Hear that? It's the seasons changing
UVA music professor Matthew Burtner spent his early childhood in a small village on the Arctic Ocean, the mountains outside of Anchorage, and on fishing boats on Alaska's southwest coast. He says his earliest memories include the sound of the Arctic wind and of storms on the ocean.
So it’s probably no surprise that he now considers himself a sound artist, and his work is guided by an interest in natural acoustic processes– music as the sonic activation of imagination through environment. One of his recent compositions, Ukiuq Tulugaq (Winter Raven), will have its world premiere at Old Cabell Hall this weekend.
Composed for a variety of instrumental, electro-acoustic, and mixed media, Burtner’s music explores eco-acoustic processes and noise-based musical systems. Additionally, he has developed a unique instrument– the metasaxophone, a project exploring the integration of the saxophone and electronics through sensor technology and imbedded systems research.
Ukiuq Tulugaq is based on ecological and anthropological studies of the Arctic, and it metaphorically connects to an Inuit creation story in which the world is created from snow by Raven (Tulugaq). The dramatic musical shape of this piece is based on the environmental change from fall into winter. This linear structure, encompassing three acts, is filled with a nonlinear narrative, evoking dreams and stories and employing widely divergent media. Each of the three acts explores a different psychological state relating to the seasonal change.
Conceived as a large-scale multimedia composition for voice, instrumental ensemble, electronics, dance ensemble, video projection, and theatrical staging, this production of Ukiuq Tulugaq is a collaborative effort. The premiere is being produced by the Virginia Center for Computer Music; Michael Slon conducts the piece; Sage Blaska has provided the choreography; Anisen Khan offers video choreography, and the staging, costumes, and design are handled by UVA students in a Multimedia Production class.
The production has only one performance, so call in advance for tickets to be sure they are available.
Ukiuq Tulugaq plays Friday, March 28. Old Cabell Hall at UVA. 8:15pm. $5-10. 924-3984.