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DON’T BLAME ANYONE

The elusive encounter between imagination and creativity, the terror experienced before the blank page, the battle against the demons of Reason, and the unpredictable visit of the muses are the forces that igni- te this evening-long multimedia “opera” that combines original music, physical theater, and puppetry.

SYNOPSIS

Through a series of choreographed, interconnected scenes, an author/ poet/composer faces the specter of the blank page. Each symbolic vignette explores the birth, growth, and death of an “idea”, often ending catastrop- hically: the author falls into the abyss of the blank page; attempts to put on an impossibly large sweater while perilously climbing a ladder; is devoured by the monster of creative reason; is born out of the monster as a child castrated by self-doubt and censorship. The author is reduced to dust and dies but, all along, the “idea” he has been seeking reveals itself through the imaginative circle that unfurls onstage. We witness the creative product through a process where inspiration is shown as a fundamental human action.

The work of several noted Mexican artists, illustrator/cartoonist José Ig- nacio Solórzano (“Jis”) and poets Raúl Aceves, Jorge Esquinca, Olive- rio Girondo, and Juan Trigos provides the visual and narrative basis of the work. Additional texts and inspiration come from Petrarch, Goya, and Julio Cortázar.

Act 1
Composed by Carlos Sánchez-Gutiérrez

Act 2
Composed by Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon

PERSONNEL

Soloists

Tony Arnold, soprano Paulina Swierczek, soprano Nicholas Huff, tenor Isaac Assor, baritone

Eastman BroadBand Ensemble:

Tim Weiss, Music Director Deidre Huckabay, flutes Andy Brown, clarinets Chien-Kwan Lin, saxophones Brant Blackard, percussion Connor Stevens, percussion Daniel Pesca, piano Dieter Hennings, guitar Hanna Hurwitz, violin Mariel Roberts, cello Arjun Baxter, bass Aristea Mellos, Tour Manager

PUSH Physical Theatre:

Darren Stevenson, Artistic Director Heather Stevenson, Artistic Co-Director
Avi Pryntz-Nadworny, actor Katherine Marino, actor
Jonathan Lowery, actor
Toni Elderkin, Technical Direction and Lighting D.J. Stevenson, Technical Assistant

La Coperacha:

Antonio Camacho, Artistic Director Olga Gámez, Artistic Co-Director
Elisbeida Suárez, actor Alejandro Herrera, actor Nicolás Pallares, actor

[Antonio Camacho is a "Creador Escénico con Trayectoria of Mexico's Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes.]

©2017, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Darren Stevenson, Antonio Camacho, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, José Ignacio Solórzano. Any reproduction or publication of all or part of this video is expressly prohibited, unless prior written consent has been explicitly granted by Copyright owners. All Rights Reserved.
Luciérnagas (1999), for clarinet, piano, percussion, violin and violoncello

by Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez

Written for Eighth Blackbird, and commissioned by the Carnegie Hall Co.

Performed by the Eastman BroadBand Ensemble: Sammy Lesnick, cl; Daniel Pesca, pf; Connor Stevens and Brant Blackard, perc; Hanna Hurwitz, vln, and Mariel Roberts, vc. Tim Weiss, conductor.

SoundSCAPE Festival, Maccagno, Italy, July 2013.
Video by Tina Tallon

Program Note

Luciérnagas is an example of a rather abstract composition that is otherwise based on a very concrete experience. A few months ago, I was working on the music for Pascal Rioult’s choreography “El Mozote”—a story about the killing of hundreds of innocent Salvadorians at the hands of militiamen, when I came across a text by Carlos Henríquez, titled Luciérnagas en El Mozote (“Fireflies at El Mozote”). The text described the arrival of Henríquez and other workers of “Radio Venceremos” to the site where the massacre had taken place three years earlier. As the men reached the outskirts of the desolate village, Henriquez writes that “...a dazzling spectacle made it clear to us that we had arrived at El Mozote: thousands of little lights began to twinkle. The intermittent dance of the fireflies illuminated the night, showing us the way to the town’s ruined church. ‘They are the souls of El Mozote!’, said Padre Rogelio Poncel.”

I was fascinated by the fact that the “dance of the fireflies” described above stayed on my mind not as a visual or narrative representation of a brutal—albeit strangely poetic—event, but as a powerful—and strictly musical—“picture”: The sound of brief rhythmic punctuations that weave a sparkling, constant, yet unpredictable flicker. Like the trompe-l’oeils found in the visual arts, the outcome is a shared expression of that which is regular (or “predictable”) and of the ultimately chaotic.

My “luciérnagas” are represented by tangible musical materials: ascending and descending scale-like gestures that only seem regular, but that are actually under constant transformation. Similarly, the general rhythmicity of the piece is marked by the use of ostinati, whose regularity is perpetually disturbed by the incisive action of various surface elements, such as displaced accents, dynamic interjections, and the juxtaposition of extreme registers: The highly organized but endlessly puzzling world of insect life.
Follow the Eastman BroadBand in this experimental documentary as they tour to New York City's Miller Theatre, Festival Internacional Cervantino in the beautiful Mexican town of Guanajuato, and Mexico City's Conservatorio Nacional de Música. The ensemble, founded at the Eastman School by composers Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez and Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, seeks to perform the most stirring music of our time with uncompromising eloquence and warmth. Features music by Sanchez-Gutierrez, Zohn-Muldoon, BroadBand conductor Juan Trigos, Luciano Berio and Toru Takemitsu. Shot and directed by Reed Nisson.
*IMPORTANT: best if listened to on Hi-Fi equipment or with headphones*

