Amadeus Julian Regucera & Splinter Reeds: Absence in relief (audio and visual studies in intimacy)
Amadeus Julian Regucera and Splinter Reeds bring to you a new piece, commissioned by the ensemble prior to COVID-19, and reimagined as an audio-visual installation for Radius Gallery and Indexical in Santa Cruz. The work – Absence in relief (audio and visual studies in intimacy) – is part of a series developed in close collaboration with performers, engendering conversations about consent and trust, complicity and gaze, and power and dynamics in performance.
Closing Artist Talk: April 17 at 8pm | Register Here.
Absence in relief will run during normal gallery hours at 45-minute intervals (12pm - 5pm, Wed. - Sun.) from April 9, 2021, through April 18, 2021. Indexical is also facilitating a series of RSVP-only evening showings at 7pm and 8pm on Friday and Saturday nights, April 9 and 10, and April 16 and 17. Showings are free for Indexical members, and $10 for non-members.
Capacity for showings will be limited to 10 audience members. Masks and social distancing are required, seating is in fixed positions, and time will be provided for circulating air between showings.
Amadeus Julian Regucera
The work of Amadeus Julian Regucera (b.1984) engages with the embodied and acoustical energy of sound and the erotics of its production. He has had the opportunity to present works around the world: notably, at the ManiFeste (Paris, FR), the Festival Musica (Strasbourg, FR), Voix Nouvelles (Asnières-sur-Oise, FR), the Resonant Bodies Festival and the SONiC Festival (New York City), the Havana Festival of Contemporary Music as part of the American Composers Forum artist delegation to Cuba, the Mizzou International Composers Festival, and the Hong Kong Modern Academy, among others. His music has been performed by ensembles such as Ensemble Linea, Alarm Will Sound, Ensemble Intercontemporain, EXAUDI vocal ensemble, the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Eco Ensemble, Duo Cortona, Third Sound, and the University of California, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra. In addition to concert music, his practice intersects with visual and performance art, most notably in the upcoming RIGOR a collaboration between visual artist Nicolás Rupcich and commissioned by violinist Jessica Ling (June 2021); I disappear (April 2021) an audio-visual installation commissioned by InterMusicSF and Indexical for the Radius Art Gallery, Santa Cruz, California; IMY/ILY (2018-19) – a monodrama for solo percussionist, commissioned by Andy Meyerson (The Living Earth Show); The trauma you keep safe is the pain your pass along (2018) for flutist, performer, and video; and the installation/performance Communication (2013), at the Kulturzentrum bei den Minoriten in Graz, Austria. Amadeus holds degrees in Music from the University of California, San Diego (B.A. 2006) and the University of California, Berkeley (PhD, 2016) where he lectures in the Department of Music. He currently serves as the Artistic Production Director for the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and UC Berkeley’s Eco Ensemble.
In recent work, Amadeus explores what he calls the “erotics” of sound production, or how a body, as a physical form and as a container for personal experience, is a nexus for a multiplicity of possible meanings. His current practice stems from the belief that each body is physically unique and comes with its own manifold history which can and should be expressed in the music. Amadeus sees the work of music as finding and cultivating lyricism while foregrounding the [physical] struggle that creates it. Inspired and educated by the musical modernism of the 20th century, Amadeus wishes to expand the genre’s potential as an expressive tool for composers beyond its origins. In instrumental pieces like RAW and Eternity Will Be Velocity, dynamic and tempo extremes are employed to explore energy, endurance, and momentum. The musicians’ athleticism is foregrounded, exploring the ways in which musicians’ bodies – through our personal identities and our performance practices – always bear the effects of punishing discipline in order to achieve a measure of expressive beauty. In other pieces like IMY/ILY and The trauma you keep safe…, the subconscious is pushed to the surface through demanding and often violent musical and physical gestures. In the latter, Amadeus uses vocabulary borrowed from streams of movement and visual art. His work is often developed in close collaborations with performers which engender conversations about consent and trust, complicity and gaze, and power dynamics in performance.
