Recorded at SUNY Purchase Recital Hall, April 2016
Recorded, Mixed, and Mastered by Adam Abeshouse
Design: Brigid Cowdrey
Released on innova Recordings
Innova Director: Philip Blackburn
Operations Director: Chris Campbell
Publicist: Steve McPherson
Innova is supported by an endowment from the McKnight Foundation.
℗ © Sophia Subbayya Vastek, 2017
All Rights Reserved.
Composer/pianist Michael Harrison has been called “an American Maverick” by Philip Glass. The New York Times wrote of his recent collaboration with Grammy-winning vocal arts project Roomful of Teeth, "Harrison's 'Just Constellations'… proved particularly arresting, a celestial soundscape of gorgeous harmonies… the notes rang out like a jubilantly microtonal choir of bells."
Harrison has collaborated or performed with filmmaker Bill Morrison, cellist Maya Beiser, Kronos Quartet, JACK Quartet, Del Sol Quartet, Stuttgart Ballet, Contemporaneous, and his mentors, composers La Monte Young and Terry Riley. Recent commissions include New Music USA for a collaborative recording with Indian vocalist Mashkoor Ali Khan, Roomful of Teeth, violinist Mari Kimura, cellist Clarice Jensen, Young People’s Chorus of New York City, and percussionist Payton MacDonald.
His music has been performed at BAM Next Wave Festival, the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Louvre, Centre Pompidou, MASS MoCA, Park Avenue Armory, Spoleto Festival USA, the United Nations, Ojai Music Festival, Bang on a Can marathon, National Sawdust, Other Minds, Klavier Festival Ruhr, Quattro Pianoforti in Rome, American Academy in Rome, Strings of Autumn in Prague, Havana Contemporary Music Festival, Sundance and other film festivals throughout the world.
Harrison’s Harmonic Constellations (New World Records, 2016), the title track for Mari Kimura’s new CD, is scored for violin with 13 pre-recorded violin tracks and sine tones. Time Loops(Cantaloupe Music), his CD with Maya Beiser, was selected as one of NPR’s Top 10 Classical Albums of 2012. Revelation: Music in Pure Intonation (Cantaloupe Music), his 75-minute work for just intonation piano,was chosen by The New York Times, Boston Globe and Time Out New York as one of the Best Classical Recordings of 2007. Critic Tim Page wrote: Michael Harrison's ‘Revelation: Music in Pure Intonation’ is probably the most brilliant and original extended composition for solo piano since the early works of Frederic Rzewski three decades ago. Upcoming recordings include Radians Phase II for Third Sound on Innova Recordings, and Cello Constellations for Clarice Jensen on Sono Luminus. His works have also been released on New Albion Records, Important Records, and Fortuna Records.
As La Monte Young’s composition and tuning assistant in the 1980’s Harrison executed the specialized tunings and scores for Young's 6½-hour work, The Well-Tuned Piano, eventually becoming the only other person to perform this monumental work. Later Harrison created the “harmonic piano,” an extensively modified grand piano able to play 24 notes per octave. Along with Young and Riley, Harrison was a disciple of master Indian vocalist Pandit Pran Nath from 1979 to 1996. Since 1999 he has been a disciple of Mashkoor Ali Khan and the co-founder and president of the American Academy of Indian Classical Music. Harrison earned his M.M. in composition at the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Reiko Fueting, and his B.M. in composition at the University of Oregon where he later received the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award. Harrison has also been on faculty at the Rhode Island School of Design, Manhattan School of Music’s Contemporary Performance Program, and Bang on a Can Summer Institute.
Recent awards include the American Composers Forum Delegation to Cuba, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Classical Recording Foundation Award, and IBLA Foundation Grand Prize. Harrison has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, where he serves on the Fellows Executive Committee, the American Academy in Rome, MASS MoCA, Yaddo, Bogliasco Foundation, Millay Colony for the Arts, Djerassi Artists Residency, Ucross Foundation, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Atlantic Music Festival.
Nitin Mitta is one of the most accomplished and distinctive tabla players of his generation, with a reputation for technical virtuosity, spontaneity, clarity of tone, and sensitivity to melodic nuances.
Apart from being a dynamic soloist, he is a highly sought after accompanist who has performed with some of India’s most celebrated Hindustani classical musicians, including Pandit Jasraj, Dr. Prabha Atre, Pandits Rajan and Sajan Mishra, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, and Ustad Shahid Parvez, as well as many Carnatic musicians, such as Lalgudi G.J.R Krishnan and Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi.
