The Silence in Between

Monica Germino & Guy Livingston
The Silence in Between, a lecture-performance featuring two premières, text by archy, and a sneak preview film featuring the whisperviolin
This program is part of Almost Silence, a mini-festival of music and silence in The Hague, curated by Guy Livingston
venue: precise location TBA (The Hague)
Date pending: June 2021
 
it is better to be a part of beauty
for one instant and then cease to
exist than to exist forever
and never be a part of beauty
 
-the lesson of the moth, from archy and mehitabel by Don Marquis 
 

The Silence Inbetween

The Silence Inbetween by The Lyric Feature, the Irish broadcaster RTÉ lyric fm's weekly documentary slot.

Pianist and radio host Guy Livingston takes us on a journey from the pauses of medieval chant, through silences in Monteverdi, Mahler, Pärt, and beyond. He meets Monica Germino, a violinist who pioneered the “whisperviolin” after her hearing demanded serious protection; Romain Charles, an astronaut who spent 520 days in isolation on a simulated mission to Mars; Luis Rolo, an antenna engineer from the European Space Agency; and Sean Street, author of a book on silence. Jane Clarke’s poem “The Pianist” concludes this feature.

Presenter : Guy Livingston
Producer for lyric fm: Olga Buckley
Premiered: 19 April 2020

Listen on Soundcloud

photo Anne Reinke

my companions these days...

from left to right: mr. blue (with tapping glove), a ca. 1970 frame violin, a J. B. Ceruti violin (1802), a ca. 1870 frame violin

lurking in the background: framed vintage mutes. Special thanks to Stam Vioolbouw of Utrecht

& the ingenious whisperviolin, with adjustable decibel levels

MUTED in the movies - a documentary

Filmmaker Bas Andriessen followed Monica and MUTED from start to...? This is far from a finished story... the film ends with the completion of the whisperviolin and the culmination of a year's touring with MUTED. Bas is currently in the throes of editing hours (days) of footage to make MUTED ready for the silver screen. Watch this space! 

photos: the whisperviolin coming to life. Luthier Bas Maas and designer Marcel Wanders created an entirely new, ingenious, lower-decibel instrument, inspired by and loosely modeled on the 17th-century pochette violin and created to explore the world of quieter sounds.

           

Wonderfeel festival

Sunday 21 July, 21:30 - 22:15 

Ongehoord, curated by Masa Spaan
Tickets 
Monica Germino – violin, voice
MUTED is a collective work by 4 composersMichael GordonJulia Wolfe, David Lang, Louis Andriessen
for violin, voice, whisperviolin, frame violins, a multitude of mutes, and light design
Stage design & lighting: Floriaan Ganzevoort & Isabel Nielen / Theatermachine
Text: excerpts from Archy and Mehitabel by Don Marquis
Creators, whisperviolin: Bas Maas Marcel Wanders

"The composers involved explain that “Muted” isn’t necessarily difficult for audiences to hear. [Michael] Gordon said concertgoers just need to pay closer attention. He likens it to stepping into a dimly lit room and adjusting your eyes until you can see clearly once again..." The Wall Street Journal
 
MUTED was co-commissioned by De Doelen Rotterdam (executive producer), Music on Main Vancouver, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, and the Oranjewoud Festival
 
MUTED is a quest for the outer limits of the audible. After being diagnosed with hyperacusis (extreme sensitivity to sound) Monica had to abandon her usual performances. The American composers’ collective Bang on a Can and Louis Andriessen joined forces to create a piece that allows her to explore the outer limits of the audible, the universe of expression and tonal subtlety that hides in extreme quietness. In addition to her Ceruti violin on loan from the Else Mathilde Foundation, she will play a rare ‘frame violin’ (without resonance chamber) and a ‘whisperviolin’, specially designed for her by designer Marcel Wanders and luthier Bas Maas.
 
MUTED in the press
photo Jan Gates

Interview in Luister

Journalist Thea Derks interviews Monica Germino for the May-June 2019 edition of Luister - Magazine over klassieke muziek [Listen - Magazine for classical music]. An in-depth conversation about a wide range of topics such as MUTED, Louis Andriessen, Yale School of Music, Marcel Wanders, Bas Maas, whisperviolin, Neil Wallace, de Doelen, Bang on a Can, Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, David Lang, David Dramm, Calliope Tsoupaki, Ron Ford, Café De Jaren, Vera Beths, Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, Rosita Wouda, Schönberg ensemble, J.S. Bach, Igor Stravinsky, Cristina Zavalloni, and how Germino will miss playing certain 'too-loud-for-her' cherished pieces.

READ MORE: Luister interview with Monica Germino

MUTED A collective work by 4 composers for violin, voice, whisperviolin, frame violins, a multitude of mutes, and light design

Saturday 25 May, Amsterdam, 15.00 & 17.00
venue: Kleine zaal, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Andriessen Festival, Amsterdam
15.00 tickets here (sold out)
17.00 tickets here (only a few tickets left as of this posting)
Waiting list tickets available
Duration: ca. 45 minutes, no break. 
 
 
Composers: Louis Andriessen, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe
Stage design & lighting: Floriaan Ganzevoort & Isabel Nielen, Theatermachine
Text: excerpts from Archy and Mehitabel by Don Marquis
MUTED was co-commissioned by De Doelen Rotterdam (executive producer), Music on Main Vancouver, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, and the Oranjewoud Festival
with the support of Dutch Performing Arts
 
photo: Jan Gates
 
What’s in a decibel? - read the backstory about MUTED 

PODCAST about MUTED

MUTED in The Hague - Rotterdam - Amsterdam

photo: Jan Gates

MUTED A collective work by 4 composers for violin, voice, whisperviolin, frame violins, a multitude of mutes, and light design

Friday 17 May, 20.00
venue: Korzo Theater, The Hague       

Saturday 18 May, 16.00 
venue: AVL Mundo, Rotterdam; produced by Neil Wallace & de Doelen. ROAM - Rotterdam Art Music Festival, Classical Next 2019
tickets here
 
Saturday 25 May, Amsterdam, 15.00 & 17.00
venue: Kleine zaal, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Andriessen Festival, Amsterdam
15.00 tickets here 
 
Composers: Louis Andriessen, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe
Stage design & lighting: Floriaan Ganzevoort
Text: excerpts from Archy and Mehitabel by Don Marquis
 
MUTED was co-commissioned by De Doelen Rotterdam (executive producer), Music on Main Vancouver, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, and the Oranjewoud Festival
with the support of Dutch Performing Arts
 
What’s in a decibel? - read the backstory about MUTED 

MUTED receives rave reviews
"...'Muted' may be the quietest piece ever written for violin, but it was riveting in this intimately powerful performance." The New York Times 
—Anthony Tommasini, CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK, Oct. 9, 2018

Diagnosis sends violin star Monica Germino in search of softer sounds at PuSh fest
The Georgia Straight (Vancouver CA)

Top of the list: MUTED took first place in The New York Times 
6 Classical Music Concerts to See in N.Y.C. This Weekend

More from The New York Times:
The violinist Monica Germino in "Muted," presented by the Philharmonic at National Sawdust in Brooklyn.CreditHiroyuki Ito for The New York Times
The violinist Monica Germino in "Muted," presented by the Philharmonic at National Sawdust in Brooklyn.
Credit Hiroyuki Ito for The New York Times

"...the impressive and courageous violinist Monica Germino gave the American premiere of “Muted,” a 40-minute, musical-theatrical work written for her by four composers: Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, and Louis Andriessen. Ms. Germino was a champion of contemporary music, including experimental works with percussion and electronics, when, a few years ago, she was diagnosed with a hearing condition that rendered her extremely sensitive to sound. She must avoid exposure to high volume of any kind. 'Muted' was the response of four composer colleagues. The piece involves ..." READ MORE


The Wall Street Journal - Philharmonic Dials Down Music to a ‘Whisper’ 
—Charles Passy. Oct. 6, 2018
A violinist with a sensitivity to sound will perform ‘Muted,’ a special, quieter piece for audiences in Brooklyn
Violinist Monica Germino performs on a frame violin, which is quieter than a traditional violin, at New York’s Lincoln Center. Photo: Peter Foley for The Wall Street Journal
Violinist Monica Germino performs on a frame violin, which is quieter than a traditional violin, at New York’s Lincoln Center. 
Photo: Peter Foley for The Wall Street Journal

A caveat: the audio in the video segment is louder than in performance
"The composers involved explain that “Muted” isn’t necessarily difficult for audiences to hear. [Michael] Gordon said concertgoers just need to pay closer attention. He likens it to stepping into a dimly lit room and adjusting your eyes until you can see clearly once again..." READ MORE

'Diagnosis sends violin star Monica Germino in search of softer sounds at PuSh fest'

Challenged by the onset of an ear condition that creates extreme sensitivity to sound, violinist Monica Germino has discovered that playing at very low volume has opened up expressive possibilities. photo ©Anne Reinke
 

Monica Germino was once, by her own admission, “probably one of the loudest violinists” in classical music, known for her huge tone, but also for playing fire-breathing electric violin. Now she’s likely the quietest musician in the field, and for good reason. Germino was recently diagnosed with hyperacusis, or extreme sensitivity to sound, and advised that if she continued to perform she ran the risk of irreparably damaging her ears.

On the line from her Amsterdam home, the violinist reports that the first physician she consulted told her to stop playing entirely. “And all the rest said, ‘No, no… Keep playing, but just use a lot of ear protection,’” she says with an audible shudder. “And I just couldn’t do that; that wasn’t going to work.…The idea of wearing ear protectors was like sensory deprivation.”

Then, as she says, “the composers saved me.” Having resigned herself to the idea of abandoning her performing career, Germino was in the process of bowing out of prior commitments when her frequent collaborator Michael Gordon, of the Bang On a Can composers’ collective, offered an alternative.

“I said, ‘So this is what’s going on,’ and he didn’t really want to talk about our other project at all,” she recalls. “He said, ‘Okay, I’m going to write you a really soft piece. I don’t care if anyone can hear it; I’m going to write it, and I want to be the first.’

“I just said, ‘I don’t know, Michael.’ But my mind kept circling around that idea, and I went and started looking at mutes, and got lost in this fantastic world of crazy mute-makers who are working in all sorts of innovative ways to change the colour of the instrument but also cut the volume down.”

Much to her surprise, she discovered that playing at extremely low volume opened up expressive possibilities and tonal options she’d previously overlooked. Equally surprising was that Gordon’s Bang On a Can colleagues Julia Wolfe and David Lang wanted to contribute, and soon their mentor, the Dutch composer Louis Andriessen, was onboard, too. The result is MUTED, a suite of low-volume works that Germino will bring to Music on Main next week, playing on a variety of quiet instruments—muted violin, frame violin, and a new “whisperviolin” made especially for her—in an intimate space.

She’ll also sing while she plays—and one of the texts that Andriessen has set for her might just offer a few clues to her character. It’s taken from American humorist Don Marquis’s Archy and Mehitabel stories, based on the friendship between a poetic cockroach and a cat.

“I remember saying to Louis that I relate to Mehitabel, because she’s got such a desperate life,” Germino says, laughing. “She’s actually an alley cat, but the whole time she’s pretending she’s this reincarnation of Cleopatra, and she’s had all these past lives of glamorous characters.…And in the meantime she’s homeless, and she’s falling in love with all these horrible cats who betray her all the time. But I like the way she can put on this amazing act, like ‘Life is fabulous, Archy. I may be old and dancing on three feet, but I’m a grand old dame.’

“I like that combination of desperation and faking and… perseverance,” she continues. “I hope I can be that—maybe not so much the faking part, but forging ahead no matter what. I really did not think I was going to forge ahead the way I am right now, but I’m just so curious about what’s going to happen next and where this is going to go.”

Monica Germino and Music on Main present MUTED at the Orpheum Annex from Monday to Wednesday (January 28 to 30), as part of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival.

