The International Contemporary Ensemble announces six composers chosen to be the first ICEcommons Artists-in-Residence: Helga Arias, Kate Gentile, Murat Çolak, Ylva Lund Bergner, Fernanda Navarro, and Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir. Represented by a diversity of backgrounds and musical styles, the cohort was selected by a panel of ICE musicians and outside experts who, over the course of six weeks, became familiar with more than 700 composers who submitted their creative work for consideration via a new “call for scores” on the ICEcommons web portal.
ICEcommons Artists-in-Residence will receive a paid commission, collaborative workshop opportunities, promotional support, and world premiere and repeat performances, as well as video and audio documentation throughout the entire creative process. The residency will include the support of ensemble musicians, rehearsal time, video and audio documentation, marketing support, and a paid commission all alongside performances of their pieces. Instead of creating a single concert with all six work, each work will be integrated into the Esnemble’s concert season. The residency program is a continuation of ICE’s 2010-2014 ICElab program, which developed new works with exciting emerging composers such as Tyshawn Sorey, Suzanne Farrin, and Anna Thorvaldsdottir, and giving promising talent a platform.
Co-Artistic Director and percussionist Ross Karre says, “When I first joined the ensemble in 2011, our ICElab program was well underway. Hundreds of composers submitted proposals and work samples to that process. It helped us to realize that a massive network of composers and their pieces was sitting idle in application submission systems. ICEcommons was born of the idea that this network should be liberated! Composers and performers can create new relationships when the process of applying to opportunities is collected in a free, public library of information about new works!
Eleven artists of the Ensemble collaborated to dig deeply into the thousands of works contained within ICEcommons. Dozens of incredible voices peaked the interest of these artists. It was difficult to choose! But we take comfort in the fact that ICEcommons preserves the works of those who weren’t selected this time so that we can find opportunities to explore their works in the future. ICEcommons has become a resource which is constantly explored by the artists and curators of ICE.”
About ICElab & ICEcommons
Launched in 2017, ICEcommons is the Ensemble's new tool for discovering composers and their works. It is free and open to everyone: a crowdsourced, searchable database of information about musical compositions. ICEcommons connects composers and performers to spark new collaborations, reducing obstacles like economic advantage and academic pedigree, which have historically disadvantaged many composers — especially those from groups underrepresented in classical music — from accessing opportunities to build their professional creative practice.
Discovering new composers and creating new work has been a part of the International Contemporary Ensemble DNA from the very beginning. What has evolved is the Ensemble’s method for discovering unheard voices of composition and sound art.
In 2010, the organization launched ICElab: an in-house commissioning program which refined a work-development process focused on collaboration. What was once an annual invitation to submit proposals for new works in ICElab from 2010 to 2014 is now a regular process of composers developing works side-by-side with Ensemble musicians. ICEcommons is a free and public portal, designed and launched by the Ensemble, which collects composer submissions into one database. While serving as the Ensemble’s primary method of discovering emerging and lesser-known talent, it also acts as a tool which counteracts the traditional barriers faced by composers underrepresented in the academically-biased contemporary musical elite.
Composers are invited (at any time) to add information about their works to ICEcommons, which is carefully examined on a regular basis by ensemble members. The result is a shift in programming wherein new works by undiscovered composers consistently populate programs on all of the Ensemble’s series around the world. Through ICEcommons, new artistic relationships are constantly forming: in person, online, and on the stage.