Splinter Reeds is the Bay Area’s first reed quintet comprising five virtuosic musicians with a shared passion for new music. The ensemble is committed to presenting top tier performances of today’s best contemporary composition, showcasing the vast possibilities of the reed quintet, and commissioning new works through collaboration with fellow musicians and artists. Splinter Reeds formed in 2013 with the coming together of five colleagues highly active in the vibrant Bay Area music scene: Kyle Bruckmann (oboe), Bill Kalinkos (clarinet), David Wegehaupt (saxophone), Jeff Anderle (bass clarinet), and Dana Jessen (bassoon). Their dynamic instrumentation is an evolutionary detour from the traditional woodwind quintet with the advantages of a more closely related instrument family.
Explicitly committed to the cutting edge of contemporary composition, Splinter Reeds freely juxtaposes multiple styles and aesthetics in their programming in order to enthusiastically share adventurous new music with the widest possible audience. The quintet has worked closely with such composers as Eric Wubbels, Marc Mellits, and Ken Ueno, while presenting North American premieres by European-based composers Dai Fujikura, Matthew Shlomowitz, and Yannis Kyriakides, among others. Based in Oakland, CA, the ensemble maintains an active performing and teaching schedule at festivals, chamber music series, and educational institutions across the country. Highlights from recent seasons include engagements at the Mondavi Center for Performing Arts, Frequency Series at Chicago’s Constellation, Festival of New American Music, Stanford University’s CCRMA, Switchboard Music Festival, Lawrence Conservatory of Music, Northwestern University, San Francisco Center for New Music, and the April in Santa Cruz Festival of Contemporary Music.
The ensemble’s debut album, Got Stung (2015), features two of their own commissions and four premiere recordings. The self-released album, on Splinter Records, comprises new works for reed quintet by composers Marc Mellits, Erik DeLuca, Ryan Brown, Kyle Bruckmann, Ned McGowan and Jordan Glenn.
About the Piece
After great pain, a formal feeling comes — (c. 2’ - 2'30" w. fermate)
KYLE | BILL | DAVID | JEFF | DANA: separate, simultaneous
And now removed from air,
I simulate the breath so well, (c. 12’)
DAVID | JEFF | DANA: separate, simultaneous
There is a pain so utter (c. 2’ w. fermate)
DAVID | JEFF: separate, simultaneous
The Heart asks Pleasure — first — (c. 1’)
KYLE | BILL: separate, simultaneous
My life closed twice before its close (c. 3'30 - 4'00" w. fermate)
KYLE | BILL | DAVID | JEFF | DANA: separate, simultaneous
Pain has an element of blank (c. 4'30” – 5’30” w. fermate & improvisation)
KYLE | DANA: separate, simultaneous
Splinter Reeds: KYLE Bruckmann (oboe & English horn), BILL Kalinkos (clarinet), DAVID Wegehaupt (alto saxophone), JEFF Anderle (bass clarinet), DANA Jessen (bassoon)
What you hear:
- the noise floor of a compositional mind besieged by anxiety and monotony;
- pieces, fragments, episodes, soliloquys, reveries, prayers;
- the absence of the instrument and of its sound and color, replaced by pieces of its shadow;
- the musicians’ bodies, working;
- the musicians, forcing their own breath through a tube, transpiring, giving away a vital part of themselves for the sake of sonic expression, expelling moisture;
- saliva production;
- the musicians;
- Kyle, Bill, David, Jeff, and Dana
What you see:
- intimacy, in absentia;
- Kyle, Bill, David, Jeff, and Dana: close, closer;
- the musicians performing presence, in absentia;
- Kyle, Bill, David, Jeff, and Dana: in their home, their shelter, in-place;
- Kyle, Bill, David, Jeff, and Dana, disappearing;
- Kyle, Bill, David, Jeff, and Dana, already gone, not here
Absence in relief (audio and visual studies in intimacy) is made possible in part through the Musical Grant Program, which is administered by InterMusic SF, and supported by the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, and San Francisco Grants for the Arts.