Versipel New Music presents “Coming Together” May 15th @7:30 PM

“I think the combination of age and a greater coming together is responsible for the speed of the passing of time…”

Samuel Melville, personal journals

For our season finale concert, Versipel New Music presents a program of works centered upon the idea of upheaval and fluctuation as a catalyst for positive change. Moving forward demands a broader context for understanding how the past shapes the present. Each work on the concert takes a different approach and fresh perspective to performative action, from the very strict execution of pulse and pitch to the freer interpretation of graphic notation.

At the center of the concert are two companion master works by Frederic Rzewski – “Coming Together” and “Attica”. These pieces address the events of the September 1971 riot at Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York, when demands for improved living standards by inmates led to a violent confrontation. The text for “Coming Together” comes from the journal entries of activist Samuel Melville who was killed during the riot. These works encapsulate the urgency of this event through their driving, minimalist intensity and rigid repetition of the text, delivered by special guest vocalist Johnnie Bankens.

These works are complimented by pieces by Raven Chacon, inti figgis-vizueta, and Robert Erickson. In Biyan, Raven Chacon considers the Navajo term for “song” as a launching point for all-night singing. In new cosmologies, inti figgis-vizuetta imagines new histories and hopeful futures of indigenous peoples by embracing the processes of improvisation and interpretation. Robert Erickson’s Kryl for solo trumpet is named after the Czech-American musician Bohumir Kryl and is often structured around a sort of counterpoint between of singing and playing.

This concert is supported by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation.

The Versipel Collective:

Yuki Tanaka, violin

Chloe Groth, violin

Matthew Wright, trombone

Brina Bourliea Faciane, saxophone

Mendel Lee, percussion

Kari Besharse, guitar

Katalin Lukács, piano

Shane Courville, trumpet

Philip Schuessler, conductor

James May, conductor

With special guests:

Jennie Brent, cello

Ji Weon Ryu, flute

Cari Sands, clarinet

Johnnie Bankens, voice

May 15th, 7:30 PM

Marigny Opera House

725 St. Ferdinand St.

New Orleans, Lousisana


$20 Adults, $10 Students/Seniors, No one is turned away for lack of funds.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s