New Morse Code

April 8, 2022 at 7:30pm
Hamilton Family Recital Hall


New Morse Code (Hannah Collins, cello; Michael Compitello, percussion) is the confluence of two magnetic personalities who have taken up the admirable task of creating a hub for the performance, commissioning, and promotion of new music. NMC is theoretically the alluring and uncommon combination of cello and percussion, but in practice is best described as two musicians of extraordinary depth and skill untethered by their instrumental constraints. This unrestricted approach has allowed them to create a body of work in which Hannah can be found crushing plastic bottles and Michael plucking the strings of the cello––all with the intention of expanding and facilitating the imaginations of their composer-collaborators––while ultimately creating a meaningful and lasting repertoire. As tireless advocates for new music, they seek out diverse venues and strive to connect with disparate audiences by way of their accessible intellect and dynamic musicality.

Over the past decade, the “remarkably inventive and resourceful duo” (Gramophone) has developed projects responding to our society’s most pressing issues, including The Emigrants, a documentary chamber work by George Lam, and dwb (driving while black), a chamber opera by Roberta Gumbel and Susan Kander, called “The Most Relevant, Hauntingly Evocative New Chamber Opera in Years” (Lucid Culture – New York New Music Daily). Their long-term collaboration with Christopher Stark on The Language of Landscapes(commissioned in 2014 by Chamber Music America) incorporates found discarded objects, field-collected environmental recordings, and live electronic processing as a way of making commentary on the urgency of the climate crisis. As the recently named inaugural grand prize winners of the Ariel Avant Impact Performance Prize, they will develop and tour a program featuring Stark’s work alongside new pieces which address sustainability and scientific innovation.

New Morse Code’s 2017 debut album Simplicity Itself on New Focus Recordings was described by as “an ebullient passage through pieces that each showcase the duo’s clarity of artistic vision and their near-perfect synchronicity,” while Q2 Music called the album “a flag of genuineness raised.” In 2019 they collaborated with Eliza Bagg, Lee Dionne, and andPlay on and all the days were purple, Alex Weiser’s Pulitzer Prize-finalist work on Cantaloupe music. They have also recorded for innova, Albany, and Navona Records.

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This program is made possible in part by:

The Denver PostPorter Adventist Hospital Centura HealthNational Endowment for the Arts