Performance by the Flexible Orchestra
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Listen to a sample of last year’s French Arithmetic – 24m 23s
$15 General Admission
Flexible Orchestra was formed by composer, Daniel Goode, in 2004 with the purpose of having an ensemble of about fifteen sound as full as a symphony orchestra—through strategic orchestration. One larger section from one instrumental family gives the mass effect, plus a smaller section of varied instruments which is there to complement, contrast, and “spice up” the ensemble.
Featured will be Guy Klucevsek’s “Suite for Accordion and Flexible Orchestra.” This is the 2nd year of the “Accordions Plus” format for the orchestra, with five accordions, violin, cello, bass, flute, and percussion, conducted once more by Tara Simoncic, who has led the Flexible Orchestra since its debut in 2004. Guy will also be soloist in orchestra-member, Kamala Sankaram’s new commissioned work. Daniel Goode, artistic director and founder, will present “Adagietto-ed” which reworks Gustav Mahler’s “Adagietto” from the Fifth Symphony for the Flexible Orchestra, using toy accordions from Chinatown. Barbara Benary, director of Gamelan Son of Lion, long time collaborator of Mr. Goode’s, who composed for the “trombones plus” format of 2006, offers her “Accordingly,” featuring Kamala Sankaram, soprano. Bill Hellermann, co-director of the DownTown Ensemble will have a new work for the full ensemble and narrator.
The first Flexible Orchestra was 12 cellos, flute, clarinet, and trombone. Each format is planned to last two years. The second two-year orchestra was 10 trombones, 2 clarinets, 2 contrabasses, and piano with amplified viola, marimba, gamelan gongs added in one instance. All the music is composed expressly for the orchestra, or arranged for it. An added benefit is that with a section of cellos, or trombones, or flutes, or accordions already in place it is able to do revivals of mono-timbral works which rarely get performed after their premieres. So eight amplified cellos did an early Lois Vierk work; ten trombones did a early Frederick Rzewski work; eleven flutes did Henry Brant’s 1932 “Angels and Devils.” The orchestra has done arrangements of Christian Wolff, Kent Kennan, and others. The New Yorker called it “Daniel Goode’s big avant-garde combo,” and Time Out said the name of the ensemble “implies a certain frame of mind.” Both true!
Daniel Goode, composer-clarinetist lives in New York, is founder of the Flexible Orchestra a new concept in orchestral sound, co-director of the DownTown Ensemble, member of Gamelan Son Lion. Recent work is the opera, French Arithmetic premiered 2010 by the Flexible Orchestra’s concert of new works and revivals for its latest array of seven accordions, three strings.