Formerly Known as Classical was founded by Matthew Cmiel when he was a high school student at the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts. The student-run New Music ensemble had the explicit goal of encouraging teenagers to both play and listen to the music of their life-time. Since its inception in 2004, the group has been organized and directed by high school students. Past directors include Matthew Cmiel (founder), Preben Antonsen, Dylan Mattingly, and Gabriella Smith. Recently, Nick Main and Theo Haber asked their composition teacher, Matthew Cmiel, if they could re-ignite the spark and get the ensemble going again; he enthusiastically agreed.
According to Nick Main, Co-Director, “ The goal for this ensemble is to spread the music that I have grown to love, namely, contemporary classical music. It's a genre of music which, if unfamiliar with, can be a bit difficult to get into, but I'm hoping that people will open up to it and love it like I do.”
Main and co-director, Theo Haber, are interested in collaboration and cross pollination, the intersection and overlap of different art forms. Given the diverse creative environment at SOTA where they are currently enrolled, “this opens up the possibility for incorporating students from any of the other departments into new compositions for the groups. This could be anything from film scoring to combining something stable like a painting or sculpture with music, which is temporal.”
This combination of stable and temporal art forms is an exciting component of the up-coming concert event “The Place Where you go to Listen". The 2 PM performance of Anna Clyne's "Resting in the Green" from "The Violin" at Goldsworthy’s site, Wood Line, will feature seven string players; five of which are students at Asawa SOTA: Lucy Nelligan, Kana Luzmoor, Stephanie Blanco, and Terra Hurtado, and Theo Haber.
Future plans for Formerly Classical include a concert, tentatively slated for November 2016, of selected works by John Adams, Osvaldo Golijov, David Lang, Frederic Rzewski, Kaija Saariaho, Theo Haber, and Nick Main.
Notes on Resting in the Green –Nick Main
Rests somewhere between a contemplative, and a mystical state.
Paints a landscape, born of blues, browns, and greens.
Longing, but not sad.
Almost heart-wrenching, but in a nostalgic, refreshing sense.
Evokes thoughts of a simpler time, taking us out of the stress of everyday life.
Fades between monophony and polyphony.
On Resting in the Green –Matthew Cmiel
Anna Clyne's music always haunts me. She writes such simple expressions, beautiful phrases and beautiful melodies, but the way she portrays them is always heartbreaking. A common trademark of hers is letting each phrase fade out before it reaches it's natural conclusion, leaving the listener wanting more. I always loved this "technique," but Resting in the Green achieves the same effect without ever fading out. IN fact, the piece is basically one melody just gradually unfolding, gradually expanding into the air, gradually wandering into the distance, gradually breaking your heart.
This piece came out of a Project of Anna's called The Violin. She traded writing short pieces for violin/violin ensemble in exchange for lessons on how to play the violin. It led to her developing a very deep understanding of the physical properties of the violin, and how best to evoke the beauty held within.
I N S P I R A T I O N
"The world is blue at its edges and in its depths. This blue is the light that got lost. Light at the blue edge of the spectrum does not travel the whole distance from the sun to us. It dispersed among the molecules of the air, it scatters in water. Water is colorless, shallow water appears to be the color of whatever lies underneath it, but deep water is full of scattered light, the purer the water the deeper the blue. The sky is blue for the same reason, but the blue at the horizon, the blue of land that seems to be dissolving into the sky, is a deeper, dreamier, melancholy blue, the blue at the farthest reaches of the places where you see for miles, the blue of distance. This light that does not touch us, does not travel the whole distance, the light that gets lost, gives us the beauty of the world, so much of which is in the color blue."
–Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust
THE PLACE WHERE YOU GO TO LISTEN
2 PM: WOOD LINW
Visit the website to learn more.
Click on the map for directions to the event.