Born in Bilbao, Spain, Helga Arias Parra (1984) started her composition studies at the RCSM Victoria Eugenia of Granada. She moved to Italy thanks to a scholarship to study composition with Mario Garuti and Javier Torres Maldonado at the Conservatorio G. Verdi of Milan and then went to Parma to continue her studies in composition and computer music with Torres Maldonado. Between 2014 and 2016 she continued her education in Austria thanks to a full scholarship of the Spanish General Society for Authors and Publishers with Beat Furrer (Kuntsuniversität Graz) and Karlheinz Essl (Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien), obtaining both a Postgrad in Composition and in Computer Music. She has also received individual lessons from other composers such as Michael Jarrell, Kaija Saariaho, J.B. Barrière, Georg Friedrich Haas, Pierluigi Billone, Isabel Mundry, Mark André, Toshio Hosokawa, and Alberto Posadas among others. She has been awarded in the Città di Udine, RCSM Victoria Eugenia de Granada contest, shut up and listen! Electro-acoustic festival, Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik Competition 2014, the College of Spain in Paris - INAEM 2016, the 2nd Prize at the ACC International Composer's Competition in South Korea, and the 3rd prize at the Asia Pacific Saxophone Composition Competition. Her music has been performed by ensembles such as Ensemble Inercontemporain, Ensemble SurPlus, International Ensemble Modern Academy (IEMA), The Riot Ensemble, Vertixe Sonora, Nouvelle Ensemble Moderne, ECCE ensemble, Taller Sonoro, Sond'electric art ensemble, Ensemble Cepromusic, Ensemble Progress Berlin and others. In 2016, she represented the Association of Basque-Navarrese Composers (Musikagileak) at the ISCM World Music Days in Tongyeong (South Korea). She has recently completed a postgraduate course in Electroacoustic Composition at Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien with Professor Karlheinz Essl. Her music is published by Babel Scores.
Kate Gentile is a Brooklyn-based drummer and composer. In addition to her quartet with Jeremy Viner, Matt Mitchell and Adam Hopkins on her debut album Mannequins (June 2017, Skirl Records), other projects Kate is a part of include Snark Horse, in which she co-leads and shares compositional duties with pianist Matt Mitchell; Mitchell's projects Phalanx Ambassadors and A Pouting Grimace, Dustin Carlson's septet Air Ceremony, and Davy Lazar's trumpet/drums duo Pluto's Lawyer. Kate has also worked with Michael Attias, Tim Berne, Anthony Braxton, Cloud Becomes Your Hand, Marty Ehrlich, Michael Formanek, God Is My Co-Pilot, Helado Negro, Chris Speed, Anna Webber, and John Zorn.
Born and raised in Eskişehir, Murat Çolak is a composer and multimedia artist based in Manhattan. His work is immersive and luxe, it finds its home in the spirituality and poise of Turkish art music and in the hazy, hypnotic coils of dub techno and trance. Murat has collaborated extensively with some of contemporary music’s most prominent exponents, artists like Wet Ink, Ensemble Dal Niente, Distractfold, Ensemble Vertixe Sonora, Ensemble Surplus, Meitar Ensemble, and Scenatet. His work has been presented and supported by the BBC Radio 3, MATA Festival, New Music USA, Esther B. Kahn Foundation, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Akademie Schloss Solitude, ISCM World New Music Days, Frequency Series Festival Chicago, Avaloch Farms Music Institute and Festival of New American Music among others. Current projects include a shadowplay installation with percussionist/electronic performer Christian Smith and violinist Linda Jankowska and an audiovisual club anthem for cellists Colin Stokes and Konstantin Manaev. Murat holds a DMA in composition from Boston University and an MA from Istanbul Technical University’s Centre for Advanced Studies in Music (MIAM). He teaches music technology and theory at Montclair State University along with private composition lessons at the Kaufman Music Center, and he is a teaching artist with the New York Philharmonic’s VYC program.
Ylva Lund Bergner
Ylva Lund Bergner was born 1981 in Lund, a town in the south of Sweden, and began to study composition in 2001 at the Gotland School of Music Composition following years of piano studies. She has been studying composition for four years at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm with the teachers Pär Lindgren, William Brunson, Jesper Nordin, Fredrik Hedelin, Orjan Sandred, Lars-Erik Rosell and Lars Ekström, as well as taking lessons with Fabio Cifariello Ciardi, Robert Pascal, and Michele Tadini. She has cooperated with many renowned ensembles like Klangforum Wien, the Pëarls Before Swïne, the Swedish and Danish Radio Choir, the Sinfonietta SAMI, Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, Curious Chamber Players, Neo, Dygong, Lydenskab, Trio Saum, Vollen United and Contemporànea, among others, and her music has been played in Iceland, Sweden, Spain, Denmark, Italy, Norway, Serbia, Australia, Montenegro, China, and USA. Ylva was the chairwoman in the organisation UNM (Young Nordic Music) from 2006-2010 and festival director for the festival “I SPEAK MUSIC” in Gothenburg 2009. Recently she got both a composition award and a 3-year work grant from the Danish Arts Council in Denmark. She was chosen in 2013 to present the short chamber opera Traces at Darmstadt in 2014. In 2018, she received the Järnåkerstipendiet prize.
Fernanda Aoki Navarro is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music, developing intermedia works, performance art and installations. She is interested in sound, in the idiosyncratic relationship between the corporeality of the performers and the physicality of their instruments, in the exploration between music and language, and in the transformational power that experimental music can exert on many issues, especially those related to feminism and social otherness.
Fernanda studied composition at Universidade de São Paulo, in Brazil, and completed her masters and PhD at University of California, Santa Cruz and San Diego, respectively. She doesn’t believe in the idea that a bio makes music more interesting. Fernanda doesn’t like to be reduced to her gender, doesn’t know how to samba, procrastinates to write program notes, doesn’t know how to react to compliments or critiques, goes to the cinema every week, drinks coffee every day.
Now based between Brooklyn and Reykjavík, composer Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir hails from the peripheries of Iceland. Within her works, Bergrún seeks to establish an internal logic from which the soundscapes emerge, often integrating visual and aural phenomena into an indivisible whole. Her music has been performed widely and by ensembles including the Oslo Philharmonic (NO), Nordic Affect (IS), Avanti! Chamber Ensemble (FI) and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra (IS), and has been featured at major music festivals such as ISCM’s World New Music Days, KLANG Festival, Ultima Festival, Dark Music Days, SPOR Festival, Tectonics Festival, Nordic Music Days and more. As a performer Bergrún has a diverse background, having been a touring and recording musician for Icelandic bands Sigur Rós and Björk, as well as performing experimental music in various constellations. She is a member of S.L.Á.T.U.R. (Society of Artistically Obtrusive Composers Around Reykjavík) and an alumni of Mills College, California where she studied with Zeena Parkins, Fred Frith, Pauline Oliveros, James Fei and John Bischoff, completing a M.A. in composition in 2017.
About the International Contemporary Ensemble
The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) is an artist collective that is transforming the way music is created and experienced. As performer, curator, and educator, ICE explores how new music intersects with communities across the world. The ensemble’s 35 members are featured as soloists, chamber musicians, commissioners, and collaborators with the foremost musical artists of our time. Works by emerging composers have anchored ICE’s programming since its founding in 2001, and the group’s recordings and digital platforms highlight the many voices that weave music’s present.
A recipient of the American Music Center’s Trailblazer Award and the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, ICE was also named the 2014 Musical America Ensemble of the Year. The group currently serves as artists-in-residence at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ Mostly Mozart Festival, and previously led a five-year residency at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. ICE was featured at the Ojai Music Festival from 2015 to 2017, and at recent festivals abroad such as gmem-CNCM-marseille and Vértice at Cultura UNAM, Mexico City. Other performance stages have included the Park Avenue Armory, The Stone, ice floes at Greenland’s Diskotek Sessions, and boats on the Amazon River.
New initiatives include OpenICE, made possible with lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which offers free concerts and related programming wherever ICE performs, and enables a working process with composers to unfold in public settings. DigitICE, a free online library of over 350 streaming videos, catalogues the ensemble’s performances. ICE's First Page program is a commissioning consortium that fosters close collaborations between performers, composers, and listeners as new music is developed. EntICE, a side-by-side education program, places ICE musicians within youth orchestras as they premiere new commissioned works together; inaugural EntICE partners include Youth Orchestra Los Angeles and The People's Music School in Chicago. Summer activities include Ensemble Evolution at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, in which young professionals perform with ICE and attend workshops on topics from interpretation to concert production. Yamaha Artist Services New York is the exclusive piano provider for ICE. Read more at International Contemporary Ensemble’s website.