Ghost Ensemble is dedicated to new musical perspectives that explore the act of listening. The ensemble’s music creates sonic spaces that shift our attention, perception, or experience of time. Ghost Ensemble: Arctic Air presents Pauline Oliveros’s whisper-soft large-ensemble work Arctic Air alongside Wilfrido Terrazas’s Ifigenia en, Ben Richter’s Wind People, the West Coast premiere of James Ilgenfritz’s Apophenia V: Outmoded Large Crumbling Oval Lime-Green Midwestern Plastic-Frame Reading Glasses, and the world premiere of a new work by Marguerite Brown.
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Ghost Ensemble’s performance is graciously sponsored by the Vincent J. Coates Foundation.
In Arctic Air, the fragile and ephemeral intricacies of individual sounds weave together to form a shimmering sonic web that guides listeners’ perception toward concentrated deep listening. Terrazas’s Ifigenia en creates an ecosystem of alternately hyperactive and dissolving “growth modules”, manifested with a malleable temporality that asks the performers to search for “a hidden oral tradition of the piece”. James Ilgenfritz’s Apophenia V challenges the human tendency to perceive patterns in ostensibly unconnected material; Richter’s Wind People, “a massive drone of lapidary detail” (Peter Margasak, Bandcamp Daily), evokes a sense of awesome transcendence and doom as the 10-piece ensemble builds to a crushing climax. Seattle-based composer Marguerite Brown explores new mediums, forms, and performance practices that foster connectivity and encourage a collective freedom of expression.
Ghost Ensemble: Arctic Air features Margaret Lancaster (flute), Breana Gilcher (oboe), Ben Richter (accordion), Chris Nappi (percussion), Lucia Stavros (harp), Cassia Streb (viola), Ashley Walters (cello), James Ilgenfritz (contrabass), Scott Worthington (contrabass), and Carl Bettendorf (conductor).
“Ghost Ensemble embodies the spirit of rugged independence … all these pieces use sound to seek an altered consciousness, from a meditative awareness to a look, perhaps, into a different dimension … trying to crack open the fabric of reality … the music sounds like something incomprehensibly massive is passing by, slowly. Strong music, made with a singular spirit.” — George Grella, The New York Classical Review
“keeping you in the present … a body-felt sound mass … a multifaceted texture that evokes the primeval” — Meg Wilhoite, Meg’s New Music Blog
“cloudy, mysterious, and dark … Beckettian in its slow spread … certainly a group to keep an eye on” — Brian Olewnick, Just Outside
“wonderful work … serene, rippling waves … stirring, ominous surges of sound … both exhilarating and a bit scary” — Peter Margasak, Best of Bandcamp Contemporary Classical 2018