M.A. Tiesenga / Gérard Grisey

Oct 20th at 8pm

2220 Arts + Archives


  • M.A. Tiesenga Ophiuchus
  • M.A. Tiesenga Untitled (for 3 singers)
  • M.A. Tiesenga Fragment 13
  • Intermission
  • Grisey Vortex Temporum


A portrait of Wild Up’s M.A. Tiesenga and a presentation of Gérard Grisey’s spectral masterwork Vortex Temporum. For years, M.A. Tiesenga has wailed on stages as a lead saxophonist soloist in Wild Up. Throughout Fall 2023, they bring numerous West Coast and World Premieres to Los Angeles, an LA Phil commission, a debut at Ojai, and this portrait on our Endless Season. Tiesenga’s works nestle within and atop one another. Their ensemble work Ophiuchus sprawls for forty minutes with several improvisatory chamber pieces superimposed throughout the texture. That’s followed by Wild Up’s first-ever performances of what is perhaps Grisey’s most important work Vortex Temporum (1996). As Tiesenga searches the celestial spheres for meaning, Grisey asks for an observation of the manifestation of polyphony in the room around us.


  • M.A. Tiesenga

    M.A. Tiesenga is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice delves into the intricate interplay of procedure and enaction within collaborative performance contexts, deftly shaping these dynamics through various idioms. Inspired by an affinity for the outdoors, Tiesenga draws analogies between these concepts and the art of cartography, illuminating the parallels between a map and a musical score. This exploration opens doors to musically navigate, inhabit, and realize theoretical terrains.

    As a composer, interdisciplinary artist, multi-instrumentalist, and improviser, Tiesenga seamlessly merges these creative identities, emphasizing the power of connection in their work. Tiesenga ventures beyond conventional score-making and interpretation, embracing the potential of expanded notation systems. Their lifelong passion for collage, maps, puzzles, and asemic languages fuels an enchantment with encoding and decoding musical territories, allowing lexical approaches to transform into palpable expressions. Within their artistic vision, Tiesenga seeks to convey inner worlds where protocols and rules converge with intuition and mystique.

    Tiesenga’s creative collaborations include work with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Wild Up, Théâtre Musical Tokyo, Long Beach Opera, Kunsthalle for Music, SPEAK Percussion, Dog Star Orchestra, Ensemble Supermusique, and ensembles at the Eastman School of Music, New England Conservatory, California Institute for the Arts, Yale University, and Darmstädter Ferienkurse.  Tiesenga holds an MFA in Experimental Sound Practices and an MFA in Experimental Animation with a Concentration in Integrated Media from California Institute of the Arts, where they studied with Michael Pisaro, Sara Roberts, Eyvind Kang, Alexander Stewart, Pia Borg, and Tom Leeser. Previously, Tiesenga earned a Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music in saxophone performance under the guidance of Dr. Chien-Kwan Lin.

  • Gérard Grisey

    Like so many French composers of the latter third of the twentieth century, Gérard Grisey began more or less as an academic-style twelve-tone composer but found, as he moved through his twenties, that only a complete change of musical scenery — a break from the ways of serialism and the embrace of what was to him a more instinctive approach — would enable him to achieve his goals as a musician. The result of his new path was a kind of music-making that eventually became widely known as “musique spectrale,” an exploration into the fundamentals of pitch, harmony, and musical time that exerted a heavy influence on the next generation of composers (French ones in particular); but the father of this new musical syntax was one of the first to have to abandon it — Grisey died of an aneurysm in 1998, aged just 52.

    Born in Belfort, in 1946, Grisey studied at several eminent French and German institutions: Trossingen Conservatory, the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique, l’École Normale Supérieure de Musique, the Paris Conservatoire, IRCAM, and the Darmstadt Summer Courses, all at various times between 1963 and 1974. While working as a freelance composer, Grisey co-founded the ensemble L’Itinéraire for the purpose of promoting and playing new music. From the mid-1970s on, he was active as a teacher as well, first at the Darmstadt Summer Courses (1976 – 1982), then on the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley (1982 – 1985), and finally at the Paris Conservatoire (from 1987 until his death).According to contemporary scholarship, Grisey’s most significant music is concerned, is contained in a large multi-piece cycle called Les espaces acoustiques (1974 – 1985). Although the components this work were composed separately for diverse ensembles and can be played independently of one another, the music is meant be performed in its entirety. Throughout Les espaces acoustiques Grisey inserts tonal elements (harmonies, gestures) into an essentially atonal atmosphere, and by virtue of carefully planned repetition, allows the raw sonic substances involved to develop on terms that seem as much theirs as his.

About 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, and 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.

Endless Season gathers around these uniquely West Coast traits. We ask lead artists to question, reinterpret, and challenge the past, modality, and genre. We hold a space of intersectionality and dialogue surrounding every aspect of our work. Together, we will explore the breadth of work and practices, discovering the many shapes of music and ideas in LA today.

Endless 2023 – 2024

This season puts Wild Up members at the center more than ever, showcasing the creative energy of this community of artists. There will be a dozen concerts featuring members not only as brilliant performers but also as composers and creators. The nexus is ENCLAVE, a weekend festival of Wild Up Composers and Creators in December, featuring Andrew Tholl, Shelley Washington, Jodie Landau, Sidney Hopson. Like most of the season, this weekend highlights the many shapes of music and ideas in Los Angeles today and starts codifying an LA school of composition.

Milestones run through the season, including revivals and seminal works from Julius Eastman and Gérard Grisey and more than a dozen World and West Coast Premieres, including workshops of three new large-scale works-in-progress: a new multi-disciplinary work by Sarah Hennies, with visual artist Susan Silton and L.A. Poet Laureate Lynne Thompson, portraits of genius emerging artists Leiliehua Lanzilotti, inti figgis-vizueta, and claire rousay, a new opera by David Longstreth, and the very beginnings of a deep dive into Arthur Russell.

In 2024, we welcome the return of Darkness Sounding, a festival that explores how listening, sound, and music shape our understanding of the world.