String Orchestra of Brooklyn: enfolding

About

String Orchestra of Brooklyn releases enfolding, featuring works by Scott Wollschleger and Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti. Wollschleger's work Outside Only Sound was written with pandemic restrictions in mind and is meant to be performed outside (and in fact was recorded outdoors as well) encompassing environmental noises into the fabric of the piece. Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti's multi-movement work with eyes the color of time covers a wide range of textures for strings, from meditative, undulating chords to tactile overpressure and scratch sounds, and was a finalist for the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Music.

Audio

# Audio Title/Composer(s) Time
Total Time 46:41
01Outside Only Sound
Outside Only Sound
14:22

with eyes the color of time

Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti
02the bronze doors
the bronze doors
3:20
03Open Triangles
Open Triangles
2:38
04Nahele (the bronze horse / the forest)
Nahele (the bronze horse / the forest)
3:52
05les sortilèges (the wound / the torn page)
les sortilèges (the wound / the torn page)
3:09
06silhouette
silhouette
1:33
07Mirror XV
Mirror XV
2:28
08mahina
mahina
7:50
09enfolding
enfolding
7:29

The String Orchestra of Brooklyn’s newest release, enfolding, presents two premiere recordings by Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti and Scott Wollschleger that integrate musical, environmental, and internal spaces to create tactile listening experiences. Lanzilotti’s work with eyes the color of time was a finalist for the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Music. While enfolding joins a substantial list of releases that grew out of Covid related circumstances, the two pieces also speak to a communal need for collective musical experiences as a response to social alienation that preceded the pandemic.

Scott Wollschleger’s Outside Only Sound was written upon request from the String Orchestra of Brooklyn to facilitate performance under lockdown restrictions. Wollschleger was asked to write a work that would require only a few minutes of rehearsal and could be performed outside. His answer was to write a work where each player is like an insect in a swarm; making sounds independently that are coordinated in accordance with time stamps in the score to create a mass of sound that moves in waves across the fourteen and half minute score. Bells, triangles, string harmonics, scratch tones, and cymbals merge with the sounds of an outdoor park, replete with laughing voices and the backing up signal of a truck. By the time the work is finished, one can sense the transformation of the public space into something shared and contemplative.

Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti’s with eyes the color of time takes its inspiration from a series of works on display at The Contemporary Museum (Spalding House) in Honolulu. The nine movement work unfolds as a progression of sonic rituals, textures for strings that Lanzilotti patiently mines for expressive effect. In the opening movement, “the bronze doors,” we hear a series of repeated harmonic suspensions that are sufficiently elongated to serve double duty as purely linear, melodic gestures. This texture elides into the second movement, “Open Triangles,” as the suspensions evolve into oscillating figures. Movement three, “Nahele,” features delicate white noise sounds, drawing the ear into the rarefied texture of a bow gently gliding across the string. “les sortilèges” opens with broad chords in a repeating, chant-like phrase before angular overpressure over an ostinato creates an unsettling contrast. The overpressure sounds grow into a mass, a chorale of non-pitched energy. “silhouette” takes advantage of natural harmonics to create luminous resonance. “Mirror XV” features insistent, arpeggiated figures, explosive scratch tones, off-kilter percussive effects and a closing sing-song melody. In “mahina” we hear the granulated articulations of several rain sticks before the suspension motive from “the bronze doors” returns. with eyes the color of time closes with “enfolding.” An ecstatic moto perpetuo section cycles through expansive harmonies before we hear sotto voce echoes of the oscillating figures from “Open Triangles.”

These works by Wollschleger and Lanzilotti share a common affinity for communal ritual through sound. They achieve this ritual through an expanded sound palette for instruments and a creative approach to notation and ensemble performance. The result is akin to an exhalation from the musicians of the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, as if emerging from a cocoon to create a shared musical space.

