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...thus far and no further

 LIVE concert series

2020/21

 
 
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Longtime friends, composer Michael Hersch and sculptor Christopher Cairns have closely collaborated for almost two decades, Cairns' sculpture populating the earliest productions of Hersch's monodrama, On the Threshold of Winter, amongst other projects. 

 

Years ago, Cairns would host small private concert events in his studio which would feature Hersch's work, often with musicians who have subsequently become those most closely associated with his music. 

 

In the face of the pandemic both artists decided to craft a series of concerts to take place during the 2020/21 season, but this time Cairns opening the studio space to the public. The series will include five world premieres, and many works seldom heard in the U.S.

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a collection of five programs designed for 

an intimate audience

amongst the sculptures of 

christopher cairns

 


featuring performances by 

miranda cuckson, ah young hong, 

emi ferguson, daniel gaisford, conrad harris, 

and the FLUX quartet

of music by 

liza lim

guillaume de machaut

missy mazzoli

meredith monk

isabel mundry

matthias pintscher

josquin des prez

rebecca saunders

salvatore sciarrino

dmitri shostakovich

iannis xenakis

world premiere

harrison birtwistle

anthony braxton

john cage

alican çamci

morton feldman

christopher fox

orlando gibbons

georg friedrich haas

michael hersch

patricia kopatchinskaja

györgy kurtág

sculpture/sound installations before and after each performance with music by:

MILTON BABBITT • JOHN CROUCH • JASON ECKARDT • ERIN GEE • TIM HOLT • ORLANDE DE LASSUS • WANG LU • SEAN MCFARLAND • ROSCOE MITCHELL • TRISTAN MURAIL • LUIGI NONO • HALEY OLSON • CHAZ STUART

STRICT COVID-19 PROTOCOLS WILL BE EMPLOYED FOR ALL PERFORMERS AND AUDIENCE MEMBERS

for current information, please visit: www.pa.gov

 
 
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OCTOBER

MIRANDA CUCKSON | EMI FERGUSON

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*world premiere

ONLY

Morton Feldman

DOULEUR ME BAT

Josquin des Prez

IN THE SNOWY MARGINS

Michael Hersch

PUIS QU'EN OUBLI

Guillaume de Machaut

*UNWRUNG, APART, ALWAYS

Michael Hersch

PUIS QU'EN OUBLI

Guillaume de Machaut

THE WEATHER AND LANDSCAPE ARE ON OUR SIDE

Michael Hersch

DOULEUR ME BAT

Josquin des Prez

ONLY

Morton Feldman

In the snowy margins

BRUNO SCHULZ

from the collection: 

“Letters and Drawings of Bruno Schulz.”

translated by Walter Arndt

 

…Thus Far and no Further.

But what has become of the end of the world…

..........................

Only

RAINER MARIA RILKE

from Sonnets to Orpheus Part I, No. 23 (Feb. 1922), 

based on the translation by J.B. Leishman

 

Only when flight shall soar

not for its own sake only

up into heaven's 

lonely silence, 

and be no more

merely the lightly profiling, proudly successful tool, 

playmate of winds, beguiling time there, careless and cool: 

 

only when some pure Wither outweighs boyish insistence

on the achieved machine

with whom has journeyed thither be, in that fading distance, 

all that his flight has been.

 

..........................

Douleur me bat

ANONYMOUS

translated by Emi Ferguson

 

Douleur me bat et tristesse ma folle

Amour me nuit et malheur me console

Vouloir me suit mais aider ne me peut

Jouir ne puis d’un grand bien qu’on me veut

De vivre ainsi, pour Dieu, qu’on me decolle

Struck by sadness, driven mad by sorrow.

Hurt by love, consoled by misfortune.

Plagued by yearning, that offers no comfort.

I find no solace in good wishes,

Dear God, I’d rather lose my head than live like this.

Puis qu’en oubli

GUILLAUME DE MACHAUT

translated by Emi Ferguson

 

Puis qu’en oubli sui de vous, dous amis,

Vie amoureuse et joie à Dieu commant.

Mar vi le jour que m’amour en vous mis,

Puis qu’en oubli sui de vous, dous amis.

