Armenian Public Radio
Mana Saxophone Trio
Music Style: New Music
March 16, 2018 @ 8pm (pre-show discussion at 7:15pm)

Boston Court's Winter Music Series is made possible in part by the Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division.

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Performing Arts Live

7:15pm Pre-Show Discussion
Join us for a discussion with the performers before the show.

This multidisciplinary concert featuring the premieres of three new works for multiple saxophones. Composers Gabriel José Bolaños Chamoro, Andrew Cote, and Olivia Kieffer explore the subject of immigration and xenophobia.


  • Michael Hernandez (soprano sax)
  • Michael Mortarotti (alto sax)
  • Eric Barreto (tenor sax)


  • Prelude (approx. 7:40pm—8:10pm)
    • Turn Table Drawing 20* by Danny Clay with video by Jon Fischer and prerecorded electronics
  • Between the Garden and the Wilderness*^ by Andrew Cote
  • I want to unfold...* by Jay Derderian
  • Pop Rock in Metal*^ by Olivia Kieffer
  • Discourse*^ by Gabriel José Bolaños Chamoro (
  • Tapas by Marc Mellits

* Work written especially for the Mana Trio
^ World Premiere

About the Artists

The Mana Chamber Players

Called a “groundbreaking ensemble” by the Los Angeles Chronicle, The Mana Chamber Players have repeatedly won high praise from today’s leading composers noted as an ensemble that is “vigorous and accomplished…deserving every success” and “beautifully balanced…a new bright light in the world of chamber music” by Pulitzer Prize winners Charles Wuorinen and Ellen Taafe Zwilich. Using vintage instruments built to the specifications of the saxophone’s inventor, Adolphe Sax, members Michael Hernandez, soprano saxophone; and Michael Mortarotti, alto saxophone; Eric Barreto, tenor saxophone; and David Cortez, baritone saxophone offer a vivid reimagining of the saxophone’s nineteenth-century heritage—a refined aesthetic characterized by intrinsic warmth, dynamic range of character, and absolute versatility. Based in the Bay Area, the trio regularly collaborates with other Bay Area ensembles, chamber series, and artists. The Mana Trio is a derivative ensemble of the acclaimed Mana Quartet, and shares a common vision of the saxophone as a pervasive force in classical music.

On the Program


Discourse (World Premiere) examines the current discourse in America's political climate, touching on topics such as xenophobia, immigration and violence. The piece will be paired with audio samples from a film by Christopher Morris entitled Trump. The musical material is based on the beautiful, complex sounds of spoken language. This piece is an homage not only to the world’s rich cultural and linguistic diversity, but also a celebration of the diachronic and malleable nature of language, culture and art.

Between the Garden and the Wilderness

Between the Garden and the Wilderness (World Premiere) deals with the separation of church and state and is based off of two key years in history... 1802 (the year Thomas Jefferson wrote the Danbury Baptist Association in Connecticut basically making sure no laws be made involving religion) and 1644 (the year that the founder of the First Baptist church in America Roger Williams had written that there should be "a hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the church and the wilderness of the world").

Cote used each of these years to make a pitch set (1802= Db,Ab,C,D) (1644-Db,Gb,Eb,Eb) which makes up the majority of the material in the composition. He also uses a fragment of the hymn Be Thou My Vision which appears towards the end in the tenor saxophone part.

Pop Rock in Metal

Pop Rock in Metal (World Premiere) by OIivia Kieffer is a wild ride where, rhythms and tonalities from pop and rock music are taken to weird and wonderful new places. The fast pace and quick changes are meant to mirror society's obsession with media, the internet and non stop consumerism. Kieffer said "I think of this piece as Sax Music for Millenials.

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