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April 12, 2012

Stylophone + Dan Bau + Inuit throat singing?

On May 11 & 12, the Kronos Quartet continues its multi-year partnership and residency at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts with Women’s Voices, a program featuring the artistic voices of several contemporary women composers and performers. The performances feature the world premiere of All Clear, a new piece written and performed by multi-instrumentalist, singer, and composer Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ; the world premiere of Mosaic (from music of Delia Derbyshire): in memory of Connie Sterne, an exploration of musical themes by the late Delia Derbyshire; as well as three Bay Area premieres: Laurie Anderson’s Flow, Nicole Lizée’s Death to Kosmische, and Derek Charke’s Tundra Songs featuring Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq.

Võ is an Emmy award-winning composer noted for her mastery of various Vietnamese folk instruments. Born in Vietnam, Võ resides in the Bay Area, and has devoted her career to collaborating with musicians across different music genres to create new works, bringing Vietnamese traditional music to a wider audience. The Kronos Performing Arts Association together with YBCA and the David Harrington Research & Development Fund commissioned Võ to write All Clear, a work about war in five parts, which will include Võ on đàn Tranh, đàn Bầu, k’ni, artillery gongs, and vocals.

Also receiving its world premiere is Mosaic (from music of Delia Derbyshire): in memory of Connie Sterne, arranged from themes by Derbyshire. Born in Coventry, England, Derbyshire’s career in music developed in tandem with the rise of electronic music in the early 1960s. Part of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Derbyshire is best known for her electronic realization of Ron Grainer’s theme music to the British science fiction television series, Doctor Who. She is frequently mentioned, credited and covered by bands from Add N to (X) and Sonic Boom to Aphex Twin and The Chemical Brothers. Arranged by composer and “general noise-maker” Danny Clay with David Harrington, Mosaic presents a multi-layered portrait of Derbyshire that celebrates her imagination.

Three additional Bay Area premieres round out the program: Nicole Lizée’s Death to Kosmische, which pays homage to German experimental electronic music of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s; an arrangement of Laurie Anderson’s Flow, the original version of which was nominated for a 2011 Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental; and Derek Charke’s Tundra Songs featuring a performance by Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq.

The Kronos Quartet/Kronos Performing Arts Association and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts entered into a multi-year partnership in the fall of 2010 in which YBCA would be Kronos’ exclusive San Francisco home for concerts and experimentation for three seasons, including co-produced performances and co-commissioned new works.

Learn more about Women’s Voices and purchase tickets here.

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