Devolution-Anthony De Ritis
Devolution-Anthony De Ritis
BMOP/sound needs your help to fund the upcoming release of their latest CD, featuring De Ritis' genre-defying concerto, Devolution!
BMOP/sound needs your help to fund the upcoming release of their latest CD, featuring De Ritis' genre-defying concerto, Devolution! Read more
About this project
BMOP/sound is working hard to bring listeners a new album featuring orchestral works by composer Anthony Paul De Ritis, including a concerto for DJ and orchestra - but we need your help to make this project into a reality! By pledging, you’ll be helping us bring this amazing music to a wider audience and help redefine the meaning of classical music in the twenty-first century.
About The Music
The three orchestral pieces on this album, all by composer Anthony Paul De Ritis, include Legerdemain (1994), Chords of Dust (1992), and De Ritis' ground-breaking concerto for DJ and orchestra, Devolution (2004).
Devolution was specifically conceived for and tailored to DJ Spooky’s talents. It was written for the Oakland East Bay Symphony and conductor Michael Morgan, who premiered the piece on March 19, 2004. Although cutting-edge DJ turntables these days are actually digital, using digital sound files with interfaces that mimic the platter-mixer setup, the basic idea of turntable performance hasn’t changed since the early 1980s. The turntable artist creates a library of sound sources appropriate for the occasion and draws on those sources to create collage textures, beats and, importantly, a conversation among musical references meant to tap into the collective experience of the listener. It’s an improvisatory art with many pre-made ingredients. De Ritis provides a range of expressive cues to the soloist—“ambient,” “chaotic,” “trip-hop,” etc. The soloist also modifies and manipulates the source material.
The orchestra, too, works from pre-made material, in the form of Ravel’s Bolero and the Allegretto from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, chosen because both pieces were performed on the concert featuring Devolution’s premiere. But the two pieces also have similarities: a kind of cyclic, repetitive, steady-state quality. A third main “source” is De Ritis’s own music, which dominates the first part of the piece. Like the Ravel and Beethoven works, De Ritis’s own music employs ostinatos—that is, repeating patterns—and expansions of sustained harmony and orchestration that create a sense of organic growth, a sense that the music is “blooming” from a limited source. The big structure, linked to source, is De Ritis/Ravel/Beethoven/all of the above. In addition to enhancing the orchestral sound with various samples and sound effects, the DJ can supplement pre-recorded material with sampled and modulated music from the live orchestral performance in cadenzas that separate the episodes, somewhat like the idea of the ritornello/solo alternation of a Baroque concerto. The size of the orchestra is based on that required for the Ravel, plus electric guitar (doubling electric bass guitar) and extra percussion—five players, including three drum kits. The additions “update” the ensemble the better to mesh with the turntable sensibility.
About the Composer
Anthony Paul De Ritis is Professor and Chair of the Music Department at Northeastern University in Boston. His music has been called “groundbreaking,” “ultra-exotic,” and “really cool,” and has received performances nationally and internationally, including at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, Harvard’s Sanders Theatre, Yale’s Woolsey Hall, Taipei’s Zhong Shan Hall, Beijing’s Yugong Yishan, Seoul’s KT Art Hall, and UNESCO headquarters in Paris. De Ritis’s Devolution, a Concerto for DJ and Symphony Orchestra, features Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid as soloist. Performances include the Oakland East Bay Symphony, the New Haven Symphony, the Alabama Symphony, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. He also works frequently with Chinese traditional instruments, in particular, the Chinese pipa. Numerous performances by pipa virtuosi Min Xiao-Fen and Wu Man led to his Fulbright Fellowship at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China, during Fall 2011.
De Ritis completed his Ph.D. in Music Composition at the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied with Richard Felciano and Jorge Liderman, and worked with David Wessel at Berkeley’s Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT) (1992–1997). He received his M.M. in Electronic Music Composition from Ohio University under Mark Phillips (1990–1992) and his B.A. in Music with a concentration in Business Administration from Bucknell University, studying composition under William Duckworth, Jackson Hill, and Kyle Gann, and philosophy with Richard Fleming (1986-1990). De Ritis spent two summers at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France, taking classes with Philippe Manoury, Tristan Murail and Gilbert Amy (1991, 1992); earned screen credits while studying composi- tion at the University of Southern California (1990); and studied film music, recording technology and music business at New York University (1989). De Ritis also holds a Master’s in Business Administration with an emphasis in high tech from Northeastern University, and in 2006 was named the Alumnus of the Year for the College of Fine Arts at Ohio University.
