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An Interview with Aperture Duo

The virtuosic Aperture Duo (Adrianne Pope and Linnea Powell) will be performing at Tuesdays at Monk Space this coming Tuesday, February 27. I had the opportunity to ask Adrianne Pope (violin) and Linnea Powell (viola) about the upcoming show, working with composers, and more. Here’s what they had to say: 

Linnea Powell and Adrianne Pope of Aperture Duo

The program features works by George Aperghis, Salvatore Sciarrino, Nicholas Deyoe, and Sarah Gibson. Can you tell us about the program as a whole?

Our Monk Space program has been incredibly fun to put together, as it features some of our favorite composers and people whose works center around memories, reunions, and reflections. Sciarrino’s short and fleeting “La Malinconia” and Georges Aperghis’ enthusiastic “Retrouvailles” are pieces that we’ve wanted to perform for years. The program also features two Aperture Duo commissions: a world premiere by Sarah Gibson and a commission by Nicholas Deyoe from 2015. These two commissions give a window into our wide ranging interests as a duo, as they are very contrasting in sound and style.

From whistles to claps, beautiful lyricism to deafening scratches, we aim to create programs that challenge the assumptions of what a violin and viola duo can sound like. This will show be no exception!

You’ll be premiering Sarah Gibson’s piece, tiny, tangled world at the concert. What has your experience been like with this new work?

Whether it’s performing, teaching, or composing, working with Sarah is always a joy for us. As a composer, Sarah has a perfect balance of clear ideas and flexibility. We got to workshop new sounds, different notation options and extended techniques from the very beginning stages. We have loved seeing it evolve each step of the way!

When Sarah gave us the final draft, we were thrilled to see how virtuosic and unique it is from our other rep. She even included a specific extended technique that was new to us! Her title, tiny, tangled world, has been in place from the beginning sketches, and it has been intriguing to see the work really come to fit the title perfectly.

How often have you worked with LA composers Sarah Gibson and Nicholas Deyoe in the past? Can you tell us a little about these experiences?

With Sarah, we have performed as colleagues, performed her works in other ensembles, and worked with and performed her composition students’ works. Tiny, tangled world is the first piece Aperture has worked on solely with Sarah.

With Nick, we have performed a little bit together, and we’ve played many of his works with different groups in LA. We recently got to work with his students at CalArts on new works, and we recorded 1560 for his most recent album, for Duane. 1560 was one of our first commissions and we can’t wait to play it again at the end of this month.

Besides being colleagues, both Sarah and Nick are good friends of ours and we jump on any opportunity to collaborate with them.

Any upcoming performances or projects you’d like to talk about?

In April, Aperture Duo is ensemble in residence with the Black House SoCal New Music Workshop at UC Irvine. We’re very excited to work with the selected composers and musicians there, it’s going to be a wonderfully creative workshop! In May we’ll be in residence in Northern California at Las Positas College and in June we’ll be performing at Bread and Salt in San Diego, where we’ll be premiering a new work by Courtney Bryan. It’s going to be a great spring! More information can be found on our website.

For more information about the upcoming concert, check out Tuesdays at Monk Space. The concert will also be featuring works by composer Colin Horrocks.

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