Alex Mincek- Composer/Performer


"...the highlight of the evening was the premiere of Pendulum IX: "Machina/Humana." The piece is the last of four pieces commissioned by Project 440 in honor of Orpheus Chamber OrchestraÕs 40th anniversary...Pendulum IX: "Machina/Humana"...The use of space and found sounds recalls John Cage, and the complex dissonances invoke Stravinsky, with swelling and mounting masses of sound turning over each other. Muted horn fanfares answered emergent phrases from the strings...Following the metaphor of a pendulum, Mincek starts off with high energy, alternates sections, and slows to an end, bringing all instruments to a common sound.
--Jack Silverman, Nashville Scene

"Out of nearly fifty pieces, two in particular made me sit up straight. Alex MincekÕs Third Quartet, which the JACK Quartet played at the outset of the [Sonic Festival] marathon, is a twenty-minute essay in ear-scouring dissonance and pile-driver rhythmÉMincek has a knack for etching jagged figures so cleanly that they take on a sculptural quality."
--Alex Ross, The New Yorker

"For Lift-Tilt-Filter-Split, a Ōsolo albumÕ of sorts, Mincek has penned five terrific pieces for different instrumentation, each one dense, urgent and sonically provocative. Each piece shares MincekÕs compositional virtues overall, notably his ability to conjure marvels of instrumental detail Š the highly idiomatic and the mysterious Š while still conferring on his pieces a sense of power and direction...The fantastic title piece, played with great energy and nuance by the JACK Quartet, brings to the fore MincekÕs tendency to weave grinding minimalist passages into his long forms. Like the record as a whole, this piece has the same kind of densely structured but free-sounding energy youÕd find in the Simon H. Fell ensemble. Mincek, however, has a vibrant and distinctive personality all his own. His music deserves far wider exposure.
--Jason Bivins, Dusted Magazine

“This Present Music commission [Portraits and Repetitions] yielded an engaging, comprehensible and strikingly original piece.”
-- Tom Strini, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“The glowering overtones and stabbing riffs of Mincek’s lengthy, episodic postmodern concerto grosso [Viola] proposed a sort of common ground between Morton Feldman’s glacial gestures and the amplified swarms of Glenn Branca and Sonic Youth...The piece abruptly shuddered from near silence to cacophonous rumble; even at it’s gnarliest and most confrontational, the overall effect was intoxicating.”
-- Steve Smith, Night After Night

“In the excellent small orchestra piece Few From Many, Mincek manages to handle complex and disparate materials in such a way that various instrumental groups seem to be in their own orbits even as the entire ensemble works toward a common goal.”
-- Charlie Wilmoth, Dusted Magazine

*”Independent of the specific programmatic aspects of the composition [Umflut], the music gains tension from the contrasts of sonorities, which alternate quiet and lush harmonies with harsh dissonances, resulting in a musical image that rushes foreword...It is very interesting music which deserves thoughtful, repeated listening.”
-- Liane Bornholdt, Magdeburger Volkstimme(Germany)

“Karate’s respiratory calisthenics evoke the breathy chirping of Anthony Braxton and the raucous invention of Hal Russell.”
-- Marc Masters, The Wire(UK)

*“Alex Mincek created a very intense, concentrated atmosphere using repetitive structures in Novelty Repeats Itself.”
-- Alexander Keuk, Dresdener Neueste Nachrichten(Germany)

“…it was startling and invigorating to hear the sound of actual experimentation from the Orchestra of the SEM Ensemble…the program included a brand-new piece by Alex Mincek, a saxophone player in the orchestra. His Few From Many was an agglomeration of episodic sounds, examining and juxtaposing different timbres, sound effects and pitches.”
-- Anne Midgette, New York Times

“Alex’s playing mood is imbued with interesting shifts in ideas that are not filled with academic references or clichés. In other words, he improvises from his soul, which is probably the highest compliment I can give this young man.”
-- Rick Grant, First Coast Entertainer

*Translation by Reiko Fueting and Alex Mincek

©2010 Alex Mincek