more kind words for sarah j ritch’s string theory

this time the kindness comes from the acts of silence blog:

Ritch is a classically trained cellist so her attraction to drones is quite understandable. String Theory is part drone and part contemporary classical.* The album starts out with a short drone piece, “Celli”, which cements in my mind that the cello is the original drone creator. The second track, “400g Live” is a Ritch composition for violin and cello – though the cello is so good at drones, I sometimes wonder if it is not a laptop process these sounds. Carmel Raz plays the violin on this track. The third track is the aforemention drone piece, “16 Days”. With “Sonata de Kinor – 1st Movement”, Aurelien Pederzoli plays violin to Ritch’s cello. This would be the contemporary classical piece which I found to be alive and colorful. The last track is an interesting construction given by it’s title, “Duo for Solo Cello”. This work is filled with wonderful drones and noises. An exquisite way to end the album.

read the whole thing here

great lakes ensemble – featuring sarah j ritch

hey everyone, the great lakes ensemble performed in chicago on june 10th as part of the rapid pulse international performance art festival. they recorded their performance and posted it on bandcamp. check it out!

from their description:

The Great Lakes Ensemble performed at Dfbrl8r during the Rapid Pulse International Performance Art Festival on June 10, 2012. GLE performers included Lisa LaMarre (dance & choreography), Rachael Ahn Harbert (dance), Marianne Brass (dance), Sarah Ritch (cello), Joseph Vajarsky (tenor saxophone), Dan Godston (trumpet, slumpet), James Cornish (baritone horn & trumpet), Tom Madeja (trumpet), Albert Wildeman (upright bass), & Anthony Poretti (percussion).

more kind words for sarah j ritch’s string theory

hey everyone, sarah j ritch just got an awesome review from time out chicago in which she receives four stars! (out of five, yo!)

The five tracks on String Theory offer a brief overview into Ritch’s development as a composer and skillful manipulator of electronics and cello. Aside from the notated tonal music of Sonata de Kinor and the violin on “400g live,” played by Carmel Raz and captured at an Israeli festival, the three other tracks on the album are played by the composer herself. The free-form noise of the 14-minute Duo for Solo Cello explores the properties of strings, transforming an acoustic instrument into the crackling static of a Tesla coil. The epic “16 Days” constructs an astral starscape of eerie drones. String Theory beautifully captures the ongoing bloom of one of Chicago’s most daring young composers.

read the whole thing here.

kind words for sarah j ritch’s string theory

the kindness comes from touching extremes.

One’s got to love someone whose family name’s pronunciation sounds like a truncated version of your own. Seriously, this is one of the many “first meetings” reported on these pages, in this circumstance with a cellist and composer who’s also a rare case of academically trained yet open-minded musician (punk is a part of her DNA) and human being (check her thoughts here) but, for some reason or another, hasn’t broken the ice of an inadequate visibility to date. String Theory should definitely help in achieving the goal thanks to its brilliantly multifaceted restraint. On the one hand, Ritch wanders across the galaxy of spectral-motionlessness-cum-throbbing-pulse, remaining there for long moments of magnetic sine wave-induced stasis (“16 Days”). On the other, the classic expertise of this inquiring mind emerges in “Sonata De Kinor – 1st Movement”, a soloist piece replete with echoes from a past age without romantic saccharine. In the middle of silence stands “Duo For Solo Cello”: “delicately strong” music halfway through timbral x-ray and very essential study of melodic collapse, confirming the validity of this woman’s talent which you’re strongly urged to further authenticate by downloading the album (it’s free!) and telling me that I was right (as always, haha).

intuition vs algorithm – featuring sarah j ritch!

hey everyone, if you’re in chicago next week (sunday may 6th and tuesday may 8th) be sure to check out this awesome duo of shows curated by sarah j ritch – who will be one of the performers at the tuesday night show. from the press release:

Intuition Vs. Algorithm: Then and Now
A survey and presentation of intuition and process in classic and contemporary music and art.

In collaboration with New Music Green Mill, Heaven Gallery, and the International Beethoven Project, Intuition Vs. Algorithm brings 2 days of art, music, and discussion. The focus of which has long been questioned and continues to be a hot topic: the artist’s creative process. Intuition Vs. Algorithm focuses on mathematical formula as process and the human element of an intuitive break.

Musicians from the International Beethoven Project’s BEETHOVEN FESTIVAL 2012
Music of composers Then and Now
Artists’ work Then and Now

: Then
Sunday, May 6th, 2012
The Green Mill Lounge
4802 N. Broadway Ave., Chicago, IL
works of Beethoven, Shostakovich, and Arvo Part

: Now
Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
Heaven Gallery
1550 North Milwaukee, 2nd floor, Chicago, IL
music by Jesus Duran, Spencer Hutchinson, and Sarah Ritch
art by Chicago neon artist Victoria Morris and Bloomington-based painter Spencer Hutchinson.
$10 donation asked

pan y rosas release string theory by sarah j ritch

the newness for the advent of springtime in the northern hemisphere comes from chicago composer and improviser sarah j ritch. her interest in classical composition arose from both her studies in piano and cello as well as explorations of the guitar and bass in punk and metal bands in las vegas between 1996 and 2003. she eventually landed in chicago and earned a bachelor of music from roosevelt university and a post-baccalaureate certificate in sound from the school of the art institute of chicago.

on her debut album, string theory, sarah displays her interest in both improvised noise and notated tonal music as she explores the acoustic structures of strings and sines. over the course of the album electronically treated cello gives way to droning and pizzicato violin; a pure drone at the center resolves itself with a rising and falling violin sonata; and a cello converses with itself in woodtones. get it here!