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Vineland Stelae

Composed by Sandeep Bhagwati, Performed by Mike Svoboda

World premiere

In association with The New Century Players

“Bhagwati produces the most lyrical musical environment for a deep meditation about musicmaking itself… A beautiful, haunting, intimate evocation.” – Edinburgh Guide

At once sweeping in scope and finespun in its intricacies, this ambitious new work by Indian-German composer Sandeep Bhagwati is a full-evening structured improvisation that brings together a head-spinning array of music practices from different parts of the world—all working to conjure a new and unabashedly polyglot musical culture.

Led by renowned new music trombonist Mike Svoboda, a 30-piece configuration of the CalArts New Century Players fans out across the theater in small groups and performs the piece on conventional Western instruments, shakuhachi, sarode, tabla, jal tarang, gamelan metallophones and Ewe drums.

The performance was configured in the round, with Svoboda standing in the center of the REDCAT theater and conducting in a 360 degree rotation. He was surrounded by the audience – who were, in turn, surrounded by the musicians. Svoboda interpreted the score, which included music, text, and electronic processing, and led the interactions among the ensembles, which varied on a nightly basis.

Staging this work for the Center for New Performance, director Chi-wang Yang completes the experience by creating an immersive theatrical environment of carefully controlled lighting and electronic augmentation. The result is a musical event of heightened theatrical intensity—a transformed concert experience.

Bhagwati’s boundary-defying stage, chamber and multimedia works have been performed at major venues in Europe and Asia for nearly two decades. Following residencies at IRCAM in Paris, ZKM in Karlsruhe, IEM in Graz, and the Beethovenhalle Orchestra of Bonn, he now holds the Canada Research Chair for Inter-X Art at Montreal’s Concordia University.

Vineland Stelae was made possible in part by the Multi-Arts Production (MAP) Fund of the Creative Capital Foundation; Goethe-Institut Los Angeles; and Villa Aurora.

Photos: Steven Gunther

Production Team

Sandeep Bhagwati, Composer and Creator
Mike Svoboda, Conductor, Trombone
Chi-wang Yang, Director
Abra Brayman, Scenic Design
Lap-chi Chu, Lighting Design
Jennifer Koblosky, Stage Manager
Oscar Arevalo, Technical Director
Gary Kechely, Production Manager
Jae Hong Park, Processed Sound Manipulation
John Baffa, Audio Engineer
Fionnegan Murphy, and E. M. Gimenez, Associate Audio Engineers
T.J. Kearney, Assistant Stage Manager
Lauren Pratt, Associate Producer for Music School
Carol Bixler, Producer (CNP)
David C. Petersen, Associate Producer (CNP)
David Johnson, Marimba
Edward Garcia, Wood Percussion
Rachel Rudich, Shakuhachi
Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick, Cello
William Powell, Clarinet
Gavin Templeton, Soprano Saxophone
Dan Chemistruck, Gamelan
Ingo Deul, Gamelan
Nyoman Wenten, Gamelan
Tyler Yamin, Gamelan
Yumi Lee, Metal Percussion
Aashish Khan, Sarode
Adam Weinmann, Oboe
Mark Menzies, Viola
Lukas Storm, Tuba
Trevor Anderies, Ewe Drums
Alfred Ladzekpo, Ewe Drums
Robert LaDue, Mallets Percussion
Vinny Golia, Contrabass Flute, Baritone Bass
Julie Feves, Bassoo
Jody Hurt, Horn
Andrew Tholl, Violin
Daniel Rosenboom, Trumpet
Sam Minaie, Double Bass
Vicki Ray, Prepared Piano
Innami Satsuki, Flute
Randy Gloss, Tabla Tarang
Swapan Chaudhuri, Tabla
Josh Mellinger, Skins Percussion
Sonny Valicenti, Voiceover