- Dan Lippel

Outside Only Sound composed by Scott Wollschleger
Published by Project Schott New York (BMI)
Recorded live in Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn, NY, October 17, 2020
Edited by Mike Tierney and Scott Wollschleger

with eyes the color of time composed by Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti
Recorded by Ryan Streber at Oktaven Audio in Mount Vernon, NY, August 8, 2021
Edited by Ryan Streber, Charles Mueller, and Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti

Album mastered by Ryan Streber
Executive Producers: Eli Spindel, Ken Hashimoto
Cover artwork and design by Jasmine Parsia

Supported in part by the Western Arts Alliance Advancing Indigenous Performance Native Launchpad program with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts

String Orchestra of Brooklyn

The String Orchestra of Brooklyn is a unique community of musicians who come together in a supportive environment to enrich the life of our communities through music. Embracing an inclusive approach to music-making, the SOB seeks to democratize both the production and reception of concert music. Founded in 2007 by artistic director Eli Spindel, the String Orchestra of Brooklyn is “quickly solidifying its role as a major orchestral figure in the borough. Incredible displays of artistry, superb programming, and a commitment to commissioning new works make the String Orchestra of Brooklyn a force to be reckoned with.” (I Care if You Listen). The SOB provides an enriching creative outlet to hundreds of musicians, and accessible, adventurous programming to thousands of concertgoers and community members in Brooklyn and beyond.

http://www.thesob.org/

Scott Wollschleger

Scott Wollschleger’s music has been highly praised for its arresting timbres and conceptual originality. Wollschleger (b. 1980) “has become a formidable, individual presence” (The Rest Is Noise, Alex Ross) in the contemporary musical landscape. His distinct musical language explores themes of art in dystopia, the conceptualization of silence, synesthesia, and creative repetition in form and has been described as “apocalyptic,” “distinctive and magnetic,” possessing a “hushed, cryptic beauty,” (The New Yorker, Alex Ross) and as “evocative” and “kaleidoscopic” (The New York Times).

His concert works have been performed across the US and the world, including the Turner Contemporary in Margate, England, the NOW! Festival in Graz Austria, MATA Festival Interval Series, Bowerbird in Philadelphia, and the Bang on a Can Festival at MASS MoCa. Mr. Wollschleger has received support from a variety of organizations including, The New York Foundation for the Arts, New Music USA, BMI and the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music. Mr. Wollschleger was a Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Red Light New Music, a 501c(3) non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and crafting contemporary music.

His debut album, Soft Aberration, was released on New Focus Recordings in 2017 and was named a “Notable Recording of 2017” in The New Yorker. His second album, American Dream, written for the trio, Bearthoven, was released on Cantaloupe Music in 2019. This album, Dark Days, was released by New Focus Recordings in 2021.

Wollschleger’s work is published by Project Schott New York.

Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti

Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti (b. 1983) is a Kanaka Maoli musician dedicated to the arts of our time. A "leading composer-performer" (The New York Times), Lanzilotti’s “conceptually potent” work is characterized by explorations of timbre and an interest in translating everyday sounds to concert instruments using nontraditional techniques. Her musical voice is grounded in experimental practices, both through influences as part of the network of musicians / artists in the Wandelweiser collective, and her own explorations into radical indigenous contemporaneity. “Lanzilotti’s score brings us together across the world in remembrance, through the commitment of shared sonic gestures.” (Cities & Health) Lanzilotti was honored to be a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2022 for her string orchestra piece, with eyes the color of time, which the Pulitzer committee called, “a vibrant composition . . . that distinctly combines experimental string textures and episodes of melting lyricism.”

http://leilehualanzilotti.com

Reviews

5

Best of Bandcamp Contemporary Classical: July 2022

The bulk of this terrific new album by String Orchestra of Brooklyn is devoted to “with eyes the color of time” by composer Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti, a multipartite effort the premiere of which was pushed back for more than a year due to the pandemic. Each movement is named for a different artwork that was on display when Honolulu’s The Contemporary Museum first opened in 1988, with interludes inspired by silhouettes cast in the building’s bronze doors. But the first five times I played the record I hadn’t yet read the program notes, so I experienced the gorgeous piece solely based on its sounds. Its eight movements deftly juggle harmony-rich long tones that glide and shimmer, blending passages built around frictive, rumbling, extended techniques and ghostly overtones with brooding melodic shapes, particularly the harrowing “les sortilèges (the wound / the torn page).” Lanzilotti, whose compositional voice grows more authoritative and versatile with each passing year, draws no line between pure sound and narrative structures, creating a work of elusive beauty and renewable mystery. The album opens with a short chamber piece by Scott Wollschleger called “Outside Only Sound,” a pandemic-era piece written to elude lockdown restrictions by taking place outside, with only a few minutes of required rehearsal. Sounds of barking dogs, playing children, and passing sirens provide a canvas for an aleatoric array of strings and metallic percussion, blending in with naturalistic ease.