 

Mais ce tenray que je vous ay promis,

C’est que ja mais n’aray nul autre amant.

Puis qu’en oubli sui de vous, dous amis,

Vie amoureuse et joie à Dieu commant.

 

Since you have forgotten me, my love

I give my love and joy to God.

Dark was the day that I gave you my heart,

Since you have forgotten me, my love.

 

But I will keep my promise to you,

And shall never love another.

Since you have forgotten me, my love,

I give my love and joy to God.

..........................

The weather and landscape are on our side

BRUNO SCHULZ

from the collection:

“Letters and Drawings of Bruno Schulz.”

translated by Walter Arndt

 

1. Please let me know the diagnosis…

2. What is the hospital world like?

3. Waiting for news…

4. There will be more and better shortly.

5. Gombrowicz also advised me to get a passport right away…

6. I have seen beautiful, shocking, terrible sights…

7. The weather and landscape are on our side.

8. I grow more and more conscious of how remote I stand from real life…

9. For a few steps you may actually pretend you are losing the ground under your feet, confident that at a certain point the parachute will open and carry you off to safety.

10. May we be granted the opportunity to continue our exchange, which is important and real, peacefully…

11. No one will be left, all of it will become mere legend. 

unwrung, apart, always

ANJA ÜTLER

translated by Kurt Beals

 

again, then again came

unwrung, apart, always, bare

am murmur am: as if

wounded, raw

under cilia,

raw

****  ****  ****

 

streaked, [the swellings, the fibers released from the] inside

enwombed: so they wanted to germinate …

 

sprouting layers, they wanted to hem in …

 

… to lift and to lower the ribs

 

underneath is: the lung, now laid bare, but still bundled,

pressed under the air …

 

… finger through trace the darkening furrows serratus

abdominal muscles …

 

… this precipitous wound

the mouth: deepened …

 

… and it wells out it gurgles it screeches out from him - a moan -

 

… abandoned quenched like ashen tunnels …

… they loom up behind, in silence, they carry it out …

 

… through the veins, capillaries they draw - 

what was breath - that unravels …

 

… and for now just: unbound [by the horror turns marsyas turns-]

finally: flows out and into the waiting land …

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D

E

C

E

M

B

E

R

MIRANDA CUCKSON

EMI FERGUSON

DANIEL GAISFORD

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Fantasia No. 4

for flute and violin

ORLANDO GIBBONS
 

New Work

for solo flute 

ALICAN ÇAMCI

 

de terrae fine

for solo violin

GEORG FRIEDRICH HAAS

Fantasia

for flute, violin, and cello

ORLANDO GIBBONS

arr. MICHAEL HERSCH

Morte Tamburo 

for solo flute

SALVATORE SCIARRINO

Sonata No. 2

for solo cello

MICHAEL HERSCH

 

Fantasia No. 4

for flute and cello

ORLANDO GIBBONS

 
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APRIL

MIRANDA CUCKSON

AH YOUNG HONG

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*New work, I

for soprano and violin

Missy Mazzoli

 

Kafka Fragments (excerpts)

for soprano and violin

György Kurtág

 

*New work, II

for soprano and violin
Missy Mazzoli

 

Kafka Fragments (excerpts) 

for soprano and violin 

György Kurtág

 

*New work, III

for soprano and violin

Missy Mazzoli

 

… From El Araïch

for soprano and violin

Georg Friedrich Haas

*world premiere

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fragments, by Franz Kafka

Júlia and Peter Sherwood, translations

I Teil

2. Wie ein Weg im Herbst

Wie ein Weg im Herbst: Kaum ist er reingekehrt, bedeckt er sich wieder mit den trockenen Blättern.

 

4. Ruhelos

 

5. Berceuse I

Schlage deinen Mantel, hoher Traum, um das Kind.

 

6. Nimmermehr (Excommunicatio)

Nimmermehr, nimmermehr kehrst du wieder in die Städte, nimmermehr tönt die große Glocke über dir.

11. Sonntag, Den 19, Juli 1910 (Berceuse II)

Geschlafen, aufgewacht, geschlafen, aufgewacht, elendes Leben.