PDF: Georgia Straight.com-Diagnosis sends violin star Monica Germino in search of softer sounds at PuSh fest

PUSH FESTIVAL

Canadian premiere of MUTED at Music on Main

MUTED A collective work by 4 composers for violin, voice, whisperviolin, frame violins, a multitude of mutes, and light design

28 January 2019, 20.00 (Canadian premiere)
29 & 30 January 2019, 19.00 & 21.00 
venue: ANNEX; Vancouver, Canada 
Composers: Louis Andriessen, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe
Stage design & lighting: Floriaan Ganzevoort
Text: excerpts from Archy and Mehitabel by Don Marquis
 
Artistic Director of Music on Main David Pay talks to Monica Germino:
(watch on youtube here)
 
What’s in a decibel? - read the backstory about MUTED 

MUTED receives rave reviews
"...'Muted' may be the quietest piece ever written for violin, but it was riveting in this intimately powerful performance." The New York Times 
—Anthony Tommasini, CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK, Oct. 9, 2018

Top of the list: MUTED took first place in The New York Times 
6 Classical Music Concerts to See in N.Y.C. This Weekend

More from The New York Times:
The violinist Monica Germino in "Muted," presented by the Philharmonic at National Sawdust in Brooklyn.CreditHiroyuki Ito for The New York Times
The violinist Monica Germino in "Muted," presented by the Philharmonic at National Sawdust in Brooklyn.
Credit Hiroyuki Ito for The New York Times

"...the impressive and courageous violinist Monica Germino gave the American premiere of “Muted,” a 40-minute, musical-theatrical work written for her by four composers: Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, and Louis Andriessen. Ms. Germino was a champion of contemporary music, including experimental works with percussion and electronics, when, a few years ago, she was diagnosed with a hearing condition that rendered her extremely sensitive to sound. She must avoid exposure to high volume of any kind. 'Muted' was the response of four composer colleagues. The piece involves ..." READ MORE


The Wall Street Journal - Philharmonic Dials Down Music to a ‘Whisper’ 
—Charles Passy. Oct. 6, 2018
A violinist with a sensitivity to sound will perform ‘Muted,’ a special, quieter piece for audiences in Brooklyn
Violinist Monica Germino performs on a frame violin, which is quieter than a traditional violin, at New York’s Lincoln Center. Photo: Peter Foley for The Wall Street Journal
Violinist Monica Germino performs on a frame violin, which is quieter than a traditional violin, at New York’s Lincoln Center. 
Photo: Peter Foley for The Wall Street Journal

A caveat: the audio in the video segment is louder than in performance
"The composers involved explain that “Muted” isn’t necessarily difficult for audiences to hear. [Michael] Gordon said concertgoers just need to pay closer attention. He likens it to stepping into a dimly lit room and adjusting your eyes until you can see clearly once again..." READ MORE

UK premiere of MUTED at hcmf//

23 November at hcmf// (2 performances)
Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
info: performance at 14.00 
info: performance at 16.00
venue: Huddersfield Town Hall; Huddersfield, UK
 
MUTED is a collective work by 4 composers for violin, voice, whisperviolin, frame violins, a multitude of mutes, and light design
Stage design & lighting: Floriaan Ganzevoort
Associate Light Designer: Isabel Nielen 
Text: excerpts from Archy and Mehitabel by Don Marquis

Newsflash: US PREMIERE of MUTED received rave reviews
"...'Muted' may be the quietest piece ever written for violin, but it was riveting in this intimately powerful performance." The New York Times 
—Anthony Tommasini, CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK, Oct. 9, 2018

Top of the list: MUTED took first place in The New York Times 
6 Classical Music Concerts to See in N.Y.C. This Weekend

More from The New York Times:
The violinist Monica Germino in "Muted," presented by the Philharmonic at National Sawdust in Brooklyn.CreditHiroyuki Ito for The New York Times
The violinist Monica Germino in "Muted," presented by the Philharmonic at National Sawdust in Brooklyn.
Credit Hiroyuki Ito for The New York Times

"...the impressive and courageous violinist Monica Germino gave the American premiere of “Muted,” a 40-minute, musical-theatrical work written for her by four composers: Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, and Louis Andriessen. Ms. Germino was a champion of contemporary music, including experimental works with percussion and electronics, when, a few years ago, she was diagnosed with a hearing condition that rendered her extremely sensitive to sound. She must avoid exposure to high volume of any kind. 'Muted' was the response of four composer colleagues. The piece involves ..." READ MORE


The Wall Street Journal - Philharmonic Dials Down Music to a ‘Whisper’ 
—Charles Passy. Oct. 6, 2018
A violinist with a sensitivity to sound will perform ‘Muted,’ a special, quieter piece for audiences in Brooklyn
Violinist Monica Germino performs on a frame violin, which is quieter than a traditional violin, at New York’s Lincoln Center. Photo: Peter Foley for The Wall Street Journal
Violinist Monica Germino performs on a frame violin, which is quieter than a traditional violin, at New York’s Lincoln Center. 
Photo: Peter Foley for The Wall Street Journal

A caveat: the audio in the video segment is louder than in performance
"The composers involved explain that “Muted” isn’t necessarily difficult for audiences to hear. [Michael] Gordon said concertgoers just need to pay closer attention. He likens it to stepping into a dimly lit room and adjusting your eyes until you can see clearly once again..." READ MORE


Broadwayworld.com announcements here and here
New York Philharmonic press release

newsletter: MUTED at November Music & Huddersfield! & News from NY

photo: Violinist Monica Germino performs on a frame violin, which is quieter than a traditional violin, at New York’s Lincoln Center. Credit: Peter Foley for The Wall Street Journal

Monica's latest newsletter about MUTED & more: read more here

MUTED at NOVEMBER MUSIC

3 November at November Music (2 performances)
venue: Muzerije - Pleitzaal; 's-Hertogenbosch, NL
 
Tickets for 12.30
Tickets for 15.30
 
Tickets (all day event from 11.30- 18.00, diverse locations) 
2 performances of MUTED at 12.30 and 15.30
venue: Muzerije - Pleitzaal; 's-Hertogenbosch, NL
 
MUTED is a collective work by 4 composers for violin, voice, whisperviolin, frame violins, a multitude of mutes, and light design
Stage design & lighting: Floriaan Ganzevoort
Text: excerpts from Archy and Mehitabel by Don Marquis
 
MUTED in the press after US premiere in New York 
The New York Times - Anthony Tommasini - CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK, Oct. 9, 2018
 
"...'Muted' may be the quietest piece ever written for violin, but it was riveting in this intimately powerful performance."

"...the impressive and courageous violinist Monica Germino gave the American premiere of “Muted,” a 40-minute, musical-theatrical work written for her by four composers: Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, and Louis Andriessen. Ms. Germino was a champion of contemporary music, including experimental works with percussion and electronics, when, a few years ago, she was diagnosed with a hearing condition that rendered her extremely sensitive to sound. She must avoid exposure to high volume of any kind. 'Muted' was the response of four composer colleagues. The piece involves ..." READ MORE 

photo Monica Germino © Lucas Kemper

MUTED in the news

The New York Times, Anthony Tommasini

CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK

Oct. 9, 2018

 
The violinist Monica Germino in "Muted," presented by the Philharmonic at National Sawdust in Brooklyn. Credit Hiroyuki Ito for The New York Times

"On Monday night, the Andriessen celebration continued at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, where the impressive and courageous violinist Monica Germino gave the American premiere of “Muted,” a 40-minute, musical-theatrical work written for her by four composers: Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe and Louis Andriessen.

Ms. Germino was a champion of contemporary music, including experimental works with percussion and electronics, when, a few years ago, she was diagnosed with a hearing condition that rendered her extremely sensitive to sound. She must avoid exposure to high volume of any kind.

“Muted” was the response of four composer colleagues. The piece involves very soft sounds played on an array of violins, from traditional to experimental, and used various standard mutes (brass pieces fitted on the bridge of the instrument to muffle sound). During parts of ”Muted,” Ms. Germino also sang or spoke fanciful texts by Don Marquis and moved around a central, light-projecting circular tower of aluminum rings (designed by Floriaan Ganzevoort).

While wistful, the music shifts through moods and styles that alternately suggest tender folk songs, gently swaying dances, bursts of hushed busyness, bluesy melodies, even twangy hints of hoedown. “Muted” may be the quietest piece ever written for violin, but it was riveting in this intimately powerful performance."

More MUTED in the press
 

MUTED in the press: The Wall Street Journal

Philharmonic Dials Down Music to a ‘Whisper’

A violinist with a sensitivity to sound will perform ‘Muted,’ a special, quieter piece for audiences in Brooklyn

click for WSJ video excerpt

By Charles Passy. Oct. 6, 2018

In her decadeslong career, the violinist and contemporary-music specialist Monica Germino has worked alongside major composers, co-founded an international ensemble and performed at venues world-wide.

But in recent years, her life has been derailed by a disorder that connects in the most direct way to her profession: Ms. Germino has hyperacusis, a sensitivity to sound.
The violinist’s solution? She is going the quiet route, performing music specifically written for her with the auditory condition in mind, and asking audiences to join her on the journey.
On Monday and Tuesday, Ms. Germino, who is based in Amsterdam, will offer the U.S. premiere of “Muted,” a piece co-commissioned by the New York Philharmonic with four other musical organizations, at National Sawdust, the Brooklyn venue that specializes in innovative work.
“It’s borne out of necessity,” said Ms. Germino of the piece. But at the same time, “something incredible can happen” musically from such circumstances, she said.
The connection to the Philharmonic stems from the fact that it is currently honoring the Dutch composer Louis Andriessen, who is a fellow countryman of Jaap van Zweden, the orchestra’s newly installed music director. Mr. Andriessen, who is married to Ms. Germino, is one of four composers who contributed to “Muted.”
But it is another contributing composer, New York-based Michael Gordon, who came up with the idea for the work. When he learned in 2016 that Ms. Germino had stopped performing altogether because of her disorder, “I said, ‘You can play quiet music. We’ll write you the quietest piece ever written,’” Mr. Gordon recalled.
Ms. Germino helped the process along by using special violins that are designed to play at a softer level or adapting a traditional violin with the use of mutes – essentially, a device that causes the strings to vibrate less. She has also had a new instrument, dubbed a whisperviolin, made for her.
The composers involved explain that “Muted” isn’t necessarily difficult for audiences to hear. Mr. Gordon said concertgoers just need to pay closer attention. He likens it to stepping into a dimly lit room and adjusting your eyes until you can see clearly once again.
While Ms. Germino may have found a way to adapt to her situation, she is far from the only musician to contend with hyperacusis, which is often associated with exposure to loud sound. Indeed, musicians are “fundamentally at higher risk” for the condition, said Bryan Pollard, founder and president of Hyperacusis Research, a U.S. nonprofit organization.
At its most extreme, the condition can cause those who suffer from it to experience pain when they hear noise or certain sounds, say experts. Ms. Germino said in her case, she is just “very sensitive” to loudness.
But she had been advised by auditory professionals to quit playing or wear earplugs, lest she risk damaging her hearing. Neither of those options proved suitable, so that led to her current solution.
Regardless of her condition, Ms. Germino thinks there may be a broader benefit to turning down the volume and seeing the value in the quiet.
“We are so swamped with sound and overstimulated,” she said.

MUTED in New York

US premiere of MUTED at National Sawdust
A New York Philharmonic Co-Commission with Rotterdam’s De Doelen, Oranjewoud Festival, Vancouver’s Music on Main, and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
Co-Presented with NATIONAL SAWDUST
 
8 October at 7 PM tickets
8 October at 9 PM tickets
9 October at 7 PM tickets
9 October at 9 PM tickets
 
venue:  National Sawdust; Brooklyn, NY
NY Philharmonic press release & information about all performances 
 
MUTED A collective work by 4 composers for violin, voice, whisperviolin, frame violins, a multitude of mutes, and light design
Stage design & lighting: Floriaan Ganzevoort
Text: excerpts from Archy and Mehitabel by Don Marquis
 
What’s in a decibel? - read the backstory about MUTED 

 

pictured here: the frame violin, also known as a mute violin, ca. 1870. It has a beautiful, intimate, overtone-rich sound. Surprisingly little is known about these striking instruments. One resource is the National Music Museum at the University of South Dakota, whose collection houses what could be this frame violin's sister...


MUTED IN THE MEDIA

Musical excerpt by Louis Andriessen (Podium Witteman, live television broadcast)


Watch live TV broadcast of Podium Witteman here -the segment about MUTED starts at 6'55" (in Dutch). Music: 19'30"


De Volkskrant (NL) 
Excerpts translated from DutchRead complete article here (Dutch). Persis Bekkering, 6 June 2018
 
Violinist Monica Germino can play again, despite hearing problems, thanks to quiet pieces written especially for her                  

"The American-Dutch violinist Monica Germino, known for her electronically amplified performances of music by contemporary composers, is given the worst conceivable news three years ago: she has to stop making music or take drastic measures to protect her hearing." ...READ MORE


NRC Handelsblad (NL)
Excerpts translated from Dutch
 
Red Sofa celebrates 10 years, opens festival with Monica Germino’s quiet violin 
Adventurous violinist Monica Germino enthusiastic about Red Sofa's new music program in Rotterdam's De Doelen                       
Read complete article here (in Dutch). Joep Stapel, 21 March, 2018      

"...As the pop-up artist, Monica Germino will decide what she will actually play in the moment. It will certainly be soft, because a few years ago Germino was diagnosed as 'sensitive to sound,' which means that her ears are more prone to damage [from high decibel levels]. She had to say goodbye to the high-octane soundtracks and louder works for electric violin, giving up many pieces she had often performed.

She is now "more curious than sad," says Germino. Playing quietly opens up a whole new dimension; and apart from a reflection on silence and listening it can also be "an antidote to the relentless noise of our world." She has amassed a huge collection of mutes (sourdines) and plays a rare 'frame violin' from ca. 1870, an instrument without a sound box which therefore plays at a very low volume. Germino: "Neil [Wallace] wants me to play the frame violin in the Main Hall without any amplification; for me that's a thrill, an adventure." Wallace: "You will hear a pin drop.”


photo: Lucas Kemper

Orlando Festival

16 August 2018, 16.30
venue: Aula Minor Rolduc, Kerkrade
works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Louis Andriessen, César Franck
Louis Andriessen: 'Archy and Mehitabel' (2018)*
Monica Germino, violin & voice
 
The Orlando Festival runs from 9-19 August, 2018.
Artistic director: Henk Guittart
 
* 'Archy and Mehitabel' is part of a large 4-composer project called MUTED. [read more]
MUTED
newsletter
26 June 2018

read the newsletter June 2018

Monica's latest newsletter about MUTED & more: read more here

De Volkskrant: "Violinist Monica Germino can..."

De Volkskrant (NL) 
Excerpts translated from Dutch. Read complete article here (Dutch) 
 
INTERVIEW MONICA GERMINO
Violinist Monica Germino can play again, despite hearing problems, thanks to quiet pieces written especially for her
 
The American-Dutch violinist Monica Germino, known for her electronically amplified performances of music by contemporary composers, is given the worst conceivable news three years ago: she has to stop making music or take drastic measures to protect her hearing.
Monica Germino. Photo Sharon Mor Yosef

She has known for a long time that she is 'sensitive to sound,' which means that sound enters her ears at a higher level than it would to others hearing the exact same sound. That is why her ears are more prone to damage. The loudest violinist in the country can now only play very softly.

'It's like a runner who hears that if he keeps running at high speeds, he is likely to have knee injuries in the future. He can still do a fast walk,' says Germino. '80 decibels is my fast walk.'

Quite a blow for someone who cherishes volume. Even her acoustic violin is too loud. Germino's first reaction is to stop everything. 'I didn't want to have the violin next to my ears.'  She arranges replacements for her projects and concerts. She can hardly talk about her condition with others. 'Playing the violin is my identity. What was I supposed to say now? Hi, I'm Monica and I'm ...'

She also calls Michael Gordon, the world-famous American composer, to cancel a project. 'Then everything changed. For Michael, stopping was not an option. He said, "I am going to write you a very soft piece. And I want to be the first to do this for you."

Two colleagues from the New York collective Bang on a Can, Julia Wolfe and David Lang, join forces. They have been working with the theme of silence for some time; for example, Lang wrote a 'whisper opera.' Wolfe had written a piece for Germino before. The Dutch composer Louis Andriessen, who composed several pieces for Germino, is asked to be artistic leader. The result, MUTED, will premiere tomorrow at the Oranjewoud Festival. Germino can play again. 'The composers saved me,' says the violinist.

Two historical 'frame violins' are featured in MUTED. A frame violin is a violin without a sound box. Just like an electric violin, but acoustic and unamplified. A violin without a sound box is extremely quiet. Such an instrument is usually used to practice (to spare the neighbors). The renowned industrial designer Marcel Wanders, former amateur violinist, has also built a spectacular whisperviolin with luthier Bas Maas. Instead of the traditional scroll found on normal violins, the whisperviolin has a finger, as if to say: shhh. 

But the music in MUTED is not necessarily extremely soft. 'It is also about the perception of sound, and about contrast. For example, I can start out playing with a sourdine, a mute, on the violin. When I take it off the audience suddenly experiences the music as loud, but it is really not loud at all. Sound works just like light, you adapt to it.' 

Can't you just play with earplugs, other musicians sometimes ask. Germino has tried it for a year before she finally quit her orchestral job at the end of the '90s, already diagnosed with sound sensitivity. 'I never got used to it. Earplugs are deadening. They take away too many of the subtle details, such as the sound of bow hair gliding across a string. '

Many colleagues did not understand why she quit her job. Hearing damage is a sensitive issue for (classical) musicians, almost a taboo. Those who play in a Wagner opera in an orchestra pit are exposed to sound levels around 130 decibels. Germino: 'When I left the orchestra, a colleague said: "Well, aren't we all deaf?'

However Germino is not deaf, perhaps to the contrary. By playing softer, her experience of music has changed. 'I am now much more aware of sound. It sounds ironic, but I now hear a hundred times as much as before.'

Muted. 7 (try-out), 8 (premiere) and 9/6 2018, Oranjewoud Festival. Next season (international) tour.

WHISPERVIOLIN, FRAME VIOLIN, SOURDINE

The whisperviolin, made for Monica Germino by designer Marcel Wanders together with luthier Bas Maas, is a violin that produces fewer decibels than the normal, acoustic violin. It is inspired by the seventeenth-century 'pocket violin:' a violin with a narrower sound box, then used by dance masters.

She also plays two frame violins: violins without a sound box, only the 'ribs.' These instruments were made out of the leftover wood from making violins. The sound is softer and rich in overtones, which are higher tones that vibrate sympathetically with the sounding tone.

An ordinary violin can also be made to sound softer when using a sourdine, also known as a mute. This is a clip made of wood, plastic, metal or leather, which is placed on the bridge, limiting or altering the vibrations. Germino now has a collection of hundreds of sourdines.

MUTED premieres at Oranjewoud Festival

MUTED

Premiere: 8 & 9 June 2018 at 20.00 & 22.00, Oranjewoud Festival, Museum Belvedere. Try-out performances on 7 June at 20.00 & 22.00.

MUTED: A collective work by 4 composers for violin, voice, whisperviolin, frame violins, a multitude of mutes, and light design

Stage design & lighting: Floriaan Ganzevoort

Text: excerpts from Archy and Mehitabel by Don Marquis


 
What’s in a decibel? - read the backstory about MUTED 
 

 

pictured here: the frame violin, also known as a mute violin, ca. 1870. It has a beautiful, intimate, overtone-rich sound. Surprisingly little is known about these striking instruments. One resource is the National Music Museum at the University of South Dakota, whose collection houses what could be this frame violin's sister...


In the press:
 
Watch live TV broadcast of Podium Witteman here -the segment about MUTED starts at 6'55" (in Dutch). Music: 19'30"

Excerpt by Louis Andriessen here


De Volkskrant (NL) 
Excerpts translated from DutchRead complete article here (Dutch). -by Persis Bekkering, 6 June 2018
 
Violinist Monica Germino can play again, despite hearing problems, thanks to quiet pieces written especially for her                  

"The American-Dutch violinist Monica Germino, known for her electronically amplified performances of music by contemporary composers, is given the worst conceivable news three years ago: she has to stop making music or take drastic measures to protect her hearing." ...READ MORE


NRC Handelsblad (NL)
Excerpts translated from Dutch
 
Red Sofa celebrates 10 years, opens festival with Monica Germino’s quiet violin 
Adventurous violinist Monica Germino enthusiastic about Red Sofa's new music program in Rotterdam's De Doelen                       
Read complete article here (in Dutch). -by Joep Stapel, 21 March, 2018      

"...As the pop-up artist, Monica Germino will decide what she will actually play in the moment. It will certainly be soft, because a few years ago Germino was diagnosed as 'sensitive to sound,' which means that her ears are more prone to damage [from high decibel levels]. She had to say goodbye to the high-octane soundtracks and louder works for electric violin, giving up many pieces she had often performed.

She is now "more curious than sad," says Germino. Playing quietly opens up a whole new dimension; and apart from a reflection on silence and listening it can also be "an antidote to the relentless noise of our world." She has amassed a huge collection of mutes (sourdines) and plays a rare 'frame violin' from ca. 1870, an instrument without a sound box which therefore plays at a very low volume. Germino: "Neil [Wallace] wants me to play the frame violin in the Main Hall without any amplification; for me that's a thrill, an adventure." Wallace: "You will hear a pin drop.”

Spring Loaded Festival: 10 years of Red Sofa. De Doelen Rotterdam. www.dedoelen.nl


The mutes in MUTED 
Central to Monica Germino’s work is her unusual family of instruments, as well as her ever-expanding collection of mutes. Germino’s ongoing search has resulted in over 400 vintage, modern, and newly commissioned mutes. A mute (a.k.a. sourdine, sordino, demper) can alter the sound of the violin in countless ways. From Canada to Spain, mute-makers are experimenting with new designs and all kinds of materials – leather, metal, cork, magnets, plexiglass, bone, rubber, paper, textiles, the list goes on. Special thanks to Stam Vioolbouw for their marvelous donation to the collection.

The instruments

  • A (muted) J. B. Ceruti violin from Cremona (1802) on permanent loan from the Elise Mathilde Foundation
  • Two rare frame violins, also known as mute violins, with a delicate, surprisingly overtone-rich sound (ca. 1870 and 1970)
  • A custom-made Violectra electric violin (2007)
  • The new whisperviolin (2018), by Bas Maas and Marcel Wanders
  • A ‘whisperbow,’ made of carbon fibre, produces a wispy, delicate sound

Cast of credits, MUTED:

Commissioners
The Doelen, Rotterdam (Neil Wallace, Executive Producer)
Oranjewoud Festival, Oranjewoud
New York Philharmonic Orchestra, New York
Music on Main, Vancouver
Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

Partners and presenters
Wonderfeel Festival
Korzo, Den Haag
Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Amsterdam
November Music, Den Bosch

With thanks to
Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, David Lang, Louis Andriessen
MassMoCA, Massachusetts, USA
Kenny Savelson, Bang on a Can All-Stars
Phillipa Thompson, Bang on a Can Summer Festival
Vera Kuiper, Dutch Consulate, New York
Neil Wallace, Programme Director, de Doelen
Bas Maas, luthier
Marcel Wanders, designer
Niek Versfeld and Jaap Peter Kronemeijer, Audiologisch Centrum Hilversum
Stijn Hoogeboom, Oorwerk, Hilversum
Jacqueline & Serge Stam, Stam Vioolbouw
Fonds Podiumkunsten / Performing Arts Fund NL

photo Anne Reinke

Decibels & Instruments & Mutes: the backstory

MUTED premiered in June 2018 at the Oranjewoud Festival. Programme notes and text here.
 
What’s in a decibel?
The specialists were unanimous: my ears are highly sensitive to sound. ‘Geluidsgevoelig,’ in Dutch. It sounded almost positive to me, ‘sensitive to sound.’ It’s also not uncommon. But a high sensitivity to sound means that my ears are more prone to damage. A person standing next to me could be exposed to exactly the same sounds, yet not be affected. The advice was clear: I needed to protect my hearing by significantly reducing my exposure to high decibel (dB) levels.
Decibel levels and the key concept of duration: what is considered safe? How many dB for how long? Impossible questions to answer infallibly, but working with the Audiologisch Centrum Hilversum brought clarity to a complex situation. They measured the decibel levels of different violin mutes (a.k.a. sourdine, sordino, demper), giving estimates and advice about a multitude of issues. Many thanks to experts N.J. Versfeld and J.P. Kronemeijer, and Oorwerk’s Stijn Hoogeboom in Hilversum.
A runner hears: if they keep running at high speeds, chances are high that in future years they’re going to have serious knee pain. They might even need surgery. But if they slow down to a fast walk, chances are they could avoid that. So the runner chooses to protect their knees by going from running to a fast walk. In hearing terms, my ‘fast walk’ is about 80 decibels. My acoustic violin can measure 90-95 dB under my ear.
Confronted with the fact that it would be reckless to continue exposing my ears to a high level of decibels, I had to make choices. I was lucky that I learned this sooner rather than later. I consoled myself with that knowledge while evaluating the decibel levels of treasured and prospective collaborations. I said farewell to click tracks, bass drums, and high-volume soundtracks. I sifted through pieces that were simply too loud for me now, many of them close to my heart, and started the process of finding them new homes, new interpreters.
There’s a passage from Igor Stravinsky’s Poetics of Music: ‘My freedom will be so much the greater and more meaningful the more narrowly I limit my field of action and the more I surround myself with obstacles. Whatever diminishes constraint diminishes strength. The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one's self of the chains that shackle the spirit.’
Limits inspire creativity. MUTED opens doors for a new voice. There's power in quietness and strength in speaking softly. 

 

pictured here: the frame violin, also known as a mute violin, ca. 1870. It has a beautiful, intimate, overtone-rich sound. Surprisingly little is known about these striking instruments. One resource is the National Music Museum at the University of South Dakota, whose collection houses what could be this frame violin's sister...


MUTED
Cue the new music community: resourceful, supportive and stubborn composers and colleagues who lifted me up and pulled me along this fascinating journey. Ups and downs and the unexpected began to feel like the status quo. Michael Gordon's response to what was drastic news to me —having to protect my hearing by stopping or adapting how I played the violin — was one of optimism and curiosity. I'll never forget his words: “I’m going to write you a piece so soft, I don’t care if no one can hear it.” Michael, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe decided to join forces to create MUTED, “the quietest violin piece ever written.” The three later invited Louis Andriessen to join in the experiment, fulfilling a long-held wish to collaborate.


Watch musical excerpt by Louis Andriessen here (Podium Witteman, live television broadcast)


There is an enormously talented and resourceful pool of people involved, including stage and light designer Floriaan Ganzevoort, executive producer Neil Wallace & De Doelen, numerous mute creators, filmmakers, audiologists, producers, commissioners, as well as a swath of venues and festivals. The list* is long and heartwarming.
Special thanks to luthier Bas Maas and designer Marcel Wanders, who created an entirely new, lower-decibel instrument, a ‘whisperviolin,’ inspired by and loosely modeled on the 17th-century ‘pochette’ violin, but made to explore the world of quieter sounds. Besides unmatched creativity and unparalleled skill, both bring a sense of adventure and a palpable excitement to the process.
 

MUTED has its roots in the reaction from composers to my high sensitivity to sound and having to cut down the amount of decibels pouring into my ears. I used to play pretty hard-hitting music, much of it newly commissioned. I took measures to protect my hearing and left the world of orchestral playing many years ago, but I was probably one of the loudest violinists around. And as Mehitabel** would say, “I have no regrets!” But saying farewell to a repertoire close to my heart has its difficult moments, and tough choices abound.
It’s new territory for me, there’s an uncharted development process ahead, and a completely new sound world to figure out. My work has always been composer driven, and I am extremely grateful to and moved by the active role composers and colleagues are taking in this enforced, bewildering, and somehow increasingly exciting development in my creative path as a musician.
 
**MUTED includes a part for my (speaking & singing) voice, in settings of texts from Don Marquis’ 1930’s New York Post cult column 'Archy and Mehitabel.' 

The mutes in MUTED 
Central to Monica Germino’s work is her unusual family of instruments, as well as her ever-expanding collection of mutes. Germino’s ongoing search has resulted in over 400 vintage, modern, and newly commissioned mutes. A mute (a.k.a. sourdine, sordino, demper) can alter the sound of the violin in countless ways. From Canada to Spain, mute-makers are experimenting with new designs and all kinds of materials – leather, metal, cork, magnets, plexiglass, bone, rubber, paper, textiles, the list goes on. Special thanks to Stam Vioolbouw for their marvelous donation to the collection.

 

The instruments

  • A (muted) J. B. Ceruti violin from Cremona (1802) on permanent loan from the Elise Mathilde Foundation
  • A rare frame violin, also known as a mute violin, with a delicate, surprisingly overtone-rich sound (ca. 1870)
  • A custom-made Violectra electric violin (2007)
  • The ingenious whisperviolin (2019), by Bas Maas and Marcel Wanders
  • A ‘whisperbow,’ made of carbon fibre, produces a wispy, delicate sound

The whisperviolin (2019)
To add to the instrumentarium, luthier Bas Maas and designer Marcel Wanders created an entirely new, lower-decibel instrument, a ‘whisperviolin,’ inspired by and loosely modeled on the 17th-century ‘pochette’ violin, but created to explore the world of quieter sounds. When Wanders took on this challenge, he spoke about decibels and sound and his fascination with “designing a violin for Monica, and how this could ultimately also help other violinists.” Marcel Wanders played the violin for 6 years and reveres its history, shape, and form. Bas Maas is on a quest for ways that unconventional ideas could possibly work. Besides unmatched creativity and unparalleled skill, both bring a sense of adventure and a palpable excitement to the process.

Marcel Wanders: “The hope also is that this new instrument will end up helping other violinists as well. Monica is not the only one going through this.”

I wholeheartedly agree. As interesting as this whole journey is, I hope going down this path can help other musicians. On that note...

Frequently Asked Questions:
"Why don’t you just use earplugs?” For those who do and can still enjoy music-making, that's great. I tried this option for many months, but it felt like sensory deprivation. I rely on (and love) the subtle sounds associated with playing the violin. It's essential for me to hear the tapping of my left hand on the fingerboard and the sound the hair of the bow makes when touching the string. Earplugs block those sounds out. This all contributed to my decision to bring down the volume of the violin instead of muffling my ears. That said, of course I fully support the use of hearing protectors. 
"Do your ears hurt?" No. That said, certain loud or abrasive sounds hurt. Which brings me to...
"What is hyperacusis?" This is something I suffer from, albeit to a lesser degree than described in the majority of the cases I have read about online. I notice hyperacusis during activities like emptying a dishwasher- the sound of a plate striking another plate is an unpleasant, jarring sound for me. I hesitate to provide a comprehensive link to any one source, as there is a lot of information out there. 
 
Other useful articles (please email me if you have tips or suggestions)
WNPR News: How Your Hearing Is Affected By Volume, and What the Damage Sounds Like
WBUR article: Are earphones or earbuds a problem?
There is a flood of information, research, and articles about hearing protection and hearing disorders available online and in print. I have found that the majority focuses on musicians who play amplified, and orchestral musicians (too many cases for me to document here).

If you're still with me:
June 2018 marked the world première at the Netherlands’ Oranjewoud Festival, as part of Leeuwarden’s 2018 Cultural Capital of Europe programme.
 
A collective work by 4 composers for violin, voice, whisperviolin, frame violin, a multitude of mutes, and light design
Composers: Louis Andriessen, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe
Set design & lighting: Floriaan Ganzevoort
 
Notes about the program:
The collective composition MUTED features violin, voice, whisperviolin, frame violins, hundreds of mutes, and light design. Created in response to Germino's high sensitivity to sound, Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe joined forces to create a piece that explores the limits of audibility. The three composers invited Louis Andriessen to join them in the experiment, fulfilling a long-held wish to collaborate. Floriaan Ganzevoort designed a light object based on sound waves, controlled live in performance.
While the label “quietest piece ever written for violin” certainly applies to parts of this 4-composer work, the contrast in audibility plays an essential role. Similar to how pupils expand and contract depending on how much light there is in a space, the different decibel levels play with sonic perception. A frame violin (ca. 1870) with a delicate, surprisingly overtone-rich sound is featured alongside the ingenious 'whisperviolin' (2019), created by designer Marcel Wanders and luthier Bas Maas. Other instruments are paired with metal-tipped fingers or bespoke mutes from an ever-expanding collection of more than 400 vintage, modern, and newly commissioned mutes. Monica’s singing voice is heard in settings of texts from 'Archy and Mehitabel,' a compilation of Don Marquis’s writings in his daily column, where they first appeared in 1916.
This intensely theatrical piece is conceived for small groups of listeners in intimate spaces. MUTED may owe its origins to four composers paying tribute to the determination of a single musician, but it is also a reflection on silence, on the act of listening, an antidote to the noise and the ever-increasing clamor of today’s world.

 

Light design by Floriaan Ganzevoort


*Cast of credits, MUTED:

Commissioners
The Doelen, Rotterdam (Neil Wallace, Executive Producer)
Oranjewoud Festival, Oranjewoud
New York Philharmonic Orchestra, New York
Music on Main, Vancouver
Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
 
Partners and presenters
Wonderfeel Festival
Korzo Theater, Den Haag
Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Amsterdam
November Music, Den Bosch
 
With thanks to
Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, David Lang, Louis Andriessen
MassMoCA, Massachusetts, USA
Kenny Savelson, Bang on a Can All-Stars
Phillipa Thompson, Bang on a Can Summer Festival
Vera Kuiper, Dutch Consulate, New York
Neil Wallace, Programme Director, de Doelen
Bas Maas, luthier
Marcel Wanders, designer
Niek Versfeld and Jaap Peter Kronemeijer, Audiologisch Centrum Hilversum
Stijn Hoogeboom, Oorwerk, Hilversum
Bas Andriessen, filmmaker
Jacqueline & Serge Stam, Stam Vioolbouw
Fonds Podiumkunsten / Performing Arts Fund NL

MUTED in the press

New York Times reviews MUTED 
The Wall Street Journal Philharmonic Dials Down Music to a ‘Whisper’
New York Times: MUTED on the top of the list
6 Classical Music Concerts to See in N.Y.C. This Weekend 
The Georgia Straight, Vancouver CA: Diagnosis sends violin star Monica Germino in search of softer sounds at PuSh fest
De VolkskrantVioliste Monica Germino kan door speciaal voor haar geschreven zachte stukkenweer spelen
NRC Handelsblad10 jarige Red Sofa opent met Monica Germino’s zachtaardige viool   
The Washington Times
Oberon’s Grove
Broadwayworld.com announcements & here
New York Philharmonic press release
VIDEO
Music on Main about MUTED
Podium Witteman, live: fragment van MUTED 
Full broadcast: Podium Witteman


The New York Times -Anthony Tommasini
The violinist Monica Germino in "Muted," presented by the Philharmonic at National Sawdust in Brooklyn.CreditHiroyuki Ito for The New York Times
The violinist Monica Germino in "Muted," presented by the Philharmonic at National Sawdust in Brooklyn.
"... the impressive and courageous violinist Monica Germino gave the American premiere of “Muted,” a 40-minute, musical-theatrical work written for her by four composers: Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe and Louis Andriessen.
Ms. Germino was a champion of contemporary music, including experimental works with percussion and electronics, when, a few years ago, she was diagnosed with a hearing condition that rendered her extremely sensitive to sound. She must avoid exposure to high volume of any kind.
“Muted” was the response of four composer colleagues. The piece involves very soft sounds played on an array of violins, from traditional to experimental, and used various standard mutes (brass pieces fitted on the bridge of the instrument to muffle sound). During parts of ”Muted,” Ms. Germino also sang or spoke fanciful texts by Don Marquis and moved around a central, light-projecting circular tower of aluminum rings (designed by Floriaan Ganzevoort).
While wistful, the music shifts through moods and styles that alternately suggest tender folk songs, gently swaying dances, bursts of hushed busyness, bluesy melodies, even twangy hints of hoedown. “Muted” may be the quietest piece ever written for violin, but it was riveting in this intimately powerful performance."
read more


The Wall Street Journal - A violinist with a sensitivity to sound will perform ‘Muted,’ a special, quieter piece for audiences in Brooklyn

Violinist Monica Germino performs on a frame violin, which is quieter than a traditional violin, at New York’s Lincoln Center. Photo: Peter Foley for The Wall Street Journal
Violinist Monica Germino performs on a frame violin, which is quieter than a traditional violin, at New York’s Lincoln Center. A caveat: the audio in the video segment is louder than in performance
"The composers involved explain that “Muted” isn’t necessarily difficult for audiences to hear. [Michael] Gordon said concertgoers just need to pay closer attention. He likens it to stepping into a dimly lit room and adjusting your eyes until you can see clearly once again..." 
The Wall Street Journal


Live TV broadcast Podium Witteman -the MUTED segment starts at 6'55" (in Dutch). Music: 19'30"

Excerpt by Louis Andriessen here


De Volkskrant (NL) 
 
Violinist Monica Germino can play again, despite hearing problems, thanks to quiet pieces written especially for her                  

"The American-Dutch violinist Monica Germino, known for her electronically amplified performances of music by contemporary composers, is given the worst conceivable news three years ago: she has to stop making music or take drastic measures to protect her hearing." ...READ MORE


NRC Handelsblad (NL)
Excerpts translated from Dutch
 
Red Sofa celebrates 10 years, opens festival with Monica Germino’s quiet violin 
Adventurous violinist Monica Germino enthusiastic about Red Sofa's new music program in Rotterdam's De Doelen                       
Read complete article here (in Dutch). -by Joep Stapel, 21 March, 2018      

"...As the pop-up artist, Monica Germino will decide what she will actually play in the moment. It will certainly be soft, because a few years ago Germino was diagnosed as 'sensitive to sound,' which means that her ears are more prone to damage [from high decibel levels]. She had to say goodbye to the high-octane soundtracks and louder works for electric violin, giving up many pieces she had often performed.

She is now "more curious than sad," says Germino. Playing quietly opens up a whole new dimension; and apart from a reflection on silence and listening it can also be "an antidote to the relentless noise of our world." She has amassed a huge collection of mutes (sourdines) and plays a rare 'frame violin' from ca. 1870, an instrument without a sound box which therefore plays at a very low volume. Germino: "Neil [Wallace] wants me to play the frame violin in the Main Hall without any amplification; for me that's a thrill, an adventure." Wallace: "You will hear a pin drop.”

Spring Loaded Festival: 10 years of Red Sofa. De Doelen Rotterdam.


photos: Anne Reinke

Live TV broadcast, Podium Witteman

Watch live TV broadcast of Podium Witteman here -the segment about MUTED starts at 6'55" (in Dutch). Music: 19'30"

Excerpt by Louis Andriessen here

Monica Germino talks about and plays excerpts from MUTED, a collective work by 4 composers for violin, voice, whisperviolin, frame violin, a multitude of mutes, and light

composers: Louis Andriessen, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe

Broadcast date: 6 May, 18.00, NPO2

Premiere of MUTED: 8 June 2018 at 20.00, Oranjewoud Festival, Museum Belvedere. Performances from 7-9 June.

composers: Louis Andriessen, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe

Stage design & lighting: Floriaan Ganzevoort

Text: excerpts from archy and mehitabel by Don Marquis

NRC: Red Sofa, pop-up artist, & quiet playing

NRC Handelsblad
21 March, 2018.  Excerpts translated from Dutch
 
Red Sofa celebrates 10 years, opens festival with Monica Germino’s quiet violin (excerpts)
Adventurous violinist Monica Germino enthusiastic about Red Sofa's new music program in Rotterdam's De Doelen                       Read complete article here (in Dutch) 
-by Joep Stapel       

Contemporary music has a reputation for being difficult. The tired cliche of dry, impenetrable music played to empty halls still exists. But De Doelen in Rotterdam is overthrowing the stereotype with a lively and accessible new music series. It's called Red Sofa, and celebrates its tenth anniversary this week with the six-day Spring Loaded festival. A film concert, a bicycle ride to secret concert venues, a 'pop-up artist,' world premieres, and of course the red three-seater sofa as the center for informal talks before and after the concerts. "I put everything into this festival that makes Red Sofa into Red Sofa," says Programme Director Neil Wallace.

The pop-up artist is the adventurous violinist Monica Germino. She will open the festival and perform a number of interventions. Germino is a fervent admirer of the Red Sofa series: "Neil Wallace has achieved something you also see in modern art museums: people aren't apprehensive, they’re curious and open to new discoveries."

The Red Sofa formula revolves around this curiosity, says Wallace (1953). "We have built a community of interested people who are not afraid of new notes. I’m probably the only new music programmer in the Netherlands who has no worries about what I present – people will come anyway.”

As the pop-up artist, Monica Germino will decide what she will actually play in the moment. It will certainly be soft, because a few years ago Germino was diagnosed as 'sensitive to sound,' which means that her ears are more prone to damage [from high decibel levels]. She had to say goodbye to the high-octane soundtracks and louder works for electric violin, giving up many pieces she had often performed.

She is now "more curious than sad," says Germino. Playing quietly opens up a whole new dimension; and apart from a reflection on silence and listening it can also be "an antidote to the relentless noise of our world." She has amassed a huge collection of mutes (sourdines) and plays a rare 'frame violin' from ca. 1870, an instrument without a sound box which therefore plays at a very low volume. Germino: "Neil wants me to play the frame violin in the Main Hall without any amplification; for me that's a thrill, an adventure." Wallace: "You will hear a pin drop.”

Spring Loaded Festival: 10 years of Red Sofa. 21-26 / 3 De Doelen Rotterdam. Inl . www.dedoelen.nl

Photo: Marco Borggreve

Festival Spring Loaded: secrets in the city

It's not a Red Sofa anniversary without a bicycle ride to short performances at secret locations in the city!
Spring Loaded pop-up artist in residence Monica Germino will be there. The rest is a secret, except that there will be music in 4 locations in the Delfshaven district, and that a world premiere will be in almost every space…
An irresistible and surprising way to get to know both new music and hidden places in Rotterdam.
 
The starting point: De Machinist in Delfshaven, at 19.00
Address: Willem Buytewechstraat 45
3024 BK Rotterdam
 
Red Sofa in De Doelen celebrates 10-year anniversary with Festival Spring Loaded Read press release here
 
Spring Loaded presents film, premieres, cycling, and more
Young composers write new works, Monica Germino is pop-up artist in residence, five world premieres, a bicycle tour to four secret concert venues, and much more.   
 
An extraordinary series of concerts
For 10 years now, De Doelen has been presenting modern music in an accessible manner under the name 'Red Sofa.' With a bright red sofa on stage as a symbol of hospitality and by providing every concert with free introductions, follow-up talks and meet & greets with musicians and composers, a sound world unknown to many has been unlocked for the past 10 years. With around 10,500 filled seats at Red Sofa concerts in 2017, de Doelen has managed to set up the largest community for new music in the Netherlands. Ten years of Red Sofa will be celebrated with the six-day Festival Spring Loaded from 21 to 26 March 2018.

Red Sofa: Festival Spring Loaded

21 - 26 March, 2018
Red Sofa celebrates 10-year anniversary with Festival Spring Loaded
Monica Germino, pop-up artist in residence
Jubileum of Red Sofa in the Doelen celebrated with Festival Spring Loaded: Read press release here

Spring Loaded presents film, premieres, cycling, and more
Young composers write new works, Monica Germino is pop-up artist in residence, five world premieres, a bicycle tour to four secret concert venues, and much more.   

Opening concert on 21 March: Pete Harden, the Matangi Quartet, Ensemble Klang, and Michaela Riener are working together for the opening concert. Oscar Bettison’s composition 'Presence of Absence' is combined with the film 'Homo Sapiens’ by renowned filmmaker Nikolaus Geyrhalter.
 
An extraordinary series of concerts
For 10 years now, De Doelen has been presenting modern music in an accessible manner under the name 'Red Sofa.' With a bright red sofa on stage as a symbol of hospitality and by providing every concert with free introductions, follow-up talks and meet & greets with musicians and composers, a sound world unknown to many has been unlocked for the past 10 years. With around 10,500 filled seats at Red Sofa concerts in 2017, de Doelen has managed to set up the largest community for new music in the Netherlands. Ten years of Red Sofa will be celebrated with the six-day Festival Spring Loaded from 21 to 26 March 2018.

virtual bubble concert

During the opening weekend of Leeuwarden-Fryslân Cultural Capital of Europe 2018, Oranjewoud Festival presents a unique performance by violinist Monica Germino. In the central hall of pop venue Neushoorn, she creates a virtual bubble in the midst of all the activity. The audience steps into this by putting on a wireless headset and sitting in a circle around the violinist performing Jacob TV's Shakedown from SUITES OF LUX for electric violin & soundtrack. Each session lasts about 8 minutes. Leeuwarden-Fryslân 2018

watch the trailer:

Saturday 27 January, 19.00 - 21.00

venue: Neushoorn; Leeuwarden, NL 

Visiting Artist at the USF School of Music 2017-2018

photo: Bryce Womeldurf 
Visiting artist and violinist Monica Germino addresses students during an intensive violin studio class on November 8, 2017.
 
"Violinist Monica Germino wraps up an exciting semester as visiting artist at the USF School of Music" Read more
 
"Germino has spent her time introducing students to new contemporary music composers and techniques while challenging them every step of the way. Working with a studio already well-versed in contemporary music, she pushed the students further into the realm of new music by assigning works by composers such as Donnacha Dennehy, Annie Gosfield, Louis Andriessen, Vanessa Lann, and Philip Glass.
In early November, she coordinated and moderated a special violin studio class in Barness Hall with live sound and technical support from the USF Composition department. All 18 members of the violin studio introduced their pieces – which ranged from Ives and Boulanger to new music spanning the 1980s to the present – before performing them live with any complementary soundtracks and amplification.
Students saw firsthand what it is like to engage with music in an intensive setting with the guidance of a challenging, supportive, and experienced musician. Some even sang while playing violin, a method of performance that has come to characterize Germino's own professional work.
"What I love about her is she is bringing it right to the students," said Scott Kluksdahl, professor of cello and chamber music. His students often collaborate with the violin studio for chamber music pieces. He calls the recent studio class "a real glimpse into how an artist engages in the creative process ... Everybody had to go outside their comfort zone and do something that was in the realm of the unknown."
Germino's presence this semester has advanced the musicianship of violin students at USF and will leave a lasting impression on both student performers and composers alike. "To have an established new music performer who's not only passionate but also really good and well-recognized is really useful," said [Logan] Barrett [a third-year music composition student]. "It's reassuring and directly helps us because it gets the violinists more into what we do."
-Connor Murphy
 
 

frame violin

Welcome to the newest addition to the family, which thus far includes a Ceruti from 1802, a Violectra by Dave Bruce Johnson, a modified violin for INDUSTRY, Mr. Blue (seeing is believing), and more coming up...watch this space!

This frame violin, also known as a mute violin, is from ca. 1870. It has a beautiful, intimate, overtone-rich sound. Surprisingly little is known about these striking instruments.  One resource is the National Music Museum at the University of South Dakota.

video premiere of Shapeshifter

Watch the video here! (excerpt)

NEW@LOG: New video! The Log Journal premieres the video to Molly Joyce's "Shapeshifter," off her recent EP and featuring violinist Monica Germino. Video shot and edited by Kevin Eikenberg of Four/Ten Media:

The Log Journal "Our friends at New Amsterdam Records have given us the opportunity to share a number of exclusive album previews in recent months. Today we’ve got something different to offer along with NewAm: our first VIDEO premiere, for the Molly Joyce composition Shapeshifter. Performed by the Dutch duo of violinist Monica Germino and sound engineer Frank van der Weij, the piece is one of two works included on Joyce’s new digital EP, 'Lean Back and Release.'

Molly Joyce: “Shapeshifter is a work inspired and motivated by physical change and its many implications. When I originally wrote it for the violin and engineer duo of Monica Germino and Frank van der Weij, I was aiming for the violin to gradually ‘shape-shift’ to a new and divergent sound. Thus the video to accompany excerpts of the work utilizes projection mapping and more to distort the actress’s appearance and propel her to a new physical image.”

18th Biennial Festival of New Music

photo: Co Broerse

1-4 February 2017: Monica Germino in residence at the 18th Biennial Festival of New Music at Florida State University College of Music. 23 composers from across the country will attend performances of their works in a series of 7 concerts. The festival will feature presentations, works, performances, and masterclasses by special guests: composer Louis Andriessen, the Bugallo-Williams Piano Duo, and violinist Monica Germino. 

New release: Monica Germino plays Molly Joyce's Shapeshifter

 New Amsterdam Records releases a digital EP of two tracks for solo violin with live and pre-recorded electronics, by Molly Joyce . Monica Germino plays Joyce's entrancing Shapeshifter and Adrianna Mateo plays the title track, Lean Back and Release. Mixing/mastering by Andrew McKenna Lee, Frank van der Weij, Krišs Veismanis, Michael Laurello, and Greg Kalember. 
Out now via New Amsterdam Bandcamp subscription & everywhere else on 27 January 2017. 

Listen on Spotify

Watch the video (excerpt)

The title track is followed by a more recent work, "Shapeshifter", originally written for the Dutch duo of violinist Monica Germino and sound engineer Frank van der Weij. Premiered in April 2015 in The Hague and Amsterdam, "Shapeshifter" is motivated by the concept of control and losing it. It is driven by the fact that with the duo, Frank is typically not seen visually, and therefore the idea of him controlling Monica’s sound and gradually letting go of that control is highlighted throughout the piece, and for Monica to gradually “shape-shift” to a new and divergent sound. The Shapeshifter recording was engineered by Frank van der Weij, Krišs Veismanis, and mixed by Michael Laurello, and mastered by Greg Kalember. 

Molly Joyce on both works: 
"Lean Back and Release' and 'Shapeshifter' represent some of my first explorations into composing for acoustic instruments with accompanying electronics, and specifically how these instruments' sounds can transform electro-acoustically. With both works I was striving for a clear form that is driven by the changing range of the solo violinist, and how that change can be driven by an electronic backing track that is also derived from the acoustic violin. 
Both pieces are also very much inspired by the violinists they are written for, and were written to challenge and showcase Adrianna and Monica's talents in new and unexpected ways."

READ MORE: Broadwayworld.com

ALUMNI PROFILE: MONICA GERMINO

Official violin version of Michael Gordon's INDUSTRY out now!

Out now! video clip of Michael Gordon's INDUSTRY on Cantaloupe Music 

The official violin version of Michael Gordon's INDUSTRY is out now! (VIDEO)

BUY NOW on iTunes

BUY NOW in the Bang in a Can store

WATCH THE TRAILER

"a bold, futuristic and ultimately high-voltage vision" video clip of Michael Gordon's INDUSTRY on Cantaloupe Music 

We celebrated with live preview in the Netherlands in Ostade A'dam for a capacity audience. Video: Marcel Wierckx, sound design & recording: Frank van der Weij.

"...In her fiery performance of composer Michael Gordon's "tour-de-force of slowly rising intensity" [The Daily Telegraph], violinist Monica Germino revels in pushing the signal-processed limits of her instrument in collaboration with sound designer Frank van der Weij. Filmed and edited by video artist Marcel Wierckx, Industry captures a bold, futuristic and ultimately high-voltage vision of one of the most compelling works in new classical music. At the composer’s request, Germino and van der Weij sought to create the definitive violin version of Gordon's work — a challenge that ultimately resulted in adapting the instrument solely for this piece of music. Germino performs on a modified, amplified, extreme scordatura acoustic violin, together with a battery of effects."

