November 3 2012, 03:00pm
Public Engagement
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Wild up: Chamber Music


Wild up: Chamber Music

Throughout the residency, wild Up musicians will have the opportunity to explore their individual interests through a chamber music series. This week we host wild Up member Richard Valitutto and his program Tending Towards Tranquility: John Cage's Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano.

A phenomenal exploration of otherworldly sounds obtained through strange yet surprisingly ordinary means, the Sonatas and Interludes are widely regarded as John Cage's magnum opus for the instrument which he pioneered, the prepared piano. The prepared piano is an ordinary piano with a number of objects (screws, bolts, felt, rubber, wood, etc.) inserted between or placed on the strings, so as to act as a series of mutes, changing the sound in both subtle and completely unrecognizable ways; the Sonatas and Interludes feature Cage's most elaborate preparations for the instrument. Not only do the pieces mark an apex of achievement in his work for prepared piano begun 10 years earlier, but they signaled a radical shift in John Cage's compositional process and philosophy, heavily influenced by Indian and Hindu music and thought. Richard Valitutto will perform the complete 70-minute work in this centennial year of the beloved American composer, performer, and thinker. Richard will also open the program with a rare piece by British composer Nicola LeFanu specifically composed in 2002 for the Sonatas and Interludes preparation.

Described by the LA Times as “vigorously virtuosic” and “building vast cathedrals of sound,” Richard Valitutto is active in Los Angeles as a piano soloist, chamber musician, accompanist, teacher, composer/arranger, and writer. A strong proponent of new music, he has worked with composers such as Sofia Gubaidulina, Steve Reich, Chinary Ung, Clarence Barlow, Marc Sabat, and Timo Andres. Richard is a founding member of two chamber ensembles, gnarwhallaby and The Joshua Trio, in addition to his continuous work with the critically acclaimed wild Up Modern Music Collective. He holds degrees from CalArts (MFA) and the University of Cincinnati (BM). More information at www.richardvalitutto.net.



wild Up is a 24-member experimental classical/contemporary ensemble comprised of Los Angeles musicians committed to creating visceral, thought-provoking happenings. By mixing traditional classical works, challenging new compositions and indie music, their insightful programming looks to change the experience of the classical concert and reconceptualize the role of an orchestra in its community. Throughout a performance wild Up creates an active experience for the audience by sharing the contextual and inspirational impetus for their program. The ensemble practices a philosophy of radical-inclusionism: audience members are invited to experience concerts the way that they see fit, and absolutely no music is off limits.

When visiting the museum from July through December visitors will encounter vibrant performances, projects, and interactive installations. Stop by to find out what’s possible when an orchestra takes on a museum.



Part of the curatorial department, the Public Engagement program collaborates with artists to develop and present works that create an exchange with the institution and with visitors. Enacted both inside and outside the galleries, Public Engagement projects range from re-envisioned security guard uniforms to library and orchestra residencies.

wild Up at the Hammer received generous support from Karen Kohl. The Hammer Museum's Public Engagement Program is supported through a major grant from The James Irvine Foundation. Additional support is provided by The Shifting Foundation.

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