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(con)temporary (in)sights: Arthur Kampela

March 14, 2015 @ 9:30 pm - 10:30 pm

The (con)temporary (in)sights 2015 concert series is proud to present the works of Arthur Kampela as it continues to focus on challenging works written within the past ~30 years while featuring musicians of exceptional musicality!

About the Program:
My music navigates between hybridism and complexity. Traditional forms such as “Bossas- Novas” and “Sambas” (popular music forms of my native country, Brazil), receive similar compositional treatment as my more strictly “avant-garde”/ experimental compositions. My musical and cultural heritage ranges from modernists like Webern, Stockhausen, Ferneyhough, Ligeti, Lachenmann to popular masters like Tom Jobim, João Gilberto and Caetano Veloso…
The guitar is at the center of much of my compositional undertaking. My ‘Percussion Studies’ for this instrument function as a true compositional “diary.” In this pieces I make use of extended- techniques to create a true amalgam of pitches, noises and percussive effects played in very tight succession. The complex rhythmic structure (Micro-Metric Modulation) used in these pieces act as an important tool filtering the effects and allowing them to surface at very precise rhythmic points. I extended this compositional approach to all other instruments, like Harp, French Horn, Flute, piano, etc.
The insight behind each piece in this program is to provoke a motoric and mental break with the expected techniques of a specific instrument, allowing for a new way to play and hear them. For example, Phalanges for harp solo makes uses of a thin strip of paper to divide the instrument in three regions almost as if creating a new instrument. In NOT I for French Horn I uses a light device as part of the rhythmic presentation of materials reinforcing the idea of ‘hearing the light’ and ‘seeing the pitch.’ In‘Exoskeleton’ for ‘viola all chitarra’ (viola played by a guitarist) I generate a short-circuit or creative subversion “frictioning” a guitar technique against a foreign context, – the viola. These approaches to my most experimental music are not a substitution that weakens the technical potential of the instrument and instrumentalist, but a way to re potentialize their acoustic and compositional possibilities and question more deeply the role of the musician.
Finally on my bossas and Sambas and other song-like pieces, I use atonal and polytonal superimpositions, and Polyrhythmic structures to give a new “twist” in traditional forms of music. My intention was to work “under the skin” of the popular music form, subverting its precepts and accepted modes of hearing.. For example, my piece/song,”Itinerário de um Baixista sob a noite Sul-Americana” (“Path of a Bass player under the South American Night”) illustrates my use of collage techniques for guitar and voice in the context of popular music.. Almost as if the whole piece was a cluster of small pieces put together — of deviating qualities tempi and nature. It narrates the multiple perceptions of a (drunk/drugged) musician walking through the streets of Rio de Janeiro (my hometown) from dusk to dawn. I used ping balls and three guitars when I first recorded it. Tonight the music will be done with guitar, instruments, and voice. Hope you enjoy the program!
Program Notes by © Arthur Kampela

About the Artist:
Arthur Kampela, born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is the winner of the 2014 Guggenheim Prize in Music Composition, the 1995 International Guitar Composition Competition (Caracas, Venezuela) and a winner of 1998 Lamarque-Pons Guitar Composition Competition (Montevideo, Uruguay). He is internationally recognized both as composer and virtuoso guitar player received commissions and awards from the Collegium Novum Zurich (2013), DAAD (Berliner Kunstlerprogramm (2012), New York Philharmonic (2009), Koussevitzky Foundation (2007), Fromm Music Foundation (1998), ISCM / World Music Days Stuttgart, Germany (2006), Rio- Arte Foundation, Brazil (1999) and fellowships from the Brazilian Government (CNPq) and Columbia University (1990-1998), among many others. He received his Doctorate in composition from Columbia University (1998), studying with Mario Davidovsky and Fred Lerdahl. In 1993 he received private lessons from the British composer Brian Ferneyhough. In 1992, he studied at MSM with Ursula Mamlok. In Brazil, composition studies with world-renowned composer and theorist Hans-Joachim Koellreutteur (1988). Kampela’s works have been performed in the leading forums for contemporary music in South America, Europe, Asia, and the USA.


March 14, 2015
9:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Event Category:


121 Ludlow
New York, New York 10002

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