Percussion Professor's Duo Releases Second Album


New Amsterdam Records, whose name has become synonymous with the sweeping array of quality music across classical’s burgeoning independent scene, issues two deeply expressive releases on Tuesday, November 15: composer Gregory Spears’ timeless Requiem, which premiered victoriously in 2010, and flute/percussion duo Due East’s sophomore release, drawn only once, featuring a stalwart pair of multimedia works from composer John Supko, presented in both CD and 5.1 surround sound DVD formats.

Both albums will be launched in a concert at Galapagos Art Space on Monday, November 21 (7:00 PM doors, 8:00 PM show). Gregory Spears’ Requiem will be performed in full, followed by John Supko’s Littoral, an epic 35-minute multi-media work involving surround sound audio and live music for Due East, coupled with gorgeous videography by Kristine Marx.

In drawn only once, Due East (Erin Lesser, flute; Greg Beyer, percussion, NIU professor) features two of John Supko’s multimedia projects, Littoral and This window makes me feel, presented in both CD and 5.1 surround sound DVD formats. Littoral melds the lustrous timbres of flute, electronics, and an impressive array of percussion with texts by contemporary Dutch writer Cees Nooteboom and 16th Century English writer Richard Hakluyt. Supko calls Littoral “music of shifting terrains, each with its distinct sense of time and color and space... more alluring than any destination plotted on a timetable.” The piece is accompanied by an entrancing video by Kristine Marx, with rapidly changing geometric forms superimposed over transient oceanic landscapes. The second of Supko’s pieces, This window makes me feel, is based on Robert Fitterman’s brilliant poem of the same title, which makes use of completions of the poem’s title based on hundreds of Google searches, chronicling a vast range of humane poetic sensibilities. The work is scored for Due East plus mezzosoprano (Hai-Ting Chinn), keyboards (David Broome), and other electronics, and is accompanied on DVD by a video by Don Sheehy, which captures the hysteria of the congested cityscape that visually amplifies the pre-recorded poetic whispers (Trish McKenna) of Fitterman’s poem.

Due East won first prize in the 2008 National Flute Association Chamber Music Competition and has performed in Brazil, Europe, Canada and the USA at venues such as the Warsaw Crossdrumming Festival, the Banff Centre for the Arts, the SEAMUS conference, Bargemusic, the National Flute Association Conventions and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. The duo’s first recording, Simultaneous Worlds, was released on Albany Records in October 2010. They can also be heard on the Brazilian label, Gravina Música.

The duo has given recitals at performing arts series, such as Ke’nek’t (SUNY-Oswego) and Arts and Ideas (Lewis University), new music festivals (Greensboro, NC and Moline, IL), and universities across the United States. They have appeared at Bargemusic as concerto soloists with The Knights and at Northern Illinois University with the NIU New Music Ensemble. In 2005, Due East was an invited ensemble-in-residence at the Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival. They have given American premieres of works by David Lang and Alejandro Viñao, and world premieres of numerous works through organizations such as Wet Ink Musics (NYC), Composer’s Concordance (NYC), Columbia University Composers Ensemble, Princeton University Composer’s Ensemble and New York University’s First Performance. Their programs vary from extensive multi-media and technology-driven works to pieces that call for a wide range of world music instruments in combination with folk song-like vocals and narratives.

Galapagos Art Space is located at 16 Main St, Dumbo, Brooklyn. Call 718/222-8500.

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