Nitin has also made a mark as a versatile collaborator in other spheres. He recently joined forces with 2010 Grammy Nominee Pianist Vijay Iyer and electric guitarist R. Prasanna to produce a studio album titled Tirtha that blends elements of contemporary jazz with the North and South Indian traditional ragas and compositions. Another collaboration with R. Prasanna can be heard on the soundtrack of the Oscar-winning documentary Smile Pinky. He has also performed and toured with singer and Juno Award nominee Kiran Ahluwalia.
Born in Hyderabad in 1975, Nitin received his early training in Hyderabad from Pandit G. Satyanarayana. During his studies he won many accolades, including first prize in the All India Competition held in Calcutta. To expand his repertoire of tabla compositions, he sought the guidance of Pandit Arvind Mulgaonkar of Mumbai, one of the most highly respected mentors of his generation. Both of Nitin’s gurus are disciples of the late Ustad Amir Hussain Khan Saheb, legendary doyen of the Farukhabad Gharana.
After moving to the United States in 2002, Nitin received a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on Arts. He was a member of the faculty at the Learn Quest Academy of Music in Waltham, MA. He maintains a busy schedule of performances and tabla workshops, traveling throughout the U.S, Europe, Canada and India. He has performed at several prominent venues including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Weill recital Hall/Carnegie Hall, the UCLA Royce Hall, the Indian consulate in New York, the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C, the Music Academy in Chennai, and the Habitat Centre in New Delhi.
Megan Schubert, soprano, has performed music by Stockhausen for an audience under umbrellas in a torrential downpour for Make Music New York; world premieres at Carnegie Hall; with robots while locked inside a Van de Graaff Generator at Boston’s Museum of Science; on a bike flying by the audience in an installation piece at McCarren Park Pool, Brooklyn; in a giant potato sack while video was projected onto her frontside at Webster Hall; for inmates at a maximum security prison in Ossining, NY; with puppets at E 4th Street Fab! Fest; for Elliot Carter at a celebration of his 100th birthday; shared the stage on multiple occasions with such luminaries as Meredith Monk, Bang On a Can, and with many ensembles championing art music and experimental jazz of today.
In recent years, Schubert sang in the premieres of large works by Sasha Zamler-Carhart, Robert Ashley, Luigi Nono (with Ekmeles), Georges Aperghis, Bernard Rands, James Ilgenfritz, Sonia Megías, Jenny O. Johnson, Nick Hallett, and Kitty Brazelton; a set of premieres at Symphony Space produced by Inhyun Kim's Ear to Mind; and in new productions of operas by Denman Maroney and Jason Cady. In the past season, she performed music with/by Nate Wooley for Anna Sperber's The Superseded Third; as soloist/musical accompaniment of Wally Cardona and Jennifer Lacy's The Set Up with master of classical Cambodian dance, Proeung Chhieng and later in The Setup with Indonesian master performer I Nyoman Catra with music by Jonathan Bepler for River to River Festival; stepped in to perform an evil videogame character in Jonathan Mann’s Mario Opera; in Cally Spooner's And You Were Wonderful, On Stage; solo sets including her own music and works of Babbitt, Coltrane, Berio, Matt Fagen, Allen Shawn, Tom Lehrer, Hayes Biggs and Harold Meltzer at the Resonant Bodies Festival 2013 and 2014; a new work by Kristen Volness with Hotel Elefant at Roulette; and workshops of new operas composed by Guy Barash and Christian Frederickson at La Mama E.T.C. Schubert played small roles and sung for the soundtrack of the new Matthew Barney/Jonathan Bepler film, River of Fundament. She performed in the Bessie Award-winning Within Between by John Jasperse & Jonathan Bepler, and recently opened Jazztopad in Poland premiering Nate Wooley's Psalms from Hell.
Recent projects include Judd Greenstein's & Tracy K. Smith's Moses/Jacobs opera, shows at The Stone with EIO, James Ilgenfritz, and Nate Wooley, performances of The Set Up: Proeung Chhieng in Dijon, France, and workshops and performances of Kitty Brazelton's opera, The Art of Memory. Currently performing Tino Sehgal's "This You" in City Hall Park June 28-September 29, 2016. Canadian premiere of David Lang's "death speaks" September 9th as part of the Honens Festival in Calgary, AB. Guest performer on Sophia Subbayya Vastek's debut album (to be released later this year) singing John Cage's "She Is Asleep".
She assists Moog synthesizer pioneer, composer, conductor and pianist Gershon Kingsley and opera director Rhoda Levine, and holds degrees from Bennington College and Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Lucy Shelton. She co-founded the Avant Music Festival and co-curated years 2010-2015. She currently studies opera with tenor/actor Anthony Laciura (Boardwalk Empire, MET opera).