Wild Up in Los Angeles
Expostulation(s) of Mary
Eliza Bagg / Heather Jones / Julia Eichten / George R. Miller
January 13 - 14, 2023
Los Angeles composer-performer Eliza Bagg (Roomful of Teeth, Lisel) creates a new work with mezzo-soprano Heather Jones (Beth Morrison Projects, Spoleto Festival), choreographer Julia Eichten (L.A Dance Project, AMOC) and director George R. Miller (Opera Philadelphia, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra). This new chamber opera for voices, strings, dance, and electronics expands Henry Purcell’s The Blessed Virgin’s Expostulation into a lattice of ancient music and new music.
Eliza Bagg (she/her) is an LA-based experimental musician, working as a vocalist in contemporary music along with producing her own work. She has collaborated with prominent experimental artists ranging from performing in Meredith Monk’s opera Atlas with the LA Philharmonic to touring regularly as a member of Roomful of Teeth. Her singing has been called “ethereal” by The New York Times and “gossamer” by The New Yorker.
Lisel’s compositional work is grounded in the human voice mediated by technology, as she combines virtuosic singing with her electronic processing system. Inspired by Renaissance and Medieval singing styles and idiomatic gestures, Bagg uses processing and electronics to bring out new, expressive qualities of those styles, exploring how these old languages are transformed by our 21st century technology, ears, and sensibility. She has released two albums on Luminelle Records, and will release a third solo album Feb 2023.
Aa a vocalist, Bagg has performed as a soloist with major symphonies including the CSO, the BSO, the New York Phil, and the LA Phil, and has performed at venues around the world from Walt Disney Hall and Carnegie Hall to Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and Iceland Airwaves. She has worked closely with composers such as John Zorn, Ted Hearne, Caroline Shaw, Michael Gordon, Ellen Reid, and Angelica Negron, among many others.
Heather Jones (they/them) is a mezzo and performance artist known for their astute interpretations of new and early music. Season highlights include Hannah After in Laura Kaminky’s As One, Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, the NY premiere of Lori Laitman’s Uncovered, and an immersive recital installation at the cell theatre in Chelsea. Perpetually drawn to the inherent queerness and gender expansiveness of opera and the performing arts, Heather has produced subversive film, dance, and visual art pieces and regularly collaborates with Opera Philadelphia, Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra, ChamberQUEER, the Savannah Voice Festival, and Spoleto Festival USA.
Julia Eichten (she/her) grew up dancing in Minnesota and graduated from Juilliard with a Hector Zaraspe award for choreography. Julia has danced professionally with Camille A. Brown & dancers, Azsure Barton and was a founding member of L.A. Dance Project. Julia is also a founding member of the American Modern Opera Company, AMOC* whom she shared the summer with at Ojai Music Festival. There, Eichterling, an ongoing project with creative partner Bret Easterling had a premiere of their latest work, Dance in The Park, ‘What followed was a joyous, frockling pas de deux of love, extinction and human evolution — Charles Darwin meets Fantasia.’
George R. Miller (he/him) is a stage director and creative producer of opera, dance-theater, installation, events, and film. Recognized for his discipline-colliding work, George’s contemporary approach to both the operatic repertoire and newly devised work centers around the creation of intimate space – physical, emotional, and visual – as a landscape for dramatic happenings in fine art performance.
Recent highlights include work presented by The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia Festival O, and a private showcase for The Metropolitan Opera Club and Park Avenue Armory Avant-Garde. George has worked with companies including the American Repertory Theater, American Modern Opera Company (AMOC), The Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Beth Morrison Projects, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Ravinia Festival, and Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, and with directors such as Peter Sellars, Zack Winokur, Thuthuka Sibisi, Banning Bouldin, James Darrah, Kevin Newbury, and Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons.
February 4, 2023
Band leader, composer, percussionist Matt Evans (Tigue) leads a new collaborative composition with members of Wild Up.
Matt Evans is a drummer and producer making acoustic and electronic music about the poetic interconnections between landscapes: internal, external, fictional, and virtual. Taking cues from millennial esoterica, natural phenomena, and science fiction, Matt uses drum-driven hypnotic soundscapes and improvisatory performances to embody the imaginary ecosystems of surreal sonic worlds. In “New Topographics” (2020) and “Soft Science” (2022), vintage synth burbles, peculiar percussion skitters, and muddy foraged samples are enmeshed like critters in a sci-fi biome. Matt performs these tracks from the drum kit, with samplers and pedals, embodying the array of characters as a ritualistic representation of these futuristic landscapes. His approach creates a groovy psychedelic instrumental music that is “hyperreal and phantasmal” (Wire Magazine), “meticulous and expressive.” (New York Times), and “a form of chill complexity” (New York Times).
