trumpet, alto sax, tenor/soprano sax, baritone sax/bass clarinet, piano, bass, and drums/percussion; full concert-length program
A chamber opera in four scenes plus a prologue, interlude and epilogue, 2 hours
Libretto by Charlotte Jackson
Instrumentation: flute/picc, Eb/Bb clar, Bass/Contrabass Clar, Alto/Bari Sax; Horn, Trombone; Percussion; Piano; Accordion; Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass
Cast: soprano (2), mezzo-soprano, countertenor/alto, tenor (2), baritone, bass-baritone
Stage premiere: The Industry, Los Angeles, 2014-15 season
Premiere of Prologue and Scene 1 on April 1, 2006 at the Improvised and Otherwise Festival in Brooklyn, NY, by Anti-Social Music and soloists. Concert performance of Prologue and Scene 1 by the New York City Opera / VOX 2007 Showcase, May 12, 2007; Scene two premiered at New York City Opera VOX 2009.
Laurie Rubin as Karen
Martha Sullivan as Louise, Michael Douglas Jones as Theodore
commissioned by Jack and Linda Hoeschler for Concert Artists Guild, with additional support from Premiere Commission, Inc. Premiere October 6, 2005 by Winston Choi, piano at Symphony Space Thalia, New York. 37 min.
for violin and piano, 9 min; Premiered by the composer at the piano and violinist Gabe Bolkosky at the University of Michigan, February 10, 1997
based on themes from the television series “Sesame Street”; premiered by Gordon Beeferman at the University of Michigan, April 26, 1998. 14 min.
tenor and piano, 25 min. words by Jane Barnes. Premiered March 10, 2001 at the Greenwich House Music School, New York City, by Tony Boutte, tenor, and Gordon Beeferman, piano. Also version for full orchestra (unperformed).
soprano and piano, 5 min., settings of anonymous ancient Greek texts translated by Richmond Lattimore. Premiere: Jane Schoonmaker-Rodgers, soprano; Kevin Bylsma, piano.
for two harps and two percussion, 18 min; Premiered April 14, 1997 at the University of Michigan
for violin and piano, 7 min.
text: Charlotte Jackson; for baritone, trumpet, bass clarinet, and trombone. 4 min.
premiere: loadbang ensemble, Tenri Cultural Center, NYC, April 2013
for bass-baritone, B-flat clarinet, violin, cello, and piano; settings of Russian texts by Akhmatova, Bobyshev, Lermontov, and Mandelstam; First complete performance by Collage New Music with bass-baritone David Ripley, at the C. Walsh Theater in Boston, Mass., March 31, 1996. 18 min.
In celebration of their 50th anniversary, the American Brass Quintet released this 2-CD set of music written for them since the year 2000. All eleven works epitomize the work of this legendary ensemble in promoting serious brass music for half a century.
The album includes Gordon Beeferman’s BRASS QUINTET (2007), commissioned by ABQ with funds from the Jerome Foundation.
OTHER LIFE FORMS is Gordon Beeferman’s avant-jazz quartet, with Stephanie Griffin (viola), Pascal Niggenkemper (bass) and Andrew Drury (drums). OTHER LIFE FORMS combines complex written charts with virtuosic individual and collective improvisation. Their debut album is out on Different Track Recordings (November 2018).
Hailed as “Four Recorder Virtuosos” by The New York Times, QNG—Quartet New Generation mesmerizes its audiences through innovative programming that juxtaposes contemporary and early music, presented with a dynamic and often theatrical stage presence. On this, their first recording, they perform Gordon Beeferman’s Passages, written for them in 2006.
“The Rat Land” is the first operatic collaboration between Gordon Beeferman and librettist Charlotte Jackson. The two-and-a-half hour chamber opera chronicles the disintegration of a troubled and eccentric family in tragi-comic fashion. The plot centers on the adolescent daughter, Karen, coming of age as best she can amidst a post-Cold War American Grotesque. Caught between her nightmarish home life and a near-psychotic fantasy world of her own devising, she faces grown-up problems of violence, isolation, madness, and death. The opera is scored for eight singers and a thirteen-piece instrumental ensemble.
Read more about and listen to excerpts from “The Rat Land”
Scenes from “The Rat Land” were previewed at New York City Opera’s VOX showcase (2009, 2007) and the Improvised and Otherwise Festival (2006), under the direction of Beth Greenberg. Read the NY Times review of the 2007 performance.
