"Quintet for two Violas, two Cellos, and a Corpse" Composed by Masami Tomihisa

Smack Mellon

poster for "Quintet for two Violas, two Cellos, and a Corpse" Composed by Masami Tomihisa

This event has ended.

"I commissioned Ms. Tomihisa to create an original music score accordingly to a set of instructions given to her in our officially signed music commission contract. These instructions include a number of movements, duration of the piece, tempo, what kinds of notes to be avoided and what kinds of notes to be emphasized, etc. Most importantly, they include the idea of motionless, lifeless body to be considered a silent, impossible to dismiss, instrument within the quintet. The idea of having a corpse as a part of a music composition was partly inspired by numerous corpses in J.L. Godard's films. In Godard's films "corpses" are often presented in a very unemotional way as a sort of prop or element of a still life. This project extends the nonchalant treatment of a dead body but also elevates this neglected corpse, and it becomes mourned by the music, the players and the audience.

This work also refers to John Cage's 4:33 - the corpse as a silent instrument within the quintet. I believe it will take a lot of effort and skill to play a perfect corpse - as much as it takes to play a cello or viola, and this professionalism will be expected from the person selected to play the corpse. The corpse will be fashioned after one of the corpses from Godard's Pierrot Le Fou.

While the music itself and the presence of seemingly dead body suggest a rebellion against the centuries of Western tradition, the concert will be performed as if the overall goal was to celebrate and preserve the classical tradition; as if the concert was meant for Carnegie Hall and as if the audience was expecting to hear Mozart or Beethoven. I am also interested in recreating a sense of tension between the avant-garde and centuries of tradition - as if we were back to early 20th century."

-Joanna Malinowska

Dana Lyn, viola
Mechelle Chestnut, viola
Marika Hughes, cello
Ella Toovy, cello
Anonymous, corpse



December 11, 2008 from 19:00

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