Contemporary Music: Instrumental Ensembles
Creating, commissioning, performing and touring electro-acoustic chamber music is a key part of the Paul Dresher Ensemble’s mission and goals. Our main performing group is the seven-person Electro-Acoustic Band. We have two smaller ensembles that commission new work: the Double Duo and the Dresher-Davel Invented Instrument Duo, both of which tour annually across the US and internationally.
Since its founding in 1993, the Electro-Acoustic band has performed a repertory that is almost entirely commissioned. In its first decade, most of its repertory was created by members of the Paul Dresher Ensemble. Since 2000, however, the Band has branched out and commissioned over 40 new works from American composers working in a diverse styles, idioms, and genres. Some are well established and widely known across the US while others represent a younger or emerging generation of musicians that is largely unfamilar to concert-going audiences. [View list of Commissioned Works]
Paul Dresher is a remarkable musician and thinker… he is out there serving as both a lightning rod and seismograph for his colleagues … Dresher’s own Concerto for Violin and Electro-Acoustic Band…. is a serious and ambitious contribution to the concerto repertory…” —Tim Page, The Washington Post
…The ensemble’s performance, as ever, was a marvel of rhythmic and harmonic precision….” —Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle
The Paul Dresher Ensemble has two separate contemporary-music chamber groups: the seven-member Electro-Acoustic Band and the Double Duo quartet.
The Electro-Acoustic Band
Paul Dresher, Electric Guitar & Bass; Karen Bentley Pollick, Violin & Viola; Jeff Anderle, Clarinet/Bass Clarinet; Joel Davel, Marimba Lumina; Marja Mutru, Keyboards; John Schott, Electric Guitar; Gene Reffkin, Electronic Drums; Brendan Aanes, Sound Engineer
Unique among contemporary chamber ensembles, The Paul Dresher Ensemble Electro-Acoustic Band combines traditional acoustic instruments with the latest electronic sounds and instrumental technologies. With six versatile instrumentalists and a resident sound engineer, the Band can perform a challenging repertory of American music that defies traditional aesthetic boundaries and styles. [Read more…]
Contemporary Music: Double Duo
Paul Dresher, Quadrachord; Joel Davel, Marimba Lumina; Karen Bentley Pollick, Violin; Lisa Moore, Piano
Called “one of the most interesting among the current scene of active composers,” Paul continues to innovate and surprise. Classically based and inventively performed, Double Duo combines traditional chamber instruments, performed by Bang on a Can All Stars founding member Lisa Moore on piano, and long-time collaborator Karen Bentley Pollick on violin, together with a pair of newly invented instruments: a Marimba Lumina played by percussionist Joel Davel and a Quadrachord, a 14-foot long guitar-like stringed instrument invented by Dresher that is plucked, bowed, hammered and strummed. This contemporary music concert, performed on both “old” and new instruments, results in a wholly unique live performance experience that is both visual and aural. [Read more…]
The Dresher/Davel Invented Instrument Duo
Paul Dresher, Quadrachord; Joel Davel, Marimba Lumina
This is a more streamlined version of the Double Duo, and perfect for performances in smaller spaces. [Read more…]