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AMERICAN WIZARDRY

photo/video still: Marcel Wierckx
 
AMERICAN WIZARDRY explores the wizardry of transformation. American composers are the wizards working with Monica Germino (violin/voice/kick drums) and Frank van der Weij (sound design) to transform sound, execute unconventional feats and exploit new technologies.
The music: 
Missy Mazzoli: Vespers for Violin (2014)^ for violin and electronics
Julia Wolfe: With a blue dress on (2010)^ (‘for multiple Monica’s’) for violin/voice solo, 8 recorded tracks, and sound design
Annie Gosfield: Long Waves and Random Pulses (2012)* for violin and jammed radio signals
Molly Joyce: Shapeshifter (2015)^ (premiere)
David Dramm: Hammerhead (2014)* for amplified violin and two kick drums
Michael Gordon: INDUSTRY (1993) (version for adapted violin and electronics 2008)
 
*written for Monica Germino
^written for Monica Germino & Frank van der Weij
 
The crisscrossing paths Frank and Monica have taken over the years have led to many an unexpected destination. Each new piece catapulted the duo into a next round of discoveries. Besides performing brilliant new works for violin and sound engineer, Monica and Frank aim to increase audience awareness of the thrilling 3-way collaboration of composer-performer-sound designer. The duo continues to document and share the working process with the audience through pre-recorded (audio or video) composer introductions preceding each piece. This additional layer unites the past with the present, and brings the composers into the forefront alongside the performers. The duo began recording composers in 2007, and the ever-expanding project has grown into a fascinating collection of composer insights.
 
Selected performances:
 
10 APRIL - DOUBLE BILL @ Korzo Theater in The Hague (NL)
20.30 AMERICAN WIZARDRY / Monica Germino (violin/voice/kick drums) and Frank van der Weij (sound design)
21.30 Six Views from the Edge / Brendan Faegre Edge Ensemble
 
11 APRIL, 20.30: OSTADE A'DAM, Amsterdam (NL)
AMERICAN WIZARDRY / Monica Germino & Frank van der Weij 
Plus: (11 April only) video premiere & new release of Michael Gordon's INDUSTRY on Cantaloupe Music
This BRAND-NEW music video on Cantaloupe Music will be available for exclusive download through Cantaloupe Music and Bang on a Can, as well as all major online distributors. Music: Michael Gordon. Video: Marcel Wierckx. Adapted violin: Monica Germino. Recording & sound design: Frank van der Weij.
 

ABOUT THE DUO:
The American-Dutch violinist Monica Germino performs with Dutch sound designer Frank van der Weij in duo programs, revolutionizing the concept of a solo violin recital by transforming sound, executing unconventional feats, and exploiting new technologies. The duo received several research and performance grants in support of their work, and has premiered compositions for violin and sound design created especially for them by composers such as Donnacha Dennehy, David Dramm, Heiner Goebbels, Annie Gosfield, and Julia Wolfe. Germino and Van der Weij have conceived and produced critically acclaimed, revolutionary multimedia programs such as ‘plugged & unplugged’, with a sold-out UK premiere at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and tours to Canada, Europe, and the USA. HCMF and the Gaudeamus Foundation subsequently co-commissioned a sequel, the radically gripping ‘DEVIATION’, which has been performed in major festivals across Europe and the USA. A raucous and reflective ‘carte blanche’ show at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam was a catalyst for the show ‘ROADMAPS & DIARIES II’, premiering in 2014. AMERICAN WIZARDRY launched in 2015 and explores the wizardry of transformation, with American composers featured as the wizards.

Their shows are the result of a team effort: a celebration of a collaboration illustrating an ideal relationship between performer and technician. The New York Times lauded the duo: “...a gloriously free and wild fiddle tantrum…virtuosity and mischief-making...Van der Weij’s digital wizardry amplified, distorted, fragmented and multiplied the voice of the solo violin.” The Strad described a show as “a veritable master class on the use of violin and electronics, packed with sophistication and showmanship,” while The Daily Telegraph (UK) raved: “Monica Germino, a vividly personable player on the electric and ‘normal’ violin, works with a sound engineer to transform her violin at one moment into a colossally deep double bass, the next into a wailing electric guitar. …musicians and ‘players’ of electronic gear simply coming together to make music - the results were entrancing.” In 2013, SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL chose the duo for Reviewers’ Choices for Best Musical Events of 2013.