 

13. Einmal brach ich mir das Bein (Chassidischer Tanz)

Einmal brach ich mir das Bein, es war das schönste Erlebnis meines Lebens.

 

14. Umpanzert

Einen Augenblick lang fühlte ich mich umpanzert.

 

15. Zwei Spazierstöcke (Authentisch-plagal)

Auf Balzacs Spazierstockgriff: Ich breche alle Hindernisse. Auf meinem: Mich brechen alle Hindernisse. Gemeinsam ist das "alle".

 

16. Keine Rückkehr

Von einem gewissen Punkt an gibt es keine Rückkehr mehr. Dieser Punkt ist zu erreichen.

 

17. Stolz (1910/15. November, Zehn Uhr)

Ich werde mich nicht müde werden lassen. Ich werde in meine Novelle hineinspringen und wenn es mir das Gesicht zerschneiden sollte.

18. Träumend hing die Blume (Hommage à Schumann)

Träumend hing die Blume am hohen Stengel. Abenddämmerung umzog sie.

 

19. Nichts dergleichen

Nichts dergleichen, nichts dergleichen.

Part I (excerpts)

2. Like a pathway in Autumn

Like a pathway in autumn: hardly has it been swept clean, it is covered again with dry leaves.

 

4. Restless

 

5. Berceuse I

Wrap your overcoat, o lofty dream, around the child.

 

6. Nevermore (Excommunicatio)

Nevermore, nevermore will you return to the cities, nevermore will the great bell resound above you.

 

11. Sunday, 19th July 1910 (Berceuse II)

Slept, woke, slept, woke, miserable life.

13. Once I broke my leg (Chassidic dance)

Once I broke my leg: it was the most wonderful experience of my life.

 

14. Enarmoured

For a moment I felt enarmoured.

15. Two walking-sticks (Authentic-plagal)

On the stock of Balzac's walking-stick: "I surmount all obstacles." On mine: "All obstacles surmount me." They have that "all" in common.

 

16. No going back

From a certain point on, there is no going back. That is the point to reach.

17. Pride (15th November 1910, 10 O'Clock)

I will not let myself be made tired. I will dive into my story even if that should lacerate my face.

 

18. The flower hung dreamily (Hommage to Schumann)

The flower hung dreamily on its tall stem. Dusk enveloped it.

19. Nothing of the kind

Nothing of the kind, nothing of the kind.

III Teil

 

1. Haben? Sein?

Es gibt kein Haben, nur ein Sein, nur ein nach letztem Atem, nach Ersticken verlangendes Sein.

 

3. Meine Festung

Meine Gefängniszelle - meine Festung.

5. Elendes Leben (Double)

Geschlafen, aufgewacht, geschlafen, aufgewacht, elendes Leben.

 

7. Ziel, Weg, Zögern

Es gibt ein Ziel, aber keinen Weg; was wir Weg nennen, ist Zögern.

11. Staunend sahen wir das große Pferd

Staunend sahen wir das große Pferd. Es durchbrach das Dach unserer Stube. Der bewölkte Himmel zog sich schwach entlang des gewaltigen Umrisses, und rauschend flog die Mähne im Wind.

Part III

 

1. To have? To be?

There is no 'to have', only a 'to be', a 'to be' longing for the last breath, for suffocation.

 

3. My fortress

My prison-cell - my fortress.

 

5. Miserable life (Double)

Slept, woke, slept, woke, miserable life.

7. Destination, path, hesitation

There is a destination, but no path to it; what we call a path is hesitation.

11. Amazed, we saw the great horse

Amazed, we saw the great horse. It broke through the ceiling of our room. The cloudy sky scudded weakly along its mighty silhouette as its mane streamed in the wind.

IV Teil

 

1. Zu spät (22. Oktober 1913)

Zu spät. Die Süßigkeit der Trauer und der Liebe. Von ihr angelächelt werden im Boot. Das war Allerschönste. Immer nur das Verlangen, zu sterben und das Sich-noch-Halten, das allein ist Liebe.

 

4. Aus einem alten Notizbuch

Jetzt am Abend, nachdem ich von sechs Uhr früh an gelernt habe, bemerkte ich, wie meine linke Hand die Rechte schon ein Weilchen lang aus Mitleid bei den Fingern umfaßt hielt.

