In The Press

Praise for the Taos Chamber Music Group!


"One of the great treasures of Taos" -The Taos News
"Big magic...silken ensemble playing"
-Albuquerque Journal
“A remarkable concert of juxtaposed styles”
-Horse Fly
“Depth, vitality and inventiveness”
-Spencer Beckwith, KUNM
   
PRESS RELEASE

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TCMG releases World Premiere of "Imaginary Companions" February 18, 2021!
 
Last spring, with six performances cancelled for the remainder of the Taos Chamber Music Group’s 27th season, TCMG Director and flutist Nancy Laupheimer knew she had to start reimaging new ways in which the group could continue to create and share music with their audiences. Out of that came the Taos Chamber Music Group COVID Commissioning Project in which TCMG musicians would be given the opportunity to make connections with composers to create music that reflected the times we have been living through.

The first of these commissions “Imaginary Companions” has been completed and is ready for its world premiere on Thursday, February 18, 5 p.m. as part of the Taos Center for the Arts "Where We Meet" series. The TCA is collaborating with TCMG to present “A Conversation with Pascal Le Boeuf and Taos Chamber Music Group,” a free Zoom event that features the world premiere performed by Laupheimer and recorded in TCA’s auditorium, as well as a live conversation between her and Le Boeuf. 

Le Boeuf, whose music has been described as "hyper-fluent" by the New York Times, is not only an award-winning composer but a Grammy-nominated jazz pianist, Doctoral Candidate in Music Composition at Princeton University, and electronic artist whose works range from “modern improvised music to cross-breeding classical with production-based technology.”

Laupheimer learned about Le Boeuf through a mutual friend and colleague, and played his piece “Vicodin” as part of the first drive-in concert in the backlot of the Taos Community Auditorium this past summer. She loved the piece and wanted more, which hatched the idea of Le Boeuf writing something new for her.

Their friendship and collaboration grew through Zoom and email exchanges, out of which developed concepts for a work that reflected our altered reality since the pandemic began. Themes of interiority, new connections, and the melting and merging of time and experiences in unprecedented ways informed the seeds for the composition. Le Boeuf set out to explore our “shared personal/internal worlds and how they overlap, and the human tendency to project parts of ourselves into our environments (like kids playing with dolls, or imaginary friends, or making art) so we can feel like we are interacting with others even when we're alone.”

The resulting 8 minute work for flute and backing track is a “concerto for solo flute accompanied by an imaginary orchestra composed of a multitude of layered strings recorded in remote collaboration with cellist Zan Berry,” writes Le Boeuf in the preface to the piece. “This music is meant to provide listeners and remote performers like Nancy and Zan with a sound environment to explore their inner worlds, but with company from a world that we've imagined together through this music.”

Just as with live chamber music the flutist is required to develop a sensitivity to the recorded track and learn how to fit with it without having a notated score. “There will be subtle phrasing adjustments over the course of the performance in order to merge with the backing track sympathetically,” continues Le Boeuf. For Laupheimer preparing the composition has opened up a new world of “Imaginary Companions,” and she looks forward to the day when it can be part of a live TCMG program.

To sign up for the free event, supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, please visit www.tcataos.org/calendar.

Many thanks to the supporters of the Taos Chamber Music Group without whom TCMG's COVID Commissioning Project would not have happened. Because of the many pressing needs during the pandemic, TCMG's Board decided last spring not to send out our annual fundraising appeal. Nevertheless, it has been heartening to see how many, through their unsolicited generosity, have shown the vital importance of music in our lives.


 

 

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