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International Contemporary Ensemble with the Chicago Civic Orchestra

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The International Contemporary Ensemble joins the Chicago Civic Orchestra with Nicole Mitchell’s Inescapable Spiral and George Lewis’ P. Multitudinis. Both improvisatory in nature, the works will highlight the collaboration between the Ensemble and the Chicago Civic Orchestra, now in its third year.

Nicole Mitchell: Inescapable Spiral
George Lewis: P. Multitudinis

Nicole Mitchell’s Inescapable Spiral is a “variable process” piece for five or more instruments of any kind for musicians with a wide range of playing abilities. Comprised of short movements named for colors, the piece can be played with a mixture of students and professional musicians. Some are traditionally notated, and others are hybrid graphic scores; the order of pieces can be rearranged with or without repetition, depending on the desired duration of the piece and the number of instruments. Collision of pieces is expected and especially desired by the composer, because it evokes the pull of a celestial body towards the Earth in an “inescapable spiral” until they ultimately collide.

Premiered at the group’s Ensemble Evolution program at the Banff Centre, George Lewis’s P. Multitudinis is a situational-form work that is also partially open in terms of scale and instrumentation. The full complement of the work includes a trio with piano, percussion, and electronics; a trio with voice, saxophone, and trumpet, a string quartet, a woodwind quintet, one or more “mobile percussionists,” a “mobile conductor,” and “The Multitude,” an open-instrumentation ensemble for any number of players. Performers are given two types of material: first, precisely notated passages to be varied as needed, and second, a set of tasks laid out on a grid that suggest ways of relating to the sonic environment being created. The choice of material is pursuant to collective decision-making in performance.

Performances and commissioning activities during the 2018-19 concert season are made possible by the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, Booth Ferris Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Jerome Foundation, A.N. and Pearl G. Barnett Family Foundation, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, Amphion Foundation, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Pacific Harmony Foundation, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, The Casement Fund, BMI Foundation, as well as public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council for the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. Yamaha Artist Services New York is the exclusive piano provider for ICE.