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Michi Wiancko and Martha Mooke
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This project is funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.




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+ About the Performance
This program was recorded 02/27/2009 at Symphony Space.


In an evening spanning some 300 years of musical styles and sensibilities, Wiancko performs solo music from the Baroque, Romantic, and Modern eras, followed by new electro-acoustic explorations by Mooke, who has performed with David Bowie, Philip Glass, Patti Smith, Rufus Wainwright, and others. The performance features world premieres composed specially for this evening. Presented in cooperation with Concert Artists Guild.

“Mooke is a striking figure, with a wider range of styles than many improvisers can boast.” –The Village Voice

+ About the Artists

Violinist Michi Wiancko is a winner of the 2002 Concert Artists Guild International Competition. Featured as an "Artist to Watch" on the cover of the January 2007 issue of Symphony magazine, Ms. Wiancko has appeared as soloist with the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic. Reviewing the world premiere of Margaret Brouwer's Violin Concerto with CityMusic Cleveland under the baton of James Gaffigan, the Cleveland Plain Dealer declared that Ms. Wiancko "tossed off the dizzying demands with extraordinary confidence and focus."

An avid recitalist and chamber musician, her concert highlights include Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, the Banff Centre, the National Gallery, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ms. Wiancko is a member of the renowned Los Angeles Piano Quartet, a founding member of the conductor-less string ensemble ECCO, and can be heard with a number of eclectic ensembles, including ICE and Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble. Ms. Wiancko performs regularly with Kono Michi, a band for which she is singer, songwriter, and violinist. Kono Michi stretches musical boundaries using non-traditional instrumentation and electronics, and is influenced by a variety of genres.

Ms. Wiancko's discography includes a solo CD, Platinum Spirals, devoted to traditional repertoire with works by Ravel, Beethoven, Kreisler, Debussy, Prokofiev, and Joan Tower. Next is a Naxos Records disc featuring works for violin and piano by the French composer Emile Sauret. Kono Michi has two EPs available on the Shark Batter label. Ms. Wiancko is a native of Southern California and holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Donald Weilerstein, and from the Juilliard School, where she was a student of Robert Mann. More info is available at michiwiancko.com.

Martha Mooke is a pioneer in the field of electric five-stringed viola and transcends musical boundaries by synthesizing her classical music training with extended techniques, digital effects processing, and improvisation; her music can range from pyrotechnic viola solos to that of a seemingly traditional string quartet...that is, until the score calls for some very nontraditional performance practices. Ms. Mooke has created scores for theatre and dance, as well as soundtracks for film and multimedia events. Her genre-defying recordings, the solo Enharmonic Vision and Café Mars as one-half of the duo Bowing with electric guitarist Randolph A. Hudson III, have attracted wide critical acclaim. She is a Yamaha Artist and leading clinician on electric and alternative approaches to string playing.

Ms. Mooke is founder and violist of the electro-acoustic Scorchio Quartet which has performed and recorded with David Bowie as well as championed new works. She has toured internationally as a member of Barbra Streisand's acclaimed orchestra and performed with Bon Jovi, Philip Glass, Enya, Lou Reed, Tony Bennett, Moby, Johnny Mathis, Luciano Pavorotti, and the Orchestra of St. Luke's, as well as in the pits of many Broadway, opera, and ballet productions.
Ms. Mooke received the Fromer Award for Creative and Performing Arts, as well as awards from ASCAP, Meet the Composer, and Arts International. She was honored with an ASCAP Concert Music Award for conceiving and producing Thru the Walls, a new music showcase featuring ASCAP composer/performers whose work defies categorization. More info is available at marthamooke.com.

+ About the Music

Georg Philipp Telemann Fantasy No. 7 in Eb Major
This is one of 12 Fantasies for solo violin by one of the most prolific composers of any era. I've always been attracted to this work because its purity and simplicity draws listeners into the sonorities of the instrument. Telemann takes the concept of fantasy to heart, and the result is a freewheeling improvisatory feel.

Bjarne Brustad Eventyr Suite (1. Natur og holder; 4. Trollkvenna)
Like Edvard Grieg, Norway's most famous musical son, Brustad was inspired by his homeland's folk songs. Unlike Grieg, Brustad's compositions are almost completely unknown, though undeservedly so. This particular work is the epitome of folk music inspiring a classical composition; "Eventyr" means fairytale.

Joan Tower Platinum Spirals
Tower is one of the most successful women composers of our time, and I have long been a fan of her music. To me, this piece literally sounds like spirals, with its long ten-note lines stretching upward. It is a fascinating exploration of the build up and release of harmonic tension.

Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber Passacaglia in G Minor
Biber's music fascinates me because, though he lived in the 17th century, his use of dissonances, improvisation, and extended technique was way ahead of its time. Though this passacaglia is one of his more straight-forward pieces, it is a perfect example of the way he explored so many of the capabilities of the violin.

Michi Wiancko Passacaglia for Two
This work combines my experience as a classical violinist with my passion for every other kind of music. It's the first purely original piece I've composed, outside of the music I've written for my band, Kono Michi. Like the Passacaglia by Biber, it is built around a motif of four descending notes. A piece in which non-traditional elements are housed in a very traditional structure, it is a great musical introduction for Martha Mooke and me.

Fritz Kreisler Recitativo and Scherzo-Caprice, Op. 6
Kreisler was a wildly popular concert violinist in the early 20th century, both on stage and in the infancy of recorded sound. His flair for composition provided him with many handy encore pieces, many of which were transcriptions of other composers' works. The Recitativo and Scherzo-Caprice is an original composition, and it opens with a gypsy-tinged improvisatory recitative. The innocent and playful scherzo is a total contrast to the dark recitative.

-Michi Wiancko

Conceived and developed by electro-acoustic violist/composer Martha Mooke, Virtual Corridors: Beyond the Portal blurs the lines between the live musical experience and a virtual world where music is personified and reality is questioned in every note.

The work Virtual Corridors is literally the beginning of a journey through an infinite passageway, with sets of doors on it and hallways emerging from other hallways...multiple realities, like a three-dimensional chess board, and everything depends on which threshold you cross.

Elusive Illusion is the shadow you think you see out of the corner of your eye. Was something just there, did the lighting change, or was it your mind playing tricks again?

ICE 4 is dedicated to my mother, Beverly. For everything we are taught, there is something else we don't know that we don't know. Break the glass.

Future Prayer is the place where we hold our personal vigils.
-Martha Mooke

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