On September 14, and September 15 “The Body of Your Dreams” and “Heartbreakers” by avant-pop composer/videographer JacobTV will be part of “Breath Beneath”, a pilot project that explores the intersection of music, interactive technology, and durational visual art.
Hailed by Chamber Music magazine for “pioneering achievements of the highest order,” the PRISM Quartet partners with Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design in Philadelphia and 3-Legged Dog in New York City to co-present “Breath Beneath”. On September 14 “Breath Beneath” will be performed at Drexel University URBN Center Annex, Black Box Theater in Philadelphia. On September 15, they will perform at 3-Legged Dog in New York. For more information about the dates, venues, and tickets, click here.
About “Breath Beneath”
Breath Beneath is the first phase—and first public presentation—of a multi-year “Discovery” initiative, supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Reaching across disciplines, the PRISM Quartet (saxophones) joins forces with two intrepid creative teams to investigate how saxophonists’ movements and sounds can be used to generate images—and how those images shape musical interpretation.
Video artist Bill Morrison uses infrared cameras and air sensors to visualize breath passing through saxophones by having PRISM “blow” MIDI-triggered video images onto a scrim hung in front of the quartet. Images are generated by the Quartet performing Julia Wolfe’s “Cha.” The piece was inspired by Wolfe’s childhood memories of dancing with her late father. Wolfe describes it as “a play on Latin dance tune fragments, bass lines, and vocal trills made messy with cross-rhythms and bursts of song.” Wolfe originally envisioned “Cha” (commissioned and premiered by PRISM in 2015) as a collaboration with Morrison; Breath Beneath is PRISM’s first opportunity to present “Cha” as she imagined it.
The program includes “Hymn” by Kati Agócs (New England Conservatory) with film by Eli Stine and first-time PRISM Quartet performances of “The Body of Your Dreams” and “Heartbreakers” by composer/videographer Jacob TV. These works test the limits of traditional (noninteractive) video projection, illuminating the evolution of media technology.
Dutch ‘avant pop’ composer JacobTV (Jacob Ter Veldhuis, 1951) started as a rock musician and studied composition and electronic music at the Groningen Conservatoire. He was awarded the Composition Prize of the Netherlands in 1980 and became a full-time composer who soon made a name for himself with melodious compositions, straight from the heart and with great effect. ‘I pepper my music with sugar,’ he says.
The press called him the ‘Andy Warhol of new music’ and his ‘coming-out’ as a composer of ultra-tonal, mellifluous music reached its climax with the video oratorio Paradiso, based on Dante’s Divina Commedia.
JacobTV’s so-called boombox repertoire works for live instruments with a grooving soundtrack based on speech melody, became internationally popular. With about a 1000 performances worldwide per year, he is one of the most performed European composers. JacobTV is still an outlaw in the established modern classical music scene, and was accused of ‘musical terrorism’. According to the Wall Street Journal, some of his work ‘makes many a hip-hop artist look sedate’. In 2007 a 3-day JacobTV festival took place at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. His never-ending reality opera THE NEWS is constantly updated and various editions were performed in Chicago, Rome, Amsterdam, Hamburg, New York.