Kamran Ince and Friends

Kamran Ince

Kamran Ince is rapidly emerging as one of today's most exciting and original young composers. Ince's compositions have received performances from the Chicago Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Lithuania National Philharmonic, Istanbul Symphony, Ankara Symphony, conductors Leonard Slatkin, David Zinman, Andreas Delfs, Lukas Foss, David Alan Miller, Jorge Mester, and by new music groups across the U.S., Europe, Japan and Australia. He has won many prizes, including the Prix de Rome, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Lili Boulanger Prize. Among his many commissions are ones he received from the Minnesota Orchestra, Meet-the-Composer, ASCAP, Reader's Digest; Pew Charitable Trust; Ford Foundation; Koussevitzky Foundation; Fromm Foundation, and the Jerome Foundation.

Recent works include FEST for new music ensemble and orchestra for a consortium of the Dayton Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony and Albany Symphony Orchestras; Remembering Lycia for pianist Alan Feinberg and the Albany Symphony Orchestra; and Symphony No. 3 “Siege of Vienna,” both commissioned by the Albany Symphony Orchestra; Curve for string quartet, and the score for the feature film Love Under Siege, a joint production of Hungary, Greece and Turkey with support from Euroimages of the European Union; and Aphrodisiac (a film by Madeline Schwartzman). His Symphony No. 2 “Fall of Constantinople,” also commissioned by the Albany Symphony Orchestra, Arches commissioned by Present Music (Milwaukee), and Remembering Lycia are available on the Argo/Decca label (Argo 455 151-2 ZH). A compact disc of his chamber music, recorded by Present Music, is available on the Northeastern Label (NR 245-CD). A compact disc of his film music has been released in Turkey on the Polygram/RAKS label (RAKS 9719514). Among future projects are a violin concerto, a large orchestral work after the ancient Lydian city of Sardis commissioned by archeologist Crawford Greenewalt; an orchestral piece commissioned by Istanbul Technical University in honor of their 225th Anniversary, and a work for large chamber ensemble commissioned for the opening of the Milwaukee Art Museum's new expansion in 2000, designed by Santiago Calatrava.

Ince was born in 1960 in Montana to American and Turkish parents. His early musical training was in Turkey at the Ankara and Izmir conservatories. Later he attended the Oberlin Conservatory and the Eastman School of Music, where he earned a Doctorate. Among his teachers are Christopher Rouse and Joseph Schwantner. Ince was Composer-in-Residence with the California Symphony from 1991 to 1993, and is now a member of the music faculty at the University of Memphis.

Fantasie of a Sudden Turtle (1990) for piano quartet

Completed in November 1990, Fantasie of a Sudden Turtle was commissioned by the Michigan Council for the Arts and written for the Cassini Ensemble who premiered it in Ann Arbor, Michigan in March 1991. First of all the title has nothing to do with ninja turtles. The contradiction between sudden and turtle is a reflection of my love for contrast and also represents this particular turtle's desire to do a lot of things it cannot. The work consists of a sequence of fantasies, dreams that a turtle might have. During this journey of imagination sometimes the turtle goes through moods and psychological states that humans do. The following are some of the programmatic titles within the work: Obsessed turtle; Robotic turtle; Hyper turtle; Hallucinogenic turtle; Angry turtle; and Passionate turtle. These fantasies and dreams come to the turtle in an unrelenting way.

Tracing (1994) for cello and piano

Tracing for cello and piano was commissioned by and written for Paul Gmeinder, who performs it on this recording. It was composed between March and July, 1994. Paul Gmeinder is an outstanding cellist who approaches new music like a cellist approaches the Brahms Sonata or the Dvorak Concerto, with incredible passion. I have performed with him a number of times in various pieces, mine and others, and was very much moved by his passion and love for the making of music. So when he commissioned me to write a piece for cello and piano I was really honored, excited and anxious to start writing. I new what kind of cello sound I would get from him and what kind of cello sound I must give him. After I started writing, the work was like a journey which I never wanted stopped. I used to play cello as a boy and it was almost like all these years I was somewhere else and was now returning to the love I had abandoned.

Lines (1997) for violin and piano

The realization of Lines, the most recent work on this compact disc, was the result of a commission from Chicago clarinetist Debbie Fenn for a work for clarinet and piano. As I was working on Lines it became apparent that as much as I was hearing clarinet, I was also hearing violin. Debbie was not going to premiere the work for another year. Knowing of the upcoming concerts of my violin/piano new music duo with Susan Waterbury (who perform it on this compact disc), I created the violin-piano version first. Susan's incredible musicality, her profound and infinitely deep tone was a great inspiration for this work. Yes, the clarinet and violin versions are very different. In Lines I am continuing to be taken with the sounds that are very spiritual, longing of “something” (like some previous works, Domes and Arches). It is lightly tonal, obsessing on certain lines/chords, searching, etc. The music is calm, patient, feeling what it's thinking, thinking what it is feeling… My journey back “home” continues. By this I mean exploring my roots in a much more concrete manner in the music (and culture) of Turkey/Ottomans and the Byzantium. With all this I am continuing my affinity to butt the wild and the spiritual, the mixing of the very simple with the complex. To find the equilibrium, unity, continuum among the contrasting ingredients is an ongoing passion.

KaÁ! (Escape! From “A”) (1982) for alto saxophone, percussion and piano

KaÁ, the oldest work on this compact disc, was written in 1982 and was premiered in January 1983 at the Eastman School of Music, where I was a master's student. KaÁ has the meaning in Turkish: “How many?” or “Escape!” The work contains extreme contrasts with sections ranging from complete stasis to raw, savage activity. Many sonorities, lines come back in an obsessive manner, in a seemingly arbitrary sequence. For me it is the resulting successive contrasts that feed and demand the different sections to come back in the particular orders chosen. Is part of the escape from the note A? — which has always seemed impossible to keep in tune with the repeated bangings it suffers in this work).

KÆÁekÁe (1984) for violin and piano

KÆÁekÁe is the name of a folk dance found in the Black Sea region of Turkey. The music is always very fast with constant irregular meters, such as 7/16. KÆÁekÁe is usually played by the KemenÁe, a string instrument similar in size to a small violin. It is bowed while being held between the legs. Its bridge is flat, and therefore the music is always chordal. In KÆÁekÁe I tried to recreate some of the KemenÁe effects in conjunction with the effects of the modern violin. The very fast KÆÁekÁe sections may be followed by static/calm, obsessive/ringing, pointallistic/plucking or high/wailing sections. KÆÁekÁe was written in 1984 and premiered in Rochester, New York the same year.

Kamran Ince

Producer: Kamran Ince

Co-Producer and Recording Engineer: Ian Marks

Recorded at Harris Auditorium, University of Memphis, June 1997 - May 1998

Special thanks to University of Memphis, Richard R. Ranta, Dean, CCFA and Glenn Chandler, Chair, Department of Music.

Mr. Ince's works are published by European American Music.

Cover: Bates Miyamoto Design