Matt has performed solo at acclaimed venues such as the Guggenheim, The Kitchen, and Roulette; held residencies at Antenna Cloud Farm, Pioneer Works, Exploring the Metropolis, and The Shell House; given talks at Wesleyan University and Dartmouth College; and released solo records with Whatever’s Clever and Moon Glyph (forthcoming). Matt has toured with projects Neti-Neti, Tigue, piano trio Bearthoven, Deerhoof, and others. He’s commissioned and performed music by composers Lea Bertucci, Steve Reich, Sarah Hennies, Michael Gordon, Scott Wollschleger, and others. Past festival appearances have included Le Guess Who? in Utrecht, Netherlands, Big Ears in Tennessee, US, and the Summer Nostros Festival in Athens, Greece. He’s toured throughout the United States and Europe, including shows in Latvia, Poland, Germany, France, Belgium, the UK, Iceland and the Netherlands. Matt has released records with NNA, New Amsterdam, Whatever’s Clever, Cantaloupe, Dethbomb Arc, Perfect Wave, Thrill Jockey, Dinzu Artefacts, and Moon Glyph.
Sarah Davachi / Tony Conrad / Andrew McIntosh
February 25, 2023
Two world premieres by ambient artist/organist Sarah Davachi and Wild Up’s violinist / violist / composer Andrew McIntosh, and the premiere of McIntosh’s new arrangement of proto-minimalist Tony Conrad’s seminal piece Four Violins.
What awakens from you
For four violins, two violas, and two cellos
A large-scale work for string octet in scordatura
“All music is what awakes from you when you are reminded by the instruments, It is not the violins and the cornets… …It is nearer and farther than they.” — Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
Tony Conrad: Four Violins
A transcription of Tony Conrad’s iconic 1964 recording, Four Violins, the only released recording documenting his work from the time he was playing with the Theater of Eternal Music, recreated by Andrew McIntosh.
Sarah Davachi (b. 1987, Canada) is a composer and performer whose work is concerned with the close intricacies of timbral and temporal space, utilizing extended durations and considered harmonic structures that emphasize gradual variations in texture, overtone complexity, psychoacoustic phenomena, and tuning and intonation. Her compositions span both solo and chamber ensemble formats, incorporating a wide range of acoustic and electronic instrumentation. Commissioned projects include large-scale works for Quatuor Bozzini, the London Contemporary Orchestra, Yarn/Wire, Apartment House, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Cello Octet Amsterdam, Bonner Kunstverein, the Canadian International Organ Competition, and Western Front New Music. Davachi holds a master’s degree in electronic music and recording media from Mills College and is currently a doctoral candidate in musicology at UCLA, focusing on organology, timbre, and phenomenology.
Andrew McIntosh is a composer, violinist, violist, and baroque violinist who teaches at the California Institute of the Arts, with musical interests covering a broad spectrum including historical performance practice, improvisation, microtonal tuning systems, long-form works, and the 20th-century avant-garde. As a composer he often works with forms and ideas found in nature or in other artistic disciplines, working in instrumental, vocal, and fixed media forms, and was described by Alex Ross in the New Yorker as “a composer preternaturally attuned to the landscapes and soundscapes of the West”. His compositions have been featured at venues including Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Gaudeamus Festival, Ojai Music Festival, Hamburger Klangwerktage, Moments Musicaux Aarau, Bludenzer Tage Zeitgemasse Muzik, Miller Theatre, National Sawdust, Issue Project Room, Monday Evening Concerts, and Tectonics Festival Glasgow. Recent commissions include works for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Industry opera company, Yarn/Wire, the Calder Quartet, and violinists Ilya Gringolts, Movses Pogossian, and Marco Fusi. Originally from rural Northern Nevada, McIntosh is currently based in the Los Angeles area.
HOCKET / Rountree
March 25, 2023
A feature of two LA performer / composers Sarah Gibson and Thomas Kotcheff (HOCKET), and the world premiere of a two piano concerto by Wild Up founder, Christopher Rountree.
HOCKET is a cutting edge piano duo based in Los Angeles. Lauded as “brilliant” by Mark Swed (LA Times) and as an “adventurous young ensemble” (The New Yorker), members Sarah Gibson and Thomas Kotcheff are both pianist-composers dedicated to commissioning and performing contemporary music. They have performed in some of the most exciting festivals across the country including The Bang on Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA, MATA Festival, the Seattle Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s “Noon to Midnight” Festival. Together, they have premiered over one hundred works for piano duo. HOCKET is a Piano Spheres core artist and a performing artist on the Schoenhut Piano Company Artist Roster.
Conductor and composer Christopher Rountree is the artistic director of Wild Up. He has also been co-artistic director of an interdisciplinary ambient series in an oak grove in LA, called SILENCE, curator of the LA Phil’s Fluxus Festival, and Drum Corps International Individuals Euphonium Solo Champion of 2004. He’s made music at Palais Garnier, Lincoln Center, and Mile High Stadium. He is a seventh-generation Californian and lives in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Darian Donovan Thomas / Jiji
April 8, 2023
Skyrocketing experimental pop violinist Darian Donovan Thomas (Moses Sumney, Arooj Aftab) and our own virtuoso guitarist / composer Jiji, bring new pieces to LA.
