On-Demand Audio: ACME Plays Kevin Volans and John Luther Adams

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The American Contemporary Music Ensemble, known by it's clever acronym ACME, promises listeners Grade-A music and they never let an audience down. This young, New-York based 'indie-band' has been in high demand throughout the city and beyond, bringing their energy and passion for avant-garde programming and high-level performance everywhere they go. Though often paired with rock bands as the opening act, this concert on March 14 features ACME all on its own at (Le) Poisson Rouge performing a dual composer portrait of Kevin Volans and John Luther Adams.

In this concert, ACME bookends two string quartets by Kevin Volans with two larger chamber pieces of John Luther Adams. Volans and Adams have extremely different compositional styles and sound worlds, but both are significantly influenced by their environments. A native of South Africa, African rhythms and the sounds of indigenous instruments such as the mbira are clear sources in Volans' works. Similarly, for over two decades John Luther Adams has composed in a 16'x24' cabin outside of Fairbanks, Alaska -- unquestionably, the vastness of the Alaskan landscape is his muse.

ACME players for this concert include violinists Caleb Burhans and Yuki Numata, violist Nadia Sirota, cellist Clarice Jensen, bassist Kris Saebo, harpist Nuiko Wadden, percussionists Haruka Fujii and Chris Thompson, and pianist Timothy Andres.

Complete Program:

John Luther Adams's The Farthest Place.

Kevin Volans's String Quartet No. 1, "White Man Sleeps"

Kevin Volans's String Quartet No. 9, "Shiva Dances"

John Luther Adams's In a Treeless Place, Only Snow.

(L)PR’s Technical Director is Richie Clarke and this concert was mixed by Bill Bowen.