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Playing With Seeds

Mivos Quartet plays music by George Lewis, Sivan Eldar, Dai Fujikura, Alvin Singleton and Mark Andre

Mon 14 August 2023, 19.30

Lichtenbergschule (Sporthalle)

George Lewis: String Quartet 2.5 “Playing with Seeds” (2017) – 20′

Sivan Eldar: Solicitations (2018) – 12′

Dai Fujikura: String Quartet No. 3: Aquarius (2020) – 10′

Alvin Singleton: String Quartet No. 2 “Secret Desire To Be Black” (1988) – 12′

Mark Andre: Sieben Stücke für Streichquartett (2022) – 6′

Mivos Quartet

Anthropologist Paul Richards has spent over thirty years studying rice cultivation among rural populations in West Africa. Richards compares shifting cultivation to systems of improvisation. It is primarily the women of such societies who are the lead researchers, experimenting with cultivation techniques, environmental influences, and plant varieties. This “playing with seeds” has resulted in new and more resilient rice varieties. George Lewis, who is deeply involved in the theory of musical improvisation and co-editor of a standard two-volume work on the subject, takes this practice as the starting metaphor for his string quartet. The music is “grown” from “seeds” that are developed into new “varietals” through various processes. While the performers are dealing with fully notated music, George Lewis sees listening as a form of “nomadic improvisation.”

Together with the 2nd String Quartet by another U.S. composer, Alvin Singleton, the whispering string quartet miniatures by Mark Andre, and the string continuum by Dai Fujikura, which constantly changes form like liquid matter, the piece will be presented by the Mivos Quartet, the second Ensemble-in-Residence of this year’s Darmstadt Summer Course.

With the friendly support of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation and the Pro Musica Viva – Maria Strecker-Daelen-Stiftung (PMV)

🎧 Listening-Recommendation: Darmstadt On Air #20 – Podcast with Alvin Singleton, George Lewis and Harald Kisiedu