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This was composer Michael Gordon’s response to Monica Germino’s news that she would have to protect her hearing by stopping or adapting how she played the violin.
Inspired by Germino’s strength and determination, four of the world’s leading composers — Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe and David Lang (co-founders of Bang on a Can) — embarked on a collaborative composition, joining forces to create MUTED. Shortly after making this commitment to Germino, they invited Louis Andriessen to join in the experiment, fulfilling a long-held wish to collaborate. This collective composition features what Germino calls ‘whisperviolin’ (fluisterviool), created by designer Marcel Wanders & luthier Bas Maas, along with a variety of violins including a rare frame violin from ca. 1870, and a multitude of mutes. MUTED also includes a part for Monica’s speaking and singing voice, in settings of texts from Don Marquis' 1930’s New York Post cult column Archy and Mehitabel.
For MUTED, lighting designer Floriaan Ganzevoort has created a light sculpture that glows and radiates with the music and focusses our listening.
At turns humorous, touching, mysterious, and filled with warmth, this is a performance that is hypnotizing and transcendent, designed especially for small groups of listeners in intimate spaces.
violing & voice Monica Germino | music Louis Andriessen, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe | stage design & lighting Floriaan Ganzevoort
MUTED was commissioned by Concertgebouw de Doelen, Music on Main Vancouver, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, and the Oranjewoud Festival.