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"As the Waters Began to Rise"

World Premiere: April 7, 2022, 7:30 pm (MDT)


A new work by composer Peter Gilbert

featuring poems from Valerie Martinez’s book-length poem, Count

Performed by EKMELES

Cathedral of St. John

318 Silver Avenue SW (Corner of 4th & Silver)
Albuquerque, NM 87102


The program includes a new work by University of New Mexico faculty member Peter Gilbert ("As The Waters Began To Rise") featuring poems from Valerie Martinez’s newest book Count (University of Arizona Press, 2021), recent works by UNM’s Karola Obermüller and José-Luis Hurtado, and the premiere of a UNM Robb Trust commission by guest composer Patricia Alessandrini ("Hear").


Ekmeles is one of the premier avant-garde vocal ensembles of the United States.  It has been described by the New Yorker as a "brilliant young ensemble... defining a fresh and virtuosic American sound." Ekmeles is known for performing vocal chamber music of the most dazzling complexity.  


According to American Record Guide, “Peter Gilbert’s [music] is filled with the ghosts of sounds. He captures a dark, yet hopeful wonder through variation in color, mood, and the semblance of melodies.  ...Ethereal, ambient, and benignly haunting like a morning fog on the ocean. There is always something hidden, just beyond what is happening, that seems to slowly reveal itself but never quite does." Gilbert has held artist residencies at ZKM | Institut für Akustik und Musik, the Aaron Copland House, Akademie Schloss Solitude, La Mortella, Tage Aktueller Musik Nürnberg, and the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival.  Accolades and commissions have come from the Barlow Foundation, New Music USA, the Russolo Foundation, Kennedy Center Education, the Look & Listen Festival, the Third Practice Festival, IMEB Bourges, and the Washington International Composers Competition.  He has taught at Harvard University, Wellesley College, Northeastern University, and the Cleveland Institute of Music, and currently teaches composition at the University of New Mexico.  Gilbert's second portrait album for New Focus Recordings was named a Best 2021 by Sequenza21. His work as a composer, performer and producer can also be heard on Innova Recordings, GM Recordings, Sono Luminus, Centaur, a planned album forthcoming with Neuma Records, and at

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