Eckenrode and David Rudge. Some of her musical influences include Bach, Beethoven, Schumann, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Dvorak, Barber, Ginestera, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Osvoldo Golijov, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Thelonius Monk, Dorothy Ashby, Anthony Braxton, Cecil Taylor, Pauline Oliveros, John Zorn, Erik Friedlander, KRONOS String Quartet, Frances-Marie Uitti, Bjork, RZA, Air, Alva Noto, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Andrew Bird, The Flaming Lips, Sonic Youth, Radiohead, David Bowie, Lightning Bolt, Black Dice, Fuck Buttons, and Deerhoof.

William Winant
William Winant (b. 1953) is a multi-faceted, 2013 Grammy nominated percussionist, who has performed with some of the most innovative and creative musicians of our time, including John Cage, Iannis Xenakis, Anthony Braxton, Annea Lockwood, James Tenney, Cecil Taylor, Pauline Oliveros, George Lewis, Steve Reich, Frederic Rzewski, Joan LaBarbara, Yo-Yo Ma, Mark Morris Dance Group, Mike Patton, Takehisa Kosugi, Christian Wolff and many others. He is the 2016 recipient of the Grants to Artists Awards from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, a foundation started by John Cage and Jasper Johns to give un-restricted large grants to artists of all kinds. Composers who have written for him include John Cage, Lou Harrison, Zeena Parkins, John Zorn, Alvin Curran, Chris Brown, Bun-Ching Lam, David Rosenboom, Gordon Mumma, Alvin Lucier, Terry Riley, Fred Frith, Roscoe Mitchell, Wendy Reid, and Wadada Leo Smith. He is principal percussionist with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and has been featured as a guest artist with many important groups, including Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Merce Cunningham Dance Company,Oingo Boingo, Kronos Quartet, Sonic Youth, Mr. Bungle and in numerous projects with New York composer John Zorn. He appears regularly on festivals worldwide and can be heard on many recording labels. He teaches at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Mills College and the University of California at Berkeley. From 1984 to 1992 he was Artist in Residence at Mills College with the critically acclaimed Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio, which premiered and recorded many new works for violin, piano and percussion. Also at Mills College in the 1980s, he and colleagues, David Rosenboom and Anthony Braxton, formed the innovative performer-composer group, Challenge, which performed widely and released several recordings. Winant and Rosenboom were also core members of the Maple Sugar performance art collective in Toronto in the late 1970s, when they also worked at York University.

Cost: $15 general/$10 seniors, students, Mills alums
Audio samples in which musicians at this event play: