Saturday April 15, 2017
EARL MANEEIN’S HEAVY METAL VIOLIN CONCERTO
TO BE PREMIERED BY RACHEL BARTON PINE AND
THE PHOENIX SYMPHONY
On April 21 and 22, Rachel Barton Pine and The Phoenix Symphony, conducted by Tito Muñoz, will premiere DEPENDENT ARISING, a new violin concerto by New York City based composer and violinist Earl Maneein. The piece - which in part is influenced by heavy metal - was commissioned by Tito Muñoz, a great honor to Maneein. "I'm completely blown away and moved by the opportunity to bring metal music and culture into modern western art music as a viable influence,” says Maneein. The performances will take place at Symphony Hall in Phoenix, AZ on Friday, April 21, 2017 at 11 am and 7:30 pm, and on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 7:30 pm.
Maneein explains in his program notes that the Violin Concerto in C minor Op. 1 “Dependent Arising” (Sanskrit: प्रतीत्यसमुत्पाद), is intended to be a musical statement on the Buddhist concept that all things arise in dependence upon other things. He adds, “I am honored as a young American composer to contribute to The Phoenix Symphony and Music Director Tito Munoz's commitment to new classical works. The tools I used to write this concerto are based on the three main threads interwoven throughout my whole life- the world of extreme music (encompassing the subgenres of Thrash, Death and Black Metal, Grindcore, Mathcore and Hardcore Punk), the Western Classical tradition, and my practice as a Buddhist.”
The result is a different type of orchestral soundscape. In “Dependent Arising” the soloist, acclaimed violinist Rachel Barton Pine, aggressively pushes her own voice over the orchestra, a departure from the traditional practice of bringing the orchestra to a soft dynamic so that the soloist may be heard.
The first movement, subtitled “Grasping at the Self,” explores the fruitlessness of ambition, dreams and wishes tied to desire. The orchestral section picks up the theme using the language of metal riffs as a way to communicate aggression and fear, tools that are used interchangeably between the soloist and the orchestra throughout first the movement, and then the entire concerto.
The second movement subtitled “The crows knew of your grief. They will carry him home,” contemplates how building an understanding of the ephemeral nature of our lives opens us up to a new appreciation of life in the present. The title recalls the early Buddhist traditions in which a monk visualizes a crow feasting on his own body while in meditation with bodies decomposing in plain air at a graveyard.
The third movement’s subtitle, “Gaté, Gaté Paragaté Parasangaté, Bodhi Svaha” is the entirety of the Heart Sutra, one of the most famous sutras in Mahayana Buddhism. Loosely translated, it means “Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone well beyond, Enlightenment that may be realized.” Maneein explains, “This sutra is my hope and wish for all sentient beings as well as myself. This movement is meant to embody wrath as a transformational tool- the fierce, diamond hard cutting through ignorance, defilement and unskillful actions into Pure Wisdom and compassion.”
About the Artists:
International classical violinist Rachel Barton Pine is heralded as a leading interpreter of the great classical masterworks. She has appeared as soloist with many of the world’s most prestigious ensembles, including the Chicago Symphony; the Philadelphia Orchestra; the Royal Philharmonic; and the Netherlands Radio Kamer Filharmonie. She has worked with such renowned conductors as Charles Dutoit, Zubin Mehta, Erich Leinsdorf, Neeme Järvi and Marin Alsop. Her festival appearances include Marlboro, Wolf Trap, Vail, Ravinia, Davos and Salzburg.
Pine developed an appreciation for rock as a pre-teen, listening to it to unwind after hours of practicing classical. Rock is a theme that continues to weave throughout her traditional classical career. In May 2017 Avie Records releases Pine’s 35th album, Bel Canto Paganini, which includes her performance of the 24 Caprices as well as other unaccompanied works by Nicolò Paganini, the 18th and 19th century virtuoso considered by many to be the world’s first rock star.
Pine’s discography on the Avie, Cedille, Warner Classics, Hänssler Classics, Naxos and Dorian labels includes the Billboard classical chart-topping albums Testament: Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin by Johann Sebastian Bach (2016, Avie: AV2360) and Violin Lullabies (2013, Cedille), as well as Mozart: Complete Violin Concertos & Sinfonia Concertante K364 (2015, Avie: AV2317) with Sir Neville Marriner and The Academy of St Martin in the Fields (No.3 on the Billboard classical chart) and Brahms and Joachim Violin Concertos with Carlos Kalmar and the Chicago Symphony.
Her Rachel Barton Pine Foundation assists young artists through its Instrument Loan Program and Grants for Education and Career. It supports musicians in developing countries through Global HeartStrings and is releasing a curricular series, Music by Black Composers, in collaboration with the University of Michigan.
Pine plays the ‘ex-Bazzini, ex-Soldat’ Joseph Guarnerius del Gesù (Cremona, 1742), on generous lifetime loan from her patron.
Earl Maneein was born and raised in Queens, NYC and began studying classical violin at age four. He received a Bachelor of Music Degree from Queens College and a Master of Music Degree from the Mannes College of Music in New York City, where he studied with Daniel Phillips of the Orion String Quartet. In addition to his composing talents, Earl is a versatile violinist, comfortable in many styles ranging from classical to bluegrass, jazz, rock, and the genre in which he has chosen to pursue his artistic voice in, extreme music (Hard Rock / Heavy Metal).
He has received commissions from The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, The Dance Theater of Harlem, The Francesca Harper Dance Company, and Zentripetal Duo. He has appeared live with Jay Z & Beyonce, Rihanna and Paul Weller among others. Televised appearances with Josh Groban and Florence & The Machine as well as recorded sessions with the likes of The Dillinger Escape Plan and Albert Hammond Jr. round out his pop-culture visibility.
Earl regularly composes for his new music/hardcore crossover string quartet SEVEN)SUNS, (sevensunsmusic.com) whose upcoming album, "For The Hearts Still Beating" will be released on Party Smasher Inc.