Mari Kimura: String Theater
One night only — Vilcek Foundation hosts Mari Kimura
Virtuoso violinist and composer to premiere new work and groundbreaking bowing technique
New York, March 22, 2011 — On May 20, violinist Mari Kimura, whose playing the New York Times has called “chilling,” “gripping,” “charming,” “a virtuoso playing at the edge,” will take the stage at the Bohemian National Hall to showcase her talent as an interpreter of classical music, a performer/composer, and innovator in digital technology for musical expression. In addition to performing a short movement of Johann Sebastian Bach, Ms. Kimura will premiere new compositions, written especially for this concert, and demonstrate her revolutionary extended-bowing technique, Subharmonics.
On one of her new compositions—“Duet x2” for violin, cello and interactive computer—Ms. Kimura will be accompanied by Grammy Award-nominated cellist Dave Eggar. Wearing custom-fit sensor gloves, designed by Mark Salinas, the duo will implement a new technology, developed by the Realtime Musical Interaction Team at the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in Paris, that tracks bowing motions, thus giving musical expression to the two bows as they interact. Another of Ms. Kimura’s premiere compositions, “JanMaricana for Subharmonics,” is dedicated to Jan and Marica Vilcek, founders of the Vilcek Foundation and hosts for this evening of contemporary musical artistry. This piece will utilize the Subharmonic Fifth, a never-before-performed method of Subharmonics, developed just this year by Ms. Kimura. In 1994, Ms. Kimura introduced the Subharmonic Octave to the public. This technique—called “revolutionary” by the New York Times—allows a violinist to play one full octave below the open G, traditionally the lowest note on the violin, without changing the instrument’s tuning.
Rick Kinsel, Executive Director of the Vilcek Foundation, said, “It’s a privilege to be able to present an artist of the caliber of Mari Kimura, whose exploration and mapping of the world below G has boldly redefined our understanding of the resources of the violin, further expanding the horizons of classical and electronic music at a time when many critics were decrying that the end was in sight for both."
The concert will also feature another work by Ms. Kimura, “Voyage Apollonian,” in which she will again use interactive bowing, in this case to synchronize with an animation created by Ken Perlin, professor in the Department of Computer Science at New York University and winner of an Academy Award for Technical Achievement for his noise and turbulence techniques, widely used in films and television.
Born in Tokyo, Japan, Ms. Kimura is currently a professor at the Julliard School in New York City. A recipient of the 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition, she was also invited as a 2010 Composer in Residence at IRCAM. (For more information about Ms. Kimura and her work, visit her website at www.marikimura.com.)