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In this 90-minute work, the Sanctuary of St. James by the Sea Episcopal Church in La Jolla will be transformed into a large-scale video and sound installation complete with projection surfaces and flexibility for our patrons to come and go as they please. While the concept is centered around a zen-like simplicity, the production of such a dramatic staging in a large space is not.

"Consisting of over 1100 measures, it is also the longest [of his piano works]. There is no designated tempo; performances and recordings can vary in duration from seventy to over ninety minutes. Only a few notes, generated from a sparse, two-bar musical cell, is the basis for all the ensuing material. This extreme economy does not betray a dry or deliberately challenging work. It is not especially demanding music, but rather it is inventive, beautiful, and never boring....Feldman's Triadic Memories is simplicity itself, taking a tiny amount of material and laying it out in repetitions of varying lengths so that the memory of what happened before the moment being heard is consistently erased. This idea of not engaging memory, negating it, had already been a preoccupation of Feldman's for many years. Triadic Memories is perhaps his most successful depiction of this idea. This aesthetic is one that the composer picked up from the abstract expressionist painters in New York in the 1950s, particularly from Montreal-born Philip Guston. The idea was to help the viewer find an inner world, outside of time or space. Laying out this goal in musical terms was Feldman's intention for many decades." - John Keillor


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Brendan Nguyen is a pianist who displays uncommon versatility as a performer, artist and thinker. His bold programming style, infusion of technology and extravagantly produced concert concepts aim to explore new musical territory while casting a contemporary eye on the established canon. Presently, he is in close collaboration with mezzo-soprano Leslie Leytham and video artist Anna Chiaretta Lavatelli on a televised, large-scale multi-media show called Vanity Run Amok. He will also begin a tour with soprano Bonnie Lander with the hour-long song HARAWI by Olivier Messiaen.

Brendan has performed at prestigious concert halls and concert series including the REDCAT Theater at the Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Zipper Hall, the Monday Evening Concert series, Merkin Hall and The Stone in New York. He is also a former member of the highly acclaimed Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, Echoi, and Palimpsest ensembles, and has recorded with Carrier Records and Populist Records. Brendan’s most recent project The Seven Tragedies of Space Travel was conceived as a multi-space, multi-media, opera for solo pianist that mixes western performance tradition with technology, food, and aliens who speak Vietnamese.

He has worked closely and in workshops with composers such as George Crumb, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, and Lewis Nielson. Brendan’s enthusiasm for contemporary music has lead to a number of premieres and commissions, including works by Wojtek Blecharz, Aaron Helgeson, Nicholas Deyoe, Clint McCallum, Josiah Oberholtzer, and by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Roger Reynolds. He has also performed with ICE violinist David Bowlin, pianist Aleck Karis, and percussionist Steven Schick.

Brendan performed at the Bowdoin International Music Festival in Maine as a recipient of a Performer’s Associate Fellowship. There, he was featured both as soloist and chamber musician on the Upbeat! Concert Series and the Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music alongside esteemed faculty and guest artists. Brendan has also made appearances at the Shandelee International Music Festival in New York as two-time recipient of the C.J. Huang Foundation Scholarship and the Jim Ricketts Foundation Scholarship. In 2004, he was invited to perform again at Shandelee and honored as one of the most outstanding alumni since the festival’s foundation.

A graduate of the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music in Ohio (BM, 2005) and UC San Diego (MM, 2010/DMA, 2015), Brendan has also studied at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam in the Netherlands with Jan Wijn. His teachers also include Aleck Karis (UC San Diego), Alvin Chow (Oberlin Conservatory), Yong Hi Moon (Peabody Institute of Music), and the late Earl Wild. He has also studied in master classes with Yoheved Kaplinksy (Juilliard), Martin Canin (Juilliard), Julian Martin (Juilliard), and Craig Sheppard (U of WA). He currently teaches private piano to undergraduate majors and a keyboard skills class at UC San Diego.


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Jason Ponce is an award-winning intermedia artist, composer, and interactive arts researcher. He brings elements of design, engineering, and scientific inquiry to his creative work, which ranges from music, interactive sound and video installation, real-time sound and video processing, multi-channel audio spatialization, instrument-building, and performance.

Jason has been active in the experimental music scenes in NYC, Berlin, Los Angeles, and San Diego, and has worked closely with many prominent figures in contemporary art and music, including multiple Pulitzer Prize, Macarthur Award, and Grammy Award recipients. Past and recent collaborators include John Luther Adams, Roger Reynolds, Susan Narucki, Nam June Paik (estate), Terry Allen, Pauline Oliveros, Miller Puckette, and George Lewis.

His creative work has been presented throughout the United States and Europe, and during artist residencies at: the Studio for Electro-Instrumental Music (Netherlands), Studio für elektroakustische Musik (Bauhaus Universität, Germany), KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin), Issue Project Room (NYC), the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (Berkeley), Stanford University, and High Concept Laboratories (Chicago).

Jason is also founder and director of interactive design org Eidetic, which develops custom hardware and software tools for electroacoustic performance, interactive installation, and realtime multimedia for stage and theater.

http://emptyset.org