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Julia Wolfe

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Lick (1994)
Red Poppy
Works for 2-6 Players
Sub Category
Mixed Ensemble
Year Composed
8 Minutes
Programme Note
Julia Wolfe Lick (1994)
Composer Note:

I see music as something other than presentation. Each piece is its own world that I've found a way into. It starts from an emotional place — not sentimental or an expression of an emotion — but connected to the spirit. I begin with an image — a fragment of a tune, a visual or sonic image — a joyous, active, rhythmic thing that unravels like a little knot. To really make a piece and not just piece things together, you have to be less attached to every moment and stand back and let the music go how it wants to go. It's a funny combination of intuition and construction. Lately I have been veering more towards the power of sound. There's an insistence, a feeling of pushing things to the edge, and there is a certain kind of groove, a dance quality. The body energy of pop music has come into my music and it is definitely in Lick. Motown, funk, rock. This is the music I grew up on — listening, dancing to it. It has a certain kind of freedom to it. "Lick" has a lot of meanings and the piece has to do with all the meanings you can think of. It's saucy and it has an edge. It's impatient; although it stays with things for a long time, it hammers at than. I took a fragment, a lick, and magnified it. And the beat is split up by all the players, so it becomes fragmented, a fragmented energy. The piece is about attacks, but it has a more sensual side. I really thought about the Bang on a Can All-Stars when I wrote it because I wanted to see them lock in with this intense energy. It's definitely over the top.

— Julia Wolfe

  • 11 NOV 2018
    Den Haag, Netherlands
    Youngwoo Lee, piano
  • 09 NOV 2017
    Sounds of Music
    Groningen, Netherlands
    Ensemble Klang
  • 28 SEP 2017
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Stroma New Music Ensemble
    Hamish McKeich, conductor
  • 26 JUL 2017
    Villa Adriana, Tivoli, Italy
    Musica Per Roma
  • 04 MAY 2017
    Cleveland Public Theatre, James Levin Theatre, Cleveland, OH
    Travesty Dance Group

    Other Dates:
    5,6 May - Cleveland Public Theatre, James Levin Theatre, Cleveland, OH
  • 19 APR 2017
    Three Generations
    Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall, New York, NY
    Bang on a Can All-Stars, JACK Quartet, and guests
  • 06 APR 2017
    Three Generations
    Zankel Hall,New York, NY
    Bang on a Can All-Stars
  • 05 DEC 2016
    The Venue, Leeds, UK
  • 20 NOV 2015
    New York, NY
    Accidental Music Festival
  • 19 NOV 2015
    Baltimore, MD
    Now Hear This
  • 15 JAN 2015
    Musiekgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Ensemble Klang
  • 12 JAN 2015
    De Doelen, Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Ensemble Klang

    Other Dates:
    15 January - Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • 12 JAN 2015
    New York, NY
    Ensemble Klang
  • 27 APR 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    Arthur Solari
  • 19 APR 2013
    Omaha, NE
    University of Nebraska
  • 09 FEB 2013
    New Wimbledon Theatre, Wimbledon
    Richard Alston Dance Company

    Other Dates:
    14 February - Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea
    20 February - Octagon Theatre, Yeovil
    26,27 February - Northcott Theatre, Exeter
    6,7 March - The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
    19 March - The Lowry, Salford
    26 March - Sherman Cymru, Cardiff
    23,24 April - Malvern Theatres, Malvern
    30 April; 1 May - Oxford Playhouse, Oxford
    8 May - Theatre, Severn, Shrewsbury
  • 03 OCT 2012
    "Madcap" Richard Alston Dance Company Autumn Tour
    Robin Howard Dance Theatre, The Place, London
    Richard Alston Dance Company

    Other Dates:
    4-6 October - Robin Howard Dance Theatre, The Place, London
    9 October - G live, Guilford, UK
    16,17 October - Royal & Derngate, Northampton
    23 October - Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
    1 November - Theatre Royal, Glasgow
    6 November - Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
  • 14 AUG 2012
    Jackson Heights, NY
    Kaufman Center's student ensemble Face the Music
  • 11 NOV 2010
    Baryshnikov Arts Center, NY
    Collective Body | Dance Lab

    Other Dates:
    13 November - Baryshnikov Arts Center
  • 11 SEP 2010
    New York, NY
    Collective Body Dance Lab

    Other Dates:
    13 November - New York, NY
  • 27 MAY 2010
    San Francisco, CA
    San Francisco State University
  • 08 APR 2010
    Columbia College, Chicago, IL
    CUBE Ensemble
  • 04 NOV 2005
    Emeryville, CA
    New Arts Foundation

    Other Dates:
    5-13 November - Emeryville, CA

Julia Wolfe's Lick, a hot, dense piece based on what one might call terrorist rhythms, in that you never know when they'll strike.
David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer ,03/03/2009
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