MATA Festival: Signs and Signals

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The final evening of the 2012 MATA Festival featured a series of eclectic festival commissions and premieres of pieces from France, Finland, Spain and the U.S., performed by new-music luminaries including SIGNAL, Kathleen Supove and Mellissa Hughes.

The show, which took place at Brooklyn's Roulette, opened with the final installment of composer Jacob Cooper's three part series of "found source" videos, this one playing off of the penultimate act of Puccini's La Boheme. David Coll's Position, Influence for soprano and electronics, featured absurdist moans and shouts from soprano Mellissa Hughes over a textured cloud of metallic sounding electronics. Eric Wubbels's Viola Quartet tangled the four instruments in a delightful mess of harmonics, sul ponticello scrapes and other extended techniques.

The second half of the program began with Ivan Ferrer-Orozco's Traces IV: Anamnesis, in which pianist Kathleen Supove raced against a sputtering player piano in a human-vs-machine playoff. The set also included Alex Freeman's Magnolia, performed by Eva Alkula on kantele, a 39-string Finnish instrument, and the world premiere of Italian-born Parisian composer Francesco Filidei's alternately atmospheric and rhythmically driven work for the SIGNAL ensemble, conducted by Brad Lubman.

The evening marked the close of MATA's 14th season. Every year, the festival features MATA-commissioned works performed by internationally renowned and adventurous ensembles. To date, the festival has commissioned over 67 works and has presented over 293 performances of pieces by young composers.


Jacob Cooper: Triptych III: Alla stagion die fior (watch below)

David Coll: Position, Influence*
Mellissa Hughes, voice

Eric Wubbels: Viola Quartet
John Pickford Richards, Victor Lowrie, Hannah Levinson, Miranda Sielaff, violas

Ivan Ferrer-Orozco: Traces IV: Anamnesis**
Kathleen Supove, piano

Alex Freeman: Magnolia*
Eva Alkula, kantele

Francesco Filidei: Ballata n.2+^
SIGNAL Ensemble

^world premiere
*NY premiere
**US premiere
°MATA commission

Jacob Cooper: Triptych I