Projects – Nico Muhly The official website of the New York-based composer Nico Muhly. Tue, 20 Dec 2016 21:03:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Short Stuff Tue, 20 Dec 2016 21:03:37 +0000 Commissioned by Jeffrey Kahane for the world premiere performance on April 26, 2009.

Patterns Tue, 20 Dec 2016 20:50:13 +0000 Commissioned by the American Guild of Organists.

Patterns is composed in four sections, each of which is sort of a rhythmic e?tude. The first (“Move Along”) is a perpetual motion machine with staggered and angular rhythms thrown between the pedals and the left hand. The second movement (“Palindromes”) is calmer and is centered around an ide?e fixe in the left hand while the right hand interjects and ornaments. The pedals, here, are a clumsy cousin, constantly upturning the sense of rhythmic stability. The third movement (“Similar”) is all to do with ways to divide up the bar: seven, eight, six, five, four — it’s all there. Then the finale (“Very Fast Music”) is a perpetual motion machine on its highest setting — manic and hyper, with hiccoughs offsetting the regularity of some of the rhythms.

O Antiphon Preludes Tue, 20 Dec 2016 20:42:19 +0000 Each prelude is based on each of the Seven Great O Antiphons for Advent:

O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem,
fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia:
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel,
qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti,
et ei in Sina legem dedisti:
veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.

O Radix Jesse, qui stas insignum populorum,
super quem continebunt reges os suum,
quem Gentes deprecabuntur:
veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.

O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel;
qui aperis, et nemo claudit;
claudis, et nemo aperit:veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris,
sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

O Oriens,
splendor lucis aeternae, et sol justitiae:
veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum,
lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum:
veni, et salva hominem,
quem de limo formasti.

O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster,
exspectatio Gentium, et Salvator earum:
veni ad salvandum nos, Domine, Deus noster.

Hudson Preludes Tue, 20 Dec 2016 20:18:24 +0000 Scent Opera Wed, 14 Dec 2016 19:21:09 +0000 The Scent Opera, a strange olfactory & music collaboration that dates back to 2009, is the first release on Bedroom Community’s HVALREKI digital-series. Written by Nico Muhly & Valgeir Sigurðsson for Green Aria: A Scent Opera. ‘An opera for your nose’ by Stewart Matthew and perfumer Christophe Laudamiel. Premiered at New York’s Guggenheim Museum in August 2009, this is the first time the recording has been released.

The opera’s premise is that a sequence of smells guides us through a oblique parable about industrialisation, through short episodic bursts of information. Some smells are dirty, like the rubber of a train in Paris, and others are classically blended harmonically well-rounded scents. Occasionally, a clean, neutral, pure sound arrives as a little flute-scented garden which should have the effect of clearing the chaos of the surrounding music (and, indeed, smells).

Nadia Sirota and Helgi Hrafn Jónsson join us as two of the essential voices that bind the narrative together. The multivalent collaboration yielded many surprising results: a 14-minute score that is funny, aggressive, shape-shifting, electronic, acoustic, and strange.

Fast Cycles Tue, 13 Dec 2016 17:02:10 +0000 Chorale Prelude on Lasst uns erfreuen Tue, 13 Dec 2016 16:53:36 +0000 In honour of Alison Shafer, commemorating 25 years of distinguished service.

Booklet Tue, 13 Dec 2016 16:45:08 +0000 Commissioned by Gilles Vonsattel and premiered by him on 12 October 2008 at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., United States of America.

Two Voices Tue, 13 Dec 2016 16:34:24 +0000 Commissioned by Hilary Hahn as part of the Encores project, 2010.

A Long Line Tue, 06 Dec 2016 18:07:32 +0000 A Long Line, for solo violin and electronics, was written for violinist Erik Carlson and was originally meant for performance as part of VisionIntoArt’s 2003 show Democrazy. The piece is built around a series of chords played by electric organ and articulated by bass clarinet and bass drum. These chords gradually shorten over the length of the piece, as the violin sings a long line over the texture. Towards the end of the piece, the violin is instructed to play a pattern of fast notes ‘like a string exercise, but extremely expressively.

Performance Note:

The tempo is approximate. Do not worry about aligning perfectly with tape unless otherwise indicated. If you find yourself playing far ahead or behind the tape, simply expand or remove a rest. Keep all note durations relative. Not all tape events have been rendered for the purposes of simplicity. Additional cues should be pencilled in as necessary.

Stride Mon, 05 Dec 2016 17:29:17 +0000 Available for purchase here.

Slow (In Nomine in Five Parts) Mon, 05 Dec 2016 17:23:40 +0000 Commissioned by Fretwork and first performed by them on 5 February 2015 at King’s Place, London.

The Reader: Three Arrangements for Viola & Piano Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:04:43 +0000 Consists of The Egg, You Don’t Matter, The Failed Visit. Available for purchase here.

Look for Me Tue, 29 Nov 2016 19:01:07 +0000 Commissioned by Het Koninklijk Concertgebouw & Calefax Reed Quintet.

I Know Where Everything Is Tue, 29 Nov 2016 18:53:39 +0000 Commissioned by the Seattle Chamber Players.

I Know Where Everything Is is a cycle of chords in a pile. Each chord has a series of possible voicings, and a series of possible quick ornamentations. The piece starts with the most moderate of these, works through the slower, more languid variations, and then concludes energetically and aggressively.
—Nico Muhly