The Impossible Will Take a Little While

“The Impossible Will Take a Little While” is a song cycle for Mezzo-Soprano, three ensemble voices (Soprano, Tenor, Bass/Baritone), and a chamber orchestra comprised of traditional acoustic and electronic instruments by Eric Lemmon. The work will be written for Highline Chamber EnsembleKate Maroney, and three voices to be premiered in Fall 2015. The work is based on poetry from the collection of essays of the same title compiled and edited by Paul Rogat Loeb.

Text for the piece includes poetry from the likes of W.H. AudenMaya Angelou and Adrienne Rich. The full scope of the musical work encompasses a broad range of characters representing the poet’s intended context and their personal voices. In between sections of poetry there will be orchestral interludes that take inspiration from essays featured in the collection. The use of the text will vary, with some poems being performed as art song, and others as dramatic, spoken text. The goal of the work is to demonstrate the impact that ordinary people can achieve from small political acts. These acts mobilize and give hope to others, which is the ultimate tale of political power through democratic principles.

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What’s Goin’ On?

The project will consist of public workshops in the spring of 2015 that will be based at The Bloomingdale School of Music, where Eric is the ConEd Exploring the Metropolis Composer-In-Residence, and the world premiere performance at SubCulture.  The workshop will be later in the spring and feature an open rehearsal of the work in progress with the principal voices.  The capacity for this workshop will be about 50 members of the public.  Highline Chamber Ensemble’s concerts typically have 175-200 audience members in attendance.

Rehearsals will take place in the summer of 2015, consisting initially of rehearsals with just the vocalists and a piano reduction, and then later on towards the concert date, with Highline Chamber.  This concert will be open to the public ($25 and $20 for students, veterans and seniors) and would be a lynchpin of Highline’s 2015-16 season.

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The Collaborators

Highline Chamber Ensemble

Founded in New York City by musicians of many professions, the Highline Chamber Ensemble revamps the perception of stuffy concertizing by emphasizing the audience experience. Highline is a conductorless string ensemble comprised of classically-trained musicians; the group performs in spaces across New York City that include lofts, studios, and bars.

Highline’s ticketed events showcase classical music as well as original arrangements of popular non-classical songs.  The end result of Highline’s efforts is a convivial atmosphere for music lovers of all genres to mingle, drink, and –  most importantly – enjoy the music! With a moniker inspired by Chelsea’s High Line Park in NYC, the Highline Chamber Ensemble aims to represent the merging of cultural preservation with contemporary society.

Kate Maroney

Versatile Mezzo-soprano Kate Maroney is recognized for her rich and expressive tone, clear articulation, and intelligent musicianship and for the past several seasons was featured touring the world in over 75 performances of Einstein on the Beach with the Philip Glass Ensemble.

In the new music realm, Kate debuted Damon Albarn’s Monkey: Journey to the West at the David Koch Theatre during the Lincoln Center Festival in 2013, with Ensemble Signal under Brad Lubman. She premiered Missy Mazzoli’s Song From The Uproar at The Kitchen in 2012 and is heard on the premiere cast recording on New Amsterdam Records with the Now Ensemble under Stephen Osgood. Kate has also recorded songs by James Adler, Reflections upon a September morn, for Albany Records. Upcoming soloist engagements include Handel’s Israel in Egypt with Princeton Pro Musica and Rachmaninoff’s Vespers with Monmouth Civic Chorus, a premiere of Rilke Songs by Michael Rose with the Brooklyn Art Song Society, a debut appearance with the new music vocal ensemble Ekmeles at the MATA Festival, and new premieres by Hannah Lash and Ted Hearne with the Yale Choral Artists.

Eric Lemmon

The composer of the project, Eric Lemmon, is an original member and violist of the Highline Chamber Ensemble and knows the ensemble’s character intimately. His music has been described as using “a broad range of extended techniques and complex rhythms to create [a] beautifully ethereal nebulousness of sound”.  He received his Bachelors in Music at New York University’s Music and Performing Arts Program, a Masters in Viola Performance from the Mannes Conservatory and an Artist Diploma from University of Miami’s Frost School of Music where he was awarded a Mancini Fellowship.  He is the founder and editor of the music criticism and review site OpenSourceMusic.org, founder of composer’s collective Circles and Lines and an artistic advisor to Nodes Performing Arts.

His works have appeared in venues ranging from underground bars (le) Poisson Rouge and SubCulture to the FIGMENT arts festival on Governor’s Island. They have been reviewed by the New York Times and featured on WQXR’s Q2.  Eric has been awarded NYU’s Creative Collaboration Grant, Mannes’ Peter M. Gross Grant, MetLife’s Creative Connections Grant and ConEd’s Exploring the Metropolis Residency.  Recent commissions include works for Jacqueline LeClaire and the International Double Reed Society, and Cadillac Moon Ensemble.