“She is hip, adventuresome and, yes, talented….Her playing is astonishing —amazingly rich, evocative and remarkably beautiful.”
“With virtuoso chops, rock-star charisma and an appetite for pushing her instrument to the edge of avant-garde adventurousness, Maya Beiser is the post-modern diva of the cello.”
Featuring Wilco’s Glenn Kotche on drums
Cellist Maya Beiser’s newest production, All Vows, explores the dichotomy between the physical, external world we inhabit and the inner landscape of our secret selves. It includes the Dallas premieres of Michael Gordon’s All Vows, Glenn Kotche’s Three Parts Wisdom, and Mohammed Fairouz’s Kol Nidrei, plus Michael Harrison’s Just Ancient Loops with film by Bill Morrison and re-imagined classic rock from Maya’s latest album Uncovered.
The first half of All Vows begins with a set of “uncovers”, crafted by Beiser with arrangements by Evan Ziporyn. Re-contextualizing classic rock through the lense of her cello, Maya goes deep inside music by Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Janis Joplin, and Howlin Wolf to reveal the core of each song as a musical masterpiece – a totem of our collective consciousness forged by our shared, popular culture. Composer and drummer Glenn Kotche (Wilco) contributes Three Parts Wisdom, a rhythmic and multilayered new work for Maya that evokes the experience of the individual alone and as part of a collective.
The second half of All Vows delves into our inherent desire for ritual and meaning, and begins with Arab-American composer Mohammed Fairouz’s new Kol Nidrei, in which Maya sings the text in Aramaic and engages echoes of ancient cantorial styles. Michael Gordon’s All Vows takes the Kol Nidrei as its starting point, and reimagines it entirely. Beiser’s extensive collaboration with film artist Bill Morrison is reflected the final large-scale work on the program, Michael Harrison’s Just Ancient Loops. Morrison uses archival footage, chemical process, and animation to create a stunning visual tapestry that illustrates, in his words, “the implication of an unknowable future as reflected through a dissolving historical document.” Just Ancient Loops is a 25 minutes epic piece that unveils every aspect of the cello — from its most glorious and mysterious harmonics to earthy, rhythmic pizzicatos — all utilizing “just intonation,” an ancient tuning system in which the distances between notes are based upon whole number ratios. Morrison’s film explores the many spiritual beliefs and view of the heavens, and ancient philosophical concept of the “Music of the Spheres”, that regards proportions in the movements of celestial bodies as a form of music.