shut up and listen! 2008
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  Erin Gee (USA / AUT) - Voice: Mouthpieces

November 21st, 2008


Erin Gee: composition, voice

Mouthpiece II (2002) | Akiguchi Mouthpiece (2005) | Mouthpiece IV (2004) | Yamaguchi Mouthpiece (2005) | Mouthpiece I (1999)

Program notes by Erin Gee:

My paintings have neither objects nor space nor time nor anything—no forms. They are light, lightness, and merging, about formlessness, breaking down form.
—Agnes Martin

When we study the science of breath, the first thing / we notice is that breath is audible.
—Hazrat Inayat Kahn

In the Mouthpieces, the voice is used as an instrument of sound production rather than as a vehicle of identity.
Linguistic meaning is not the voice’s goal.
The construction of the vocal text is often based on linguistic structure
— vowel-consonant formation and the principle of the allophone—and is relatively quiet, with a high percentage of breath.

The Mouthpieces presuppose a state of listening. They engage physiology rather than psychology.




  [Erin Gee, photos by Jonan Sutherland (left) and Gerol Meppelink (right)]
  Erin Gee

Erin Gee received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in piano and composition, respectively, from the University of Iowa, where she studied with Réne Lecuona, Lawrence Fritts, and Jeremy Dale Roberts. In Austria and Germany, she studied composition with Beat Furrer, Mathias Spahlinger, Chaya Czernowin, Richard Barrett and Steve Takasugi. She completed her Ph.D. in music theory from the University of Music and Dramatic Arts Graz in 2007.

Ms. Gee’s awards for composition include the Teatro Minimo Prize (first round) from the Zürich Opera House, the International Rostrum of Composers Award, the Impuls award, the Gianni Bergamo Prize, the SKE Prize, the Austrian Government Grant, the Pelzer Award, the Look & Listen Festival Prize, and the Judith Lang Zaimont Prize. She has worked with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna, the Latvian Radio Chamber Choir, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Recherche and Ensemble Surplus, among others. In 2005, she was a guest artist at the Akiyoshidai International Art Village where she returned to teach and perform in 2006. The Wittener Tage für Neue Musik, Klangspuren, Musikprotokoll, Steirischer Herbst, Klangriffe, Zürich Tage für Neue Musik, the Look and Listen Festival, Vienna Mozartjahr 2006, Diskurs Festival, the MATA Festival, Nuovo Consonanza, and the 4020 Festival have featured Ms. Gee's works.

Her forthcoming opera, SLEEP, will premiere at the Zürich Opera House on January 25th 2009, and will be followed by a premiere with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on the Green Umbrella Series, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. In November 2009, Erin Gee will perform with the American Composers Orchestra in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall.

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