Penn Colloquium Series: Eric Wubbels

September 17, 2019 - 5:15pm
Eric Wubbels
Lerner Center, 201 South 34th Street, Room 102


The Department of Music’s main Colloquium Series showcases new research by leading scholars across the fields of musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory, and composition both in the United States and internationally.  Music Colloquia take place on Tuesdays at 5:15 in Lerner Center, Room 102.  The Lerner Center is located at  201 S. 34th Street, Philadelphia Pa, 19104-6313. See here for the full calendar of the 2019-2020 Colloquia Series.


Eric Wubbels, composer, pianist, and Executive Director of the Wet Ink Ensemble

Structural Uses of Microtonality and Just-Intonation in Recent Works for Strings and Piano


The increasing facility of new music string players with just-intonation (the tuning of intervals according to harmonic series relationships) offers access not only to vivid new worlds of sonority and harmonic complexity, but also to new possibilities in the integration or co-composition of harmony and timbre. When combined with the fixed, tempered intonation of the piano, just sonorities both maintain their internal timbral stability while creating strong acoustic beating at speeds precise enough that they can be used as rhythmic and temporal structures in the piece. This allows for a reimagining of consonance and dissonance as a fluid spectrum of speeds and intensities of acoustic beating. These concepts will be explored with reference to several recent works written for violinist Josh Modney and cellist Mariel Roberts, including if and only if (2019), gretchen am spinnrade (2016), being-time (2013-15), and "the children of fire come looking for fire" (2012). 


Please join us the following evening on Wednesday, September 18 at University Lutheran to see the debut program If And Only If featuring Eric Wubbels with Josh Modney and Mariel Roberts, presented by Bowerbird. 


About Eric Wubbels

Eric Wubbels (b.1980) is a composer and pianist, and a Co-Director of the Wet Ink Ensemble.


His music has been performed throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, and the U.S., by groups such as Wet Ink Ensemble, Mivos Quartet, yarn|wire, Splinter Reeds, Kupka's Piano (AUS), SCENATET (DK), Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, and featured on festivals including Huddersfield Festival, Chicago Symphony MusicNOW, LA Phil Green Umbrella Series, New York Philharmonic CONTACT, MATA Festival, and Zurich Tage für Neue Musik.


Wubbels has been awarded grants and fellowships from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, NYFA, NYSCA, Chamber Music America, ISSUE Project Room, MATA Festival, Barlow Endowment, Jerome Foundation, and Yvar Mikhashoff Trust, and residencies at the MacDowell Colony (2011, 2016), Copland House, L'Abri (Geneva),  Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and Civitella Ranieri Center (Italy).


As a performer, he has given U.S. and world premieres of works by major figures such as Peter Ablinger, Richard Barrett,  Beat Furrer, George Lewis, and Mathias Spahlinger, as well as vital young artists such as Rick Burkhardt, Francesco Filidei, Erin Gee, Bryn Harrison, Clara Iannotta, Darius Jones, Cat Lamb, Ingrid Laubrock, Charmaine Lee, Alex Mincek, Sam Pluta, Katharina Rosenberger, and Kate Soper.


He has recorded for Carrier Records, hatART, Intakt, New Focus, Spektral (Vienna),  quiet design, and Albany Records, among others, and has held teaching positions at Amherst College and Oberlin Conservatory.