New Music Under The Big Sky
Travis Laplante, saxes, composer, improviser
Charles Overton, harp, improviser
Eduardo Leandro, percussion
Custer Astronomical Observatory
1115 Main Bayview Rd, Southold, NY 11971
Saturday, May 27th, 2023, at 7:00 PM
Rain date is scheduled for June 3rd at 7:00pm
Subscribers of RoSMF and members of Custer Institute:
Youth Under 25 years old:
free admission (registration online)
This is a production of
Rites of Spring Music Festival
in collaboration with
Custer Astronomical Observatory
This project is made possible with funds from the Statewide Community Regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by Huntington Arts Council. This concert was made possible with public funding provided by Suffolk County, sponsored by Legislator Al Krupski and with the support of the Suffolk County Legislature.
New Music Under The Big Sky
New Music Under The Big Sky will take you on a journey to create an immersive musical evening like nothing you have experienced before. The performance features an exceptional trio Travis Laplante, saxes, Charles Overton, harp, Eduardo Leandro, percussion, a new group that embodies the spirit of the new music culture and is dedicated to performing innovative, collaborative, and exciting works of living composers and the contemporary works from composers of the recent past. Whether you're a classical lover or a lover of extraordinary experiences, Music in The Sky pushes the boundaries of a traditional music event. This program presents a very exciting evening of music and stargazing! New Music Under The Big Sky aims by bringing people together, and focusing on what is happening today in the global arts world. Come and slow down with us, be immersed with music, lights and stars! Following the concert, Observatory staff will provide guided tours of the night sky (weather permitting) through our many telescopes on site, including the apochromatic Zerochromat telescope in our historic observation dome.
Note to the program by Travis Laplante
The initial spark for Wild Tapestry was lit during late April of 2021 after a conversation regarding the relationship and mutual inspiration between two musical luminaries: Miles Davis and Karlheinz Stockhausen. More specifically, the story of Davis citing Stockhausen as a prominent influence for his 1972 recording On the Corner, and how Stockhausen records were allegedly in regular rotation at Davis’s house during the early 1970s.
This program is about the beauty and mystery of how direct inspiration between musicians is translated into sound; from direct musical quotes to the intangible.
Wild Tapestry is one of the countless compositions that are publicly inspired by an important artist’s work. It warms my heart to actively give thanks to one of the great musical masters who has come before me and given their life to sound, reminding me that music is a tradition that has been passed from the ears of one person’s heart to the ears of another person’s heart for thousands of years.
Travis Laplante, saxophonist, composer, improviser
Travis Laplante is a saxophonist, composer, improviser, and qigong practitioner. Laplante leads the acclaimed tenor saxophone quartet Battle Trance, as well as Subtle Degrees, his duo with drummer Gerald Cleaver. Recently, Laplante has composed long-form works for new music ensembles such as the JACK Quartet, Yarn/Wire, and Nois saxophone quartet. Laplante is also known for his raw solo saxophone concerts and being a member of the avant-garde quartet Little Women. He has performed and/or recorded with Tyshawn Sorey, Caroline Shaw, Ches Smith, Peter Evans, So Percussion, Ingrid Laubrock, Mary Halvorson, International Contemporary Ensemble, Michael Formanek, Buke and Gase, Darius Jones, Mat Maneri, Julia Bullock, and Matt Mitchell, among others.
Laplante has toured his music extensively and has appeared at many major international festivals such as The Moers Festival (Germany), Jazz Jantar (Poland), Saalfelden (Austria), Jazz em Agosto (Portugal), Earshot (Seattle), Hopscotch (North Carolina), and the NYC Winter JazzFest. As a composer, Laplante has been commissioned by the Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), the JACK Quartet, Roulette Intermedium, Yarn/Wire, the Yellow Barn Music Festival, the MATA festival, and The Jerome Foundation. He and his wife are the founders of Sword Hands, a qigong and acupuncture healing practice based in Putney, Vermont. Laplante is currently pursuing a Ph.D in music composition at Princeton University.
