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Thirsty Ear Festival: Eviyan, UnTwelve, Fulcrum Point

Date: 20 July 2013, Venue: City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St., Chicago.

The Thirsty Ear Festival is a two hour live broadcast from City Winery of WFMT’s contemporary music show Relevant Tones hosted by composer Seth Boustead.Begun in 2012 with a sold out show at the Empty Bottle, Thirsty Ear exists to feature diverse and exciting new music by living composers and improvisors with a view toward showcasing the spectacular range of classical music being made today. This year’s lineup includes Evan Ziporyn’s Eviyan trio, Stephen Burns of the Fulcrum Point New Music Project and Aaron Krister Johnson’s exciting new microtonal ensemble UnTwelve. The event will take a place on Saturday, July 20 at 5:00 p.m.

EVIYAN is Iva Bittova, Gyan Riley & Evan Ziporyn – 3 unique composer/performers merging into a singular sound, an intimate, acoustic blend of world roots, post-minimalism, jazz, rock, and cabaret. These eclectic, genre-crossing musicians, join forces to create a soundtrack for the 21st century global village – simple, organic and direct, a music of intensity and lyricism, earthy impact and instrumental virtuosity.

EVIYAN’s musical roots are the lifetime experiences of its three members, each having traveled the globe for decades, collaborating with master musicians on every continent, forging their own paths, finding kindred spirit and inspiration. Legendary vocalist/violinist Iva Bittova draws on the sounds of her native Moravia, and her lineage in the rich traditions of Slovakia and the Roma people. Her captivating and unforgettable vocal palette, ever expanding, merges these age-old practices with an urban, avant-garde sensibility.

Clarinetist Evan Ziporyn has toured the globe for over 30 years in search of new musical possibilities, studying with Balinese gamelan masters and collaborating with astonishing musicians from around the world including India, China, and Senegal. His 25-year involvement with New York’s Bang on a Can brought him into close collaboration with many of the world’s most cutting edge musicians and composers.

Guitarist Gyan Riley brings the virtuosity of two venerable traditions – western classical guitar and the rigors of Hindustani music – together with the harmonic deftness of jazz and the grit of rock-and-roll.

The mission of the Fulcrum Point New Music Project is to be a Chicago leader of diverse new music; presenting multi-media performances, generating educational programs, as well as commissioning and recording innovative works.

In 1998, acclaimed musician, conductor, and music
educator Stephen Burns was invited by Performing Arts Chicago to create a series of innovative new music programs. From that auspicious beginning Fulcrum Point was created and has grown into a critically acclaimed ensemble performing contemporary classical music in a variety of venues in the Chicago area.

In the past seven seasons Fulcrum Point has presented more than 100 performances with settings as diverse as the Field Museum, Old St. Pat’s, the National Museum of Mexican Art, Ravinia Festival, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, where the orchestra performs a series of concerts each season.

The dimension of pitch in music (how high or low a certain musical sound is) remains largely tied to a standardized set of 12 notes. This is akin to a painter being stuck with only 12 standard colors.

UnTwelve is dedicated to exploring the current and historical frontiers of music beyond that 12-note tuning system. Our mission and vision is to commission and perform musical works which display the excitement and beauty of this frontier to both audiences and musicians.
In addition, we seek to set up musical education programs that highlight the wide-open expressive possibilities of such systems, and to promote and foster their usage by the current and next generation of musicians and composers.