 

6. In Memoriam Joannis Pilinszky

Ich kann... nicht eigentlich erzählen, ja fast nicht einmal reden; wenn ich erzähle, habe ich meistens ein Gefühl, wie es kleine Kinder haben könnten, die die ersten Gehversuche machen.

Part IV

 

1. Too late (22nd October 1913)

Too late. The sweetness of sorrow and of love. To be smiled at by her in a rowing-boat. That was the most wonderful of all. Always just the yearning to die and the surviving, that alone is love.

4. From an old notebook

Now, in the evening, having studied since six in the morning, I notice that my left hand has for some time been gripping the fingers of my right in commiseration.

 

6. In memoriam Joannis Pilinszky

I can't actually... tell a story, in fact I am almost unable even to speak; when I try to tell it, I usually feel the way small children might when they try to take their first steps.

... from El Araïch ...

written and translated by Georg Friedrich Haas

Es wird wieder Konzerte und Opernaufführungen geben.

Die Museen werden sich wieder öffnen.

Und die Theater. 

Nach der lange andauernden Phase der durch virtuelle Realität 

wird der Hunger nach unmittelbarem zwischenmenschlichen Erleben gestillt werden müssen. 

Es wird wieder Konzerte und Opernaufführungen geben. 

Die Museen werden sich wieder öffnen.

Und die Theater.

(voiceless)

There will be concerts and opera performances again.

The museums will reopen.

And the theaters.

After the long-lasting period of being force-fed by virtual reality

the hunger for immediate interhuman encounters must be satisfied.

(with voice)

There will be concerts and opera performances again.

The museums will reopen.

And the theaters.

MAY

FLUX QUARTET

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obsidian chorale

composition no.305

*new work

quietly

flowing along

unbreathed

quietly

flowing along

*new work

composition no.304

obsidian chorale

MEREDITH MONK

ANTHONY BRAXTON

PATRICIA KOPATCHINSKAJA

JOHN CAGE

REBECCA SAUNDERS

JOHN CAGE

PATRICIA KOPATCHINSKAJA

ANTHONY BRAXTON

MEREDITH MONK

 
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JUNE

EMI FERGUSON

DANIEL GAISFORD

CONRAD HARRIS

AH YOUNG HONG

We Were Together

for soprano and violin

Dmitri Shostakovich

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Mikka "s"

for solo violin

Iannis Xenakis

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Three Settings

from Nine Settings of Lorine Niedecker

for soprano and cello

Harrison Birtwistle

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Bioluminescence

for solo flute

Liza Lim

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O Lord, I lift my heart to thee

for soprano, flute, violin, and cello

Orlando Gibbons

arr. Michael Hersch

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Figura V

for solo cello

Matthias Pintscher

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Sea Poppies

for soprano and flute

Christopher Fox

*world premiere

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Balancen

for solo violin

Isabel Mundry

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We Were Together

for soprano and violin

Dmitri Shostakovich

WE WERE TOGETHER

Alexander Blok

translated by David Angell

Мы были вместе, помню я...

Ночь волновалась, скрипка пела,

Ты в эти дни была моя,

Ты с каждым часом хорошела.

 

Сквозь тихое журчанье струй,

Сквозь тайну женственной

улыбки К устам просился поцелуй,

Просились в сердце звуки скрипки...

We were together, I recall...

Violins sang in vibrant darkness;

Day after day you were my own,

With every hour you grew more fair.

 

The secrets of a woman's smile,

The quiet whispering of breezes

Set tender kisses on my lips,

And filled my heart with violin songs...

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Paul

        when the leaves

                fall

from their stems

        that lie thick

                on the walk

in the light

        of the full note

                the moon

playing

        to leaves

                when they leave

the little

        thin things

                Paul

LORINE NIEDECKER

O late fall

marsh —

I

raped by the dry

weed stalk

Sleep’s dream

the nerve-flash in the blood

 

The sense

of what’s seen

 

“I took cold

On my nerves” — my mother

 

tall, tormented

darkinfested

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artwork by Christopher Cairns

photography by Mike Maguire

5 CONCERTS / 5 WORLD PREMIERES / 15 SEATS