KOSMOS for string quartet and live electronics is a composition by John King, performed by FLUX Quartet. The composition was written over the course of three years and distills King’s style of organizing time and space within his unique compositional methods using chance-based, improvisatory, and determinate music. The FLUX Quartet will be positioned in an expanded formation within Knockdown Center’s space, allowing live electronics to completely surround and envelop the audience, who are encouraged to move during the performance, to explore the sonic and spatial possibilities of this work. The music moves from a hushed whisper to a torrential sound-storm, from stillness to catharsis, and from complete performer independence to powerfully unified ensemble cohesion.
About John King
JOHN KING, composer, guitarist and violist, has received commissions from the Kronos Quartet; Ethel; the Bang On A Can All-Stars; Mannheim Ballet; New York City Ballet/Diamond Project, Stuttgart Ballet, Ballets de Monte Carlo; as well as the Merce Cunningham Dance Co. His string quartets have also been performed by the FLUX Quartet, the Eclipse Quartet (LA) and the Mondriaan Quartet (Amsterdam), in addition to the Secret Quartet which has premiered many of his compositions. He has received the 2014 Award for Sound/Music from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, as well as the 2009 Alpert Award for the Arts in Music. This performance of “KOSMOS” is made possible, in part, by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant award for 2018.
About the FLUX Quartet
The FLUX Quartet has performed to rave reviews in venues worldwide, including Tate Modern with BBC Radio3, Park Avenue Armory, Kennedy Center, Mount Tremper Arts, EMPAC, Walker Art Center, Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, as well as international festivals in Australia, Europe and Asia. The group’s discography includes recordings on Cantaloupe, Innova, New World, and Tzadik, in addition to the full catalogue of Morton Feldman’s string quartet works on Mode Records. Strongly influenced by the “anything-goes” philosophy of the fluxus movement, violinist Tom Chiu founded FLUX in the late 90’s. The quartet has since cultivated an uncompromising repertoire that combines late twentieth century iconoclasts like Nancarrow, Scelsi, and Ligeti with today’s pioneers, including Oliver Lake, David First, Toshi Ichiyanagi, John King, David Lang, Alvin Lucier, Wadada Leo Smith, Matthew Welch, and others. To support the creation of new work, FLUX has been awarded grants from the American Composers Forum, Aaron Copland Fund, Fromm Foundation, Meet-The-Composer, New Music USA, and Chamber Music America.
The spirit to expand stylistic boundaries is a trademark of the FLUX Quartet, and to that end the quartet avidly pursues interdisciplinary collaborations, resulting in adventurous new works with choreographers Pam Tanowitz and Christopher Wheeldon, avant balloonist Judy Dunaway, digital collective The OpenEnded Group, and visual artist Matthew Barney, among others.