The Winter Stars
The Winter Stars is a large-scale installation by Rachel Beetz, created during the darkest time of year in Ólafsfjörður, Iceland and sponsored by the Skammdegi Air Award.
To see more photos go to The Winter Stars
For each evening of the darkest 30-day lunar cycle, Beetz recorded a 1-hour time-lapse photograph of the Icelandic sky and a 1-hour field recording. Throughout the lunar cycle, Beetz's photography captured auroras, clouds, snow, and the path of stars - "star trails" - across the night sky, and her field recordings documented the sounds of the nearby ocean. These 30 photographs and recordings became the scores and source material for Beetz's 30-hour installation, with each day of recordings translating into a unique hour of sound.
In addition to her night-time recordings, Beetz collaborated with local knitters to create the visual component of her installation. With the help of the Hornbrekka Retirement Home, the Ólafsfjörður Public Library, and others, Beetz created over 200 balls knitted from Icelandic yarn. These balls will create a glowing mobile suspended throughout the installation, lighting the space and mimicking the star trails of her photographs.
The Winter Stars installation occurred from March 7-9 from 12pm-10pm during which each of the 30 hours of sound were played at UC San Diego's Experimental Theater. Visitors were encouraged to stay for awhile or come and go according to their own schedule, choosing which hours from the lunar cycle to experience. (Jennifer Bewerse)
Autoduplicity is Jennifer Bewerse and Rachel Beetz, who are dedicated to performing contemporary music. As a cellist and flutist, respectively, they regularly perform avant-garde works. Both musicians perform in artist-led ensembles and consider it part of their art form to spearhead new and exciting artistic projects. Rachel and Jennifer created Autoduplicity to explore performance beyond sound-making for highly trained instrumentalists, to explore musical ideas and the bodies that inhabit them, and to find what this exploration might illuminate when done as a duo. They were featured performers at the inaugural New Music Gathering and have given performances at UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, Artshare LA, and at Mengi in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Autoduplicity's second concert exploration is Machaut + Rauschen, juxtaposing Guillaume de Machaut's ballade, “Dame, ne regardez pas” with several of Peter Ablinger's Instrumente und Rauschen and the world premiere of Ablinger's Kreuze for solo cello and electronics. Leaping from the simple purity of a single melody to the “everything always” of white noise, Machaut + Rauschen explores the hidden complexity in simple sounds and hidden sounds within masses of complex noise. Listening at these extremes reveals how deceptive the very ideas of simple or complex can be.
WEISS / WEISSLICH 17d: Flöte und Rauschen
WEISS / WEISSLICH 17k: Violoncello und Rauschen ("Kreuze")*
Piccolo und Rauschen
Das Wirkliche als Vorgestelltes (The Real As Imaginary)
Kyrie after Machaut
Guillaume de Machaut
Dame, ne regardez pas (arr.Rachel Beetz and Jennifer Bewerse)
*indicates world premiere
Autoduplicity's debut concert is an exploration of music for bodies and speech - our shared instruments - and investigates how these ordinary sounds can be transformed into powerful musical ideas reflective of the human experience. The program also probes themes of blurred identities and realities, questions of sanity, the movements of our bodies, and the rhythms of our speech.
Plus/Minus is a flute and percussion duo with myself and Dustin Donahue. We began playing together in 2008 as featured artists at the soundSCAPE festival in Pavia, Italy, but have only recently formalized our duo. Recent projects include a commissioned work, "Duo for Flute and Percussion" by Yvonne Wu and a performance of Open Works at Mengi in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Future projects include a world premiere of Stuart Saunders Smith's Heartland and Kurt Isaacson's invasive species/a as well as some explorative unconventional score realizations.
A Life of Many Hats
A Solo Flute Recital
16 Walking Dances – Sarah Brumgart (Video Screening)
Parker Notch – Peter Ablinger
Morte tamburo – Salvatore Sciarrino
imAge/flute – Roger Reynolds (US Premiere)
Monolith – Vinko Globokar
Music for Sarah – John Fonville
California Score – Peter Ablinger
Trying on your shoes. Wearing too many hats. We are all familiar with the phrase “trying on someone's shoes.” Here we say that we temporarily try out someone's life for a moment. The experience is almost always illuminating. But it is temporary. After a bit, we get to take off the other's shoes and return to our own self-identifying way of life.
