The Stimulus of Loss (2016) for glissando headjoint and ondes martenot
density 2036: part iv
The Stimulus of Loss, part of "Density IV"
A friend introduced me to the idea of Emily Dickinson’s letters. He quoted a phrase in a talk that I found astounding (“to multiply the harbors does not diminish the sea”). As I went searching for that phrase, I began to read others along the way, each with its own sparkling revelation of her genius.
Suzanne Farrin is a composer whose works have been performed around the world. Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times called her first opera, dolce la morte, a work of “shattering honesty.” Her debut recording, Corpo di Terra, was described in Timeout Chicago “like field recordings from inside the cerebral cortex.” Recent commissions include works for The Parker Quartet, Talea, The Library of Congress, Sō Percussion, JACK Quartet, and The International Contemporary Ensemble. She was a 2018 Rome Prize Winner and a 2020 Guggenheim Fellow in Composition.
Her music has been featured at venues and festivals including The BBC Proms, Mostly Mozart, The Gothenburg Art Biennial, Matrix, Alpenklassik, Music in Würzburg, BAM NextWave, Theaterforum (Germany), Town Hall Seattle, Carnegie’s Weill Hall, Symphony Space, Wigmore Hall, The National Theater of Tiachung, Taiwan, and Ojai Festival, among many others.
In addition to composing, Suzanne is a performer of the ondes Martenot, an early electronic instrument created by the engineer Maurice Martenot in the 1920s as a response to the simultaneous destruction and technological advances of WWI. Her life as an interpreter on the instrument has taken her to venues such as the Abrons Arts Center in NYC, Centro de Artes in Buenos Aires, as well as film and television. She has performed in film scores such as Chicuarotes (Gael Garcia Bernal, director), Sade Ma’bar/Blockage (Mohsen Gharaie), and USERS (Natalia Almada), which was featured at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. She appears as herself in an episode of Mozart in the Jungle (Roman Coppola).
Suzanne is the Frayda B. Lindemann Chair of Music at Hunter College and The C.U.N.Y. Graduate Center, where she teaches composition. She has been the lead mentor composer for Evolution: Quartet at the Banff Centre since 2021. She holds a doctorate from Yale University.