Wild Rumpus reprises Dan VanHassel’s Mission:Ammonia with additional works by Angelica Negron, Daniel Wohl, and Missy Mazzoli
Friday, May 23 in San Francisco at 8pm
Saturday, March 24 in Santa Cruz at 8pm
Wild Rumpus’ March program explores the merging/diverging of multiple identities, musical and personal. Each piece marries two or more with varying degrees of success or fraught tension. Angelica Negrón’s La Isla Sacra joyfully juggles influences from the islands of Bali and Puerto Rico. Daniel Wohl’s Kin weaves found and offered sounds from a consortium of percussionists into a mosaic for solo percussion and electronics. Missy Mazzoli’s Magic with Everyday Objects, which the composer describes as “a piece on the verge of a nervous breakdown”, seems to try desperately to present a traditional musical narrative while elements of the piece spiral increasingly out of control.
Dan VanHassel’s monodrama Mission: Ammonia for soprano and seven instruments, with text by Jesse Rimler, follows a similar trajectory. A sort of sci-fi allegory, it tells the story of an American woman traveling to the distant planet Ammonia to sell a special new cleaning product. In the composer’s words: “On the surface it is the tale of an utterly unremarkable individual trying her best to do her job and live her life in the proper way. Underneath this facade however, lies a deep anxiety and terror; hints and suggestions of terrible forces at work. Despite her best attempts to find meaning in her mission of bringing the wonders of American cleaning technology to distant worlds, these forces keep bubbling to the surface, eventually becoming impossible to ignore.”
* Mission: Ammonia has been made possible by the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program, with generous funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Chamber Music America Endowment Fund.