However, I often find myself saying, “I'm wearing too many hats.” Now, I don't actually have a lot of hats, maybe a total of four. The “hats” are metaphorical. Like the shoes metaphor, the wearing of the hats is temporary. However, there seems to be some residual thoughts from trying on each hat. Perhaps it has something to do with the hat being so close to the brain...
Some days I find I must fulfill so many different roles that I'm overwhelmed and confused at the end of the day. Did I accomplish anything today? I was so busy that I'm not so sure. It is rare for me to have a day to be a flutist, to wake up and think only about about my instrument. Now, this isn't a terrible thing! It is a rewarding life to to have other responsibilities. But I'm finding more that this main role “flutist” gets lost in the pile of all of the other hats. So I chose to make a recital that explored what it meant to “try on someone's shoes” and “wear too many hats” in terms of a performer.
Each piece on this performance is rooted in either of those phrases. Pieces such as Ablinger's Parker Notch, Fonville's Music for Sarah, and Globokar's Monolith were created from the idiomatic practices of specific performers, Charlie Parker, John Fonville and Karl-Bernhard Sebon, respectively. In contrast, I worked for several weeks with Roger Reynolds on his imAge and many of the techniques are idiomatic to how I think of the flute. In this performance, I also challenge myself to experience new ways of performing with Ablinger's A California Score. In them, I find new ways of applying my classical musical training to different mediums, thus trying on some new hats.
As I prepared this concert, a certain intensity regarding the physicality of flute playing appeared. In trying to steep myself in the idiosyncrasies of these performers, I found I was straining physically to re-create the sounds. Unlike when I've worked more from the score, there was more of something “in the air.” It was as if the presence of each performer was in the room with me at all times. There was an added pressure to find the right technique and affect due to the influence of these legendary performers.
It took me awhile to not be disappointed with my imitations. Nothing will be as great as the original. Eventually, I found ways to make these pieces and techniques my own, which is probably part of every learning process, but it was more present for me this time due to the heavy influence of specific performers.
This whole process has me wondering what can I do that could be as powerful as these performers? What can I bring to the flute and to performance? This leads me down a bit of a different path than before. It has released from the pressures of learning “repertoire.” While that will always be there, now I feel more inspiration to make new works with others and on my own. What else could be done?
Script - Rescript
Piccolo und Rauschen - Peter Ablinger
Nidi due pezzi per ottavino - Franco Donatoni
Trio for Flutes - Morton Feldman
émoi - Evan Johnson
Superscriptio - Brian Ferneyhough
13 Degrees of Darkness* - Alvin Lucier
+ Christine Tavolacci *World Premiere
Script – Rescript was a flute recital that centered on a translation between flute sounds and drawing. I asked visual artist Nichole Speciale to collaborate with me by sending her recordings of some solo pieces which I thought represented similar architectural expressions as her original series Repeat After Me. Her response was a set of six drawings using similar techniques as the original series. A performance was given of the six solo flute pieces while Speciale's drawings were displayed as well as an installation by Speciale.
Later on, I responded to the drawings by realizing one into a short, two-minute tape piece using my flute and electronics. I also developed a framework for solo improvisation based on the rules set out by the realizations.
Our collaboration continued further in a duo performance where I improvised on the flute and Speciale improvised a large-scale drawing. We extended the guidelines of my solo improvisation to include ones for drawing as well as how to react to one another's gestures.
Overall, the concert was meant to discuss collaboration and translation between mediums. I hoped that exposing the space between each of these interactions would deepen the understanding of our individual practices as well as the meaning of collaboration beyond working within a specific art context.
Script-Rescript has been featured in Emergent Art Space Online Exhibition – Translation, Emergency Index Vol. 4 – Encyclopedia of Performance Art, and 'Translations' Workshop and Exhibit in Kolkata, India.