Artist presentation: La Cité des Dames in Cologne

20 January, 20:00: La Cité des Dames - Women in Focus

Presented by: Gleichstellungskommission der HfMT Köln

Venue: Hochschule für Musik und Tanz (Kammermusiksaal)
Unter Krahnenbäumen 87
50668 Cologne, Germany

Telefon 0221 / 912818-0

Read more (in German) musik-in-koeln.de

Series of events & concerts at the Hochschule

La Nazione

Article in La Nazione about the concert in Florence, Italy on 23 July 2015, 21.00 

Venue: Sala Brunelleschi dell’Istituto degli Innocenti

Cristina Zavalloni, voice; Monica Germino, violin
Music by Louis Andriessen

Renato Rivolta, conductor
Strumentisti dell’Orchestra Giovanile Italiana

Tickets & information

Coaching and concert in Fiesole

Concert: Thursday, 23 July 2015, 21.00 
Venue: Sala Brunelleschi dell’Istituto degli Innocenti
In residence 20 -24 July, Scuola Musica Fiesole, Italy

Cristina Zavalloni, voice; Monica Germino, violin
Music by Louis Andriessen

Renato Rivolta, conductor
Strumentisti dell’Orchestra Giovanile Italiana

Tickets & information

Rave review for RACHE

"It makes one's blood run cold," wrote Marc van der Heijde about the premiere of RACHE in his blog for the Operadagen Rotterdam. "It's clear that the soloists-ensemble ELECTRA provided the composer [Boudewijn Tarenskeen] with extra inspiration. Michaela Riener, Susanna Borsch, Saskia Lankhoorn and Monica Germino are multi-talents, each convincing to one and all as singers, actresses and instrumentalists." 
"Elektra (with the gorgeous voice of Riener) killed her mother with the same axe that killed Elektra's father...when she in her lust for revenge finally slashes through the head of the drum...provides a new and powerful image of the classical drama..."
"At first, Marianne Bachmeier (Borsch) speaks through her instrument, the recorder...She wants to tell a coherent story but she makes her flute stutter, shout, and squeal...when she finally speaks, it is with the voice of a cold-blooded killer..."
"For the Biblical Judith, Lankhoorn portrays a seductress...her soft, husky, whispering voice...with texts surrounded by sounds from an old synthesizer...the increasing coldness in the music makes you slowly open your eyes..."
"Germino uses the violin as the sword with which the bride from Tarentino's "Kill Bill" killed a woman...the attack of the bow on the strings keeps you on the edge of your seat...Germino's appearance is every bit as intense as that of Uma Thurman: feline and on the cutting edge."
Read more (in Dutch)
photo: Anne Reinke

CLASSICALITE interviews Monica Germino

classicalite

News, Commentary on Classical Music, Jazz, Theater, Dance & More

EXCLUSIVE: Monica Germino on New England Conservatory, 'RACHE' Murder Premiere and Why She's Finally Ready to Play Michael Gordon's ‘INDUSTRY'

-May 27, 2015 | Lisa Helfer Elghazi

READ MORE

photo of ELECTRA by Anne Reinke

 

ELECTRA premieres new show: RACHE ('REVENGE')

photo: Anne Reinke

PREMIERE: Operadagen Rotterdam. Thursday 28 May: shows at 19.00 & 22.00

ELECTRA is in the final stages of rehearsing and developing the new show RACHE ('REVENGE'). Together with composer Boudewijn Tarenskeen, ELECTRA tells the tale of four murderesses whose motive was revenge: Elektra (Michaela Riener), Marianne Bachmeier (Susanna Borsch), Judith (Saskia Lankhoorn), and Kill Bill (Monica Germino).

VISIT our FACEBOOK PAGE
VISIT our RACHE SITE
VISIT ELECTRA's SITE

Michaela Riener: mezzosoprano, bass drum/percussion
Monica Germino: violin, voice
Susanna Borsch: recorders, voice
Saskia Lankhoorn: Hammond organ, Fender piano, synthesizer, piano, voice, percussion

The wonderful team of collaborators: Boudewijn Tarenskeen (composer), Paul Koek (advice/direction), Wende Snijders (staging advice), Cecile Brommer (dramaturg), Micha de Kanter (sound design/artistic advice), Nico de Rooij & Djana Kovic (scenography and light design) [www.sidf.eu], Peter van Amstel (manager ELECTRA). Clothing sponsored by Leg-Inc.

Performance dates start 28 May 2015, premiering in the Operadagen Rotterdam, and run through spring 2016. 

Information in English on the Rotterdam Opera Days website

Rotterdam Uitkrant agenda listing

La Passione in Cologne

photo: Co Broerse

10 May 2015, 20.00

Louis Andriessen: La Passione for voice, violin and large ensemble

Premiere of version with images by Jaap Drupsteen

Asko|Schönberg
Bas Wiegers, conductor 
Cristina Zavalloni, voice
Monica Germino, violin
Jaap Drupsteen, visualization

ACHT BRÜCKEN 2015 | "EIGHT BRIDGES" 2015 Festival 
Kölner Philharmonie 
Cologne, Germany 

ACHT BRÜCKEN 2015 | "EIGHT BRIDGES" 2015 takes "Music. Politics?" as its theme, asking whether and to what extent new music has a political stance or is even itself a political act. Works by composers such as Louis Andriessen offer ample material for this lively controversy.

Program:

Louis Andriessen: M is for Man, Music, Mozart (1991), Tapdance (2013), La Passione (2002)

Malika Kishino: Heliodor (Geschenk der Sonne) (2015) (premiere)

Tickets: order here 

Information in English
Information in German

INDUSTRY: preview on 11 April

New video clip of Michael Gordon's INDUSTRY coming out on Cantaloupe Music in spring 2015 - exact release date TBA!

Come out & CELEBRATE a live preview on Saturday 11 APRIL in Ostade A'dam. Video by Marcel Wierckx, sound design & recording by Frank van der Weij. GET TICKETS to AMERICAN WIZARDRY @ OSTADE A"DAM in AMSTERDAM

For now: a 30-second teaser... WATCH THE TRAILER OF INDUSTRY

AMERICAN WIZARDRY - APRIL 2015 NEWSLETTER

10 & 11 April - AMERICAN WIZARDRY

GET TICKETS for 10 APRIL: AMERICAN WIZARDRY @ KORZO in THE HAGUE

GET TICKETS for 11 APRIL: AMERICAN WIZARDRY @ OSTADE A"DAM in AMSTERDAM

• 10 APRIL: DOUBLE BILL - AMERICAN WIZARDRY @ Korzo Theater, The Hague
Monica Germino & Frank van der Weij | Brendan Faegre Edge Ensemble
• 11 APRIL: AMERICAN WIZARDRY - Monica Germino & Frank van der Weij @ Ostade A'dam, Amsterdam
• CELEBRATION! 11 APRIL: live preview of the new INDUSTRY video clip, to be released soon on Cantaloupe Music

More info: click to read the latest newsletter online

"...a tour-de-force of slowly rising intensity" - The Daily Telegraph (UK)

 

AMERICAN WIZARDRY 11 APRIL in AMSTERDAM

SATURDAY 11 APRIL, 20.30: OSTADE A'DAM, Amsterdam (NL)
AMERICAN WIZARDRY / Monica Germino: violin / voice / kick drums & Frank van der Weij: sound design
Plus: exclusive for Ostade A'dam! live preview of the new video clip of Michael Gordon's INDUSTRY to be released soon on Cantaloupe Music 
AMERICAN WIZARDRY explores the wizardry of transformation. This new program features American composers as the wizards working with Monica Germino and Frank van der Weij to transform sound and exploit new technologies. The show celebrates the intriguing collaboration of composer-performer-sound designer, with works for violin and sound design by Missy Mazzoli, Julia Wolfe, David Dramm, Annie Gosfield, Michael Gordon, and a world premiere by Molly Joyce. 
 
About the new video clip of Michael Gordon's INDUSTRY:
"...In her fiery performance of composer Michael Gordon's "tour-de-force of slowly rising intensity" [The Daily Telegraph], violinist Monica Germino revels in pushing the signal-processed limits of her instrument in collaboration with sound designer Frank van der Weij. Filmed and edited by video artist Marcel Wierckx, Industry captures a bold, futuristic and ultimately high-voltage vision of one of the most challenging works in new classical music."
This BRAND-NEW music video on Cantaloupe Music will be available soon for 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.
 
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.

AMERICAN WIZARDRY 10 & 11 APRIL

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
TICKETS for Korzo
 
11 APRIL, 20.30: OSTADE A'DAM, Amsterdam (NL)
AMERICAN WIZARDRY / Monica Germino & Frank van der Weij 
Plus: exclusive for Ostade A'dam! live preview of the new video clip of Michael Gordon's INDUSTRY to be released soon on Cantaloupe Music
GET TICKETS HERE

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, Julia Wolfe, David Dramm, Annie Gosfield, and a world premiere by Molly Joyce.
Plus, on 11 April only*: NEW RELEASE celebration & presentation of the video clip of Michael Gordon's INDUSTRY.
*NEW RELEASE: 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.
 
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.
 
10 April: Uitkrant (in Dutch)
11 April: Uitburo.nl (in Dutch)
 
photo: Elisabeth Melchior

Interview, NEC Alumni Profiles

NEC Alumni Profile Interview with Monica Germino, February 2015 

New England Conservatory Alumni Profiles: an in-depth look at a few of NEC alumni and their paths beyond NEC.

NEC: "...and what’s next on your schedule?"

MG: "...together with Marcel Wierckx and Frank van der Weij I’m finishing up a music video of my version for adapted violin of Michael Gordon’s ‘Industry’, to be released in April by Cantaloupe Music. AMERICAN WIZARDRY, a new show with my duo with sound engineer Frank van der Weij with new pieces for violin and sound design by American composers/wizards Molly Joyce, David Dramm, Missy Mazzoli, Annie Gosfield, Julia Wolfe. I’m also developing a show with my group ELECTRA called RACHE (‘Revenge’), featuring the stories of four women who murdered for revenge, that will premiere in the Dutch Opera Days in Rotterdam...." Continue reading

RACHE ('REVENGE') with ELECTRA

photo: Anne Reinke

ELECTRA is off to a flying start, rehearsing and developing the new show RACHE ('REVENGE'). Together with composer Boudewijn Tarenskeen, ELECTRA tells the tale of four murderesses whose motive was revenge: Elektra (Michaela Riener), Marianne Bachmeier (Susanna Borsch), Judith (Saskia Lankhoorn), and Kill Bill (Monica Germino).

VISIT our FACEBOOK PAGE
VISIT our RACHE SITE

Monica Germino: violin, voice
Michaela Riener: voice, bass drum/percussion
Susanna Borsch: recorders, voice
Saskia Lankhoorn: Hammond organ, Fender piano, synthesizer, piano, voice, percussion

A wonderful team of collaborators will join in: Paul Koek (advice/direction), Wende Snijders (advice), Marc Warning (scenography), Cecile Brommer (dramaturg)

Performance dates start 28 May 2015, premiering in the Dutch Opera Days, and run through spring 2016. Watch this space! 

2014-2015 tour of My Private Odyssey comes to a close

photo: Andreas J Etter

After 30 performances, the 2014-2015 tour of My Private Odyssey has come to a close. A spectacular collaboration with the extraordinary Club Guy & Roni, tanzmainz, composer David Dramm & composer/pianist Tomoko Mukaiyama, (electric) violinist Monica Germino, and flutist Anne La Berge.

Some press below:

"...honest and extraordinarily modern. Magnificent." -Allgemeine Zeitung
5 stars, Theaterkrant.nl *****
"It's also refreshing to see musicians at work that are not just fantastic performers but also 
strong actors. The main merit of My Private Odyssey is the harmony between all of the media, 
dancers, musicians, and that orating, chain-smoking Albert Camus meets Alain Delon..."
"...the fabulous dance group Club Guy & Roni...through an explosion of dance and music they 
bring a scorching ode to Homer, while driven by Odyssey's monologue written by Van den Bosch.” 
-NRC Handelsblad

WATCH THE TRAILER

Text: Ko van den Bosch | Decor: Ascon de Nijs | Costumes: Slavna Martinovic | Sound: Martin Lambeek | Light: Wil Frikken | Dramaturgy: Veerle van Overloop | Visuals: WERC 

 

Dates
2015
18 January 2015

My Private Odyssey on tour until 5 February!

Next up: 1 FEBRUARY, 20.15 – My Private Odyssey – Theater aan het Spui, Den Haag - CLUB GUY & RONI - SOLD OUT

"...honest and extraordinarily modern. Magnificent." -Allgemeine Zeitung

WATCH THE TRAILER

Click to read the latest newsletter online: My Private Odyssey

JANUARY:
7 JANUARY, 20.30 – My Private Odyssey – Stadsschouwburg De Harmonie, Leeuwarden
9 JANUARY, 20.30 – My Private Odyssey – Schouwburg Ogterop Meppel, Meppel, (NL)
11 JANUARY, 19.30 – My Private Odyssey – Staatstheater Mainz (Germany)
14 JANUARY, 20.15 – My Private Odyssey – Theater Speelhuis, Helmond, (NL)
15 JANUARY, 20.00 – My Private Odyssey – Theater de Nieuwe Kolk, Assen, (NL)
16 JANUARY, 20.00 – My Private Odyssey – Rabotheater, Hengelo, (NL)
20 JANUARY, 19.30 – My Private Odyssey – Staatstheater Mainz (Germany)
22 JANUARY, 20.00 – My Private Odyssey – Stadsschouwburg Utrecht, Utrecht, (NL)
23 JANUARY, 20.30 – My Private Odyssey – Toneelschuur, Haarlem, (NL)

FEBRUARY
1 FEBRUARY, 20.15 – My Private Odyssey – Theater aan het Spui, Den Haag, (NL)
4 FEBRUARY, 20.00 – My Private Odyssey – Theater aan het Vrijthof, Maastricht, (NL)
5 FEBRUARY, 20.00 – My Private Odyssey – Schouwburg Amstelveen, Amstelveen, (NL)

My Private Odyssey is on tour through February 2015:  Click here for a complete list of tour dates

My Private Odyssey on tour in January

photo: Andreas J Etter; costumes by Slavna Martinovic 

Next up: 16 JANUARY, 20.00 – My Private Odyssey – Rabotheater, Hengelo, (NL) - CLUB GUY & RONI

