Including New Music and Video Art Reflecting on Hurricane Harvey, Musiqa Presents Eclectic Show
THIS WEEKEND, HOUSTON’S intrepid new-music-presenting organization Musiqa continues to stretch its programming ambitions with New Dimensions in Sight & Sound (Apr. 29 and 30 at MATCH), an eclectic concert of works by composers Sky Macklay, Du Yun and Ryne Siesky — and a new music and video collaboration between Musiqa 2022 Emerging Composer Commission winner Sam Wu and socially engaged multi-disciplinary artist Carrie Marie Schneider.
It’s a challenging, provocative program, and includes several Houston-based artists.
Wu is currently pursuing his DMA in composition at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, and Schneider has been an active part of Houston’s socially engaged art and performance world for some time now. Their collaboration, Weather Models, was commissioned by Musiqa.
The piece features an onstage, kinetic video installation by Schneider. The footage, recorded from 2017 to 2021, finds Houstonians creating miniature, symbolic weather events inside fish tanks and other containers with plastic dolls and other objects — a sort of hands-on therapeutic activity to address the trauma of Hurricane Harvey and climate change.
The music Wu has composed for Weather Models will “underscore the elemental nature of the subject matter,” says a Musiqa rep, and includes a part for a mezzo-soprano singing text created in collaboration with Schneider and inspired by “early language development.” In performance, the projected surface Schneider has created will rise and fall in time with the music.
Rounding out the program is Macklay’s Many Many Cadences, Du Yun’s i am my own achilles’ heel, and Siesky’s /ˈɪn/bluːm/, which was also commissioned by Musiqa. The featured musicians include violinist Mary Grace Johnson, who recently led Houston’s Kinetic Ensemble in a powerful performance of Nicky Sohn’s Home, and mezzo-soprano Jillian Krempasky.
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