Paul de Jong / Jessica Pavone String Ensemble
March 24 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm| $20
Saturday, March 24th, ISSUE is pleased to present an evening with Paul de Jong, cellist and co-founder of celebrated experimental duo the Books, and composer and violist Jessica Pavone’s String Ensemble. Their distinct approaches survey de Jong’s distinctly hybrid and emotionally-driven cello music, to Pavone’s uniquely physical compositions -- each devising progressive and idiosyncratic new practices for string instruments.
On the eve of the release of his sophomore solo album YOU FUCKEN SUCKER, Paul de Jong performs his signature emotional acrobatics with the aid of cellos, or “what used to be cellos,” in addition to a bottomless library of exotic americana, absurdist sound and video snippets, mismatched costumes and hats, fake teeth and moustaches -- all purposefully over-formalized and under-rehearsed. Taken as a whole, De Jong’s resultant sound, according to critic Andy Beta, takes “cues from old folk records, as well as the mischievous collage work of Christian Marclay and Negativland -- with results that sound disarming and fresh, like folk music rendered by intellectual androids.”
The evening also showcases composer and performer Jessica Pavone presenting new works with her string ensemble, consisting of Erica Dicker (violin), Angela Morris (violin), Joanna Mattrey (viola), and Pavone herself (viola). As both an instrumentalist and composer, Jessica Pavone has regularly and thematically explored tactile experience and the use of the body in her compositions and performances. This is most notable in her solo viola music, where indeterminate pieces stem from years of concentrated long tone practice and her interests in repetition, song form, sympathetic vibration and the physicality of playing her somewhat larger-than-comfortable instrument. For her string ensemble, Pavone has merged these two distinct modalities by creating an ensemble she both composes for and performs in. These pieces continue to explore the themes of her solo music, while also integrating a deeper understanding of the affects sound has on the listener. The way sound affects the body and psyche have always been an interest; and, while her discoveries in this area have been primarily through direct experience, she plans to further understand responses through sound with this ensemble.
The Wire magazine has praised Pavone’s “ability to transform a naked tonal gesture into something special,” and The New York Times described her music as "distinct and beguiling...its core is steely, and its execution clear."
Dutch cellist and composer Paul de Jong is probably best known as cofounder of beloved collage-pop eccentrics, the Books. After the band’s breakup in 2011, de Jong embarked on a journey of musical, literary and visual discovery which to date has resulted in a jumble of albums of new music, concert performances and impromptu appearances, gallery shows with video and screen prints, collaborations with colleagues young and elderly (sometimes at the same time), and the unlocking of his vast archive of fringe media aka the ‘Mall of Found’ to a succession of resident artists and researchers of all nations, walks and ages. His new album YOU FUCKEN SUCKER will be out April 6th on Temporary Residence, Ltd.
Jessica Pavone has performed in countless improvisation, avant jazz, experimental, folk, soul, and chamber ensembles since moving to NYC in 2000. She has toured extensively throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe, performing in venues ranging from international music festivals, universities, and art galleries, to community centers and basements. Her music has premiered in venues in New York City such as, Roulette, ISSUE Project Room, and The Kitchen, and at the Klangbad Festival in Sheer, Germany. In 2011 she was featured in NPR’s “The Mix: 100 Composers Under 40.” She has received grants and commissions from the Aaron Copland Recording Fund, the American Music Center, New Music USA for her collaboration with choreographer Anna Sperber, The Kitchen, MATA, The Jerome Foundation, The Tri-Centric Foundation, Experiments in Opera, and the chamber music collective Till By Turning.