After a very successful debut of the I/O Fest last year, the Williams College Department of Music proudly brings it back for a second year. Performances will take place over three days from Thursday, Jan. 6 through Saturday, Jan. 8, at '62 Center and a site TBD. NO tickets necessary.
Out of the Box
Williams Percussion Ensemble
Williams Jazz Ensemble
Opus Zero Band
Space is the Place
Music of Sun Ra, Kyle Gann, and Karlheinz Stockausen's Tierkreis
Space is the Place
Karlheinz Stockhausen Tierkreis [Zodiac], 12 melodies of the
star signs (1974)
and music by Sun Ra and Kyle Gann
Formed in 2006 on the Williams College campus and directed by Steven Bodner, the Opus Zero Band—the highly-flexible, chamber-ensemble extension of the Williams Symphonic Winds—has quickly made a name for itself as one of the most cutting-edge new music ensembles in New England. The ensemble is committed to presenting innovative and provocative performances featuring the most significant music written today, regardless of instrumentation. In 2008, the Opus Zero Band presented the second complete performance (and collegiate premiere) of Louis Andriessen’s masterpiece De Materie, a performance described by Andriessen as “amazingly good” and by critic Barton McLean as “heroic” and “astounding.” Other recent highlights include collaborating with composer Steven Bryant on the creation of Ecstatic Variations (2009); presenting the American premiers of Klas Torsentsson’s Self-portrait with percussion, Michel van der Aa’s Preposition Trilogy, and Kyle Gann’s Sunken City; collaborating with Williams student composers and choreographers on the show “Overexposed,” which featured a semi-staged performance of Stravinsky’s L’histoire du soldat; and performing throughout Argentina in January 2009. The Opus Zero Band has also collaborated four times with the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art; besides presenting the premieres of feedforward (2007) by choreographer David Neumann and composer Eve Beglarian and also Philip Miller’s opera Hottentot Venus (2009), the ensemble presented a music+video concert in Club B-10 this past October and a full-length evening performance in the galleries last December. Along with the Symphonic Winds, the Opus Zero Band has commissioned and/or premiered a number of works by composers such as Lukas Foss, Judd Greenstein, David Kechley, Michael Torke, Jay Wadley, and Michael Weinstein. This past March, Opus Zero Band performed at the College Band Directors National Association Eastern Division conference at West Chester University, presenting a provocative program of music by Judd Greenstein, David Kechley, David Lang, and featuring Louis Andriessen’s De Staat.
In programs featuring cutting edge new and experimental music and important works of the twentieth-century, the Williams Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of Matthew Gold, surveys a vast terrain of sound and rhythm. The ensemble employs all manner of percussion instruments, found sounds, and electronics to create music that resonates across boundaries of genre and discipline. In addition to music for percussion alone, the group presents works for mixed ensembles and other instruments, and has often worked directly with composers. The ensemble also collaborates with artists in other media in order to explore the connections between different types of sound, form, image, and movement.
Like other large ensembles, the Williams Jazz Ensemble, directed by Andy Jaffe, serves as the flagship for a flotilla of musical endeavors, all related to the study of jazz. Students working with the jazz faculty pursue aspects of performance, composition, arranging, history, and theory. The Jazz Ensemble itself offers an opportunity to explore ensemble and solo performance at its most practical level, with concert performances both on campus and off including tours that range far beyond the Berkshires. In addition, the Jazz Ensemble works with contemporary jazz artists in workshops and concerts.