Praised by The Washington Post for her “mesmerizing” and “stirring” performances, JIJI is an adventurous guitarist known for her virtuosity and command of diverse repertoire. Equally at home with both acoustic and electric guitar, her concert programs range from traditional and contemporary classical to free improvisation.
In recent seasons, JIJI has presented solo recitals at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall; Lincoln Center; 92nd Street Y; Caramoor; Green Music Center; and the National Art Gallery, among other distinguished venues. A committed champion of new music and contemporary composers, JIJI has premiered three new concertos over the past five years alone, and she continues to expand the classical guitar repertoire by commissioning new works. In 2023, JIJI will release UNBOUND, the culmination of a multiyear commissioning and recording project that aims to expand the classical guitar repertoire and redefine virtuosity.
JIJI joined the Arizona State University’s School of Music, Dance and Theater faculty as Assistant Professor of Guitar in 2018. She is also a visiting artist and adjunct faculty member at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she will begin as Associate Professor of Music in Guitar in August 2023.
Composer, multi-instrumentalist, and interdisciplinary artist Darian Donovan Thomas was born in San Antonio, Texas and is currently based in Brooklyn, New York. He is interested in combining genres and mediums into a singular vocabulary that can express ideas about intersectionality (of medium and identity). Necessarily, he is interested in redacting all barriers to entry that have existed at the gates of any genre – this vocabulary of multiplicity will be intersectional, and therefore all-inclusive.
Darian has been commissioned by YOSA (the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio), Bang on a Can’s summer festival Banglewood, percussionists at Bard College Conservatory, Sam Houston State University, among others. His music has been premiered by So Percussion, YOSA, Bang on a Can Banglewood Fellows, SoSI Fellows, and performed in Iceland, Switzerland, Canada, and all around the United States.
Scelsi / Shiroishi
May 2 - 7, 2023
Genius LA saxophonist/composer Patrick Shiroshi pairs with the wailing of 20th-century Italian aristocrat composer Giacinto Scelsi. Featuring new improvised works of Shiroishi for Wild Up.
Patrick Shiroishi is a Japanese-American multi-instrumentalist and composer based in Los Angeles who is perhaps best known for his extensive and incredibly intense work with the saxophone. Over the last decade he has established himself as one of the premier improvising musicians in Los Angeles, playing solo and in numerous collaborative projects. Shiroishi may well be considered a foundational player in the city’s vast musical expanse.
Since the release of his 2013 solo debut black sun sutra, Shiroishi has produced a hefty handful of LPs. Sometimes, his work is sprawling and bizarre. At other times, it’s more subdued. But at the root of all of his endeavors lies strong musical partnerships, resulting in records that capture the freewheeling energy of all the musicians, collectively embracing spontaneity.
Xenakis, a ritualist at 101
May 26 - 29, 2023
A film and chamber music make up a multi-day festival of the music of Iannis Xenakis, culminating in a party for the composer’s 101st birthday.
Julius Eastman Vol. 3 Release Party
June 12 - 18, 2023
We celebrate the release of the third volume in our Eastman Anthology, a portrait and response to one of our favorite composers, with a week of in-studio events, gatherings, talks, and performances.
Julius Eastman was young, gay, and black, when it was even more difficult to be young, gay, and black in America. He swerved in, out, and through academia, downtown experimental music, discos, European tours, sex clubs, and Carnegie Hall. He died at 49 in Buffalo, New York, less than a decade after the New York City Sheriff’s Department threw most of his scores and belongings into the winter snow of the East Village.
Julius sometimes gave the single manuscript copies of his scores as gifts. Now, his music is being rightfully acknowledged because the people whose lives he touched are sharing his gifts in return.
There’s something about the identity and presence of Eastman’s music that engages us and makes us obsessed. It’s music that, we’ve found, lives in the minds of audiences unlike anything else Wild Up has performed. With this Anthology we endeavor to discover the way to carry his music forward.
About Endless Season
For years we’ve been on the road, and now, at long last, we’re overjoyed to announce our Endless Season.
Art in LA has been about freedom and an abundant eschewing of history. With intersecting methods and intentions, humble, aspiring, a city appealing to the aesthete and the mystic in all of her citizens. Here famous artists are also street-side sign painters, our best restaurants drive or live in strip malls, our landmarks are geographical before architectural or fleetingly experiential instead of permanent monuments to their own lineages. Here our religious and secular musics sound the same.
We want our musical community to gather around all of these uniquely West Coast traits. Questioning and reinterpreting the past. Challenging modality. Living totally outside notions of the genre but existing in that outsider place drenched in a blazing pathos — a sect of the calm and humble, inquisitive builders of something gossamer unknown. We want to hit drums loudly. To improvise. To create monuments to chaos and ecstasy that shimmer in a room. We will use natural light reflected by mirrors. We will sit in contemplation, awash in wailing sound. We will hold a space of intersectionality and dialogue surrounding every aspect of our work. And we will do all of it together.
Get ready, LA we’re coming home!