Karakurenai (Japanese for “foreign crimson”) was originally written for solo prepared steel pan in June 2007 as part of the Synesthesia Suite; however, this piece can be performed on any combination of instruments and can include elements of improvisation if the performer desires. The original steel pan version is prepared with cylindrical magnets placed on four pitches (C, G, D, & A). These preparations cause the four notes to drop a semitone and produce a muted timbre (for example, using these preparations, ‘C,’ the lowest note of the instrument, sounds like a muted ‘B,’ one half-step below the original). The ostinato, or repeated pattern, in the right hand is played with the cardboard tube of a dry cleaner coat hanger, while the left hand plays the melody with a wooden chopstick.
– Andy Akiho 2014
ABOUT THE COMPOSER:
Andy Akiho was born in 1979 in Columbia, South Carolina and now resides in New York. His musical interests run from steel pan to traditional classical music. Akiho’s debut CD No One To Know One, on Innova Records, features brilliantly crafted compositions that pose intricate rhythms and exotic timbres around his primary instrument, the steel pan.
Recent engagements include commissioned premieres by the New York Philharmonic’s CONTACT! series and Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble ACJW, a performance with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and three concerts at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. His rhythmic compositions have been recognized with awards including the 2014-15 Luciano Berio Rome Prize, the 2014 American Composers Orchestra Underwood Emerging Composers Commission, a 2014 Chamber Music Grant with the Friction Quartet and Jenny Q. Chai, a 2012 Chamber Music America Grant with Sybarite5, the 2011 Finale & ensemble eighth blackbird National Composition Competition Grand Prize, the 2012 Carlsbad Composer Competition Commission for the Calder Quartet, the 2011 Woods Chandler Memorial Prize (Yale School of Music), a 2011 Music Alumni Award (YSM), the 2010 Horatio Parker Award (YSM), three ASCAP Plus Awards, an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award, and a 2008 Brian M. Israel Prize.
Akiho is a graduate of the University of South Carolina (BM, performance), the Manhattan School of Music (MM, contemporary performance), and the Yale School of Music (MM, composition). He is pursuing a Ph.D. in composition at Princeton University, and is currently Composer-in-Residence at Avaloch Farm Music Institute. His compositions have been featured on PBS’s “News Hour with Jim Lehrer” and by organizations such as Bang on a Can, American Composers Forum, and The Society for New Music. To read more about Andy and listen to his music, please visit www.andyakiho.com
ABOUT THE PERFORMERS:
Praised for his “excellent” and “precisely attuned” performances by the New York Times, percussionist Ian David Rosenbaum has developed a musical breadth far beyond his years. He made his Kennedy Center debut in 2009 and later that year garnered a special prize created for him at the Salzburg International Marimba Competition./p>
Last season, Mr. Rosenbaum joined the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two program as only the second percussionist they have selected in their history. Mr. Rosenbaum has performed with the acclaimed So Percussion group and has appeared at the Norfolk, Yellow Barn, Chamber Music Northwest and Music@Menlo festivals.
Highlights of the 2013-2014 season include a tour of Southern California performing Christopher Cerrone’s Memory Palace, a recital at the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C. and a solo performance on the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s New Music in the Kaplan Penthouse series.
Continuing his passionate advocacy for contemporary music, this season Mr. Rosenbaum will premiere new works for percussion by Andy Akiho, David Crowell, Tawnie Olson and Paola Prestini.
Mr. Rosenbaum is a member of Sandbox Percussion, Le Train Bleu, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Novus NY and Time Travelers. He has recorded for the Bridge, Innova and Naxos labels and is on the faculty of the Dwight School in Manhattan. Mr. Rosenbaum endorses Vic Firth sticks and mallets.