Hayley-Laufer Duo at A Musical Feast, "Wandrer II: Feelinglessness" (5/18/19)

From left: Camilo Méndez (composer), Dorothea Hayley (soprano), Ka Shu (Kenneth) Tam (composer), Roberto Azaretto (composer), and Manuel Laufer (pianist)

The Hayley-Laufer Duo returned with a second concert collecting revolutionary contributions to the 21st-century art song repertoire.
The performance included 5 world premieres of new works by Colombian composer Camilo Méndez, Venezuelan composer Freddy Flores Ávila, Canadian composer Anthony Tan, and UB student composers Ka Shu (Kenneth) Tam and Roberto Azaretto.

Here’s how the Duo describes these new works:

“Each of these composers has taken a really novel approach to voice and piano writing.

Hayley-Laufer Duo performance of Phoenix Hairpin I, May 18, 2019. Photo by Irene Haupt.

Roberto Azaretto creates a strangely mesmerizing sound world by taking a well-known Mahler song and completely reordering all of its pitch and rhythmic material.

Kenneth Ka Shu Tam uses a broad palette of extended techniques in the voice and especially the piano to evoke the sounds and theatricality of a kind of modern Chinese opera. (This piece was accompanied by projected images from Chinese art.)

Hayley-Laufer Duo performance of Manual of Qualities, May 18, 2019. Photo by Bruce Jackson.

Canadian composer Anthony Tan uses the Zen Buddhist Heart Sutra to explore the subjective perceptual experience of sound.




Hayley-Laufer Duo performance of Board Games, May 18, 2019. Photo by Bruce Jackson.


Matthew Chamberlain derives pitch and rhythmic material algorithmically from a TechCrunch article very whimsically, describing a striking set of board games.




Camilo Mendez turns the whole ensemble into a marvelous machine by having both of us play inside the piano with what seem like outlandish instruments--a knitting needle, an ID card, a hair brush, a plastic hammer--that actually produce a softly magical web of sounds.”

Hayley-Laufer Duo performance of Uslar/Gorong, May 18, 2019. Photo by Bruce Jackson.

Manuel Laufer and Dorothea Hayley rehearsing Uslar/Gorong by Camilo Mendez. Photo by Irene Haupt.

Jonathan Harvey’s monumental and mesmerizing Nachtlied (1984) was also performed along with dance interpretation by Nicole Caruana, dancer/choreographer at UANA DANS.

Hayley-Laufer Duo performance of Nachtlied, May 18. 2019. Dance interpretation by Nicole Caruana. Photo by Bruce Jackson.


Phoenix Hairpin I (2018)                  Ka-Shu Tam (b. 1991)

Board Games (2109)                          Matthew Chamberlain (b. 1990)

A Manual of Qualities (2016)           Anthony Tan (b.1979)

Verfremdungen M (2) (2015-18)    Roberto Azaretto (b. 1975)

Uslar/Gorong (2019)                          Camilo Méndez (b. 1982)

Nachtlied (1984)                                   Jonathan Harvey (1939-2012)

This performance was made possible by a collaboration between A Musical Feast and UB's Creative Arts Initiative (CAI). It was culmination of the artists' Spring 2019 CAI residency. 

Drawn to the new, the audacious, and the complex, the Hayley-Laufer Duo challenges the boundaries of voice-and-piano composition by commissioning exciting young artists while cultivating a core repertoire of twentieth and twenty-first century masterworks. Their decade-long collaboration has brought them to the USA, Canada, Europe and South America, and traversed centuries of song repertoire with an emphasis on the electrifying music of today.

Dorothea Hayley has been a soloist with the Vancouver Symphony, the Bourgas Symphony, the Allegra Chamber Orchestra and Ca-priccio Basel. She has performed in festivals such as the Happening Festival, Gulangyu Piano Festival, Performer’s Voice Symposium, New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival and the Atempo Festival of Caracas, and with organizations like the SMCQ, Chants Libres, CIRMMT, Codes d’accès, Vancouver New Music, the Little Chamber Music Series That Could and the Land’s End Ensemble. Dorothea recently completed an artist residency at the Banff Centre, and was a visiting artist at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music. Dorothea holds a Doctor of Music degree from Université de Montréal, and teaches voice at Vancouver Community College. She is the Artistic Co-Director of the Blueridge Chamber Music Festival.

Manuel Laufer has presented world premieres at Merkin Hall, Le Poisson Rouge, Bang on a Can, June in Buffalo, and Festival Atem-po (Caracas and Paris). He has concertized extensively playing contemporary chamber music, performing canonic works by compos-ers including Babbitt, Cage, Crumb, Lachenmann, and Xenakis in addition to newly commissioned repertoire. His solo work champi-ons modernist voices from his native Venezuela, placing particular emphasis on composer Diógenes Rivas. Currently appointed to the Collaborative Piano Faculty at NYU Steinhardt, Manuel has performed with orchestras on both sides of the Atlantic, and appears yearly in the Blueridge Chamber Music Festival and the NYU Summer Piano Intensive. He holds degrees from McGill University and University of California, Irvine, and received a Ph.D. in Piano Performance from NYU Steinhardt.