FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 25, 2014
Rebecca Bailey, Publicity Coordinator/Writer
Hopkins Center for the Arts, Dartmouth College
The city of the future, in music and film
Photos (L-R): A still from Metropolis; Matthew Marsit conducts the Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble, photo by Rob Strong.
HANOVER, NH—The groundbreaking 1927 silent film Metropolis is the visual centerpiece for an evening of exhilarating music by the Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble on Friday, February 20, 8 pm, in Spaulding Auditorium of the Hopkins Center. The evening also features the world premiere of a new, Hop-commissioned work.
Titled "An Evening in Metropolis," the concert includes two works inspired by the film, an Expressionist masterpiece by German director Fritz Lang that depicts a technological future where workers toil with mind-numbing devotion to their machinery below ground while the privileged few frolic in gleaming, Modernist palaces up above.
Audiences will watch a 30-minute version of the film, projected onto the 30-foot-wide Spaulding screen, while the wind ensemble—plus electronic synthesizer—performs Suite from Metropolis (2005) by Chicago composer Thomas Miller. Miller is the Coordinator of Sound Recording Technology program for the School of Music at DePaul University in Chicago. This is among four silent film scores that Miller has written, including one for Pandora’s Box (Dir. George Wilhelm Pabst, 1929), which the Dartmouth ensemble performed in 2010.
The wind ensemble will premiere a second Metropolis-inspired work, a Hop-commissioned Metropolis Concerto for Violin and Wind Ensemble by San Francisco-based composer Richard Marriott. Marriott developed the work from a score for the complete Metropolis film he debuted in 1991 for his chamber ensemble, the Club Foot Orchestra. Marriott has written contemporary film scores that span the arc of cinema—from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) to The Rising Sun (1993), as well as music for other 20th- and 21st-century media, including television, installations and video games.
The program also includes Metropolis (1992) by British composer Adam Gorb—which, despite its title, was not inspired by the film but, Gorb says, a radio play set in a future in which the entire population of Great Britain lived in their vehicles, driving forever round a circular motorway day and night, stopping only for food and gas. Capturing a mood of extreme tension coupled with desperate exhilaration, it is a "bold piece…full of striking effects" (The Guardian, UK). The Dartmouth ensemble previously played Gorb's Eine Kleine Yiddishe Ragmusik and Dances from Crete.
Also on the program is Lost Vegas (2011) by American composer Michael Daugherty. In program notes for its debut performance, Daugherty called it "a musical homage to bygone days in the city of Las Vegas, Nevada… I recall the enormous neon signs punctuating the “Strip,” promoting casinos and hotels ruled by the underworld, and the massive marquees trumpeting performances by pop music legends such as Frank Sinatra and Elvis." The piece includes a movement depicting nearby Death Valley, as well as a final movement that, he says, is "a swinging tribute to an earlier epoch, when legendary entertainers such as Elvis, Peggy Lee, Bobby Darin, Stan Kenton, and Frank Sinatra’s 'Rat Pack' performed in intimate and swanky showrooms of the Sands, Tropicana, and Flamingo hotels."
The Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble is a select, auditioned wind ensemble of 45 members, performing a wide variety of music from the late 19th, 20th and 21st century wind ensemble repertoire. The DCWE serves as a melting pot for the students of Dartmouth College as well as residents of the Upper Valley, sharing music with our community and those communities beyond the boundaries of our campus through concertizing, small and large outreach projects and performances, and charitable endeavors that bring the gift of music and music making to all who welcome it.
An active conductor and clarinetist, Marsit has led ensembles and performed as a solo, chamber, and orchestral musician throughout the United States. In addition to directing the wind ensemble, he also directs the Dartmouth College Marching Band, directs the wind ensemble at Williams College, and is artistic director of the Charles River Wind Ensemble, based in Watertown, Massachusetts. He has previously held conducting positions with Cornell University, Drexel University, the Chestnut Hill Orchestra, the Bucks County Youth Ensembles and the Performing Arts Institute of Wyoming Seminary. Matthew has served as a guest conductor, clinician and consultant for a great number of schools, institutions and festivals throughout the eastern United States, and has produced a recording project for the United States Military Academy West Point Band.
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"An Evening in Metropolis" with the Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble
The groundbreaking sci-fi imagery of Fritz Lang's 1927 silent film masterpiece Metropolis has inspired countless scores, including two excerpted in this exhilarating concert. The ensemble performs Thomas Miller's Suite to accompany a projected 30-minute version of the film; and debuts Richard Marriott's concerto, based on his earlier chamber-group score for the film. Adam Gorb's high-intensity evocation of a modern metropolis and Michael Daugherty's homage to bygone days in the city of Las Vegas round out this evening powered by the driving energy of the modern urban center.
Friday, February 20, 8 pm
Spaulding Auditorium, Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hanover NH
$10, $5 Dartmouth students
Information: hop.dartmouth.edu or 603.646.2422
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Founded in 1962, the Hopkins Center for the Arts is a multi-disciplinary academic, visual and performing arts center dedicated to uncovering insights, igniting passions, and nurturing talents to help Dartmouth and the surrounding Upper Valley community engage imaginatively and contribute creatively to our world. Each year the Hop presents more than 300 live events and films by visiting artists as well as Dartmouth students and the Dartmouth community, and reaches more than 22,000 Upper Valley residents and students with outreach and arts education programs. After a celebratory 50th-anniversary season in 2012-13, the Hop enters its second half-century with renewed passion for mentoring young artists, supporting the development of new work, and providing a laboratory for participation and experimentation in the arts.