Charles Overton, harpist, improviser
Charles Overton joined the faculty of Boston Conservatory at Berklee in 2019 and is an instructor of harp.
Equally at home in an orchestra or in a jazz club, it is Overton’s goal, regardless of the genre of music, to create a musical environment that is accessible, exciting and can resonate deeply with any audience. As an orchestral musician, he performs frequently with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops, and has previously performed with such orchestras as the Portland Symphony and the New York Philharmonic.
A passionate chamber musician, Overton has also performed in more intimate settings with ensembles such as the Walden Chamber Players and Collage New Music, as well as at the Marlboro Music Festival. Overton’s pursuits in jazz and improvised music have taken him abroad to perform in festivals such as the Harpes au Max Festival and the Dutch Harp Festival, as well as more local performances at Scullers Jazz Club, the Sinclair, and the Ragas Live Festival.
A native of Glen Allen, Virginia, Overton moved to Boston in 2012 to attend Berklee College of Music, where he was the first harpist to be accepted to Berklee’s Global Jazz Institute. Also while in school, he attended summer music festivals such as the Pacific Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, and the Castleton Festival.
Eduardo Leandro, percussionist, orchestra conductor
Eduardo Leandro is a conductor and percussionist who seeks to bridge the gap between both worlds by applying his extensive experience in new music to his interpretation of earlier orchestral repertoire, bringing “new” music’s freshness and excitement to classical and romantic pieces, while also bringing orchestral music’s lyricism and centuries-long appeal into his performances of contemporary music.
He conducts the New York New Music Ensemble, a group with over 40 years of history commissioning and premiering music from over one hundred composers. He regularly performs with the New York University Symphony Orchestra, and has conducted Camerata Aberta in Brazil, Talea and Sequitur Ensembles in the United States, Ensemble Lemanic in France, and the New Music Ensembles in the conservatories of Geneva and Lausanne. He recently served as the music director for the premiere of “The Scarlet Professor”, an opera composed by Eric Sawyer and produced by the Five Colleges Consortium. He has conducted chamber music concerts at Radio France in Paris, in Milan and Torino with MDI and Sentieri Musicali, at Pacific Rim Music Festival in California, and at Festival Archipel in Switzerland.
He is an Associate Professor at Stony Brook University and artistic director of its Contemporary Chamber Players, conducts the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra, teaches doctoral seminars related to the understanding and performance of contemporary music, and teaches percussion at the masters and doctoral levels. He also teaches percussion at the Université de Montreal. Eduardo has been a guest lecturer at the Peabody Conservatory and Yale University, regular faculty at Yellow Barn Summer Festival in Vermont, and faculty at several festivals in Brazil and in the U.S.A.. He previously taught at the Haute École de Musique de Genève and directed the percussion program at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
As a percussionist, Eduardo Leandro has performed as soloist and with ensembles in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. In the U.S. he performs regularly with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, having appeared with Steve Reich Ensemble and Bang on a Can All Stars among others. He is part of the Percussion Duo Contexto, ensemble in residence at the Centre International de Percussion in Geneva for ten years, having premiered and recorded dozens of works. He continues to perform as a soloist and chamber musician, commissioning new pieces and helping discover what this exciting group of instruments has to offer.
Upcoming projects include conducting a new opera by Flo Menezes that involves large orchestra, chorus, and electronics; continuing to learn Ghanian drumming; a free improv collaboration with saxophonist Travis Laplante and harpist Charles Overton; and recording the music for mallet instruments by James Woods, based on bird songs.
Eduardo Leandro was born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, land of carnival, samba schools and rich musical culture. He attended the Sao Paulo State University, the Rotterdam Conservatory in the Netherlands, and Yale University. His conducting mentor and teacher was Gustav Meier, director of Greater Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra for over four decades. His percussion mentors are Robert van Sice and John Boudler.
When not working on music, Eduardo can be seen taking pictures of birds, learning new languages, or making use of his commercial pilot’s license while flying his plane around the Eastern coast.