“An ominous elegance that speaks to Ms. Fure’s command of her art. … as a ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ for the Anthropocene, it is singularly effective.”
— New York Times
Enter an altered sense of time and space in this sensory experience created by acclaimed composer and Dartmouth faculty member Ashley Fure in collaboration with her architect brother Adam Fure and the International Contemporary Ensemble. Stroll among suspended iridescent sculptural elements ( glaciers, stalactites?) shifting to sounds too low for humans to hear, while performers add rattles, vocalizations and instrumental sounds. See on the Hop’s Moore stage the work that rocked Lincoln Center’s 2018 Mostly Mozart Festival.
The Force of Things: an Opera for Objects is an immersive work of music theater that wrestles with the animate vitality of matter and the mounting hum of ecological anxiety around us. The project is driven by a desire to tune our focus toward a rate of change and a scope of alteration at odds with the scale of human life. Audience members enter into a field of sculpted matter ringed by speakers emitting sounds too low for humans to hear. Though they vibrate under the threshold of audibility, this choir of subwoofers causes waveforms that ripple through and activate the material space. Aircraft cables, tensioned web-like across the 150-foot performance space, double as infrastructure and instrument when bowed like mammoth double basses. Two singers snake side-by-side amidst the audience, shouting a warning that sounds like a whisper in a language no one can understand. The piece has a palpable sense of urgency and yet it’s eerily still, as if the timescales are off, as if some future frantic state reaches us only in slow motion. These moves attempt to train our perception beyond its apparent boundaries—below the sounds we’re built to hear and through the illusions of stasis and separation that render us still in the face of collapse. – Ashley Fure
Ashley Fure's The Force of Things is made possible by generous commitments from the International Contemporary Ensemble: First Page Program, University of Michigan Office of Research, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Dartmouth College Provost’s Office Seed Funding Program, Miller Theater at Columbia University (NYC), and Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt (IMD). This project was supported by New Music USA, made possible by annual program support and/or endowment gifts from New Music USA project grants.
Performances and commissioning activities during the 2019-20 concert season are made possible by the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, A.N. and Pearl G. Barnett Family Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Aaron Copland Fund for Music Inc., Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, Amphion Foundation, Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Pacific Harmony Foundation, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, mediaThe foundation inc., 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 Agency. The International Contemporary Ensemble is the Ensemble in Residence of the Nokia Bell Labs Experiments in Art and Technology. Yamaha Artist Services New York is the exclusive piano provider for ICE.