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Mending Wall: First Reviews

PRISM Quartet’s Brilliant, Uncanny ‘Mending Wall’ Premieres at Roulette

“PRISM, together with Tony Arnold as soprano and O’Farrill as pianist, gave to the evening a fullness of sound, theatrics, and charisma that show how accessible and exciting new music can be when powerful artistic choices are made. Jorinde Keesmaat’s rich, playful, and uncanny production is ideal for our re-emergent performing arts: something authentically different for our authentically different era.” 

PRISM “performed with the zeal and puckishness of an improv troupe. The production deliberately showed the awkwardness of new music performance itself, and leaned into that awkwardness—doing what avant-garde performers so often wish to do but frequently fall short of: giving the audience a genuinely new experience that challenges their assumptions of what music and performance are.”

Berkshire Fine Arts
Prism at Roulette in Brooklyn, World Premiere is Luminescent
Prism is not only a superb saxophone ensemble. It ranks high in the chamber music world. Delivering unique and surprising programs in high style is their forte. Mending Wall was no exception. The quartet not only gave us stunning music. In matching grey wigs, they moved smoothly to rhythms which impelled them across a large flat floor area.

Arturo O’Farrill took to the stage to perform his wild offering on piano. He creates the impression of an annual gathering in San Diego on the Tijuana border where people sing, ‘fuck your wall.’ ... Dutch director Jorinde Keesmaat came on board for this ambitious project which combined moving florescent tubes, instrumentalists choreographed and speaking, and the remarkable Tony Arnold singing and speaking, as well as gathering rocks. 

Pueblito Viejo
Coming soon on XAS

Sneak peak of Pueblito Viejo cover art by fluxlabs, featuring a portion of Two Houses in Barranquilla, Colombia (1853) by Frederic Edwin Church.

PRISM Quartet’s next release on XAS is a recording of two works the Quartet has played since touring Latin America in 1995: the title track, Pueblito Viejo, by Colombian composer by Jose A. Morales and Paquetá by the Argentinian composer Roberto Saghini. Release date and more info coming soon!

New Videos

Heritage/Evolution Marathon
Reflections by Melissa Aldana (world premiere)
DiMenna Center, NYC | September 15, 2021

Melissa Aldana: “Reflections is about transformation, a personal meditation on the stages of growth I experienced, and saw the world experience, over the course of the pandemic. My isolation and stillness enabled me to observe, clearly and for the first time in many years, the progression of the seasons, changes in the color of leaves, how they would fall just to be reborn stronger and more beautiful. My personal journey has been similar, as I worked though feelings of sadness, confusion, frustration, serenity, happiness and slowly transformed into the person I am today. I also wanted to know how other artists were expressing their feelings about nature, love, sadness, nostalgia, life… So I revisited some of my favorite poems by Julio Cortazar and Pablo Neruda, poems that resonate deeply with me and provided inspiration for my composition.”
PRISM in the Parks with Terell Stafford and Melissa Aldana
Favor by Terell Stafford, arr. Jack Saint Clair
Penn Treaty Park, Philadelphia | September 14, 2021

Terell Stafford's jazz waltz, Favor, was newly arranged for PRISM, Aldana, and Stafford by Jack Saint Clair. JazzTimes describes the work as “like fine whiskey, mellow but with bite” and “just a touch of churchiness.” 

Welcoming New Board Members

PRISM Quartet, Inc.s board of directors is delighted to welcome three new members, each possessing a wealth of experience in the nonprofit, development, philanthropic, and/or financial sectors. Jeannine Webber is an accomplished clarinetist/saxophonist who serves as Vice President of JP Morgan Advisors. Lisa Miller is President of the Board of Directors for Intercultural Journeys and served formerly as Executive Director of Network for New Music; Mary Anne O’Meara serves a Clerk Trustee of the D’Olier Foundation and is a board member of Symphony in C. Were enormously grateful for their leadership and energy in moving PRISM forward.

Artistic Advisory Board

PRISM Quartet initiates its first-ever Artistic Advisory Board, enabling the ensembles co-artistic directors to engage with leading artists, composers, curators, and producers in developing new programmatic concepts, and identifying a diverse pool of prospective collaborators. All have longstanding ties to the Quartet, share PRISMs commitment to experimentation and boundary-crossing, and represent extraordinary standards of practice in their own creative work. 

The members of PRISM Quartets Artistic Advisory Board are Marcos Balter, Guggenheim Foundation Fellow and Tanglewood Music Center, Leonard Bernstein Fellow, Professor of Composition, UC San Diego; Helen Haynes, former Interim Director of Exhibitions and Programs, The African American Museum in Philadelphia; former Chief Cultural Officer, Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, City of Philadelphia; former Director of Cultural Affairs, Montgomery County Community College; George E. Lewis, composer/trombonist/scholar, MacArthur Fellow, Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music, Composition & Historical Musicology, Columbia University; Rudresh Mahanthappa, saxophonist/composer, Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, Anthony H. P. Lee ’79 Director of Jazz at Princeton University; founding member of Indo-Pak Coalition and Dual Identity; Greg Osby, saxophonist/composer/producer/educator; Founder and Director, Inner Circle Music; founding member The M-BASE Collective; Blue Note and Polygram recording artist; Augusta Read Thomas, Composer, Pulitzer Prize finalist; University Professor, The University of Chicago; Founder and Director of The Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition; Vice President for Music, The American Academy of Arts and Letters; Erica Zielinski, Managing Director, Producing and Development of The Office, Founder/Principal of Global culture+art, former General Manager and Producer, Lincoln Center Festival.
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