Anubis Quartet returns in its Chicago concert series featuring Refracting a Shivery Light by internationally renowned composer Marcos Balter. Anubis Quartet, in collaboration with Marcos Balter, won a major grant from Chamber Music America for the composition of a new saxophone quartet. Director of the Music Composition program at Columbia College Chicago, Balter is currently one of the most in-demand composers today and has performances of his music and collaborations with ensembles worldwide.
The program will also feature the world premiere of David Reminick's Consort for four soprano saxophones, another work written specifically for Anubis Quartet and the North American premiere of Albumblatt II by Hans Thomalla. In Consort, the saxophones are specified to be detuned from each other, but are sometimes written as playing the same sounding pitches. This results in a shifting color palette unlike anything previously heard in saxophone quartet literature. Albumblatt II features the delicate and painstakingly crafted application of multiphonics on the saxophone in order to produce one large, slowly building musical gesture over the course of its five minute duration. Thomalla is currently Assistant Professor of Composition at Northwestern University.
On the program is another Anubis commission, Sonic Postcards, by Aaron Einbond. This work, for saxophone quartet and electronics, has the live instruments highlighting and interpreting unaltered sound recordings taken by the composer from around the world. These locations, ranging from a swamp in Oregon to the historic Passages des Panoramas in Paris, require the saxophones to synthesize new sounds with new playing techniques or the use of extra instruments such as beer bottles and siren whistles.
Anubis Quartet is excited to present one of the classics in saxophone quartet literature, XAS by Iannis Xenakis. This work, now 25 years old, still stands as a testament to the ability of the saxophone to display a stunning homogeneity of sound alongside stark harmonic verticality and a vast range of dynamics and textures.
*The Marcos Balter commission has been made possible by the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program, with generous funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Chamber Music America Endowment Fund.
Marcos Balter: New Work (2012, World Premiere)
Aaron Einbond: Sonic Postcards (2011)
David Reminick: Consort (2012, World Premiere)
Hans Thomalla: Albumblatt II (2011, North American Premiere)
Iannis Xenakis: XAS (1987)