In music, the term talea (literally, “cutting” in Latin) refers to collections of repeating, cycling rhythmic patterns. Most often, these patterns are associated with the ars nova period of Medieval music in which new techniques of musical composition were emerging.Talea has also been used in several other traditions including Indian classical music (tala in Sanskrit – a wonderful linguistic coincidence), and throughout the ages in Western music, from the composer Guillaume de Machaut in the 14th Century to Olivier Messiaen and Gérard Grisey in the 20th Century. This idea of a global, timeless, and cutting-edge musical practice, inventive in its construction and beautiful in its execution, is at the root of the Talea Ensemble’s artistic direction.
The Talea Ensemble is committed to promoting new, groundbreaking music through innovative programming thereby communicating the distinctive voices of composers that deserve to be heard. By commissioning and programming these progressive works alongside the established literature of modern and contemporary repertoire, the ensemble creates a dialogue that challenges the boundaries of music and fosters a greater understanding of the works of today. Additionally, the Talea Ensemble wishes to support and advance familiarity with contemporary American works by bringing it to concert halls and venues not only in New York but also abroad. By developing an interactive relationship between the composers, performers and audience, the Talea Ensemble builds an environment of reciprocal inspiration that sparks the imagination of all.
Essential to the Talea Ensemble is not only the process of introducing new work to the world of new music, but also introducing new music to the world. As advocates for this canon of music, the Talea Ensemble aims to increase the awareness and understanding of contemporary music through academic residencies, outreach concerts in addition to performances, projects and workshops for broad audiences. The ensemble believes that bringing people of diverse backgrounds to a common place fuels rich discourses of the arts and creativity while creating a platform for a greater understanding of each other..