For Immediate Release
September 28, 2021
Williamstown, Massachusetts—On Saturday, October 2, the Williams College Music Department performs Eliza Brown’s Masque-Rondeau under the direction of Matthew Gold as a part of the College’s continuing program of new music. This free program will be presented on the Clark’s Fernandez Terrace at 3 pm. Registration is not required. Guests should bring their own chairs or blankets for lawn seating. Visit clarkart.edu/events for more information.
Masque-Rondeau (2018) is a music-theater work for 10–26 musicians in which groups of performers gradually spread out across the performance space, shifting, reorganizing, and dispersing, while filling the space with long swells of sound. The pianist acts as a conductor through a series of musical cues that change the musical and spatial roles of the other players. The performers play slow, overlapping chords, at times in concord with other groups and at others creating piquant clashes deliberately reminiscent of seventeenth-century Restoration music. Brown conceived of the piece as a stylized solstice festival—part ritual, part party—elapsing in slow motion. Social dynamics emerge from the score, which asks musicians to group and regroup and approach one another with musical propositions, which may be accepted or declined. The slowness with which moments of musical connection and parting emerge heightens their emotional impact in unexpected ways. Every performance of Masque-Rondeau is a unique event, the details of which are determined by performers in real time as they respond to the score, the performance space, and one another. What its performances share in common is an immersive sonic and visual experience, with a beautiful sonic surface and gentle pace of development that bely the work’s surprising power.
Brown’s music is motivated by sound and its potential for meaning, an engagement with the broader arts and humanities, and fundamental questions about the nature of human existence, social relationships and responsibilities, and sensory experience. Her compositions have been performed by leading interpreters of new music, including Ensemble Dal Niente, Spektral Quartet, ensemble recherche, International Contemporary Ensemble, Network for New Music, Ensemble SurPlus, Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, and Wild Rumpus New Music Collective. Brown’s works have been heard on stages throughout the USA and in Mexico, Colombia, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Canada, and the UAE and have been recorded on multiple labels.
ABOUT THE CLARK
The Clark Art Institute, located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. Acting as convener through its Research and Academic Program, the Clark gathers an international community of scholars to participate in a lively program of conferences, colloquia, and workshops on topics of vital importance to the visual arts. The Clark library, consisting of more than 275,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. The Clark also houses and co-sponsors the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.
The Clark, which has a three-star rating in the Michelin Green Guide, is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Its 140-acre campus includes miles of hiking and walking trails through woodlands and meadows, providing an exceptional experience of art in nature. Galleries are open 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Sunday and daily in July and August. Advance timed tickets are required. Admission is $20; free year-round for Clark members, all visitors age 21 and under, and students with a valid student ID. Free admission is available through several programs, including First Sundays Free; a local library pass program; and EBT Card to Culture. For more information on these programs and more, visit clarkart.edu or call 413 458 2303.
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