A feature by Sydney Boyd
To achieve this kind of intermedia voyage, it matters where you sit during Tutschku’s concerts. When I first walked into the theater and sat in the front row, Tutschku quietly approached and encouraged me toward the center of the room, gesturing at the circular positioning of the speakers. His advice quickly made sense: his music is remarkably attuned to its environments. It moves with space and bodies in mind, as his 2011 work Klaviersammlung, which opened this first program, succinctly demonstrated. Comprising recordings Tutschku made of ancient pianos that whir around an audience through sixteen channels placed throughout the theater, the piece transports you inside the body of an old instrument where you feel the hammers press and the strings pull, and the grain of the wood scratches along your cheek.
A feature by Tommy McCutchon
When Halim El-Dabh speaks about his investigation of “energy and vibration” and the universality of sound, it is tempting to think his perspective aligns neatly with that of New Age music. However, El-Dabh is actually quite far removed from the genre. He is rigorously dedicated to pursuing a musical investigation of the ancient knowledge held within his Egyptian heritage, as much as he is dedicated to making sure America receives the credit for inspiring and facilitating that worldview. The seemingly paradoxical quality of that relationship would be taken as straightforward, were it not for the fact that America remains ill-equipped to share American identity with that of other nationalities, such that El-Dabh, a U.S. citizen since 1961, would be accepted as just as American a composer as Bernstein or Copland.