Evan Johnson

Evan Johnson (b. 1980) is an American composer whose music focuses on extremes of density and of reticence, of difficulty and of sparsity, and on hiding itself. Described as “conjuring a Beckett-like eloquence from stammers and silences” (Ivan Hewitt, The Telegraph), and as “creating genuine magic … music [which] will be with us for a very long time” (Tim Rutherford-Johnson, The Rambler), his work has been performed throughout North America, Europe and beyond by ensembles such as Musikfabrik, ELISION, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Trio Accanto, the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Riot Ensemble, the MIVOS Quartet, ensemble mosaik, Wet Ink, Dal Niente, Ensemble SurPlus, EXAUDI, loadbang, ekmeles, the Quatuor Bozzini, and the New London Chamber Choir; pianists Ian Pace, Michael Finnissy, Mark Knoop, Frederik Croene, and Sebastian Berweck; flutists Richard Craig and Claire Chase; clarinetists Carl Rosman and Gareth Davis; and soloists from the National Symphony Orchestra, among others.


Linke Hand eines Apostels

Program Note “Linke Hand eines Apostels” (“Left hand of an apostle,” after a sketch by Albrecht Dürer for a small but central detail of a large and spectacular altarpiece, attending feverishly to details of vein, bone, skin, draped folds of cloth, and an almost painful-looking torsion of joints and knuckles–details largely lost in the oil […]


indolentiae ars, a medium to be kept

Program Note ‘twas Germanicus’ advice of old, that we should not dwell too long upon our passions, to be desperately sad, immoderate grievers, to let them tyrannize, there ‘s indolentiae ars [an art in suppressing grief], a medium to be kept: we do not (saith Austin) forbid men to grieve, but to grieve overmuch. — […]


in nomines (1-4), surrogates, limbs, etc.

Program Note Four readings of Taverner’s famous “In nomine”, the one from the “Benedictus” of his Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas; joined, overlaid, expanded and troped with surrogates, recirculating rereadings, and limbs, momentary expansions, hesitations, gettings lost, forgettings: the whole rendered in the faintest, most indistinguishable grays and off-whites on old, tattered, worm-eaten paper.


dozens of canons: Anaïs Faivre Haumonté

Program Note Georges Seurat, Anaïs Faivre Haumonté sur son lit de mort (1887): A silent, intimate scene, poorly lit, with key details – … the face, the (presumably) interlaced fingers, the crucifix … — hard to discern, lost to a deliberate technique and its limited means: a small drawing not meant to reveal itself to […]