CHARLES CURTIS Plays Eliane Radigue at Third Life
Friday, April 6, 2007

Non-Event presents

CHARLES CURTIS playing Eliane Radigue’s Naldjorlak (2005)
with Nate Wooley
and Bhob Rainey, Dave Gross, James Coleman, and Vic Rawlings

Third Life Studio
33 Union Square
Somerville, MA 8pm, $10

About the Musicians

CHARLES CURTIS studied at Juilliard under Harvey Shapiro and Leonard Rose. Since the early eighties he has pursued a dual path, working in the worlds of experimental rock and sound art while continuing as a highly respected performer of the traditional cello repertoire. In 1983 he was a founding member of the ground-breaking poetry-rock group King Missile, and he appeared in the downtown New York rock scene with groups such as You Suck, Dogbowl, Borbetomagus and Bongwater, on record and in live shows. In 1985 he was awarded the Gregor Piatigorsky Prize of the New York Cello Society, and was appointed to the faculty of Princeton University. In 1987 he began a long and fruitful relationship with La Monte Young, becoming director of the Theatre of Eternal Music String Ensemble and giving premieres of Young’s work throughout the world. He also established an ongoing practice of experimentation with sound, electronics and improvisation, originally with composer/performer Michael J. Schumacher as Dual, and later leading his own groups combining experimental rock with spoken texts and sine wave environments. From 1989 until 2000 he was first solo cellist of the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra of Hamburg, and he has appeared as soloist with major conductors and orchestras worldwide. Currently, Curtis is Professor of Contemporary Music Performance at the University of California, San Diego.

NATE WOOLEY (b. 1974) grew up in Clatskanie, Oregon, a Finnish-American fishing and timber town. He has spent most of his musical life whole-heartedly embracing the space between complete absorption in sound and relative absence of the same. Nate’s trumpet playing is considered an organic mixture of the lower-case, new music, free jazz, and noise improvisation traditions. In the context of trumpet improvisation, he has worked diligently to keep one musical foot firmly planted outside of the recognized lineage. Nate currently resides in Jersey City, NJ and performs solo trumpet improvisations as well as with his trio Blue Collar with Steve Swell and Tatsuya Nakatani. He has also performed with Anthony Braxton, Paul Lytton, John Butcher, Alessandro Bosetti, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Joe Morris, Cor Fuhler, Achim Kauffman, Steve Beresford, and other improvisation luminaries.

About ELIANE RADIGUE’s Naldjorlak (2005)

for solo cello 65 minutes

Created in close collaboration with Charles Curtis, Naldjorlak is the first entirely acoustic composition by a composer who has pioneered pure electronic sound for over thirty years. Delicate in its dynamic range, the work explores highly diffuse bowed textures that defy perceptual focus; the hidden, untamed ur-sonority of the cello is revealed as a deeply unstable and complex source. The Tibetan title refers to the motion of all life toward unity; in a seamlessly interwoven three-part structure, the audible shape mirrors the geography of the cello.

The New York Times describes Eliane Radigue’s music as “a steady stream of sonic activity taking place right at the edge of one’s perception”. Qualities of intense concentration, focus, and selflessness inform the spirituality of all of Radigue’s work.

This concert is presented in part by a grant from the LEF Foundation.