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Dal Niente Opens 2022-23 season with portrait concert of Carola Bauckholt

September 24, 2022 @ 8pm
Gannon Hall, Holtschneider Performance Center
2330 N. Halsted Street

CHICAGO: Dal Niente opens its 2022-2023 season with a concert featuring works by groundbreaking composer Carola Bauckholt, whose idiosyncratic, playful, and mind-bending compositions often blur the boundaries between visual arts, musical theater, and concert music. Audiences will experience the world premiere of Bauckholt’s Pacific Time for 13 players, along with her mesmerizing Oh, I See (featuring two giant eyeballs on stage), Vakuum Lieder for soprano with vacuum cleaner (sung by Amanda DeBoer Bartlett), and George Lewis’ large-scale Flux for 16 players.

In writing for Dal Niente, Bauckholt wrote specifically with an ear towards the group’s sensuous musical performances. Of her new work, Bauckholt says:

“In the summer of 2019, before the pandemic, I had a very nice and intense encounter with the ensemble Dal Niente, who performed three of my pieces as part of the De Paul summer course. I was very impressed by their great musicality and sensuality of sound. That’s why I focused entirely on the sound and left out extra musical things such as samples, video, and performance.

My inspiration is often ignited by noises….For example, ‘Pacific Time’ begins with a dense band of noise as if we’re in a very dense fog. Gradually this is exposed differently as if a ray of sun is shining, but we cannot see it….[this piece] describes the privileged state of being able to devote oneself entirely to the idea of sound…. in view of the man-made ecological collapse, which is also fogging up and eating away our spiritual and material resources through warlike destruction, which we would have to use with all our might to redirect and repair.”

The “extra musical” elements in the other two Bauckholt pieces on the program — a vacuum cleaner, a pair of balloons with eyeballs projected onto them — highlight Bauckholt’s fascination with music as a performative process and the ways that musical perception is mediated by our brains. Complementing these pieces is George Lewis’ Flux, which Edition Peters describes as a “wild, 12-minute score [that] leaps unexpectedly between musical ideas and calls for a wide range of extended performance techniques: quarter tones, multiphonics and percussive effects in the winds, glissandi on the piano strings, exotic bowing techniques, and more.”

Carola Bauckholt | Pacific Time (2022)* for 13 players
Carola Bauckholt | Vakuum Lieder for soprano with vacuum cleaner
Carola Bauckholt | Oh I See for clarinet, cello, piano, and two large balloons with eyeball projections
George Lewis | Flux for 16 players

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