Presented by the Bank of America Celebrity Series, and its President and Executive Director, Martha H. Jones, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) celebrates the final concert of its 10th anniversary season with a Boston Marquee performance May 19th @ 8:00pm, at Harvard University's Sanders Theatre (45 Quincy Street, Cambridge). As the nation's only orchestra dedicated exclusively to performing, commissioning, and recording new music of the 21st century, BMOP turns its focus to American composers inspired by rock and roll. The program includes the world premiere of Evan Ziporyn's Hard Drive commissioned by BMOP, the North American premiere of Steven Mackey's rock-infused Dreamhouse (2003) featuring Catch Electric Guitar Quartet, vocal quartet Synergy Vocals, and actor Rinde Eckert, and Anthony DeRitis's Devolution: A Concerto for DJ and Orchestra (2004) featuring Paul D. Miller a.k.a. DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid.
BMOP is thrilled to be ending its anniversary season on such a high note. "When I founded BMOP 10 years ago this was the kind of concert I hoped we'd be doing," explains Gil Rose, founding Artistic Director of BMOP. "A premiere by Evan Ziporyn, guest artist DJ Spooky, and Dreamhouse by Steven Mackey with Rinde Eckert; I can't imagine a more fitting concert to bring our first decade to a rocking conclusion. This is not to be missed."
Evan Ziporyn, the versatile clarinetist-composer, prominent member of the New York-based Bang on a Can All-Stars, and MIT music professor, is probably best known locally as a world music guy, and the founder of MIT's Gamelan Galak Tika. Ziporyn presents the world premiere of Hard Drive, the sequel to his War Chant, which BMOP premiered and recorded in 2004. War Chant took its form and was inspired by the sometimes soothing, sometimes jarring sounds of a plane ride.
Hard Drive takes its sound and shape from an equally omnipresent part of modern life, the hard drive of a computer. Ziporyn explains, "like the machine on which it's based, and on which it was composed, it contains random access to a fairly wide range of objects of personal significance to me, including traces of a lot of the music heard in various late night 'hard drives' of my youth such as a car stereo, circa 1977, with a sub-woofer the size of Sanders Theatre." Ziporyn's relationship with BMOP began in 1997 as a bass clarinetist. His association with the orchestra has since evolved. In 2006, Cantaloupe Music released BMOP's recording of Ziporyn's music Frog's Eye; an additional CD is currently in the works.
Composer/electric guitarist Steven Mackey describes his music as "psychedelic," which makes sense given that his musical roots are as a guitar player in rock bands in North Carolina in the late sixties and early seventies. Mackey's Dreamhouse is composed for traditional symphony orchestra, electric guitars, vocal quartet, and an undeniably theatrical "front man" in the person of actor/vocalist Rinde Eckert "inhabiting a place between operatic tenor and Jim Morrison." The US premiere reconnects all the original artists from its 2003 world premiere at the Holland Festival. Gil Rose and Rinde Eckert will be joined by Synergy Vocals, an "ear-tickling and entrancing" vocal quartet, and Seth Josel's guitar quartet, Catch. Mackey's BMOP connection goes back to 2005 when Albany Records released the orchestra's recordings of his Banana/Dump Truck and Deal. Dreamhouse will be recorded and released commercially in 2008.
Providing both a global audience and sound to the concert is conceptual artist, writer, and musician, Paul D. Miller a.k.a. DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid in Anthony DeRitis' Devolution: A Concerto for DJ and Orchestra (2004). Devolution is a concerto for turntablist and symphony orchestra premiered on the West Coast by the Oakland East Bay Symphony and on the East Coast by with the New Haven Symphony. Described as "cutting-edge...revolutionary...ultra-exotic...and really cool," many of DeRitis's compositions engage the use of amplified instrumentation and orchestration borrowed from popular and jazz music idioms and/or the use of interactive performance technology with the Max/MSP software language He is currently the Chair of the Department of Music and the Director of the Multimedia Studies Program at Northeastern University.
The Boston Modern Orchestra Project has had an outstanding reputation amongst Boston's most innovative and performing arts organizations for attracting multi-generational audiences and providing thematic, diversified programming, and a national reputation for performing and recording new orchestral music at the highest level. Founded in 1996 by Artistic Director Gil Rose, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project strives to illuminate the connections that exist between contemporary music and contemporary society by reuniting composers and audiences in a shared concert experience. In just 10 years, BMOP has received eight ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming of Orchestral Music, and at the 2006 American Symphony Orchestra League conference BMOP received the prestigious John S. Edwards Award for Strongest Commitment to New American Music.
BMOP has appeared at the Bank of America Celebrity Series, the Boston Cyberarts Festival, Tanglewood, the Festival of New American Music (Sacramento, CA), and Music on the Edge (Pittsburgh, PA). In Boston BMOP performs at Jordan Hall and Symphony Hall, and has performed in New York at Miller Theater, the Winter Garden, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. BMOP recordings are available from Albany, New World, Naxos, Arsis, Oxingale, and Chandos, and are regularly reviewed by national and international publications including The New York Times ("Best CDs of 2003"), the Chicago Tribune ("Best CDs of 2004"), Gramophone, Fanfare, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Time Out New York ("Best CDs of 2004"), The Boston Globe ("Best CDs of 2003"), Paris Transatlantic Monthly, LA Weekly, Opera Now, BBC Music, and American Record Guide. BMOP is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Meet the Composer and other private foundations, and individuals.
Gil Rose, Artistic Director, Founder, and Conductor for BMOP, is recognized as one of a new generation of American conductors shaping the future of classical music. Since 2003, Rose has served as Music Director of Opera Boston, launching the much-celebrated Opera Unlimited, a ten-day contemporary opera festival performed with BMOP. He was recently chosen as the "Best Conductor of 2003" by Opera Online. The Boston Globe claims he "is some kind of genius; his concerts are wildly entertaining, intellectually rigorous, and meaningful."
Tickets are $45, $35, and $25 and are available by calling CelebrityCharge at (617) 482-6661, visiting online at www.celebrityseries.org, or visiting the Harvard Box Office, 1350 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Tuesday-Sunday 12noon-6pm.