"...honest and extraordinarily modern. Magnificent." -Allgemeine Zeitung

WATCH THE TRAILER

Click to read the latest newsletter online: My Private Odyssey

JANUARY:
7 JANUARY, 20.30 – My Private Odyssey – Stadsschouwburg De Harmonie, Leeuwarden
9 JANUARY, 20.30 – My Private Odyssey – Schouwburg Ogterop Meppel, Meppel, (NL)
11 JANUARY, 19.30 – My Private Odyssey – Staatstheater Mainz (Germany)
14 JANUARY, 20.15 – My Private Odyssey – Theater Speelhuis, Helmond, (NL)
15 JANUARY, 20.00 – My Private Odyssey – Theater de Nieuwe Kolk, Assen, (NL)
16 JANUARY, 20.00 – My Private Odyssey – Rabotheater, Hengelo, (NL)
20 JANUARY, 19.30 – My Private Odyssey – Staatstheater Mainz (Germany)
22 JANUARY, 20.00 – My Private Odyssey – Stadsschouwburg Utrecht, Utrecht, (NL)
23 JANUARY, 20.30 – My Private Odyssey – Toneelschuur, Haarlem, (NL)

FEBRUARY
1 FEBRUARY – My Private Odyssey – Theater aan het Spui, Den Haag, (NL)
4 FEBRUARY – My Private Odyssey – Theater aan het Vrijthof, Maastricht, (NL)
5 FEBRUARY – My Private Odyssey – Schouwburg Amstelveen, Amstelveen, (NL)

My Private Odyssey is on tour through February 2015:  Click here for a complete list of tour dates

My Private Odyssey on tour

photo: Andreas J Etter; costumes by Slavna Martinovic 

7 january, 20.30

Stadsschouwburg De Harmonie in Leeuwarden (NL): CLUB GUY & RONI

Click to read the latest newsletter online: My Private Odyssey

"...honest and extraordinarily modern. Magnificent." -Allgemeine Zeitung

WATCH THE TRAILER

My Private Odyssey is on tour through February 2015: See below or Click here for a complete list of tour dates

7 JANUARY – My Private Odyssey – Stadsschouwburg De Harmonie, Leeuwarden, (NL)
9 JANUARY – My Private Odyssey – Schouwburg Ogterop Meppel, Meppel, (NL)
11 JANUARY – My Private Odyssey – Staatstheater Mainz, Mainz (Germany)
14 JANUARY – My Private Odyssey – Theater Speelhuis, Helmond, (NL)
15 JANUARY – My Private Odyssey – Theater de Nieuwe Kolk, Assen, (NL)
16 JANUARY – My Private Odyssey – Rabotheater, Hengelo, (NL)
20 JANUARY – My Private Odyssey – Staatstheater Mainz, Mainz (Germany)
22 JANUARY – My Private Odyssey – Stadsschouwburg Utrecht, Utrecht, (NL)
23 JANUARY – My Private Odyssey – Toneelschuur, Haarlem, (NL)

FEBRUARY
1 FEBRUARY – My Private Odyssey – Theater aan het Spui, Den Haag, (NL)
4 FEBRUARY – My Private Odyssey – Theater aan het Vrijthof, Maastricht, (NL)
5 FEBRUARY – My Private Odyssey – Schouwburg Amstelveen, Amstelveen, (NL)

MY PRIVATE ODYSSEY in Almere

photo: Andreas J Etter; costumes by Slavna Martinovic 

FRIDAY 19 DECEMBER, 20.30 - Schouwburg AlmereCLUB GUY & RONI 

Click to read the latest newsletter online: My Private Odyssey in Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam

"...honest and extraordinarily modern. Magnificent." -Allgemeine Zeitung

& on tour through February 2015: Click here for a complete list of tour dates

WATCH THE TRAILER

Newsletter - 'My Private Odyssey' in Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam

photo: Andreas J Etter; costumes by Slavna Martinovic 

Monday 15 December, 20.30 - Stadsschouwburg AmsterdamClub Guy & Roni 

Click to read the latest newsletter online: My Private Odyssey in Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam

"...honest and extraordinarily modern. Magnificent." -Allgemeine Zeitung

& on tour through February 2015: Click here for a complete list of tour dates

WATCH THE TRAILER

MY PRIVATE ODYSSEY

photo, Andreas J. Etter

MY PRIVATE ODYSSEY premiered in October 2014 and is on tour in Germany and the Netherlands until February 2015.

Next stop: AMSTERDAM

Monday, 15 December, 20.30 

Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam

'My Private Odyssey' is a co-production with Club Guy & Roni, the German company tanzmainz, and the musical dream team of composer David Dramm, composer and pianist Tomoko Mukaiyama, violinist/electric violinist Monica Germino, and fluitist Anne La Berge. The three musicians are on stage with ten dancers, accompanied by the images of WERC video collective and a text by Ko van den Bosch (Alex d’Electrique, NNT).
‘The Odyssey’ still fascinates and inspires... read more
Also in the Netherlands in 2014:
Almere: Friday 19 December, 20.30 Schouwburg Almere
 
Read about it on Facebook
 

MY PRIVATE ODYSSEY

MY PRIVATE ODYSSEY premiered in October 2014 and is on tour in Germany and the Netherlands until February 2015.
 
Next stops: 
THE NETHERLANDS:
Dordrecht: Thursday 27 November, 20.30 Energiehuis Dordrecht
Gouda: Wednesday 3 December, 20.00 Goudse Schouwburg
Amsterdam: Monday 15 December, 20.30 Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam
Almere: Friday 19 December, 20.30 Schouwburg Almere
 
and in MAINZ, GERMANY:
Sunday 7 December, 19.30 Staatstheater Mainz | Mainz (DE)
 
Read about it on Facebook
 
'My Private Odyssey' is a co-production with Club Guy & Roni, the German company tanzmainz, and the musical dream team of composer David Dramm, composer and pianist Tomoko Mukaiyama, violinist/electric violinist Monica Germino, and fluitist Anne La Berge. The three musicians are on stage with ten dancers, accompanied by the images of WERC video collective and a text by Ko van den Bosch (Alex d’Electrique, NNT).
 
‘The Odyssey’ still fascinates and inspires... read more

MY PRIVATE ODYSSEY in Rotterdam

MY PRIVATE ODYSSEY on tour:
Next stop: Thursday, 6 November, 20.15 in ROTTERDAM
Venue, info & tickets: Rotterdamse Schouwburg
 
Read about it on Facebook
 
On Thursday November 6th ‘My Private Odyssey’ arrives at the Rotterdamse Schouwburg
'My Private Odyssey' is a co-production with Club Guy & Roni, the German company tanzmainz, and the musical dream team of composer David Dramm, composer and pianist Tomoko Mukaiyama, violinist Monica Germino, and fluitist Anne La Berge. The three musicians are on stage with ten dancers, accompanied by the images of WERC video collective and a text by Ko van den Bosch (Alex d’Electrique, NNT).
 
‘The Odyssey’ still fascinates and inspires... read more

Sounds of Music Festival

October 25, 20.00

Sounds of Music Festival

venue: Grand Theatre Groningen (NL)

Premieres of new works by Missy MazzoliIan WilsonDavid Dramm

Monica Germino, violin/voice/kick drums | Missy Mazzoli, composer/piano | Fie Schouten, clarinet | Frank van der Weij, sound design

Missy MazzoliVespers for Violin (2014) (world premiere)
Ian WilsonSix Twenty-five a.m. for singing violinist and sound designer (2014) (world premiere)
Premiere of the concert version David Dramm's Hammerhead (2014) for violin and 2 kick drums
& more music by Missy Mazzoli.

NEWSLETTER

photo: Andreas J Etter. Dress rehearsal, My Private Odyssey. Costumes by Slavna Martinovic 

Click to read the latest newsletter online: Events in Europe, CD release, collaborations & more

 

My Private Odyssey

photo: Veerle van Overloop
 
MY PRIVATE ODYSSEY is a collaboration with Club Guy & Roni, tanzmainz, and the musical dream team: composer David Dramm & composer/pianist Tomoko Mukaiyama - performed live by Tomoko Mukaiyama, Monica Germino, Anne La Berge. 
TOUR DATES:
Premiere: 15 October 2014, Mainz, Germany
Dutch premiere, 23 October 2014, Groningen, the Netherlands.
The tour will follow, racing and looping between Germany and The Netherlands until February 2015.
 
Wed 15-10 Staatstheater Mainz | Mainz (DE) (PREMIERE)
Sat 18-10 Staatstheater Mainz | Mainz (DE)
Thu 23-10 Stadsschouwburg | Groningen (NL PREMIERE)
Fri 24-10 Stadsschouwburg | Groningen
Mon 27-10 Staatstheater Mainz | Mainz (DE)
Sun 02-11 Staatstheater Mainz | Mainz (DE)
Thu 06-11 Rotterdamse Schouwburg | Rotterdam
Sun 09-11 Staatstheater Mainz | Mainz (DE)
Sat 15-11 Staatstheater Mainz | Mainz (DE)
Sat 22-11 Staatstheater Mainz | Mainz (DE)
Thu 27-11 Energiehuis Dordrecht | Dordrecht
Wed 03-12 Goudse Schouwburg | Gouda
Sun 07-12 Staatstheater Mainz | Mainz (DE)
Thu 11-12 Schouwburg De Lawei | Drachten
Mon 15-12 Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam | Amsterdam
Fri 19-12 Schouwburg Almere | Almere
  Click here for complete list of tour dates
 
 
‘The Odyssey’ still fascinates and inspires... read more

MONICA GERMINO FEATURED IN STRINGS MAGAZINE

Strings Magazine: "5 Minutes With..." Monica Germino

MONICA GERMINO FEATURED IN SEPTEMBER 2014 EDITION OF STRINGS MAGAZINE

Behind the scenes: Monica talks about her work with sound designer Frank van der Weij, La Girò, and the concerts in the Washington, D.C. area Festival.

"Whether she was playing the violin, electric violin, adapted violin, whispering, talking, or singing, Germino conveyed her passion with tour de force virtuosity and burning vulnerability." 

"Violinist Monica Germino put her stamp on the Andriessen at 75 festival in and around Washington, DC, earlier this year with a violin concerto named after Vivaldi’s muse... and a violin recital in a charged environment of electronics, art installations, and images with punk-rock bassist/ turned-sound-designer Frank van der Weij. Armed with a Joannes Baptista Ceruti (Cremona, 1802), on permanent loan from the Elise Mathilde Foundation, and a custom-made electric “violectra,” the Amsterdam-based American/Dutch musician played a major role...READ MORE

—Laurence Vittes   

Subscribers can click here to read the digital edition.

13 August 2014

WQXR Radio, Q2 Music: LA GIRÒ

Q2 Music. Living Music. Living Composers.

LISTEN HERE: On-Demand Audio: 'Andriessen 75' on the Edge at Shenandoah Conservatory

RECORDED LIVE AT ARMSTRONG CONCERT HALL ON APRIL 12, 2014

New York Public Radio/WQXR; produced by Alex Ambrose for Q2

Friday, July 11 at 11 am ET, Phil Kline highlights composers Derek Bermel and Ruby Fulton, whose music was performed alongside Louis Andriessen for the penultimate concert, titled "La Girò," of the celebratory "Andriessen 75" festival held in Washington, D.C. The EDGE Ensemble, with composer David T. Little as artistic director, the Shenandoah Conservatory Wind Ensemble directed by Damon Talley and violinist Monica Germino performed the program at the Armstrong Concert Hall at Shenandoah Conservatory on April 12. 

The second half of the program featured Andriessen's own music—Bells for Haarlem, Hout, and La Girò, which included Monica Germino as the violin/voice soloist and sound designer Frank van der Weij. 

Part of Classical 105.9 WQXR, Q2 Music is a New York-based online station devoted to the music of living composers; a home for immersive festivals, live webcasts and on-demand concerts from today’s leading new-music performers and venues, and is programmed by Q2 Music's Producer, Alex Ambrose. Visit Q2 Music 


Monica Germino, violin/voice, EDGE Ensemble in Louis Andriessen's violin concerto La Girò. Damon Talley, conductor.
music by Louis Andriessen, Derek Bermel, Ruby Fulton, Alexandra Gardner. Concert curated by David T. Little. Part of the inaugural season of Shenandoah New Music.

The festival was developed and curated by Armando Bayolo, founder of the Great Noise Ensemble and new-music curator at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. 

READ AND WATCH: The Washington Post's Preview about the Festival

WQXR Radio, Q2 Music: Roadmaps & Diaries II

Roadmaps and Diaries II: Monica Germino, violin/voice, Frank van der Weij, sound design

LISTEN HERE: On-Demand Audio: 'Andriessen 75' Pushes the Violin Envelope

RECORDED LIVE AT ATLAS PERFORMING ARTS CENTER ON APRIL 7, 2014

New York Public Radio/WQXR; produced by Alex Ambrose for Q2

Tuesday, July 8 at 11 am ET, Phil Kline continues his presentation of the "Andriessen 75" festival in Washington, D.C. with a concert titled "Roadmaps and Diaries II." The performance features solo violin music that blurs the line between the acoustic and electric featuring works by Louis Andriessen and kindred spirits – including a few former students – Julia Wolfe, Kate Moore, Michael Gordon and Donnacha Dennehy. The program was performed by Monica Germino and sound-designed by Frank van der Weij.

Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy's Overstrung for violin and tape opened the program. Written specifically for Germino, the music is built largely on the overtone series and harmonics. Next came the world premiere of Dolorosa, a song for violin and augmented voice by Australian composer Kate Moore. The American premiere of with a blue dress on by Bang on a Can's Julia Wolfe came next, followed by Andriessen's piece Xenia, a wailing, pitch-bending work with a voice part. The performance closed with Michael Gordon's overdriven Industry originally written for amplified cello, a work that seems to distort and warp as it happens.

