A Cut Above with the Talea Ensemble
The Alchemy Behind Canon Fodder
Friday, December 02, 2011
This week on The New Canon, we catch up with the Talea Ensemble's violist Elizabeth Weisser and cellist Chris Gross on the eve of a John Zorn world premiere. With an ensemble that focuses on living music by living composers, we ask Elizabeth and Chris: What goes into being all-modern all the time?
Talea Ensemble gets its name from the musical term (Latin for "cutting") for repeating and cycling rhythmic patterns. It's a style used across the centuries from anonymous Medieval composers to Messiaen and Gerard Grisey. It's at once timeless and modern, giving credence to our belief that living music doesn't necessarily emanate from living composers—though sometimes, such as the case of John Zorn's upcoming Composer Portrait at the Miller Theatre at Columbia University (which features the Taleas giving a world premiere) the two coincide.
But how does one stay on the cutting edge? We ask this of Weisser and Gross as they continue to blaze trails with groundbreaking music.
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