Cellist Ashley Bathgate in collaboration with the Brooklyn-based composer collective Sleeping Giant (Timo Andres, Chris Cerrone, Jacob Cooper, Ted Hearne, Robert Honstein, and Andrew Norman) create an entirely new series of reflections inspired by the Unaccompanied Cello Suites of J.S. Bach.
Throughout the twentieth century, composers such as Benjamin Britten, George Crumb, and Iannis Xenakis built upon the form established by Bach, expanding the instrument’s technical and sonic capabilities while paying homage to his legacy.
Sleeping Giant represents a young, stylistically diverse, and daring composer-collective well-suited to redefine the cello as a solo instrument. Each member of Sleeping Giant will compose one movement of the new suite, basing it loosely on a corresponding movement of their choice from the original Bach suites, but free to use the music as an inspiration for expressing and expanding his personal compositional voice.
The new work, entitled ASH, incorporates extended performance techniques, live electronics, and external media resulting in a radical deconstruction and re-imagination of the original music. Collectively forming a single, concert-length work, this multi-composer collaboration juxtaposes contemporary and historical practice to create a new recital experience.
Bach Unwound was premiered on January 12, 2016 at (le) Poisson Rouge as part of Metropolis Ensemble’s Resident Artist Series.