RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi
November 8 & 9
Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm
The Guardian UK has called Vijay Iyer “one of the world’s most inventive new-generation jazz pianists.” His most recent honors include a MacArthur fellowship, a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, an unprecedented “quintuple crown” in the Down Beat International Critics Poll and a “quadruple crown” in the JazzTimes extended critics poll.
In his first visit to OZ, Iyer will offer RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi, his and filmmaker Prashant Bhargava’s response to Stravinsky’s famously chaotic work about springtime, Rite of Spring. International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) will perform a suite of music in live counterpoint with cinematic episodes compiled from footage of the Indian celebration of Holi.
Iyer’s score is a suite for winds, strings, two percussion players, two pianos and electronics. Bhargava’s film showcases the Indian spring rite, which brings thousands of devotees to the streets in a rhapsodic state of uninhibited, ecstatic freedom. Best known around the world for its ritual of splashing celebrants with colored powders, Holi is a journey of devotion for the supreme Hindu goddess Radha, a time when roles are reversed and anything is possible.
At OZ, Iyer, Miranda Cuckson, Michi Wiancko and members of ICE will perform a version of his Mutations I-X, a composition he scored for string quartet, piano, and electronics. A major piece built out of cells and fragments, it veers through many atmospheres, from moment to moment propulsive, enveloping, lyrical, luminescent, and strangely beautiful. Through thematic interactivity, the interweaving of acoustic and electronic sound-textures, and some decisive improvisational interventions in notated music, Vijay Iyer has created a multi-faceted suite whose very subject is change.