Quartet Performs Three Scores by Wesleyan Faculty, Students

Alvin Lucier, professor of music, Iván Naranjo MA ’09, and Katherine Young MA ’08 are mentioned in a July 19 New York Times article titled “Where Bows Tap and the Cello Travels.”

The Flux Quartet, which performed an American contemporary music program at Bargemusic near the Brooklyn Bridge, performed music that grew from their association from Wesleyan. For several years the quartet has participated in Wesleyan’s graduate seminar for composers, playing new pieces by students.

Along with an experimental work by composer Lucier, who has been on the Wesleyan faculty for nearly 40 years, there were recent scores by two of his students Naranjo and Young.

In works like “Group Tapper,” a 10-minute score, Lucier explored the physical properties of sound and spatial relationships of instruments. A of the sounds in the piece are produced by the musicians tapping on their instruments with their bows, mostly using the blunt edge of the handle.

Young’s piece, “Inside UFO 53-32,” gave the players leeway in determining its shape and content. “The score alternates written passages with places for improvisation and other bits by the composer that can be fit in wherever. Surprisingly, in this performance the most compelling element of this raw, wailing, coloristic piece was its organic sweep,” the article says.

Naranjo’s piece, “Vibrating Soundless Hum” consists of a series of fragments produced by unconventional, nearly inaudible scraping and bowing effects, according to the article.