Relâche returns for an encore year as ensemble-in-residence at the Penn Museum, 3260 South Street on the University of Pennsylvania campus. The new three-concert series, “Music for the Mystery of Silents,” features live accompaniment to silent films presented in the Museum’s great-sounding Widener Hall. The series kicks off Sunday, November 16 at 3:00 pm, with Maya Deren: New Music and her Surreal Silent Films, with live music by Teiji Ito, Kyle Gann, Leslie Burrs, and Chuck Holdeman.
Relâche concert tickets are just $15 ($10 for Museum members), in advance or at the door, while supplies last. A ticket may be used to enter and explore the Museum’s international galleries after 2:00 pm on the day of the concert. November 16 tickets may be purchased at the Penn Museum calendar online (www.penn.museum/calendar).
Maya Deren: New Music and her Surreal Silent Films: The first female avant-garde filmmaker, Deren made a career in New York and elsewhere in the 1940s and 50s. She earned a place in the history of the genre for her technical tricks as well as her unusual visions, and she starred in her films, too—a charismatic woman in every sense. For her Meshes of the Afternoon, Relâche performs their own arrangement of a score composed by Deren’s husband Teiji Ito in 1959. The Deren film At Land, always shown in silence in the past, will have an original score by Relâche member Chuck Holdeman. For Deren’s The Very Eye of Night with fancifully film-processed choreography by Anthony Tudor, Relâche has chosen the Venus music composed for the ensemble by Kyle Gann, one piece from Gann’s very large cycle The Planets, which comprises an entire CD recorded by Relâche.
To complete the program, Relâche performs Voyeuristic Absurdities (from Mingus to Diallo), commissioned from Philadelphia composer and jazz flutist Leslie Burrs in 2001, a work included on the group’s CD 8 Point Turn.
“Music for the Mystery of Silents” continues with programs Sunday afternoons, January 25 and May 3. On January 25 Mummies Outside the Box features a brand new score by Mike Stambaugh for “Eyes of the Mummy.” On May 3 Les Mystères Français features the 1912 silent mystery “Roches de Kador” with a score commissioned from French composer Regis Huby.
On November 16 the group’s instrumental roster is complemented by New York keyboardist Jim Ridl. The other players are Michele Kelly, flute; Lloyd Shorter, oboe and English horn; Bob Butryn, clarinet; Chuck Holdeman, bassoon; Amy Leonard, viola; Douglas Mapp, bass; and Chris Hanning, percussion.