Laurie Rubin as Karen
Music by NYU Graduate Composers
Monday, May 5, 2014, 8pm
with members of the Orchestra of the League of Composers
Merkin Concert Hall, 129 W. 67 Street (1 to 66 St.)
program includes RACKET (2014) and LAST WASH (2010/2014) for 13 instruments
OTHER LIFE FORMS
Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 7pm
Gordon Beeferman (piano/organ, compositions)
with Stephanie Griffin (viola), Pascal Niggenkemper (bass), Andrew Drury (drums)
18 Whitwell Place, Brooklyn (R to Union St.)
Other Life Forms
Jeff Arnal (percussion) and Gordon Beeferman (piano) synthesize avant-garde jazz/improv and contemporary classical traditions of the 20th century into a unique “energized ritual of free expression…music with muscle and appeal” (Cadence Magazine). For more information, visit Generate Records, or click here.
“A collection of concise yet substantial duo improvisations that demonstrate substantial power and an impressive range of expression.” -Time Out New York
Jeff Arnal (percussion) and Gordon Beeferman (piano) synthesize avant-garde jazz/improv and contemporary classical traditions into a unique “energized ritual of free expression…music with muscle and appeal” (Cadence Magazine). Since forming their duo in 2000, Arnal and Beeferman have become an integral part of the creative music scene in New York and beyond. Their duo has performed at the Knitting Factory, Music at the Anthology, Improvised and Otherwise (Brooklyn), San Francisco Alternative Music Festival, Philadelphia Fringe Festival, the Tremont Theater and Zeitgeist Gallery (Boston/Cambridge), and other venues for experimental and improvised music. Their first recording Bodies of Water (2001) was praised for its “near-perfect synchronicity… these two have talent to burn” (All Music Guide). In addition to working as a duet, they have collaborated with many other musicians and dancers, including choreographer Estelle Woodward (in the dance/music ensemble Loophole) and saxophonist Seth Misterka (as Rara Avis).
“mini-opera” for 3 women, 2 men, electric guitar, electric bass, and drums. Premiered by members of the ensemble “Caterwaul” at the University of Michigan, March 27, 1998; 4 min.
Choreography: Stephanie Sleeper
Music: Gordon Beeferman
Performed by Stephanie Sleeper and Gordon Beeferman
Film by Minos Pappas, November 2011
Limited edition 7″ released by Generate Records on its 10th anniversary. Pressed on green vinyl with a cover by Ian Crowther.
Gordon Beeferman’s IMAGINARY BAND is a (real) 7-piece group that explores the territory where classical ‘new-music,’ jazz and free improvisation intersect. Beeferman’s compositions range from the gnarly to the operatic, and are both incredibly detailed and very free; the band’s improvisational explorations are tethered to highly structured frameworks.
“[A] commanding avant-jazz ensemble…” Time Out New York
Read more about “The Imaginary Band.”
Jonathan Nosan (contortionist) and Gordon Beeferman (organ) performing at the Howl! Festival in New York. October 30, 2011. New York City
Choreography: Anita Cheng
Music: Gordon Beeferman
Video: Ronaldo Kiel
Performed at the Merce Cunningham Studio, January 2003
Text: Laurie Stone
Video/Sculpture: Keith Hennessy
Music: Gordon Beeferman, Theresa Wong
solo guitar, 9 min.; Commissioned by guitarist David Leisner; Premiered November 29, 2000 by David Leisner at Jordan Hall, Boston.
The debut album of RARA AVIS, a trio joining the fiery and focused talents of Gordon Beeferman, Jeff Arnal, and Seth Misterka. A highly structured but entirely improvised tour de force for electric piano, percussion, and saxophones, the recording traverses a rich musical territory from fierce and highly rhythmic complexity to evocative long-lined lyricism. For more information, visit Generate Records.
Expressive and virtuosic, the music of New York composer-improvisers Jeff Arnal (percussion) and Gordon Beeferman (piano) springs from avant-garde traditions, both classical and jazz. Their work is a synthesis of the highly defined compositional elements of contemporary classical music and the spontaneity and energy of free-improvisation. “Bodies of Water”, their debut recording, was released in November, 2001 on Generate Records.