plugged & unplugged
Monica Germino: violin, electric violin, adapted acoustic violin, voice
Frank van der Weij: sound
plugged & unplugged: a solo program for violin, electric violin, adapted acoustic violin, voice, soundtrack, effects, movement, film, installations
Repertoire: Jacob TV (a.k.a. Jacob ter Veldhuis): SUITES OF LUX (2004/2007)* for electric violin & soundtrack
J.S Bach: Sarabande, Partita II in d minor, BWV 1004 (1720)
Louis Andriessen: XENIA (2005)* for violin/voice
Heiner Goebbels: Part 6, BAGATELLEN für Violine (1989-2007)* for amplified violin with distortion & samples - click for video
Nick Williams: HELL (2006)* for singing violinist
Nicholas Brown: THE BRAVERY OF WOMEN (2006)* for violin/voice & film
Michael Gordon: INDUSTRY (1993) (version for adapted violin and electronics 2008)
Plus selected new works from the 2005 Call for Scores
*written for Germino
Performing brand new works by the world's top composers, Amsterdam-based American artist Monica Germino is at the forefront of bringing the violin into the 21st Century. Each piece cleverly combines the violin(s) with another element: voice, soundtrack, effects, samples, movement, film, or installation. Developed and presented in close collaboration with expert sound engineer Frank van der Weij, the groundbreaking show plugged & unplugged illustrates an ideal relationship between performer and technician, as reported by The Daily Telegraph (UK): '...musicians and "players" of electronic gear simply coming together to make music - the results were often entrancing.'
Three spectacularly different instruments: the acoustic violin, her custom-made electric violin and a uniquely adapted acoustic violin all play a role in this thrilling program. The 65-minute program includes pieces by Heiner Goebbels, Jacob ter Veldhuis and J.S. Bach. Germino's mastery of singing and playing simultaneously can be heard in the works of Louis Andriessen, Nicholas Brown and Nick Williams. The show ends with Industry, the revolutionary piece by Bang on a Can founder Michael Gordon. The composers themselves introduce their works.
Whether it's building an extreme scordatura adapted violin and running it through a growling octave displacement machine, waging a battle with relentless samples, or extending the technique of singing and playing simultaneously, Monica Germino is challenging any preconceived notions about what exactly a violin recital should be.
Short notes about the music (please see the PDF for more information):
HELL, by UK composer Nick Williams, takes the brave new world of singing violinists to a new level. The composer asks the violinist to passionately declaim the visionary poet/artist William Blake's Proverbs of Hell over an unstoppable toccata-like violin part. HELL is astounding, also in its yet-unimagined level of difficulty. Now already a classic in Germino's repertoire, Louis Andriessen's virtuoso work for solo violin, Xenia (2005), was dedicated to Germino. The piece ends with a gripping movement titled 'Song', in which she simultaneously sings and plays. She first performed XENIA at the opening of the 2005 Holland Festival in the Concertgebouw, with a subsequent performance at the opening of the fantastic new building for contemporary music, the Muziekgebouw aan' t IJ in Amsterdam (picture right). JacobTV's SUITES OF LUX adds an evocative soundtrack to mix with Germino's 'Violectra', her custom-made electric violin. The piece was originally written as a part of a large-scale work of the same name by choreographer Nanine Linning, which featured Germino performing live on stage with 10 dancers from Scapino Ballet Rotterdam. An extended work by Heiner Goebbels for heavily distorted, virtuosic violin and samples goes alongside the phenomenal and staggering Industry by Michael Gordon. Gordon translated his vision of a string instrument as "an instrument made of steel and the size of a football field" into sound. The piece defies categorization (as does the entire program!), sounding nothing like a classical solo string piece. At the composer’s request, Germino created the ear-blistering definitive violin version of INDUSTRY. This combination of Germino's newly adapted violin and effects has been referred in the press to as 'elegant rock' (Trouw, NL) and 'a tour-de-force of slowly rising intensity' (Daily Telegraph, UK). In close collaboration with Germino, Nicholas Brown combines composition, film, and live performance in THE BRAVERY OF WOMEN. Filmed on location in Oxford (UK) and at the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ (Bimhuis) in Amsterdam (NL), Germino is simultaneously on screen while interacting live with the film (for images: click here).
Connecting the pieces, the composers themselves introduce their work.
This program is made possible with support from the Funds for the Performing Arts (FAPK) in The Netherlands