Video: Peter Evans and Sofia Jernberg at a concert dedicated to the Latvian centennial in Jelgava

We invite you to watch a video of Peter Evans (USA) and Sofia Jernberg’s (Norway/Ethiopia) performance. The concert took place on 24 February at the Jelgava History and Art Museum of Ģederts Elias. It is a part of the concert series “Skaņu Mežs’ commissioned works for Latvia’s Centenary”. Video by Dāvis Jansons.

The concert series “Skaņu Mežs’ commissioned works for Latvia’s Centenary” comprises of three concerts of first performances of high quality pieces from a selection of avantgarde genres (free improvisation, contemporary music, and electroaccoustic music). Iannis Xenakis’ epic electronic composition, ”Persepolis,” which was created for the 1971 Shiraz Arts Festival in Iran in honor of the 2500th anniversary of the founding of the Persian Empire, is the inspiration for this way of marking the upcoming centennial. The innovative nature of ”Persepolis” still serves as a reminder of this event and country.

Free improvisation, as opposed to electronic music and contemporary composition, envisages sound innovation without any prior preparation of musical material. This is why the first of these concerts presents a collaboration between two musicians, who have never performed together before, rather than a specific piece. The second and third concerts in this series will be announced shortly.

Peter Evans is an American trumpet player based in New York,[1] who specializes in improvisation and avant-garde music. Evans has been a member of the New York City musical community since 2003, when he moved to the city after graduating from The Oberlin Conservatory of Music. His earlier studies were in the Jazz Department of New England Conservatory of Music’s School of Preparatory Education.

His primary groups as a leader are the Peter Evans Quintet (with Ron Stabinsky, Sam Pluta, Tom Blancarte and Jim Black) and the Zebulon trio (with John Hebert and Kassa Overall). In addition, Evans has been performing and recording solo trumpet music since 2003 and is widely recognized as a leading voice in the field, having released several recordings over the past decade. He is a member of several groups, such as Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Pulverize the Sound, Rocket Science, Premature Burial.

Evans has collaborated with a broad range of figures in modern music, including Weasel Walter, Evan Parker, Matana Roberts, Tyshawn Sorey, John Zorn, Mary Halvorson, Peter Brötzmann, Aaron Burnett, Okkyung Lee, and Nate Wooley. He has also premiered compositions by Brian Ferneyhough, George Lewis, Eric Wubbels, Anthony Braxton, and Barry Guy. He is also a member of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and Wetby the ICE, Yarn/Wire, the Donaueschingen Musiktage Festival, the Jerome Foundation’s Emerging Artist Program and was a 2014 Artist-in-Residence at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn, NY. He has presented and/or performed his music at many major international festivals and has toured his own groups extensively in Europe, Canada and the United States.

Sofia Jernberg is a singer and composer, born in Ethiopia in 1983. She grew up in Sweden, Ethiopia and Vietnam, and is currently based in Oslo, Norway.

Sofia is active in a wide field of music. She co-leads and composes for modern jazz octet PAAVO and contemporary quartet The New Songs. Sofia has performed Arnold Schönberg’s ‘Pierrot Lunaire’, and Salvatore Sciarrino’s chamber opera ‘Lohengrin’.

One of her deepest interests as a singer and composer is to develop the “instrumental” possibilities of the voice. After many years of work in this direction, experimenting with the role of the voice in an ensemble, she is now a permanent member in several groups that use the voice in this manner.

Sofia’s singing vocabulary includes sounds and techniques that often contradict a natural singing style. She has dug deep into split tone singing, pitchless singing and distorted singing. As an improviser, Sofia appears in many different constellations, but regularly in a duo with cellist Lene Grenager. As a composer, her main focus lies in the blending of improvisation and composition.

This concert was organized with support from the program ”Latvia – 100” of the State Culture Capital Foundation.

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