Often likened to the human voice, the saxophone possesses an inherently singing quality that serves as a visceral bond between performer and listener. As something each of us uses every day, the human voice offers a uniquely universal point of entry for audiences into the world of contemporary music. However, few works have specifically exploited the expressive potential of employing the saxophonist's own vocal cords.
Building on the successful debut of the first three works in the SaxoVoce series, Ogni Suono partners with a new group of composers who will bring their own unique artistic voices to SaxoVoce for the 2016-17 concert season. This long-term project explores the wide-ranging musical, dramatic, and theatrical possibilities inherent in the synthesis of saxophone and voice. SaxoVoce allows Ogni Suono to expand upon the ensemble's musical and dramatic expressivity, and ultimately communicate with listeners in new and meaningful ways.
The project was debuted in California in February 2016, the duo's first venture to the West Coast, with performances on Switchboard Presents in San Francisco, the Outpost Concert Series at UC-Riverside, and educational outreach events.
The six composers represent different aesthetics and points of departure and four are active composer-performers.
The composers speak about their pieces
- Chris Fisher-Lochhead: "In my piece, I am going to be exploring thresholds of discernible difference between two saxophones, between two voices, and between voice and saxophone. I will exploit sonic similarities and differences between the voices and instruments along with syntactic differences established over the course of the piece. My aim is for the end result to be an ever-elusive interplay of sounds in which the boundaries between voice and instrument and between players are constantly in flux or altogether absent."
- Ruby Fulton: "'No hay banda' (there is no band), a famous line from a scene in David Lynch's movie Mulholland Drive, in which he questions the nature of perception and reality, is the starting point for my new piece for SaxoVoce. Inspired also by the banda—the drumming sequence from the ending of a Haitian Voudoo ceremony—the music will alternate between singing and saxophone playing in a musical search for what is real and what is only an illusion."
- Christopher Dietz: "In Manifesto, the members of the duo act out the manic, hyperactive thoughts of a single, overstimulated mind, overflowing with a need to share feelings and distorted perspectives on the past, present and future. The duo speak and play over one another in an attempt to capture the elation and terror of this overwhelming vision."
- Christopher Chandler: "This new work for Ogni Suono incorporates two saxophones, speaking and singing voices, and electronics. The piece begins with vocal material consisting of spoken and whispered poetic fragments constrained to the world of the electronics. As the interactions between the saxophonists and disembodied voices gain in intensity and momentum, the voice gradually escapes its electronic straight jacket and moves to the acoustic world as the Noa and Phil alternate between saxophone and singing voice. This piece is about the blossoming of the voice and exploring the boundaries between the internal and the external, the real and the virtual, the material and the immaterial."
- Zach Sheets: "This duo is based quite literally on Phil and Noa’s voices. Their accents and their mannerisms, the cadence with which they talk, and their spoken inflection govern both the musical material and the way in which the work unfolds. At no point in the performance do they speak; rather, transcription and analysis of how they speak provides a framework for the piece to come into being. As a wind player myself, I wanted to feel a real physical connection to the kinds of sound-making I am asking of Phil and Noa. As such, I taught myself to play the saxophone at a rudimentary level—to be able to explore sound, even fractionally, the way only a saxophonist could."
- Erin Rogers: "With circles of instrumental racket, vocal noise, and fragments from somewhere-in-between, Clamor for two vocalizing saxophonists, is an 8-minute over-saturation of human + instrument. The eggs were not removed from the stove in a timely fashion."
These works will join our repertoire for Ogni Suono's 2016-2017 season, with performances on a university tour in the Southeastern US and venues in cities throughout the Midwest and East Coast.
All funds raised will go to the composers as commission fees.
With your support, we can continue to bring this meaningful and engaging project to audiences next season and beyond. Thank you for backing SaxoVoce!
Risks and challenges
Since we are working hand in hand with the composers, all of whom we know personally, we have no doubts about the completion of the project.
Our previous successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013 allowed us to record our debut album, Invisible Seams. The warm reception of SaxoVoce's debut in California signals the continued success of the project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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