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OUTER EAR: Patrick Higgins / Mivos Quartet

New York City composer/guitarist Patrick Higgins (Zs) will perform new works for solo guitar and laptop. Utilizing extended techniques, a custom hardware interface, and quadraphonic stereo surround sound, Higgins will perform material from his forthcoming LP SKYCLAD. Higgins is an internationally acclaimed guitarist, performing some of the most innovative work on the instrument in recent years—"one of the prime movers of the local avant-garde" – The New Yorker; "one of our day's most consistent torchbearers of experimental guitar playing, and more generally experimental music and composition." – Boston Hassle; "the best guitarist of the 2013 south-by-southwest event" – Premiere Guitar Magazine

The renowned Mivos Quartet will offer ESS audiences the full premiere of Patrick Higgins' third string quartet SQ3, a four movement work of dark, dramatic intensity exploring musical notions of ritual and rite in the modern non-ritualized world. The score for SQ3 was painstakingly produced over the course of two years and, written especially for the Mivos Quartet, develops a hybridized notational language—smoothly exchanging between modern and classic notation, graphic and gestural forms, and textual instruction. The work, while highly virtuosic and given great life by the technical acumen of Mivos, is also expressionistic and emotive—a meeting of mind and stomach for the modern listener. SQ3—"Hearing the musicians bring forth these harsh, fascinating sounds, you could only wonder what [Higgins'] score must look like. I imagined bars of music flecked with metal shavings and rust." – The Brooklyn Rail

"Aletheia"—the first movement of SQ3—has been performed at Issue Project Room, le Poisson Rouge, Miller Theater of Columbia University, Gallery 345, Toronto, as well as in Tokyo and Nagoya, Japan.

Described by The New Yorker magazine as one of the "prime movers of the local avant-garde", and an "exacting avant-classical guitarist" by TimeOut NY, Patrick Higgins is a New York-based composer/performer of experimental music. Higgins has composed works for some of the nation's leading ensembles, ranging from chamber orchestra works, percussion cycles, and string quartets to smaller ensembles and soloists. He has scored works for television, museum exhibitions, and films both short-form and feature-length. Higgins plays guitar and composes in ZS, hailed by The New York Times as "one of the strongest avant-garde bands in New York."

As a soloist, he performs both classical acoustic and electric guitar in genre-bending contexts, utilizing extended technique and electronic processing. A work of "visionary [...] master-craftsmanship on guitar" (Tiny Mix Tapes), his record of quadraphonic guitar compositions STEREO was named to the Best of 2012 by Impose Magazine, and his electro-acoustic project Bachanalia has received numerous plaudits for its re-interpretation of the Baroque master's work. A unique double LP of Higgins' String Quartet No.2 and its electro-acoustic "remix" Glacia is out Nov.12th on Ex Cathedra Records.


The Mivos Quartet, “one of America’s most daring and ferocious new-music ensembles” (The Chicago Reader), is devoted to performing the works of contemporary composers, presenting new music to diverse audiences. Since the quartet's beginnings in 2008 they have performed works by emerging and established international composers who represent varied aesthetics of contemporary composition. Mivos is invested in commissioning and premiering new music for string quartet, particularly in a context of close collaboration with composers over extended time-periods. Recent collaborations include works with Mark Barden (Wien Modern Commission, Dan Blake (Jerome Commission), Richard Carrick (Fromm Commission), Patrick Higgins (ZS), Sam Pluta (Lucerne Festival Commission), Kate Soper, Saul Williams, Scott Wollschleger and Eric Wubbels (CMA commission). Mivos is committed to working with guest artists, exploring multi-media projects involving live video and electronics, creating original compositions and arrangements for the quartet, and performing improvised music. The quartet has appeared on concert series including Wien Modern (Austria), Transart (Italy), Music at the Phillips (Washington, DC), Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), HellHOT! New Music Festival (Hong Kong), Festival International Chihuahua (México), Edgefest (Ann Arbor, MI), Asphalt Festival (Germany), and Aldeburgh Music (UK).


$10/$8 students & members
$30 series pass to all five shows