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Arcomusical is thrilled to announce the arrival of our third album, Emigre & Exile, featuring bassist and composer Matt Ulery. The album drops on March 25th, 2022 on Panoramic Recordings (an insert of New Focus Recordings).

Emigre & Exile includes premiere recordings of six new works by four composers: Matt Ulery (the title track), Alexandre Lunsqui, Jeremy Muller, and Gregory Beyer, and it displays once again our ensemble's unique versatility in chamber, contemporary, and folkloric contexts.
On Sunday, April 3, 2022, Arcomusical and Matt Ulery return to Chicago's home for excellent live music, Constellation, to host a launch party for Emigre & Exile! 

And we'll be joined as well by two more special guest artists:

Flutist Constance Volk,
whose beautiful artwork adorns our new album, and
Guitarist and composer Yasmin Williams!
more about EMIGRE & EXILE

Opening the collection is Jeremy Muller’s Singularity, a sextet that revels in shifting rhythmic and melodic patterns. The title alludes to multiple meanings – on one hand, it references the relationship between simple, accumulating changes and the implications for the larger systems of which they are a part. On the other hand, Muller evokes the philosophical concept of “The Singularity,” or the moment when artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence. The hypnotic figures that are passed through the ensemble conjure the steady, irreversible march of time and its concomitant evolving changes.

Gregory Beyer’s works allow the listener to hear the berimbau in three progressive contexts, first as a member of a mixed percussion ensemble featuring mallet instruments, then in a duo setting, and finally as a solo instrument. Inspired by Berio’s iconic 1973 quartet Linea, Fios e linhas opens with a simple unison motive between vibraphone and berimbau. As the other instruments enter, Beyer plays with expectations and enriches the texture, introducing polyrhythms, syncopation, and passing tones. A middle section features more sustained melodic textures, before the work closes with an infectious groove inspired by the northeast Brazilian style of baião. for Adam and Jess is based on an improvisation Beyer recorded with a student in 2007 and highlights the breadth of invention possible with two berimbaus, facilitated by the instrument’s idiosyncratic set of limitations and capabilities. Sakura Park is an homage to a small park in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of New York City directly behind the Manhattan School of Music where Beyer studied as a graduate student. The piece is in two sections - the first, in duple meter, is regal and processional, while the second section is in a lilting triple meter. Sakura Park allows us to hear the berimbau in isolation which in turn illuminates how it functions in an ensemble setting.

Matt Ulery’s eclectic six-movement work Emigre & Exile integrates the various roles the berimbau occupies in Arcomusical’s practice into an amalgamated hybrid and is an outgrowth of his own omnivorous musical interests. Joining the ensemble on acoustic bass, Ulery uses intricate hocketing in the ensemble to create rhythmic and melodic mechanisms that truly make the ensemble sound like one hyper- berimbau. A luminous harmonic language pervades the piece, while shifting metrical syntax embeds subtle differences of shading into repeated figures. Ulery’s work transcends aesthetic partisanship, containing elements that will appeal to fans of many different genres.

The album closes with its most experimental music, Alexandre Lunsqui’s sextet Repercussio. Opening with a multi-timbre swell that grows from non-pitched scratching, Lunsqui outlines a chordal texture with insistent repeated notes in ascending intervals. The textural heterogeneity of the opening asserts itself throughout the piece as the music glides seamlessly between pitched and unpitched gestures. A dynamic middle section features a barrage of scrapes and percussive sounds throughout the ensemble that uncannily imitates electronic music with acoustic instruments. After a climactic ensemble passage of alternating triplet figures, Repercussio closes with the most elemental sound a berimbau ensemble makes, several sticks hitting wood, gradually decelerating as if they had been dropped down a flight of stairs.

Arcomusical on Tour!
On February 8-9, 2022, Arcomusical engaged Ithaca College students, faculty and community during a two-day residency that involved workshops in composition, world music, and percussion classes and an evening performance in IC's beautiful Ford Hall. The images above are from our "Volta ao mundo!" workshop wherein students spend time in stations learning about various facets of the berimbau - from its construction and playing techniques to its inclusion in the traditional body game of capoeira.
Spring 2022 Arcomusical Events!

March 25 - Emigre and Exile record release on Panoramic (New Focus Records)

April 3 - Emigre and Exile Album Release Party - Frequency Series - Constellation, Chicago, IL

April 8 - Ripon College, Ripon, WI

April 9 - University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

April 10 - Joliet Junior College

May 5 - Give DeKalb County Annual Fundraiser Event!
Check out our Arcomusical Events Calendar!
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Thank you for reading!

Copyright © 2021 Arcomusical, All rights reserved.

3925 South Pointe Dr Unit F
DeKalb, IL 60115

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Arcomusical · 3925 South Pointe Dr Unit F · DeKalb, IL 60115 · USA

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