Aug 22, 2013

Maya Beiser in Films for Cello -- Indiana University Cinema -- Sept. 26

Here's a version of the press release from

Maya Beiser in Films for Cello
Indiana University Cinema
World Premiere of the film All Vows by Bill Morrison
Orphans Midwest 2013 Film Symposium
Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 8:30pm
Indiana University Cinema | Bloomington, IN
Tickets: $30 at the IU Auditorium Box Office. 812.855.1103.

Watch Maya’s new NPR Tiny Desk Concert:

Bloomington, IN — Cellist Maya Beiser will perform live in Films for Cello, featuring music written by composers Steve Reich, Michael Gordon, and Michael Harrison, all with film by Bill Morrison, on Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 8:30pm presented by the Orphans Midwest Film Symposium at Indiana University Cinema. The evening includes the world premiere of Morrison’s film All Vows, with music by Michael Gordon, which was commissioned by Indiana University Cinema and the Robert A. and Sandra S. Borns Jewish Studies Program.

Films for Cello will begin with Light is Calling, written by Michael Gordon in his studio on Desbrosses Street in New York during the days and months after September 11, 2001. Morrison’s film for the piece was created by reprinting and re-editing a scene from the black and white 1926 film, The Bells. Maya will also perform Steve Reich’s iconic work, “Cello Counterpoint,” written for her in 2003 and scored for cello soloist with seven pre-recorded cello parts. Reich calls the work, “one of the most difficult pieces I have ever written.”

The second half of the program begins with Just Ancient Loops, a 25-minute piece by Michael Harrison that unveils every aspect of the cello – from its most glorious and mysterious harmonics to earthy, rhythmic pizzicatos. Morrison’s film for the piece makes use of archival footage, chemical processes and animation to present a unique view of the heavens.

Michael Gordon’s composition “All Vows” is a reimagination of Kol Nidre, the opening prayer of the Yom Kippur service. The music was commissioned for Maya in 2006, through the generosity of the Maria and Robert A. Skirnick Fund for New Works at Carnegie Hall. Of his new film All Vows, which completes the program at the IU Cinema, Bill Morrison says, “As in my previous work with Michael, the film will highlight the fragile and corporeal nature of ancient film stock – the implication of an unknowable future as reflected through a dissolving historic document.” [Note: Gordon has substantially revised the music for this new incarnation.] Over the past 20 years Bill Morrison has built a filmography of more than 30 projects that have been presented in theaters, museums, galleries and concert halls worldwide. His work often makes use of rare archival footage in which forgotten film imagery is reframed as part of our collective mythology. Variety calls him, “One of the most adventurous American filmmakers.”

Beiser bio:  Raised in the Galilee Mountains in Israel, surrounded with the music and rituals of Jews, Muslims, and Christians, while studying classical cello repertoire, Maya has dedicated her work to reinventing solo cello performance in the mainstream classical arena. A featured performer on the world’s most prestigious stages, she has collaborated with artists across a wide range of musical styles, including Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Tan Dun, James Newton Howard and Carter Burwell, among many others.
            Maya’s 2011 TEDtalk performance has been watched by close to one million people. It featured “Cello Counterpoint” with Bill Morrison’s video of the same title (watch at
            Maya is a graduate of Yale University and a founding member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars. Her discography includes five solo albums and many studio recordings and film music collaborations. Her 2010 album Provenance topped the classical and world music charts.  Collaborating with renowned film composer James Newton Howard, Maya is the featured soloist on several film soundtracks including M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening, Denzel Washington’s The Great Debaters, Edward Zwick’s Blood Diamond, Rupert Sanders’ Snow White and the Huntsman, and M. Night Shyamalan’s After Earth.

Maya tweets: @cellogoddess.

She is managed by Opus 3 Artists.

Photos by ioulex, available in high resolution at