For percussion and piano, with vocal interludes
Commissioned originally by Makoto Nakura.
Performed by Aiyun Huang; percussion, Thomas Rosenkranz, piano; Tony Arnold, voice
SoundSCAPE Festival. Maccagno, Italy. Summer, 2015.
Video by Tina Tallon.
© 2015, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez. All Rights Reserved

Program Note

Kikai no mori

I. Tinguely [after Arthur Ganson's Tinguely in Moscow]
II. Genghis? [after Rodney Brook's Genghis]
III. Machine with Chinese Fan [after Arthur Ganson's Machine with Chinese Fan]
IV. Mandala Tequila [after Iván Puig's Mandalas para la vida moderna]
V. Machine with Wishbone [after Arthur Ganson's Machine with Wishbone]
VI. Machine with Artichoke Petal? [after Arthur Ganson's Machine with Artichoke Petal]
VII. Things that Go... [after The way Things Go by Peter Fischli and David Weiss]

Kikai no mori [...Ex Machina II] is an adaptation of "...Ex Machina", which was originally written for marimba, piano, and symphony orchestra.

Chance Forest Interludes, Texts

I. From point to line: Going out for a walk [Paul Klee]

II. Genghis...You switched it on, and it walked. But the walking isn't programmed in "I-think-therefore-I-walk, and-how-I-walk-is-'I do-this-and-I-do-that'". Instead, it's all these little feedback loops, and when you put it all together, the robot walks.

A well-respected professor from Germany said "But how do you tell the robot what to do"?

I don't tell the robot what to do. I switch it on...
and it does what is in its nature. [Rodney Brooks]

III. Follow the feeling of the piece; then wrestle it into being [Jean Tinguely]

IV. I imagine myself as a machine. What would I love? I would love to be bathed in oil. [Arthur Ganson]

V. Rise above the weight of the world; show, with all your gravity, the secret of lightness [Italo Calvino]

VI. The only thing that stays is movement. [Paul Klee]

VII. From point to line: New life on old soil. No here, no there. Only everywhere [Paul Klee]

VIII. Poema 12.

They admire, they desire, they gravitate
they caress, they undress, they osculate
they pant, they sniff, they penetrate
they weld, they meld, they conjugate
they sleep, they wake, they illuminate
they covet, they touch, they fascinate
they chew, they taste, they salivate
they tangle, they twine, they segregate
they languish, they lapse, they reintegrate
they wriggle, they squirm, they orchestrate
they fumble, they fondle, they punctuate
they swoon, they twitch, they resuscitate

they sulk, they pout, they contemplate
they ignite, they inflame, they incinerate
they erupt, they explode, they detonate
they nab, they grab, they dislocate
they clinch, they clutch, they calcinate
they solder, they squeeze, they conflagrate
they shudder, they choke, they consecrate
they redden, they madden, they subjugate

they paw, they claw, they assassinate

they repose, the loll, they oscillate
they splice, they smolder, they colligate
they abate, they alate, and they levitate. [Oliverio Girondo]
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De Kooning Duo, for guitar and marimba [2007]

Adaptation for Makoto Nakura and Dieter Hennings
++++
This work is an adaptation of material originally found in my De Kooning Movements, for clarinet and marimba.

I have always been impressed by the brutality, the energy, the dynamic forms, and the synthetic energy of Willem de Kooning's work, and have now composed a piece that, through the exploration of the dramatic power of rhythm and bold instrumental gestures, hopes to conjure an experience similar to that of observing de Kooning's paintings. Writing this piece has been a journey that allowed me to savor with each stop an electric concoction of Matisse, Picasso, German Expressionism, Abstract Expressionism, and total abstraction.
--
Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez was born in Mexico City in 1964 and now lives in the New York Tundra, where he teaches composition at the Eastman School of Music. He studied with Jacob Druckman, Martin Bresnick, Steven Mackey and Henri Dutilleux at Yale, Princeton and Tanglewood, respectively. He has received many of the standard awards in the field (e.g. Barlow Prize, Guggenheim, Fulbright, Koussevitzky, Fromm, American Academy of Arts and Letters.) He likes machines with hiccups and spiders with missing legs, looks at Paul Klee's Notebooks everyday, hasn't grown much since he reached adulthood at age 14, and tries to use the same set of ears to listen to Bach, Radiohead, or Ligeti.

© 2007, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez. All Rights Reserved
Ariles, for Wind Ensemble. University of Louisville Wind Ensemble.
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Video by Aura Sordo
Music by Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez
Sculptures by Arthur Ganson
Performance by Eastman Broadband Ensemble, Daniel Pesca, piano.

©2017 Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Aura Sordo, Arthur Ganson
**PLEASE USE HEADPHONES OR HIGH-QUALITY PLAYBACK EQUIPMENT FOR BEST SOUND**

Video by Aura Sordo
Music by Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez
Sculptures by Arthur Ganson
Performance by Eastman Broadband Ensemble, Daniel Pesca, piano.

©2017 Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Aura Sordo, Arthur Ganson
**PLEASE USE HEADPHONES OR HIGH-QUALITY PLAYBACK EQUIPMENT FOR BEST SOUND**

Video by Aura Sordo
Music by Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez
Sculptures by Arthur Ganson
Performance by Eastman Broadband Ensemble, Daniel Pesca, piano.

©2017 Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Aura Sordo, Arthur Ganson
**PLEASE USE HEADPHONES OR HIGH-QUALITY PLAYBACK EQUIPMENT FOR BEST SOUND**

Video by Aura Sordo
Music by Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez
Sculptures by Arthur Ganson
Performance by Eastman Broadband Ensemble, Daniel Pesca, piano.

©2017 Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Aura Sordo, Arthur Ganson