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Classical: Postmodern Avant Garde: Classical Avant-Garde Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Publiquartet

by Publiquartet

PUBLIQuartet have forged a non-traditional path for the string quartet by introducing contemporary and genre-bending works to unsuspecting audiences around the world.
Genre: Classical: Postmodern
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. An Impetuous Old Friend
3:09 $0.99
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2. Break Away: I. Lilting
1:15 $0.99
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3. Break Away: II. Song Bird
2:32 $0.99
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4. Break Away: III. Smoke
3:04 $0.99
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5. Break Away: IV. Quick Pass
0:39 $0.99
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6. Break Away: V. Break Away
3:27 $0.99
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7. Bird in Paris
6:14 $0.99
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8. String Quartet
12:02 $0.99
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9. Epistrophy: I. Epis
1:17 $0.99
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10. Epistrophy: II. Tro
3:22 $0.99
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11. Epistrophy: III. Phy
3:26 $0.99
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12. Surface Tension
7:24 $0.99
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13. Voodoo Dolls
4:30 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
If you are reading this, it means you are in possession of PUBLIQuartet's very own debut album! In case this is your first time hearing us, we’d like to tell you a little bit about ourselves and the music. Each track on this album is very special to us: some pieces were written for PQ, some came to us through our emerging composers program, and some we composed ourselves.

We have forged a non-traditional path for the string quartet by introducing contemporary and genre-bending works to unsuspecting audiences around the world. We were named the New Music/New Places Ensemble with Concert Artists Guild, winning their 2013 Sylvia Ann Hewlett Adventurous Artist Prize. In April 2015 we performed all of the works on this album in a sold-out performance at Carnegie Hall. That was fun! We have played in venues of all kinds, from Lincoln Center and the Newport Jazz Festival, to NYC's SubCulture and Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola. In January 2015 we were honored to receive the CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming for outstanding and innovative approaches to contemporary classical, jazz, and world chamber music. New music is our passion and this album is one of many steps towards spreading these crazy, eclectic, and inspiring sounds far and wide. We couldn’t be happier that this music is in your hands!


MIND | THE | GAP is an original program developed in 2011 by PUBLIQuartet to generate an interest in new music and keep traditional classical music relevant to modern audiences. MTG allows PQ to blur the lines between performer and composer; intertwining compositions from seemingly disparate genres. Their “ingenious, freewheeling hybrids” (STRAD magazine) touch on deeper connections between traditional, modern and popular music through improvisation and group composition. PQ’s compositions have been proclaimed as “remarkable” and “innovative music making without any condescension or compromise” (Feast of Music). The ensemble was featured in the Winter 2015 issue of Symphony Magazine as “Leaders of the New School” for their “audacious rearranging of beloved masterworks.”


PUBLIQ Access is designed to promote new works for the string quartet and highlight the voices of today’s innovative emerging composers at the formative point of their careers. PQA is genre-independent and supports under-represented music in the string quartet repertoire regardless of style, including jazz, world, improvised, non-notated, and electronic music. Each PQA cycle culminates in a high profile showcase concert in New York City featuring the chosen compositions.

The goal of PUBLIQ Access is to bring exposure of the chosen pieces to the widest possible reach through performances of the highest quality and audience engagement through talks, panels, and free concerts. Every PQ concert features work from their PUBLIQ Access program including all performances on tour and even their high profile concerts, including their Carnegie Hall debut.


An Impetuous Old Friend - Howie Kenty
Frustration; interruption; the happy recklessness of youth; irritating repetition; obsessively turning over an idea well beyond what is useful or healthy; memories brought forth and altered; obnoxious and jarring juxtaposition; irritating repeinterruptionon; anger, misplaced and deserved; chaos and confusion; constructive and abusive dialogue; unfettered joy in the midst.
– Howie Kenty

Break Away - Jessie Montgomery
Breakaway was written for PUBLIQuartet in 2013 for a premiere at the Music of Now festival at Symphony Space. The piece was born out of a series of improvisations that PQ was working on while in residency at the Banff Centre where we formed a suite of short pieces riffing on several different styles of music from hip-hop to electronica to twentieth-century modern. Woven among some of my own chosen specific imagery, I adapted some of the techniques from that suite into this 5-movement work. The score calls on the quartet to both play with and "break away" from the score at various points, thereby attempting a seamless dialogue between the written score and the whims of the quartet, in which the piece takes on further transformation at each performance. The first movement, “Lilting,” is an homage to Anton Webern with a focus on gestural dialogue. The second movement, “Songbird,” is an image of an individual’s voice trying to emerge against a harsh facade and includes the first improvised passages in the work. The third movement, “Smoke,” is loosely based on the form of a jazz tune of my own design. The 4th movement, “Quick Pass,” serves as a transition to the final movement “Break Away,” in which the quartet incorporates its most open improvised sections.
– Jessie Montgomery

MIND|THE|GAP: Bird in Paris - PUBLIQuartet
Bird In Paris is an incarnation of PUBLIQuartet's MIND|THE|GAP series. Here, we explore the connections and distinctions between the music of France and America; Impressionism and Bebop; Claude Debussy and Charlie Parker. These musics share much: rich chromatic alterations to harmony, melodic invention, and bubbling atmospheric textural accompaniment. This fantasy features the members of the quartet in various forms, from free jazz to solo sonata, as well as several quotes from both Debussy and Bird's oeuvre.
– Curtis Stewart

