Noam Bierstone: “Body Percussion”
Pressed, 750 Gladstone Ave.
Doors: 7:30pm // Pre-concert talk: 8:00pm // Show: 8:30pm
This program highlights the percussionist as an exciter or prober of sounds, revealing sounds hidden within instruments and objects that would otherwise go unheard through the use of various extended fricative and percussive techniques. The four works of the program treat the percussionist’s body in diverse ways: in Zihua Tan’s remnants present, the performer is hidden behind suspended metal instruments prepared with small objects, controlling sounds created by the objects via the movement of magnets on the backside of the instruments, while in Vinko Globokar’s ?Corporel, the percussionist’s body itself becomes the sounding instrument of the intense and highly theatrical work. In Pierluigi Billone’s ritualistic Mani.Gonxha, for two hand-held Tibetan singing bowls, the performer’s body becomes part of the resonating instrumental body, while the bowls act as an extension of the hands, becoming part of the performer. Hanna Hartman’s Message from the Lighthouse places the performer in a setting situated between sound installation and instrumental performance, creating a hybrid instrument through the combination and modification of mundane objects and instruments, extended playing techniques, and close amplification. These works each feature a unique microenvironment that aim to stretch and challenge the audience’s perception of musical performance and sound production.
Noam Bierstone is a Canadian percussionist and curator dedicated to modern artistic performance. Artist in residence (2013-15) at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, Noam is a member of scapegoat & Sixtrum, and is co-director of the Montreal experimental performance series NO HAY BANDA. He is regularly invited to perform with leading new music groups such as Ensemble Intercontemporain, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, soundinitiative, & Quatuor Bozzini, and can be heard on NMC Recordings, Cantaloupe Music, Radio France, SRF Radio 2 Kultur (Switzerland) & CBC Radio. Committed to the creation and development of new music, Noam pursues ongoing collaborations with various composers and artists, and performs at international stages including Ultima Oslo, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Darmstadt Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, ManiFeste, Klara Festival, Reina Sofia, IGNM Basel, Unerhörte Musik, Harvard University, Salle Bourgie, Festival MANCA & Domaine Forget. Noam is pursuing Doctor of Music studies at McGill University with the support of a Doctoral Fellowship awarded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, a McGill Graduate Excellence Award, the Canada Council for the Arts & the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation.
Zihua Tan has had his works performed in Asia, Europe, and North America, at events such as the Toru Takemitsu Composition Award (Japan), Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik (Germany), Montréal/Nouvelles Musiques (Canada), and Voix nouvelles de Royaumont (France). In recent years, he has been preoccupied with works that explore different theatrical, situational, and spatial elements, either in a concert setting or in an interdisciplinary context. He is currently finishing his doctoral dissertation – which examines the notion of non‐duality in music and the corresponding performance practice – at McGill University, Canada.
Zihua Tan, remnants present (2017)
Pierluigi Bilione, Mani.Gonxha (2012)
Hanna Hartman, Message from the Lighthouse (2009/16)
Vinko Globokar, ?Corporel (1985)
Zihua Tan, remnants present
remnants present was developed over the course of several months of close collaborative sessions between Zihua Tan and myself. We experimented with various metallic objects (whisks, spoons, magnets) on the metallic instruments used: a large tam-tam, a Chinese opera gong, and a bell plate. These sessions led us to explore a world of complex, delicate, and intriguingly volatile sounds that seem to be latent in the instruments themselves – waiting to be discovered, to be articulated.