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...


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