Violin, Viola & Video Virtuosity
Recorded During a Live Webcast from Evergroove Studio, Thursday, April 26, 2012.
Back to the start of the program: SAPPHIRE vimeo.com/44128211
Composer Charles Norman Mason and NYC artist Sheri Wills continue their collaborative work with a piece created specifically for Karen Bentley Pollick. It blurs the digital with the human by turning the soloist into a visual and aural landscape: as both the source and site of the imagery and as both the source of real and imagined sound sources. The video is projected onto the soloist, who becomes the screen for the imagery – imagery that shifts as the violinist moves within the frame. The audio is a combination of live acoustic and digital audio that includes samples of recorded performances of Ms. Pollick. The title for the piece comes from Gregory Stock’s book Metaman: The Merging of Humans and Machines into a Global Superorganism. The music for Metaman was completed during a residency sponsored by the Escape to Create Institute of Seaside, Florida.
CHARLES NORMAN MASON has been recognized repeatedly for his originality and attention to color. Peter Burwasser of Fanfare writes that Mason’s music speaks in a “boldly, original voice”. High Performance Review states that the music is “full of invention... funky and colorful... consistently ingenious.” Katherine Porlington writes in Upstate Music (NY) “...Mason's Senderos Que se Bifurcan... is, without doubt, one of the finest new clarinet chamber works of the past twenty years.” Nancy Raabe writes in The Birmingham News “Mason's brilliant "From Shook Foil" occupies a class of its own... it is charged with creativity
Mason has received many awards for his compositions including the American Composers Orchestra “Playing it Unsafe” prize, the 2005 Rome Prize, the Premi Internacional de Composició Musical Ciutat de Tarragona Orchestra Music prize, and a National Endowment of the Arts Individual Artist Award.
His music has been performed throughout the world. Recent performances include the FORO INTERNACIONAL DE MUSICA NUEVA in Mexico City, the Quirinale in Rome, the Aspen Summer Music Festival, Nuova Musica Consonante in Romania, and the Spoleto Festival (SC), Twice recently his music was broadcast on “Performance Today” on NPR.
His music is available on ten different compact disc recordings. His music is published by Living Artist Publishing. Dr. Mason is associate professor of composition the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music and director of the Electronic Music studio. He is also executive director of Living Music Foundation, Inc.
KAREN BENTLEY POLLICK has performed as violinist with Paul Dresher’s Electro-Acoustic Ensemble since 1999 and performs a wide range of solo repertoire and styles on violin, viola, piano and Norwegian hardangerfele. A native of Palo Alto, California, she studied with Camilla Wicks in San Francisco and with Yuval Yaron, Josef Gingold and Rostislav Dubinsky at Indiana University where she received both Bachelors and Masters of Music Degrees in Violin Performance. She has several recordings of original music, including Electric Diamond, Angel, Konzerto and Succubus and Ariel View, for which she has received three music awards from Just Plain Folks, including Best Instrumental Album and Best Song. On her own record label Ariel Ventures she has produced Dancing Suite to Suite, , and Homage to Fiddlers and Bebop for Beagles. She filmed Dan Tepfer’s Solo Blues for Violin and Piano in Shoal Creek, Alabama, in June 2009.
Pollick was concertmaster of the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in 1984 and has participated in the June in Buffalo and Wellesley Composers Conferences. She has appeared as soloist with Redwood Symphony in the world premiere of Swedish composer Ole Saxe’s Dance Suite for Violin and Orchestra, the Alabama Symphony, and orchestras in Panama, Russia, Alaska, New York and California. She has performed in recital with Russian pianist/composer Ivan Sokolov at the American Academy of Rome, Seattle, New York City and Colorado, throughout the Czech Republic with cellist Dennis Parker at the American Spring Festival, and in England at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. Along with choreographer Teri Weksler and percussionist John Scalici, Pollick received a Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham 2008 Interdisciplinary Grant to Individual Artists. Pollick received a grant from the Alabama State Council for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts for her March 2010 Solo Violin and Alternating Currents concerts in Birmingham, Seattle and at Music Olomouc 2011. With Australian pianist Lisa Moore, Pollick formed the duo Prophet Birds in spring 2009 and the Double Duo with Paul Dresher and Joel Davel. Pollick performs on a violin made by Jean Baptiste Vuillaume in 1860 and a viola made in 1987 by William Whedbee. She currently resides in Evergreen, Colorado. kbentley.com
SHERI WILLS is an artist whose work is based in film, video performance & installation. Her work has been exhibited around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the London Film Festival, the Director’s Lounge in Berlin, the San Francisco Cinematheque and the International Film Festival in Rotterdam. Her work is featured in the Rizzoli book Sonic Graphics: Seeing Sound, by Matt Woolman. She holds an MFA in filmmaking & an MA in art history, theory & criticism, both from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her collaborations include video projects with music composed by Bright Sheng, Jan Jirásek, Charles Norman Mason, and Ofer Ben-Amots and video performances with music ensembles, including the Providence String Quartet and Luna Nova New Music Ensemble. Sheri Wills is a professor of art and the director of the film/media program at the University of Rhode Island. She lives in New York City.