String Quartet - Eugene Birman
I have long skirted the kinds of pieces too familiar to me: too familiar in the sense that I have played them myself on the violin and the “practice” of writing such a thing is too firmly ingrained that, perhaps, the nature of writing it for me is disassociated from the blank slate as I would like to see it. I have played string quartets, not just as a violinist but as a violist as well. My familiarity extends not to the instrumentation, as such, but to the idea of playing together, of an intimate assemblage of four musicians in a (theoretically) small space, where it is not playing for the audience, but for each other, that makes the difference. Shedding myself of the chains of history and historical practice, I thought of what a quartet really is, what it means, in terms of energy, of sound, of range, of simply playing together. Is it a difference that it is four, and not three, or five? It is only some perfect sonic quality that has given the string quartet its unassailable place as the archetype of chamber music.

The sonic quality, the energy: I have thought of this piece in those terms. I admit that this piece is a bit of an experiment in voicing and containing energy, and in that sense, it follows from many other pieces of mine. It is, however, very different in the way it unites my own ideas about harmony and voice leading, how it unites my choral and instrumental music thematically. I have begun to think of a string quartet as a kind of instrumental parable for the choir. I sought, then, to approach these stringed voices as true voices; the breath of chamber music as real breath; the blend of register and sound as a path to follow.
– Eugene Birman

MIND|THE|GAP: Epistrophy - PUBLIQuartet
American jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk (1917 - 1982) and Russian giant Igor Stravinsky (1882 - 1971) may seem like an unlikely pairing, but despite their variant genres both were radical innovators who left a significant mark on the modernist music scene. Both composers savored dissonance and polytonality, jolting and asymmetrical rhythms, ostinato patterns, and the ability to create melodic ideas with just a few notes. Stravinsky was notably influenced by both jazz and ragtime, and when he moved to America in the 1940’s, he along with fellow composer Darius Milhaud frequented jazz clubs in Harlem. On one of these outings, Stravinsky may very well have seen a young pianist, the newest addition to the house band at Milton’s Playhouse, Thelonious Monk. Before finding his voice in jazz, Monk began his training as a classical pianist at the age of 11, a background that shaped him as a musician throughout his life. He loved and was well versed in the compositions of Chopin, Liszt, and Rachmaninoff, and Stravinsky’s music was a particular favorite. So it is only fitting to synthesize these two composers through the musical dialogue of improvisation. An addition to PUBLIQuartet’s programming concept MIND|THE|GAP, Epistrophy conjoins each of the movements of Stravinsky’s Three Pieces for String Quartet with several of Monk’s tunes. In the first movement Stravinsky’s Danse is paired with Monk’s “Green Chimneys,” a spritely tune named after the progressive school in Putnam, NY that Monk's daughter attended. In the second movement Stravinsky’s Eccentrique, is inspired by the popular “Big Boot” act of 4-foot 6-inch tall comedian Little Tich. The composition is, like the movements of Little Tich, lurching and insistent in its writing. Merged with Monk’s “Epistrophy,” its title measures up. Most likely derived from the English word “epistrophe,” it is defined as "the repetition of a word or expression at the end of successive phrases…especially for rhetorical or poetic effect." Fitting, given the expressive repetition in the writing of both Stravinsky and Monk. The final movement combines Stravinsky’s “Cantique,” a haunting movement centered around the 13th-century Latin hymn Dies Irae or day of wrath. Interlaced with Monk’s most famous ballad Round Midnight, it evokes the dark halls of the cathedral and a dimly lit, smoky jazz club. Perhaps Monk too would have appreciated the connections. Once asked by a journalist about the relevance of jazz compared to that of classical music Monk’s response was simply “Two is one.”
– Jannina Norpoth

Surface Tension - David Biedenbender
I am often inspired by the fleeting moments of consciousness as I fall asleep, a space that lies between the real and the surreal, between waking and dreaming. As I lay in bed one evening, I began to imagine a glass of water, filled to the brim, with the water rising slightly over the top, surface tension preventing it from spilling over. I picked up the glass and began to toss it up and down, yet the water remained intact, held together by a strange force. I then pulled the water out of the glass with my fingers and tossed the droplets into the air. As if in slow motion, some droplets fell to the ground and bounced like metal beads, others shattered like fragile glass, some fell upward and outward toward the ceiling and the walls, and yet others simply floated perpetually in midair, refusing to fall at all. In writing Surface Tension, I wanted to capture the imagery and surreality of this dream, stretching time, objects, and spaces in the same way that was possible only in that dream-space.
– David Biedenbender

Voodoo Dolls - Jessie Montgomery
Voodoo Dolls (music for dance) was commissioned in 2008 and choreographed by the JUMP! Dance Company of Rhode Island, a collaborative work among their faculty and students. The choreography was a suite of dances, each one representing a different traditional children's doll: Russian dolls, marionettes, rag dolls, Barbie, voodoo dolls...The piece is influenced by West African drumming patterns and lyrical chant motives, all of which feature highlights of improvisation within the ensemble.
– Jessie Montgomery

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