Chase Will Also Perform Selections from the Ongoing Density 2036 Project, May 4 at BRIC as Part of Long Play Festival

The Kitchen continues its presentation of Claire Chase’s Density 2036, now the 11th year of the project for which the artist commissions and presents new work for solo flute, building a bold repertory for the instrument (May 2 & 4). “Perhaps the [flute’s] most imaginative living advocate” (The New Yorker), Chase adds new contributions annually to this collection reimagining solo flute literature over the course of 24 years (culminating in 2036, the 100th anniversary of Edgard Varèse’s groundbreaking 1936 flute solo, “Density 21.5”). This year, Density 2036, part xi features the world premiere of “The Holy Liftoff,” a large-scale new piece by legendary composer Terry Riley, performed by Chase and the JACK Quartet on May 2 at 6pm at Public Records (233 Butler St, Brooklyn). Tickets are on sale on DICE. On May 4 at BRIC, as part of Long Play Festival, Chase will perform selections of works from throughout the last decade of the project.

“The Holy Liftoff” is a large-scale new work from Riley, who began composing it in 2022 as an open score sketchbook brimming with colorful drawings that were intended to be realized by Chase (on multiple flutes) in collaboration with any number of additional musicians. Over the following two years, the sketches evolved into a multidimensional work. It now combines extensive through-composed material — heard in this rendition as an eight-voice chorus of low and high flutes, seven of which are pre-recorded and one of which Chase plays live — as well as graphic notation, evocative artwork, and Riley’s signature open-form scoring that can be freely interpreted by the performers in variable durations and realizations. For the premiere at Public Records, Chase partners with the dynamic JACK Quartet in a 60-minute rendition arranged in collaboration with Samuel Clay Birmaher.

Terry Riley said, “When I improvised the first 16 bars of ‘The Holy Liftoff’ the melody and the chords whispered its name while simultaneously urging me to make drawings of the experience. The drawings had angels and flying creatures and all the energies were rising up into a surrealistic skyscape…This piece could only have been written for Claire Chase.”

The Kitchen has been the presenter of all Density programs to date. As the organization has moved temporarily to Westbeth Artists Housing (currently in the 4th Floor Loft space at 163B Bank Street) from its Chelsea home as it undergoes transformative renovations, they have explored the notion of a Kitchen without walls, with programming extending to other physical and virtual sites—a concept that has led to exciting interinstitutional collaborations. Last year, the organization celebrated the 10th year of Density 2036 with a residency and free performances at The Kitchen at Westbeth, co-presented by Carnegie Hall Citywide (Chase was also, at the time, a resident at Carnegie Hall as the Richard and Barbara Debs Creative Chair), and followed by performances at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall.

About Claire Chase

Claire Chase, described by The New York Times recently as “the North Star of her instrument’s ever-expanding universe,” is a musician, interdisciplinary artist, and educator. Passionately dedicated to the creation of new ecosystems for the music of our time, Chase has given the world premieres of hundreds of new works by a new generation of artists, and in 2013 launched the 24-year commissioning project Density 2036. Now in its eleventh year, Density 2036 reimagines the solo flute literature over a quarter-century through commissions, performances, recordings, education and an accessible archive at Chase co-founded the International Contemporary Ensemble in 2001, was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2012, and in 2017 was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize from Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Chase is currently Professor of the Practice of Music at Harvard University’s Department of Music, a Creative Associate at The Juilliard School, and a Collaborative Partner with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony. She was the Debs Creative Chair at Carnegie Hall for the 2022-23 season.

About JACK Quartet

Undeniably our generation’s “leading new-music foursome,” the GRAMMY- nominated JACK Quartet’s “stylistic range, precision and passion have made the group one of contemporary music’s indispensable ensembles” (The New York Times). Comprising violinists Christopher Otto and Austin Wulliman, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Jay Campbell, JACK was founded in 2005 and operates as a nonprofit organization dedicated to the performance, commissioning, and appreciation of 20th and 21st century string quartet music, synchronized in its mission to create an international community through transformative, mind- broadening experiences and close listening. Through intimate, longstanding relationships with many of today’s most creative voices, the quartet has a prolific commissioning and recording catalog, has been nominated for three GRAMMY Awards, and is the 2024 recipient of Chamber Music America’s Michael Jaffee Visionary Award. Committed to helping dismantle outmoded classical music pipelines for composers, JACK’s all-access initiative JACK Studio supports collaborations with a selection of artists each year, who receive money, workshop time, mentorship, and resources to develop new works for string quartet. More than 40 composers have worked with JACK through JACK Studio thus far, hailing from Argentina, Belarus, Canada, Germany, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, South Africa, Syria, and the United States.

About The Kitchen

Founded in 1971 as an artist-driven collective, The Kitchen today reaffirms and expands upon its originating vision as a dynamic cultural institution that centers artists, prioritizes people, and puts process first. Programming in a kunsthalle model that brings together live performances, exhibition-making, and public programming under one roof, The Kitchen empowers its audiences and communities to think creatively and radically about what it means to shape a multivalent and sustainable future in art. The Kitchen seeks to cultivate and hold space for wild thought, risky play, and innovative and experimental making, encouraging artists and cultural workers alike to defy boundaries and sending them into the world to remake art history and catalyze creative change.

Among the artists who have presented significant work at The Kitchen are Muhal Richard Abrams, Laurie Anderson, ANOHNI, Robert Ashley, Charles Atlas, Kevin Beasley, Beastie Boys, Gretchen Bender, Dara Birnbaum, Anthony Braxton, John Cage, Lucinda Childs, Julius Eastman, Philip Glass, Leslie Hewitt, Darius James, Joan Jonas, Bill T. Jones, Devin Kenny, Simone Leigh, Ralph Lemon, George Lewis, Robert Longo, Robert Mapplethorpe, Sarah Michelson, Tere O’Connor, Okwui Okpokwasili, Nam June Paik, Charlemagne Palestine, Sondra Perry, Vernon Reid, Arthur Russell, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Spiegel, Talking Heads, Greg Tate, Cecil Taylor, Urban Bush Women, Danh Vō, Lawrence Weiner, Anicka Yi, and many more.

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