As a graduate student De Ritis contracted and managed 112 musicians for the American premiere of John Cage’s Ocean 1-95 with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and scored the music for the Macintosh computer game, Step On It, which won the 1997 MacWorld Arcade Game of the Year. He was the founder and lead developer of the Online Conservatory (2002–2007), a collaboration between the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Northeastern University, which was featured in the New York Times, the Chronicle for Higher Education, Newsweek, Symphony magazine and the Boston Globe. www.deritis.com
About the Soloist
Paul D. Miller artist, writer, and musician working in New York, was born in 1970 in Washington, D.C. Miller is best known under the moniker of his “constructed persona” as “DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid.” Miller has recorded a huge volume of music and has collaborated with a wide variety of artists, writers, musicians and composers such as Robert Wilson, Iannis Xenakis, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Mariko Mori, Kool Keith/Doctor Octagon, Pierre Boulez, Saul Williams, Steve Reich, Yoko Ono, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, Paul Auster, and Colson Whitehead, among many others. In addition to his award-winning book Rhythm Science (MIT Press, 2005), his written work has appeared in the Village Voice, The Source, Artforum, The Wire, Rap Pages, Paper Magazine, The Nation, and a host of other periodicals. Miller’s work as an artist has appeared in a variety of contexts such as the Whitney Biennial; the Venice Biennale; the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Germany; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria; the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Paula Cooper Gallery, New York; and many other museums and galleries. His newest book, The Book of Ice, was published in July 2011 by Mark Batty Publisher. Sound Unbound (MIT Press), a collection of writings by notable authors, preceded that. His latest, large-scale multimedia performance piece is Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctica, commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music/Next Wave Festival and other highly respected present- ers. For more on this artist, please visit www.djspooky.com.
About BMOP & BMOP/sound
The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) is widely recognized as the leading orchestra in the United States dedicated exclusively to performing new music, and its signature record label, BMOP/sound, is the nation’s foremost label launched by an orchestra and solely devoted to new music recordings.
Founded in 1996 by Artistic Director Gil Rose, BMOP affirms its mission to illuminate the connections that exist naturally between contemporary music and contemporary society by reuniting composers and audiences in a shared concert experience. In its first twelve seasons, BMOP established a track record that includes more than 80 performances, over 70 world premieres (including 30 commissioned works), two Opera Unlimited festivals with Opera Boston, the inaugural Ditson Festival of Contemporary Music with the ICA/Boston, and 32 commercial recordings, including 12 CDs from BMOP/sound.
In March 2008, BMOP launched its signature record label, BMOP/sound, with the release of John Harbison’s ballet Ulysses. Its composer-centric releases focus on orchestral works that are otherwise unavailable in recorded form. The response to the label was immediate and celebratory; its five inaugural releases appeared on the “Best of 2008” lists of The New York Times, The Boston Globe, National Public Radio, Downbeat, and American Record Guide, among others. BMOP/sound is the recipient of five Grammy Award nominations: in 2009 for Charles Fussell: Wilde (Best Classical Vocal Performance); in 2010 for Derek Bermel: Voices (Best Instrumental Soloist Performance with Orchestra); and three nominations in 2011 for its recording of Steven Mackey: Dreamhouse (Best Engineered Classical Album, Best Classical Album, and Best Orchestral Performance). The New York Times has proclaimed, “BMOP/sound is an example of everything done right.” Additional BMOP recordings are available from Albany, Arsis, Cantaloupe, Centaur, Chandos, ECM, Innova, Naxos, New World, and Oxingale.
How You Can Help
Releasing an album is extremely
expensive! Much of the recording process has already occurred, but there
are still many steps to go before there is a final, high-quality
recording that we can provide to the listener. By donating, you will
help defray the costs of editing the recording, mastering,
post-processing, and manufacturing the physical CD. Our goal is to raise $17,000 - a hefty sum, but we're confident that with your help, we'll be successful in bringing our recordings of De Ritis' works to eager listeners.
Thank you for your support!
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