Hallucinations: A Mind-Bending Evening

Hallucinations: A Mind-Bending Evening with Metropolis EnsembleOn Thursday and Friday, January 27 and 28, the Grammy nominated Metropolis Ensemble presents Hallucinations, a mind-bending concert featuring the world premiere electronic-acoustic remix by Ricardo Romaneiro of John Corigliano’s Three Hallucinations, based on his Academy Award-nominated film score to Altered States, paired with music by Enrico Chapela and newly commissioned electronic-acoustic works by Du Yun, Gity Razaz, and Ricardo Romaniero.

Hallucinations is an adaptation of selections from composer John Corigliano’s Academy Award-nominated iconic film score Altered States, as re-imagined by Ricardo Romaneiro for chamber orchestra and live electronics. Surrealistic instrumental and electronic effects are combined with frenetic orchestral textures and sparse, eerie melodies to create a surround-sound cinematic experience.

Using programs like Ableton Live/Max and Sibelius, composer Ricardo Romaneiro has created electronic-acoustic remixes, performed live with analog synth modules and drum machines as well as controlling computers using a Lemur touch controller. In addition, orchestral instruments such as harp, bass, keyboard, bassoon and strings are processed through the electronics. For Hallucinations, Romaneiro re-arranged pieces originally written for a large orchestra to be performed by a smaller chamber orchestra, remixing and adding electronic elements in the process. The result is not simply electronics added to an orchestral instruments, but an true integration of the two. “The orchestra is electrified; vibrations from the strings run in harmony with electronic currents,” Romaneiro says. “The key is to blend the sounds as one.”

Including Hallucinations, the concert features four “World Premiere” Metropolis Ensemble commissions.

Romaniero’s Strata, for chamber orchestra and electronics, weaves the listener through layers of pulsating grooves and radiant harmonies, creating a kaleidoscopic tapestry of sound and rhythm.
The Metamorphosis of Narcissus by Gity Razaz is structured as a triplex musical soundscape with each section exploring an internal/psychological stage of Narcissus’ metamorphosis. Themes from the first section return as fragments in expanded form, giving an overall sense of perpetual development.

Rising star composer Du Yun contributes Fallen Warriors, the Cihuacoatl’s Eye for winds, string quartet, and electronics. Du Yun uses her unique voice to shed light on the Aztec mythology of Cihuacoatl, the goddess of fertility and childbirth. In many traditions, childbirth has long been compared to warfare and the women who die in childbirth are honored as fallen warriors. At once chaotic and monstrous, this piece ultimately traces a sense of resilient lament.

Receiving its New York Premiere will be Enrico Chapela’s work LiPo, based on the poem Li Po by the Mexican poet José Juan Tablada, who took inspiration from the life of the Chinese poet Li Po. Tablada traveled to the Far East during the first years of the last century where he discovered the poetry of Li Po. This poem is based on Li Po’s biography and on a free Spanish translation of his most famous work, “Drinking alone with the moon”.

About Metropolis Ensemble

Metropolis Ensemble is a nonprofit professional chamber orchestra and collective of the finest emerging performing artists and composers today. Led by Grammy-nominated conductor Andrew Cyr, Metropolis Ensemble is dedicated to launching the next generation of outstanding composers and performers and has quickly established a reputation for presenting “new music played with the same kind of panache and bravura we usually experience only in performances of standard repertoire” (Esa-Pekka Salonen).

Founded in 2006, Metropolis Ensemble has commissioned fifty-five new works of music from a dynamic mix of young composers and is becoming a leading producer of unique, innovative, and interactive concert experiences. The Ensemble attracts diverse audiences by engaging arts enthusiasts to be active participants in the creation, performance, and perpetuation of the music and organization. Metropolis Ensemble is equally dedicated to making a difference in our local community by collaborating with other cultural organizations, nonprofit partners, and schools to serve under-resourced populations.

Metropolis Ensemble has appeared with the Wordless Music Series, Lincoln Center, Celebrate Brooklyn!, (le) Poisson Rouge, Carnegie Hall, and in radio broadcasts by WNYC Radio, National Public Radio, KSJN Minneapolis, and KBAQ Phoenix. Recently, Metropolis Ensemble was delighted to announce a classical nomination in the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards (2010) for Avi Avital (soloist) and Andrew Cyr (conductor) (with Metropolis Ensemble) for Avner Dorman’s Mandolin Concerto, part of their first studio album, Avner Dorman’s Concertos.  The album was made in collaboration with producer David Frost and appears on the NAXOS American Classics imprint.