The second night of the 2018 FERUS Festival, Peabody-winning violist Nadia Sirota joins gamba player Liam Byrne in a full performance of Tessellatum, a singular work of art that blurs the line between music album and film. The film and the music both play with the idea of man vs. nature. Steven Mertens’ electric animation toggles back and forth between man-made geometric perfection and the natural oddness of the deep ocean. Donnacha Dennehy’s addictive timbres move between tuning systems created by humans and the ones found in natural resonance. As a result, the two works of art support and enhance each other, using the same form and structure to create an incredibly moving work of art. Music composed by Donnacha Dennehy Film by Steven Mertens Performed by Nadia Sirota and Liam Byrne Nadia Sirota — violas Liam Byrne — bass viol
For this late-night concert in the Set, two leading lights of Bedroom Community, the extraordinary record label/collective based in Reykjavik, team up to perform an eclectic array of contemporary pieces, including the European premiere of Donnacha Dennehy’s Tessellatum, a piece for violas and viols, specially commissioned for them.
Violist Nadia Sirota’s energetic advocacy of new music has led to a reputation as “a one-woman contemporary-classical commissioning machine.” A graduate of the Juilliard School, she has collaborated on new works with composers such as Nico Muhly, Judd Greenstein, and Missy Mazzoli. Liam Byrne is a celebrated viol player and was a member of the Fretwork Consort of Viols. While much of his work is in music from the 17th century, he has been involved in several projects with 21st-century musicians, including Damon Albarn. The program will include the Washington premiere of Donnacha Dennehy’s Tessellatum, an innovative piece using viola, viols, and electronics, conceived on a large scale.
VALGEIR SIGURðSSON (b.1970) & NICO MUHLY (b. 1981)
A Selection of Renaissance works, and more
DONNACHA DENNEHY (b. 1970)
Tessellatum - Washington Premiere