(Page 25 of Lidércfény (2008) for flute, violin & piano.)
I understand my own music as a type emotive encoding. I write because I feel an emotional compulsion to write — to give form to fantastic or impossible colors and shapes as sound and as pleasure — and, yet, when I write, I am intensely aware of the fact that I am setting up and taking apart a code. I write for different combinations of instruments in chamber and orchestral settings and the written score is an important part of how I work. The act of score preparation is, for me, an emotional effort deeply concerned with the weight and energy and physical charge of raw and vibrant sounds, and, in equal measure, a type of work that is surpassingly symbolic, intimately bound up with the networks of potential meaning set up by marks on the page. I reject any dichotomy that pits the analytic against the emotional. Symbols can, and do, cut like knives. And I work for a music that is everywhere an emotional play of symbols, complete with all the almost unworkable contradictions such a play of symbols carries.
I don't understand either the societal or psychological parts of the composer role. And I would just as soon replace it with some other type of work carrying some other type of baggage. Sorcery, perhaps. A special appeal to concentration, with concern for a secret language of symbols, a secret way of reading the events and details of the natural world. I want music to be an intensely shared and public experience. And I want the intensity of that experience to result, at least in part, from an effort of decipherment, and translation, on all our parts.
My music comes back again and again to a constellation of images, and desire. The beauty of reflected and refracted light. The relationships between code and power and time. The assertion of power and importance in an everyday type of living. The delicacy of flowers and their parts. And networks of people and our relationships. I believe that there is something utterly human in rendering flashes of these ideas as symbols on the page, designed specifically for experience in some other, potentially unknown, place.
Trevor Bača (*1975) grew up in Texas. His concerns as a composer include lost and secret texts; broken and dismembered systems; sorcery, divination and magic; and the effects, action and beauty of light. Bača's music has been played throughout the US, Europe and Japan with recent performances in Barcelona, Berlin, Boston, Cologne, Curitiba, Huddersfield, Ljubljana, Lyon, Maastricht, New York, San Diego, Thessaloniki, Tokyo, Trieste, Würzburg and elsewhere.
Bača's music has been played by soloists and ensembles around the world. Musicians include Brian Archinal (Bern); Séverine Ballon (Paris); Nico Couck (Antwerp); Richard Haynes (Basel); Jonathan Hepfer (Los Angeles); Marc Horne (Barcelona); Carin Levine (Bremen); Reiko Manabe (Tokyo); Mark Menzies (Los Angeles); Christopher Otto (New York); John Pickford Richards (New York); Corrado Rojac (Trieste); Jürgen Ruck (Würzburg); Jessi Rosinski (Boston); Alan Toda-Ambaras (Boston); Alice Teyssier (San Diego); Elizabeth Weisser (New York); and others. Ensembles include the Argento Ensemble (New York); Callithumpian Consort (Boston); Either/Or (New York); Ensemble Dal Niente (Chicago); Ensemble Echoi (San Diego); Ensemble Mosaik (Berlin); Ensemble SurPlus (Freiburg); manufaktur für aktuelle musik (Cologne); Talea Ensemble (New York); and others. Works include Myrkr (2015) for bass clarinet; Al-kitab al-khamr (2015) for eleven players; Ins Wasser eingeschrieben (2015) for two violas; Huitzil (2014) for cello; Krummzeit (2014) for seven players; Traiettorie inargentate (2013) for cello; L'archipel du corps (2011) for flute, guitar, accordion & percussion; L'imaginaire (2010) for accordion; Mon seul désir (2009) for flute, clarinet, violin and cello; Lidércfény (2008) for flute, violin and piano; Sekka (2007) for flute; Čáry (2006) for bass flute; and Poème récursif (2005) for 64 pieces of percussion. Bača's music has been programmed as part of Musica Sarcra (Maastricht) and the Weimarer Frühjahrstage für zeitgenössische Musik (Weimar). Prizes include Harvard University's Sprague Prize in Composition (2015); Harvard University's Bohemians' Prize in Composition (2014); the Harry & Alice Eiler Foundation's Ježek Prize in Composition (2008); and the Debussy Trio's Susan & David Hirsch Prize in Composition (1996).
Bača's music has been anthologized as part of Notations 21 (edited by Theresa Sauer) and Bača's scores have been exhibited as art at the Chelsea Gallery in New York City and at the Hutchins Gallery on Long Island. Recent publications include an analysis of electroacoustic music by composer Steven Kazuo Takasugi in the Search Journal of New Music and Culture and the article "Breath, blood, network of nerves" that theorizes the in-motion body and its parts. Widely in demand as a lecturer on music & technology, Bača has lectured at universities and conservatories in many countries. Lecture engagements include presentations at the Columbia University; Conservatoire Nationale Supérieur de Musique et Danse in Lyon; Eastman Conservatory; Harvard University; Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique / Musique (IRCAM) in Paris; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); New England Conservatory (NEC); Northeastern University; Stanford University; University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley); University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB); University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC); University of California at San Diego (UCSD); University College Cork in Ireland (UCC); and the Stuttgart Musikhochschule. In August 2009 Bača completed a two-week residency at Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart with performances by Ensemble SurPlus.
Upcoming projects include the Aracılık (2015) for percussionists Jonathan Hepfer, Brian Archinal & Alex Lipowski; Akasha (2015) for the JACK Quartet; Ikribu (2016) for Distractfold; Enquête Fabergé (2016) for ensemble recherche; and Der Dorn (2016) for guitarist Nico Couk.
Bača is currently a PhD candidate in music composition at Harvard University with dissertation advisors Hans Tutschku and Chaya Czernowin.
(Page two of Myrkr (2015) for bass clarinet.)