- The Icebox
- March 28th, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.
- Admission at the door is CASH ONLY $15 ($10 students, seniors, Crane tenants).
Rushes (2012) by Michael Gordon
Commissioned by the New Music Bassoon Fund
The Rushes Ensemble includes bassoonists Dana Jessen, Michael Harley, Jeffrey Lyman, Rachael Elliott, Saxton Rose, Lynn Hileman and Maya Stone
Years ago I pursed my lips and blew into a bassoon, and felt the entire instrument buzz as I droned on the very bottom note, a B flat. I held the long conical piece of wood in my hands with admiration — it was covered with what looked like a New York City subway map of shiny metal keys running every which way. The bassoon had heft and it was primal — the two reeds vibrating against each other produced a poignant and mournful sound.
Ensemble Bio: Rushes Ensemble
Making their debut in 2012, the Rushes Ensemble consists of bassoonists Dana Jessen, Michael Harley, Jeffrey Lyman, Rachael Elliott, Saxton Rose, Lynn Hileman and Maya Stone. A new force in contemporary music, this unique septet of bassoonists is dedicated to expanding and diversifying the future of bassoon repertoire through commissioning projects and collaborations. The ensemble takes its name from Michael Gordon’s Rushes, a sixty-minute work for seven bassoons commissioned through the New Music Bassoon Fund. The Rushes Ensemble released the premiere recording of Michael Gordon’s Rushes on Cantaloupe Records in March 2014. Recent engagements include performances at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center in New York, the November Music Festival in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, University of Michigan’s Stamps Auditorium, Amsterdam’s Ostadetheater, the Hague’s Korzo Theater and a Belgium National Radio Broadcast performance at the Concertgebouw Brugge.
Michael Gordon Bio:
Michael Gordon’s music merges subtle rhythmic invention with incredible power embodying, in the words of The New Yorker’s Alex Ross, “the fury of punk rock, the nervous brilliance of free jazz and the intransigence of classical modernism.”
Over the past 25 years, Gordon has produced a strikingly diverse body of work, ranging from large-scale pieces for high-energy ensembles to major orchestral commissions to works conceived specifically for the recording studio. Transcending categorization, this music represents the collision of mysterious introspection and brutal directness.
His orchestral and chamber works include Rewriting Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, Sunshine of your Love, Potassium, Industry, The Sad Park, and Trance, among others. Works for theater and opera include What To Wear, Acquanetta, Lost Objects, and Van Gogh. He has also had numerous collaborations with artists in other media, most frequently with filmmaker Bill Morrison and Ridge Theater.
Gordon has been commissioned by Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the BBC Proms, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Settembre Musica, the Holland Music Festival, the Dresden Festival, and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Arts Festival, among others. The recipient of multiple awards and grants, he has been honored by the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Born in Miami Beach in 1956, Gordon holds a bachelor of arts from New York University and a master’s in music from the Yale School of Music. He is co-founder and co-artistic director of New York’s legendary music collective Bang On a Can. His music is published by Red Poppy Music (ASCAP) and is distributed worldwide by G. Schirmer, Inc.
“Rushes” for sale from Cantaloupe Records: