Pianists Hadley McCarroll and Janis Mercer celebrate 100 years of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” while exploring connections in the music of Sever Tipei (“Lament”), Anthony Braxton (“Composition #5”), Peter Eötvos (Himmelklavier/
Kyle Bruckmann and James Fei — two dedicated practitioners of eccentric distended reed technique entwine single lines, re-purposing overlapping electronic musical tendencies, into a thicket of psychoacoustic intrigue.
Pianist Hadley McCarroll has been hailed for her “…lively and exhilarating…” pianism (San Francisco Classical Voice). A well-known collaborative and solo pianist who performs not only throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, but throughout the United States and internationally with the Royal Danish Opera, San Francisco Opera, San Diego Opera, Utah Festival Opera, American Conservatory Theater, and the Chicago Lyric Opera Center for American Artists. She is currently working with Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet; she will travel with the company to Paris, Chicago and New York this year to perform King’s new work “Constellation”. Hadley has also appeared on the Festival del Sole in Napa Valley. Equally at home as a soloist, her recitals feature thoughtful repertoire that centers around the human condition. Recent highlights of the past season include performances of “Sonatas and Interludes” by John Cage at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; she also performed recitals of Beethoven, Ligeti, Liszt and Schumann at Old First Concerts. Hadley is the founding pianist of the Mirage Ensemble, a soprano-clarinet-piano trio now in its 18th season. Since 2006 she has performed with cellist Monica Scott as the duo martha & monica; they recorded an album at Skywalker Ranch, and have received multiple grants and honors.
Janis Mercer is an American pianist/composer living in San Francisco. She has performed solo piano concerts of new music throughout the United States. Her performance of Paul Rudy’s Church Keys appears on the New Music Circle’s Season Highlights Volume I: 2002-04 CD. Her recording of Brian Belét’s Four Proportional Preludes appears on SCI’s Chamber Works CD, available on Capstone Records. Her most recent chamber piece, Beloveds, is featured on einklang records. Her percussion solo, Air is published by Media Press. Daniel Adams featured the composition in his paper on drum set works, published in the American National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors Journal, Spring, 2004 No. 3 and Kevin A. Nichols features the work in his dissertation on percussion music. She performed Anthony Braxton’s solo piano music in California, Illinois, and New York through lectures at colleges and in public concerts. She has a strong interest in the music of the Second Viennese School but also performs living composers and has commissioned solo works. Her compositions have been for single instrument, chamber music and/or voice, and use serial techniques and structured improvisation, but now she is composing more electro-acoustic works. Some of her compositions feature social issues and leftist political views in their structuring.
Oakland, CA-based oboist and composer/performer Kyle Bruckmann’s work extends from a Western classical foundation into genre-bending gray areas encompassing free jazz, electronic music and post-punk rock. He is a member of acclaimed new music collective sfSound, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Eco Ensemble, and Quinteto Latino. He has worked with the San Francisco Symphony and most of the area¹s regional orchestras, while becoming firmly enmeshed in the vibrant local improvised music community. From 1996 until his westward relocation, he was a fixture in Chicago’s experimental music underground; long-term affiliations include the electro-acoustic duo EKG, the art-punk monstrosity Lozenge, and the Creative Music quintet Wrack.
James Fei (b. Taipei, Taiwan) moved to the US in 1992 to study electrical engineering. He has since been active as a composer and performer on saxophones and live electronics. Works by Fei have been performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble, MATA Micro Orchestra and Noord-Hollands Philharmonisch Orkest. Recordings can be found on Leo Records, Improvised Music from Japan, CRI, Krabbesholm and Organized Sound. Compositions for Fei’s own ensemble of four alto saxophones focus on physical processes of saliva, fatigue, reeds crippled by cuts and the threshold of audible sound production, while his sound installations and performance on live electronics often focus on feedback. Since 2006 Fei has taught at Mills College in Oakland, where he is Associate Professor of Electronic Arts.