Wild Rumpus was created as a collective through which emerging composers can develop new works in close collaboration with performers. I first encountered them in June of 2012, and they gave their first performance in the Old First Concerts series at Old First Church a little less than a year ago. Next week they will return to Old First, giving the first concert in the month of September.
The title of their program will be KAFKAESQUE, so named because the program will feature excerpts from György Kurtág’s Kafka-Fragmente (Kafka fragments), a song cycle for soprano and violin based on forty excerpts from Kafka texts, taken primarily from his letters and diaries. (When performed in its entirety, the piece takes about an hour.) The violinist for this performance will be guest artist Joseph Maile, leader of the Telegraph Quartet; and the singer will be Wild Rumpus soprano Vanessa Langer.
The program will also feature the world premieres of two of the winners of the 2014 Wild Rumpus Commissioning Project. These will be the expressionistic “Solis Overture” by Per Bloland and the loop-based “you & me” by Ruby Fulton. The Kurtág excepts will be interleaved between three other compositions, Philip Glass’ “Music in Similar Motion,” Lee Hyla’s “We Speak Etruscan,” and Caroline Miller’s “Berceuse et Jeux” (lullaby and games).
Old First Concerts events take place in the Old First Church at 1751 Sacramento Street (on the southeast corner of Van Ness Avenue). This recital will be held on Friday, September 5, at 8 p.m. General admission is $17 with a special $14 rate for seniors and $5 for full-time students. Children aged twelve and under are admitted at no charge. Tickets may be purchased in advance through the event page on the Old First Concerts Web site. Further information may be obtained by calling 415-474-1608.