Georges Aperghis: A Shot in the Dark (2011)

  • Performance Date: 2012
  • Season: 2011-12
  • Series: MCA Chicago
  • Composer Name: Georges Aperghis
  • Composer Dates: b. 1945
  • Composer URL:
  • Premiere Region: World Premiere
  • Performers: Campbell MacDonald, clarinet
    Cory Smythe, piano
    David Bowlin, violin
    David Byrd-Marrow, horn
    Eric Lamb, flute
    Erik Carlson, violin
    Gareth Flowers, trumpet
    Joshua Rubin, clarinet
    Kivie Cahn-Lipman, cello
    Maiya Papach, viola
    Michael Nicolas, cello
    Nathan Davis, percussion
    Randall Zigler, bass
    Tony Arnold, voice
    Wendy Richman, viola
  • Duration: 16' 30"

Georges Aperghis is one of Europe’s most influential experimental composers. His aggressive yet playful music pushes the boundaries between classical performance and performance art, asking musicians to stretch the expressive capacities of their instruments and their bodies to create a frenetic wash of sonic energy. Yet despite his substantial European following, Aperghis’s work is almost unknown in the United States. With the support of the French American Cultural Exchange, ICE has commissioned a major new evening-length work from Mr. Aperghis, playfully entitled A Shot in the Dark and will give the work’s Chicago premiere in this performance. The French-American Fund for Contemporary Music is a program of FACE with major support from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, SACEM, CulturesFrance and the Florence Gould Foundation

Composer's Notes

An impossible portrait of a fluctuating woman (instrument & voice) who slides from one state of consciousness to another, like somebody who is looking for their way through the dark, like an endless derivation, pulling the instrumental ensemble into its vocal labyrinth.
Sequences appear, like sonic images. The voice traverses these spaces, provokes them or undergoes them, or plays with them in a versatile way. No longer can you tell whether it's the voice or the instruments that lead the dance. One seems to be following the errand ways of the other, through contrasting fragments that succeed each other in a non-linear fashion.
(translated by Andreas Waldburg-Wolfegg)