FLUX Quartet and I began collaborating in 2002. This month, I’m proud to release Right Up On, featuring FLUX Quartet performing my original compositions.
Trio 3 (Oliver Lake, Andrew Cyrille, and Reggie Workman) have just released Visiting Texture on Intakt Records! Visit intaktrec.ch for your copy today!
Oliver is preparing to release an CD of original composition a collaboration with the FLUX Quartet this spring 2017.
The FLUX Quartet, “one of the most fearless and important new-music ensembles around” (Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle) “who has brought a new renaissance to quartet music” (Kyle Gann, The Village Voice), has performed to rave reviews in venues of all sorts, from Carnegie’s Zankel Hall and Kennedy Center, to influential art institutions such as EMPAC, The Kitchen, and the Walker Art Center, to international music festivals in Australia, Europe, and the Americas. It has also premiered new works on numerous experimental series, including Roulette, Bowerbird, and the Music Gallery. FLUX’s radio credits include NPR’s All Things Considered, WNYC’s New Sounds and Soundcheck, and WFMU’s Stochastic Hit Parade. The group’s discography includes recordings on the Cantaloupe, Innova, Tzadik, and Cold Blue Music labels, in addition to two critically acclaimed releases on Mode Records that encompass the full catalogue of string quartet works by Morton Feldman. The two volumes feature String Quartet No.1 and String Quartet No.2 — seminal large-scale late works by the iconic composer.
Strongly influenced by the irreverent spirit and “anything-goes” philosophy of the fluxus art movement, violinist Tom Chiu founded FLUX in the late 90’s. The quartet has since cultivated an uncompromising repertoire that follows neither fashions nor trends, but rather combines yesterday’s seminal iconoclasts with tomorrow’s new voices. Alongside late 20th-century masters like Cage, Feldman, Ligeti, Nancarrow, Scelsi, and Xenakis, FLUX has premiered more than 100 works by many of today’s foremost innovators, including Michael Byron, Julio Estrada, David First, Oliver Lake, Alvin Lucier, Marc Neikrug, Matthew Welch; the group has also performed with many influential artists, including Thomas Buckner, Ornette Coleman, Joan La Barbara, Wadada Leo Smith, Henry Threadgill, and many more. As part of its mission to support future musical pioneers, FLUX actively commissions, and has been awarded grants from the American Composers Forum, USArtists International, Aaron Copland Fund, and the Meet-The-Composer Foundation. FLUX also discovers emerging composers from its many residencies and workshops at colleges, including Wesleyan, Dartmouth, Williams, Princeton, Rice, and the College of William and Mary.
The spirit to expand stylistic boundaries is a trademark of the FLUX Quartet, and thus the quartet avidly pursues projects with genre-transcending artists working in mixed media. These artistic synergies have led to an acclaimed recording with experimental balloonist Judy Dunaway, collaborations with choreographers Pam Tanowitz and Shen Wei, and the 3-D video work Upending with digital art-ensemble, OpenEnded Group. Most recently, FLUX appeared both on film and the soundtrack of River of Fundament, the latest work by visionary artist Matthew Barney and composer Jonathan Bepler.
Members of FLUX Quartet include Max Mandel – Viola// Felix Fan- Cello// Conrad Harris – Violin// Tom Chiu – Violin
This musical performance project will be presented in a theatrical setting. Reddy will compose and conduct the music. Poet, saxophonist, and visual artist Oliver Lake will write and perform the libretto. The title and premise of the piece is taken from a sermon that the Reverend William Barber II gave on July 12, 2015 on the eve of the North Carolina NAACP vs. McCrory trial in Winston-Salem. The suit was brought by Reverend Barber, the League of Women Voters, a group of college students, and the Department of Justice. When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act in 2013, several states made sweeping and draconian changes to their election laws. Such legislation resulted in hundreds of thousands of Americans being effectively denied access to the voting booth. Reverend Barber’s sermon called attention to these deliberate attacks on the lives and voting rights of Americans. Citing Isaiah 58: “Cry Out Loud, don’t hold back, interrupt the nation,” Barber exhorted the over 10,000 protestors gathered outside the state capitol, their allies, and the many who watched events unfold on the news to engage in what he called “necessary interruption.” “The reality,” Reverend Barber explained, “is…that the nation needs interruption, particularly when liturgy or parliamentary procedures become a cover up for injustice.” His call to action was not limited to voting rights. All injustices—including police brutality; capital punishment; and discrimination against the LGBTQ, Native, and immigrant communities—demand attention. Reverend Barber ended his sermon with this declaration: “My job, your job, is to interrupt! INTERRUPTION! is how Reddy and Lake will take up Barber’s challenge. Through their respective disciplines of jazz/contemporary composition and spoken word, they will use performance to interrupt social and political hierarchies that have long perpetuated a multitude of injustices in the United States.
INTERRUPTION! was awarded a 2016 MAP Fund grant, a program primarily supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with additional funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, MAP is an affiliate program of Creative Capital.
INTERRUPTION! was awarded a BRIClab residency & the project will be in residence there from April 3 – 14, 2017.
INTERRUPTION! was conceived & created by Rob Reddy
Composer & Conductor – Rob Reddy
Librettist & Performer – Oliver Lake
Dramaturg – Meg Araneo