Part of Classical 105.9 WQXR, Q2 Music is a New York-based online station devoted to the music of living composers; a home for immersive festivals, live webcasts and on-demand concerts from today’s leading new-music performers and venues, and is programmed by Q2 Music's Producer, Alex Ambrose. Visit Q2 Music

WQXR Radio, Q2 Music: TRIO

TRIO: vocalist Cristina Zavalloni, violinist Monica Germino, pianist Andrea Rebaudengo

LISTEN HERE: On-Demand Audio: John, Paul and Igor Visit 'Andriessen 75'

RECORDED LIVE AT THE MANSION AT STRATHMORE ON APRIL 8, 2014

New York Public Radio/WQXR; produced by Alex Ambrose for Q2

Tuesday, July 12 at 12 pm ET, Phil Kline presents an eclectic collection of music at the "Andriessen 75" festival as performed by vocalist Cristina Zavalloni, violinist Monica Germino and pianist Andrea Rebaudengo. With a wide range of Andriessen's works along with Stravinsky, Cage and influences from Paul McCartney and John Lennon, the concert took place at The Mansion at Strathmore in Washington, D.C. on April 8.

As a part of the celebration of the Dutch composer's life and work, the musicians played seven pieces by Louis Andriessen: Letter from Cathy, Base, Beatles Songs (satirical arrangements of four Beatles Songs), Xenia, Fanfara Inclinata, Le Voile du Bonheur, and Passeggiata in tram in America e ritorno, many of them composed in the 21st century. Igor Stravinsky's The Owl and the Pussycat, a twelve-tone piece based setting Edward Lear's poem of the same name, was also performed, as well as John Cage's Six Melodies for violin and piano.

Part of Classical 105.9 WQXR, Q2 Music is a New York-based online station devoted to the music of living composers; a home for immersive festivals, live webcasts and on-demand concerts from today’s leading new-music performers and venues, and is programmed by Q2 Music's Producer, Alex Ambrose. Visit Q2 Music

CD RELEASE: SOLOS FOR VIRTUOSI

NEW CD out!

Louis Andriessen – Solos for Virtuosi

4 star review in De Volkskrant: read more (in Dutch)

"...15 solo pieces released on the Attacca label...the musical level is high across the board, but a highlight is Xenia, performed by the singing violinist Monica Germino."
- Frits van der Waa, 4 June, 2014

To order the CD: Bruno Klassiek

Read more: Attacca Records

The CD includes Monica Germino performing the original version of Xenia (2005), heard on this CD not in its later, substantially edited appearance, but in the version in which it is part of a cinematographical installation by Anna Lange, premiering at the opening of the Holland Festival 2005.

The track list contains a dizzying amount of performers and works, ranging from Triplum (1962) to The starting plank (2008).

TRIO: Zavalloni Germino Rebaudengo

photo by Barbara Rigon

May 17, 21.30
Angelica Festival, Centro di Ricerca Musicale / Teatro San Leonardo
Bologna, Italy

TRIO: Cristina Zavalloni, voice; Monica Germino, violin; Andrea Rebaudengo, piano
music by Louis Andriessen, Cristina Zavalloni/Louis Andriessen

Russian wikipedia

Жермино,_Моника ...Monica Germino on Russian wikipedia!

LA PASSIONE in amsterdam

May 8, 20.30: Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Amsterdam

Alfredo Casella Pupazzetti (bew. Louis Andriessen, 2002-2003)
Louis Andriessen Dances (1991)
Louis Andriessen La Passione (2001-2002)
Cristina Zavalloni, voice & Monica Germino, violin
Asko|Schönberg, Reinbert de Leeuw, conductor

CD presentation: Solos for Virtuosi
Release date: 8 May 2014
This CD of solo works by Louis Andriessen includes Monica Germino's recording of XENIA, a piece for ‘violinist who sings,' in its original 2005 version.

Interview: Classical TV

CLASSICAL TV, April 2014

"Germino and La Giro" : interview about La Girò

AN EXCHANGE WITH MONICA GERMINO

CTV: Louis Andriessen wrote this marvelous concerto for you. Can you tell us a bit about how you and the composer came to know each other and then how he created this work for you?

MG: "La Girò is a dramatic piece with many elements at play - storytelling, a nightmare, singing and playing, even shrieking and whispering. The piece took certain twists and turns as a direct result of a long and treasured collaboration...." click here to read more about La Girò


Hear La Girò live:
April 12, 8 PM
Armstrong Concert Hall, Shenandoah Conservatory
Winchester, VA (USA)

Monica Germino, violin/voice; EDGE Ensemble; Damon Talley, conductor. Frank van der Weij, sound
music by Louis Andriessen, Derek Bermel, Ruby Fulton, Alexandra Gardner. Series curated by David T. Little. Part of the inaugural season of Shenandoah New Music.

more info / tickets for April 12

USA concerts

pictured: Monica Germino and Frank van der Weij. photo credit: Elisabeth Melchior

6 - 13 April 2014, Washington D.C. area: Louis Andriessen Festival

an initiative of Armando Bayolo/Great Noise Ensemble, the Strathmore, Shenandoah Conservatory & University


7 April, 8 PM, Atlas Performing Arts Center

Frank van der Weij and Monica Germino present ROADMAPS & DIARIES II
music by Michael Gordon, Louis Andriessen, Julia Wolfe, Donnacha Dennehy & a world premiere by Kate Moore
Get tickets here

Washington City Paper, Best of DC
Caroline Jones, Arts Desk: ToDo ToDay: “Roadmaps and Diaries II”

"Despite her degrees from Yale and the New England Conservatory, classically trained violinist Monica Germino wasn’t content performing centuries-old orchestral works. So, like Dylan at Newport in 1965, she went electric, commissioning her own model of electric violin and working with experimental Dutch composer Louis Andriessen. Tonight at Atlas, she’ll present “Road Maps and Diaries II,” a program that started as a one-night showcase of new music, improvisation, and installations with frequent collaborator (and fellow Netherlander) Frank van der Weij and has evolved into a touring production of unconventional performance and feats of sound design. Monica Germino and Frank van der Weij perform at 8 p.m. at Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. $20–$28.50. (202) 399-7993. atlasarts.org.

The Washington Post, GoingOutMusic

Roadmaps & Diaries II
Classical
Sound designer Frank van der Weij joins violinist, vocalist Monica Germino in a concert that features "electroacoustic innovations" of compositions by Louis Andriessen, Julia Wolfe, Michael Gordon and more. Part of Andriessen75. At the Lang Theatre.

Broadwayworld.com, Classical Music News Desk, Monday, April 7 (8:00 PM): ROADMAPS & DIARIES II (Washington, D.C.)

"Monica Germino (violin) and Frank van der Weij (sound design), Amsterdam-based collaborators whose paths have intertwined with Andriessen's for decades, perform a revolutionary take on the solo violin recital in a raucous and reflective evening for violin, electric violin, adapted violin, voice, electronics, installations, images, & sound design. ROADMAPS & DIARIES began as a single show in Amsterdam and has evolved into an ever-changing tour..."
"This presentation features Andriessen's XENIA, a three-movement piece for violin and voice, Julia Wolfe's with a blue dress on, Michael Gordon's INDUSTRY for adapted violin and electronics (2008), and Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy's Overstrung (2010). Presented by Atlas Performing Arts Center."


8 April, 7:30 PM, The Mansion at Strathmore

Cristina Zavalloni, voice; Monica Germino, violin; Andrea Rebaudengo, piano music by Louis Andriessen, John Cage & Igor Stravinsky


12 April, 8 PM, Armstrong Concert Hall, Shenandoah Conservatory

Monica Germino, violin/voice, EDGE Ensemble in Louis Andriessen's violin concerto La Girò. Damon Talley, conductor.
music by Louis Andriessen, Derek Bermel, Ruby Fulton, Alexandra Gardner. Concert curated by David T. Little. Part of the inaugural season of *Shenandoah New Music.***
Get tickets here


Check out the entire festival for a range of great concerts, including Andriessen's La Commedia on 6 April & Bang on a Can on 11 April

READ AND WATCH: The Washington Post's Preview about the Festival

De Link

photo: Monica and Frank van der Weij in the studio. Photographer: Elisabeth Melchior

25 March 2014, 20:30

Monica Germino, violin/voice, Frank van der Weij, sound design
music by Donnacha Dennehy, Louis Andriessen, Julia Wolfe

Series: DE LINK in Het Cenakel
Double bill with percussionist Ramon Lormans
Presented by a great advocate of new music in the Netherlands: De Link
Venue: Het Cenakel, Tilburg (NL)

2014
News
7 February 2014

Newsletter

Click here for the latest newsletter: Events, collaborations, and more!

A few highlights:

Duo Monica Germino & Frank van der Weij: featured in the New York Times, The Strad, and SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL's Best Musical Events of 2013.

News about Julia Wolfe's US premiere

April 2014: Andriessen Festival in Washington, D.C.

New collaboration with Kate Moore

May 2014: Amsterdam & Angelica Festival (Italy)

DVD RELEASE: Robert Zuidam's BOSCH REQUIEM

February 2014: in residence at the Boston Conservatory

2014
USA
Dates
21 January 2014

New Music Festival, Boston Conservatory

February 3-9, 2014: New Music Festival, Boston Conservatory (USA)

Guest artist in residence at The Boston Conservatory, teaching and performing with faculty and students.

Please see the Boston Conservatory website for more details about concerts, classes and seminars.

Held annually, The Boston Conservatory New Music Festival is a multi-day celebration of music’s evolution throughout the ages and is dedicated to recognizing exceptional compositions by modern composers. This year’s festival honors Louis Andriessen by performing 35 of his works over four days, including La Girò, which Andriessen wrote in 2011 for Monica Germino and which she will perform for the first time ever in Boston.

52fdfaf907e79f00020000e3 pictured: Eric Hewitt, Monica Germino, Boston Conservatory Orchestra. photo: Eric Antoniou

Concerts:

Thursday, February 6 at 8 p.m. – Ensemble and Solo Works

Guest artists Monica Germino (violin) and Tony Arnold (voice) join Samuel Z. Solomon and The Boston Conservatory Percussion Ensemble to perform small ensemble and solo works of Andriessen, including Bells for Haarlem, Xenia, Image de Moreau, Zilver, Hout, Passeggiata in Tram in America e Ritorno, and more.

Friday, February 7 at 8 p.m. – Chamber and Electronic Music

The Boston Conservatory Honors String Quartet and Conservatory voice, dance and saxophone students perform Andriessen’s Tuin van Eros, In Memoriam, Woodpecker and Facing Death, along with Stravinksy’s Three Pieces for String Quartet and The Owl and the Pussycat.

Saturday, February 8 at 8 p.m. – De Staat/La Girò

Guest soloist Monica Germino (violin) performs Andriessen’s La Girò with The Boston Conservatory Wind Ensemble and The Boston Conservatory New Music Festival Orchestra, conducted by Eric Hewitt.

Sunday, February 9 at 8 p.m. – The Memory of Roses

works from The Memory of Roses, plus Letter from Cathy. The Boston Conservatory Chorale, along with students, faculty and guests of The Boston Conservatory

SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL: Best Musical Events of 2013

photo: Michael Nagle for The New York Times

Our Reviewers’ Choices for Best Musical Events of 2013

Monica Germino and Frank van der Weij in SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL's top picks for 2013.

"In a program for violin and electronics at the Austrian Cultural Forum, Amsterdam-based Monica Germino showed the power of savvy programming, with Frank van der Weij using technology about as perfectly as it gets (June 13)."
-Bruce Hodges

The show included US premieres by David Dramm, Karlheinz Essl, Annie Gosfied, and Arnoud Noordegraaf, plus works by Louis Andriessen and Donnacha Dennehy. The composers introduced their pieces in short video clips.

Click here to read more about the top 2013 choices!


& check out Bruce Hodge's complete review of the show in the September issue of The Strad magazine

The Strad: Sophistication and showmanship
- by Bruce Hodges

"…Monica Germino gave a veritable masterclass on the use of violin and electronics, packed with sophistication and showmanship."

"a violinist who leaves no elements to chance"

"electronics wizard Frank van der Weij"

click here for the complete review

2014
Press
Zuidam
10 January 2014

DVD RELEASE

DVD RELEASE! Robert Zuidam's BOSCH REQUIEM at the NOVEMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL

Watch online: NTR (Dutch National Television)

Watch clip: Agnus Dei

BOSCH REQUIEM 2013: Order the DVD here

info: Bosch500.nl


PRESS ABOUT ROB ZUIDAM's BOSCH REQUIEM:

NRC Handelsblad (NL): 

by Frits van der Waa

  • "The Dies Irae was a stunning rock solo by electric violinist Monica Germino..."

De Volkskrant (NL):

"...as if Jimmy Page or another past guitar God appeared..."

Muziek van Nu (NL)

"...violinist Monica Germino embraced the role of the Grim Reaper...together with her lacerating electric violin, she gave a demonic impression of the Day of Vengeance."