The second of the MATA Festival's three 2012 performances celebrated the talents of Jacob Cooper, Cecilia Lopez, Kate Soper, Lesley Flanigan and Matt Marks in a program driven by the concept of the composer/performer.
Recorded April 19 at Roulette in Brooklyn, the evening opened with the second of composer Jacob Cooper's three-part video series using "found" video as source material. For Tryptych: II. Black or White, Cooper manipulated video footage from Michael Jackson's 1993 Super Bowl half-time show and audio from Jackson's song "Black or White." From there, the program progressed to a series of pieces focused largely around electro-acoustic manipulated chamber ensembles and unusual vocal techniques.
The performance featured two large-scale installations of "homemade" instruments. Cecilia Lopez's Mechanical Music for Sheet Metal was written for large sheets of amplified Argentinean sheet metal with trumpet, trombone and a baritone singer. For Eli Kezler's Cold Pin, the composer accompanied jazz-inflected horns and drumset with an electronically controlled instrument of cut piano strings struck by motorized rods.
Many of the pieces were driven by vocals, though in very different contexts. Composer/performer Matt Marks and vocalist Mellissa Hughes presented a sneak peak into Marks's The Little Death, Vol. 2 - the second installment of a pop-opera currently available on New Amsterdam Records. Composer/vocalist Kate Soper's microdrama Only the words themselves mean what they say featured Soper and flutist Erin Lesser interpreting text by Lydia Davis. Lesley Flanigan performed excerpts from her 2009 album Amplifications, using the sound of her voice run through loop pedals and the feedback of homemade speakers.
2012 marks the MATA Festival's 14th season with each season featuring MATA-commissioned works performed by internationally renowned and adventurous ensembles.To date, MATA has commissioned 67 works and has presented over 293 performances of pieces by young composers.
Jacob Cooper: Triptych: II. Black or White^ (interview only)
Cecilia Lopez: Mechanical Music for Sheet Metal
Kate Soper: Only the words themselves mean what they say
Lesley Flanigan: from AMPLIFICATIONS
Eli Keszler: Cold Pin*