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May 26
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POSTPONED | The Confession Embassy of France - La Maison Française 4101 Reservoir Road, NW - Washington, DC

Musiqa's French program "Francosonic" to feature new work by Raphaèle Biston

Musiqa - Traces of Blue - Photographer Lynn Lane

Musiqa, two-time winner of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, is proud to present at the Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston, Francosonic, a program of modern works by French composers, featuring the world premiere of new work by Raphaèle Biston and a photo/light installation by visual artist Olivier Mödr.

Musiqa performs the world premiere of Raphaèle Biston’s, Repercussions, for chamber ensemble. An accomplished composer in her native France, Biston is known for the rhythmic qualities of her music and for using instruments in non-traditional ways. In Repercussions, Biston playfully transforms the flute, clarinet, violin and cello into percussive instruments, exploring the vast range of sounds and timbres each instrument can make, often creating percolating, chaotic soundscapes that meld with swaying, peaceful motifs.

“I am grateful to have the opportunity to give life to the music I’ve long heard in my dreams,” states Biston. “Though I have had my work performed in New York and Los Angeles, this is the first time I get to work side-by-side with American musicians.”

“A central facet to Musiqa’s mission is commissioning new music,” notes Musiqa Artistic Director Anthony Brandt. “To be able to commission a composer such as Raphaèle and have her participate rehearsals and the world premiere truly helps create a transformative experience for the audience.”

This work, commissioned to Raphaèle Biston has been made possible through the New Music Fund, a program of FACE Foundation, with generous funding from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, Florence Gould Foundation, Fondation CHANEL, French Ministry of Culture, Institut français-Paris, and SACEM (Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Editeurs de Musique).

Photo of Raphaèle Biston

Another highlight of the program is Songs of Agartha for piano and cello by Guillaume Connesson, composer of the year at the 2019 Victoires de la musique classique. Songs of Argatha engulfs you in a musical journey to the center of the earth to the legendary kingdom of Agartha, where a single lyrical melody plunges into darkness, evolves into contrasting, jumpy themes, and finally ends in trancelike, “devilish” ecstasy.

Also on the program is Marc-André Dalvabie’s, Palimpseste for chamber ensemble. Although often defined as a page of manuscript where the original writing has been erased so it can be reused for another document, the palimpseste by Dalvabie references a Renaissance motet by Gesualdo. The result is a fluid work that ebbs and flows between lush Renaissance harmonies and Dalvabie’s more edgy, rhythmic musical language. Musiqa has invited French visual artist and photographer Olivier Mödr to accompany Palimpseste with Encoded, a photo/light installation that responds in real time to live music.

Finally, Musiqa presents Betsy JolasTrio sopra 'et sola facta' for piano trio, which features interweaving instruments that create unique textures and timbres; and Alto Voltango for saxophone and vibraphone by Luis Naón, a French composer of Argentinian descent, who infuses this fast-paced, electric piece with elements of the tango.

Friday, October 18, 2019
MATCH Box 2, Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston
3400 Main Street
Houston, TX 77002
7:00 PM – Pre-Concert Conversation
7:30 PM – Performance
Admission: Pay-what-you-wish

On the Program:
Raphaèle Biston: Repercussions for chamber ensemble
Guillaume Connesson: Songs of Agartha for piano and cello
Marc-André Dalvabie: Palimpseste for chamber ensemble
Betsy Jolas: Trio sopra 'et sola facta' for piano trio
Luis Naon: Alto Voltango for saxophone and percussion

Leone Buyse, flute
Dan Gelok, saxophone
Jackson Guillen, violin
Jeremy Kreutz, cello
Tali Morgulis, piano
Michael Webster, clarinet
Blake Wilkins, percussion


Jerry Hou, conductor
Olivier Mödr, visual artist

About Raphaèle Biston

Raphaèle Biston was born in Lyon, France, in 1975.

Her latest pieces show her multifaceted interests in composition: instrumental writing (Sable for 2 alto flutes, Lignes de fuite for 5 musicians, Ressac for 13 instruments); real-time or pre-recorded computer music (Présence for double bass and electronics, Parages for 5 musicians and electronics, Sillages for 8 musicians and electronics) ; performances, in collaboration with writers, actors, stage directors, or with adventurous instrumentalists (Schläfer, for trumpet, actress and electronics, Fricassée de maris, with an actress and semi-improvised music).

She always gives a central place to the quality of the timbre and its elaboration, in order to reveal its poetical potential, between noise and sound, sound and silence. She tries to propose a music with a clear and constant purpose, but that gives the auditor a bit of room to wander.

Her music has been performed in various contemporary music concerts and festivals, such as: Musiques en scène in Lyon,  Musica in Strasbourg, Manca in Nice, Why Note in Dijon, Les Musiques in Marseille, Forum in Moscow, Double Double in Stockholm, Rondò in Milan, la Biennale in Venise, by ensembles such as 2e2m, Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain, l'Instant Donné, Multilatérale, Ear Unit, Le Concert Impromptu, Les Temps Modernes, Divertimento Ensemble, Ex Novo, Quatuor Béla, Charlotte Testu, etc.

About Musiqa

Musiqa is dedicated to the performance of contemporary music. Founded in 2002 and led by four composers, Musiqa aims to enrich and inspire the community through programs that integrate contemporary music with other modern art forms. Musiqa celebrates modern creative arts through interdisciplinary concerts that highlight modern music and its connections to literature, film, dance, art, and more. With its innovative collaborations and educational programming,  Musiqa strives to make modern repertoire accessible and vital to audiences of all ages and musical backgrounds.