— Peter Margasak, 7.25.2022

5

Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review

Every day is a new day. And every day out there there is new music to be heard, things you may not know from people you may not know. I feel I should cover as much as I can, so I do. Of course that is a problem because when nobody knows an artist they may not respond to the article and I perhaps am doing myself in? Well I cannot help that.

So today I've got another for you, something worth checking out, something local for me, not far from where I am so I feel the need to cover it even if you do not know it. It is by the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, who sound very good here. The album is entitled Enfolding (New Focus Recordings FCR 331).

It is a gathering of new and worthy works that you might know nothing about until now. That was the case for me. It features Scott Wollschleger and his 15 minute "Outside Only Sound," and then Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti's Pulitzer Prize nominated work "with eyes the color of time."

Now both works are in a kind of PostModern, not quite Minimalist mode. Both works have something distinct and original to impart and the String Orchestra of Brooklyn give us a sincere, committed and very together reading of both works. "Outside Only Sound" has a fascinatingly hypnotic wall-of-sound quality about it. "with open eyes the color of time" gives us a wonderful title and the nine part work itself takes us for a ride with slowly unfolding drone-sustain-melodies in stop time and then, well, listen!

Now if you are not really in the mood to explore the very new, you might not want to venture here. But if you are ready for a real musical adventure, this is one to add to your listening pile! Very happily recommended!

— Grego Applegate Edwards, 7.28.2022

5

Vital Weekly

The String Orchestra was founded in 2007 by conductor Eli Spindel to offer a budget possibility for people to listen to contemporary classical music while bringing together performers, composers, ensembles and organisations to work on 'adventurous' events. This CD is only their second full release I have found, besides contributions to other people's releases, and sports two compositions by Scott Wollschleger and Anne Lanzilotti.

Wollschleger's piece 'Outside Snly sound' was recorded in a Brooklyn park. It is a peculiar mixture of field recording noises and backdrops (which is actually the venue itself) gradually blending with the instruments played live. Imagine an orchestra testing its instruments in the wide open, setting individual sound imprints in a vast plane of background noise and disturbance. The effect is intriguingly 'ambient' and 'drone'-like and over 14+ minutes drifts towards a percussion climax that again unravels into the surrounding noise, including (very timely) a police car or ambulance ... Fascinating music.

Lanzilotti is herself a violist, but here contributes a composition of 8 sections 'With Eyes The Color of time'. She starts with a piece (The bronze doors) that - though a full orchestra is present - only uses flute and strings to create a three-minute flurry of two (nearly) continuous sounds circling each other. A somewhat Rapoon-like setting - though with other means. A distinct use of harmony is sensed that will accompany the listener through the other parts of the composition. This blends into part two (Open triangles) as the full string section joins and adds layers across the spectrum. The use of bass offers a 'full' sound base upon which the pointillistic phrases of the other strings form a melodic and, at the same time, slightly threatening and dissonant soundscape. Again blending into part three (Nahele), we find the music retreating. A distant breathing sound, akin to Wollschleger's work and more ambient than classical. Part four starts as an orchestral piece before it turns a corner and relapses into percussive sounds, then being embedded into deep, droney, dreamy string sounds. The percussion, though, prevails and builds up a final climax. With this, we have the components Lanzilotti uses on this release all displayed. Parts five and six toy with these, using more 'modern' than 'contemporary' techniques. Part seven is a 7+-minute ambient hiss that adds the string orchestra only towards the final moments and morphs into part 8, a string piece that reminds me of Robert Haigh, Sunday Shogun, and Kronos Quartet in its use of melody, sparse playing and moody atmosphere. Beautiful.

— Robert Steinberger, 7.12.2022

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