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Missy Mazzoli

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Vespers for a New Dark Age
Work Notes
Available for performance with or without inclusion of pre-recorded instrumental interludes and postlude.
Text Writer
Matthew Zapruder
G Schirmer Inc
Soloist(s) and Large Ensemble (7 or more players)
30 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
2S, A
Programme Note
Missy Mazzoli Vespers for a New Dark Age

I. Wayward Free Radical Dreams
II. Hello Lord
III. Come On All You
IV. New Dark Age
V. Machine

Composer's Note:
Vespers for a New Dark Age was commissioned by Carnegie Hall for the 2014 Ecstatic Music Festival. This work, scored for three vocalists, violin, clarinet, multiple synthesizers, double bass, electronics and percussion, was premiered at Carnegie Hall on February 22, 2014 by the Victoire Ensemble, percussionist Glenn Kotche, and members of vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth. This piece is a distorted, modern-day take on the traditional Vespers prayer service, in which poems by Matthew Zapruder replace the customary sacred text.

In all of his work Zapruder is able to wrangle elegant and surprising phrases out of the morass of modern culture. His poems are beautiful, haunting, and very much of our time; they explore the way we confront technology, ghosts, death, doubt and God in our “new dark age”. These fragmented, secular texts are juxtaposed with the rigid structure of a musical church service, complete with all its ritualistic repetition and call and response.

Percussionist Glenn Kotche rattles boundaries of the written score with his expansive virtuosity and supernatural energy. The instrumentalists of the ensemble Victoire, armed with synthesizers, organs, amplified strings and winds, further bridge the sonic gap between the new and old, the profane and the spiritual.

- Missy Mazzoli

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