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Composition Commission issued to Stefano Gervasoni

loadbang, New York, US

Stefano Gervasoni is planning on writing a 15 to 20 minutes song cycle based on poems by Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979). The poets poetic corpus consists of only 101 poems she decided publish along her life - but a vast corpus of uncollected, unfinished, or finished but not licensed poems exist. Bishop was struggling for perfection, a poem being an isle of serenity aimed for and quested after in the tension of the real world and in the intensity of life. This tension is what is appealing to Gervasoni: “For my piece I would like to deal with this matter, the duality - or, better, the complex and ambiguous intersection between serenity and tension, fluster and crystallinity. That is why, for instance, the voice will be split into two different registers - the countertenor and the baritone - deploying the unique potential of Jeffrey Gavett's instrument. The wide-ranging and coloristic capabilities of loadbang’s instruments will develop a double, sometimes conflicting, identity: one properly instrumental, the other physically connoted (sound and voicing effects, theatrical situations...). All this will serve to conjure a world of hoped-for, but ultimately unrealistic perfection.” The dual nature of the work proposed by Mr. Gervasoni is uniquely suited to loadbang. As an ensemble, they have always occupied the in-between, neither entirely instrumental nor entirely vocal, constrained to mostly low instruments but with unexpected high extensions in range, with a vocalist straddling countertenor and baritone registers. Loadbang’s baritone Jeffrey Gavett has extensive experience with Mr. Gervasoni’s music, having given the US premieres of several of his vocal works.

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