Iannis Xenakis: “…I think that the music that I write is not important for most of the people. It is like an island. …maybe after my death [people] will be more interested in what I have done during my life. But that is not a problem because I cannot do anything else. I am writing music…”
Nisi was composed for hornist Adam Unsworth, motivated by his highly personal approach to the horn. It is dedicated to composer Iannis Xenakis to commemorate his 90th birthday (May 29th, 2012), inspired by Xenakis’s singular spirit, his totally unique sonic palette, and the uncompromisingness of his ideas. It’s materials are drawn from several of Xenakis’s works, notably Eonta (1963-64), Anaktoria (1969), and N’Shima (1975)
Nearly all of the electronic sounds of for Nisi are drawn from Unsworth’s own instrument(s)–recorded together at Cornell University in 2011 and 2012–with the exception of several “vocal” sounds derived from the sung text, “in vanum laboraverunt” (“labor in vain”) from Claudio Monteverdi’s Nisi Dominus (from Venetian Vespers, 1610) that appear in the last coda.
Kevin Ernste is a composer, performer, and teacher of composition and electronic music at Cornell University where he is Director of the Cornell Electroacoustic Music Center. He was the Acting Director and lecturer at the Eastman Computer Music Center and Co-director of the ImageMovementSound festival.
His recent music includes Palimpsest for the JACK Quartet–the result of a 2011 Fromm Foundation Commission, Nisi [nee-see] (“Island” in Greek) for hornist Adam Unsworth released on Equilibrium Records “Snapshots” (CD111), Numina for Brooklyn-based Janus Trio (flute, viola, harp) presented recently at the Spark Festival in MN, Seiend for brass quintet premiered by Ensemble Paris Lodron (Salzburg, Austria, Roses Don’t Need Perfume for guitarist Kenneth Meyer (gtr. and electronic sounds, 2009) recently presented by Dr. Meyer on his 2010 Hungary/Romania tour, a piece for saxophone and electronics called To Be Neither Proud Nor Ashamed (recently released on Innova Records), and Birches for viola with electronic sounds for John Graham performed on Mr. Graham’s recent China tour (Beijing, Wuhan, Xiamen, Hong Kong) as well as at the Aspen Summer Music Festival. Mr, Graham presented Birches again in August 2011 at the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC) in Huddersfield, UK and again in 2012 at CCRMA for the Linux Audio Conference.