Video Premiere: Compitello and Truesdell Perform Aperghis’ Retrouvailles

Today’s Four/Ten Media video premiere features MikeDrop Duo (Mike Compitello and Mike Truesdell) performing Georges AperghisRetrouvailles.

Here’s what inspired the duo to take on this project:

Georges Aperghis is one of the truly unique and creative compositional voices of our time.  A work by Aperghis is not only sound, but a strong visual drama as well. In the case of Retrouvailles, nonsense syllables and non-sequitur words and syllables paint a subconscious picture amidst a nonsensical narrative. Two old friends meet, speaking a language deeply familiar to them but opaque to the viewer. They embrace, reminisce, and share a drink. We were enraptured by this piece and wanted to collaborate with the creativity of Four/Ten media to realize a fresh and inspired performance.  

About Mike Truesdell

Percussionist Mike Truesdell is thrilled to release the newest MikeDrop video!  Every time he works with Mike Compitello, he is inspired to dig deeper into a variety of styles and repertoire.  Though Mike C is an inspiring colleague, Mike T. has collaborated with other folks, including the New York City Ballet, International Contemporary Ensemble, Lucerne Festival Ensemble conducted by Pierre Boulez, and with members of the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, Chamber Music Society (New York), and Alarm Will Sound, among others.  Additionally, he has recorded with Renée Fleming, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra (Grammy® nominated), Charles Wuorinen, Gil Evans Project (Grammy® nominated), in addition to co-producing the Zeltsman Marimba Festival double-disc recording of the commissioned Intermediate Masterworks for Marimba.

As an educator, Mike is the newly appointed Assistant Professor of Percussion at Ithaca College, and has previously been on the faculties of University of Northern Colorado, Rutgers University and Columbia University.  During the summer months, he can be found at the Zeltsman Marimba Festival, the nief-norf Summer Festival, the Composer’s Conference and Interlochen Arts Academy, among others.  Mike T. actually first coached Retrouvailles at the nief-norf Summer Festival!!

A native of Wisconsin, he attended Lawrence University (Bachelor of Music) and moved to New York to study at The Juilliard School (Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts), where his primary teachers were Dan Druckman, Greg Zuber, Markus Rhoten and Gordon Gottlieb.

About Michael Compitello

Michael Compitello joined MikeDrop because of the fantastic ensemble name.  Along the way, he has been inspired by Mike T’s musical rigor and wit. Pre-MikeDrop, Compitello has performed with Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Signal, Ensemble ACJW, and has worked with composers Helmut Lachenmann, Nicolaus A. Huber, David Lang, John Luther Adams, Alejandro Viñao, Marc Applebaum, and Martin Bresnick on premieres and performances of new chamber works.

With cellist Hannah Collins as New Morse Code, Michael has created generating a singular and personal repertoire through long-term collaboration.  Their debut album, Simplicity Itself was released in 2017 on New Focus Recordings. Mike (C) also champions new and recent solo works. Currently, Michael’s Unsnared Drum project seeks to reinvent the much-maligned instrument through collaboration with four of American’s most esteemed women composers.

Michael is Assistant Professor of Percussion at the University of Kansas, and has taught previously at Cornell University and UMass Amherst.  He is Assistant Director of Avaloch Farm Music Institute, a residency program for chamber ensembles in New Hampshire.

Michael earned a DMA and MM from the Yale School of Music, and a BM from the Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with Robert Van Sice. From 2009 to 2010, Michael performed and studied contemporary chamber music with the Ensemble Modern and the International Ensemble Modern Academy in Frankfurt, Germany on a Fulbright Grant from the US Department of State.

About Georges Aperghis

Georges Aperghis was born in Athens in 1945. He lives and writes in Paris since 1963. His work is characterized by a questioning about languages ​​and the meaning. His compositions, instrumental wether, vocal or for stage, explores the borders of the intelligible, he likes to create a new twist to the listener (stories emerge but are suddenly refuted).

Aperghis’ music is not strictly linked to any dominant musical aesthetics of the contemporary musical creation.  This otherness is combined with innovation when it includes electronics, video, machines, or robots to his performances. Aperghis works with group of interpreters who are entirely part of the creative process. They are comedians (Edith Scob, Michael Lonsdale, Valerie Dreville, Jos Houben), instrumentalists (Jean-Pierre Drouet, Richard Dubelski, Genevieve Strosser, Nicolas Hodges, Uli Fussenegger) or vocalists (Martine Viard, Donatienne Michel Dansac, Lionel Peintre) . From the 90’s he shared new artistic collaborations with dance (Johanne Saunier, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker) and visual arts (Daniel Lévy, Kurt D’Haeseleer, Hans Op de Beeck). The main european contemporary music ensembles have developed a working relationship with Icper, Klangforum Wien,

Recently Georges Aperghis received the Mauricio Kagel Prize in 2011 and the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement – Venice Biennale Musica 2015. The BBVA Foundation Award “Frontiers of Knowledge” goes to Georges Aperghis in 2016 (category contemporary music).