Wet Ink to spill the musical goods | TheUnion.com

Wet Ink to spill the musical goods

What’s in a name? “Trinoceros,” “Inflorence,” “Loop” and “Danse et Jeaux,” to name four of the eight new compositions to be presented in this year’s new music festival, Wet Ink. Why such evocative titles? Only one way to find out: Be there on the 26th!

What’s in a name? Tony Clements, Laurel Zucker, Tina Guo, Pauline Yang and Menlo Mcfarlane, to name five of the 14 outstanding performers in this year’s Wet Ink concert.

Tony has been a tubist with the San Francisco Symphony and Sacramento Symphony, to name just a few. Laurel’s virtuoso flute playing has been compared to such icons as Rampal and Galway, and Tina has been concertizing worldwide, playing classical concertos and remarkable electric cello.

And what’s in the following names? Randy Mckean, Mikail Graham, Ludi Hinrichs, Howard Hersh, Jay Sydeman, Jerry Grant and Mark Vance. Well, they are all members the Nevada County Composer’s Cooperative who make this event happen. Not to mention guest composer Stephen Blumberg, who is the artistic director of Sacramento State’s yearly Festival of New Music.

Now turn your attention to the process that results in the moment of truth when a composition is unveiled:

1. It starts with the composer creating his piece. If he’s fast, it might take a few weeks or it might take a few months.

2. He gives the parts to the musicians who will play the piece. They practice.

3. Then they all gather in Nevada City to rehearse together with each composer supervising … a nice collaboration … that!

4. The moment of truth. You buy the ticket and at a certain moment in time, the piece is born because of you. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, did it really fall? Thus it is with a new piece … requiring composer, performer and audience to birth it … to share the creative experience. See you on the 26th!


Jay Sydeman, a member of the Nevada County Composers Cooperative, is referred to as “one of the most significant and frequently performed American composer of his generation” in the Biographical Dictionary of American composers.


Says Co-op member Mikail Graham about his part of this eighth Wet Ink concert: “‘And Then The Line Went Dead’ is the latest collaborative work between local artist Menlo Macfarlane and myself. Its an interactive performance piece about the banality and futility of communicating in the modern world. You know, the way we all e-mail and cell phone one another instead of taking the time to actually see each another face to face. Remember that way of living? Seems few of us do, which is why we thought it would be the perfect subject to comment on for this year’s Wet Ink concert.

“So I made a little film, Menlo wrote some text to accompany it, and then I composed a very sparse musical score including a variety of noncommittal instrumentation to give it a nice, zingy bippity-bop bounce. And in case you might be wondering how our two-minds-working concept happens, simply imagine what it used to be like before the technotrocities of this modern-day world invaded our lives; you see, Menlo and I hearken back to a simpler time where a smile, a wink and a nod said more than an e-mail ever will.”


One of the members of the Nevada County Composers Co-op, Howard Hersh, has a new CD out, “Howard Hersch, Chamber Music, 2000-2005” with “The Pony Concert,” on Albany Records. Check it out at http://www.howardhersh.net.


WHAT: “Wet Ink,” a concert of new music by the Nevada County Composers Cooperative

WHEN: Tuesday, June 26, 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Amaral Family Festival Center, Nevada County Fairgrounds, McCourtney Road, Grass Valley

ADMISSION: Tickets for $22 adults, $5 students may be purchased by calling the box office at Music in the Mountains, (530) 265-6124.

INFORMATION: On the Web at http://www.musicinthemountains.org

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