Max Giteck Duykers is a composer whose work is dedicated to unusual beauty, unique forms, and collaborative processes. He frequently incorporates technology in performance in a manner which gives the performers room for individual expression. A veteran of multidisciplinary performance, Duykers is also interested in reworking developmental processes for artists to find their collective "sweet spot" and produce work which is personal, confronting, and starkly beautiful.
Duykers was recently commissioned by New Music USA and the Jerome Foundation to create a chamber opera for tenor, soprano, baritone, electro-acoustic percussionist (performing on Buchla Instruments' Marimba Lumina) and mixed ensemble with the Paul Dresher Ensemble. Featuring a libretto by acclaimed playwright and filmmaker Philip Kan Gotanda, the piece is a comment on the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII. It has received two workshops in 2016: at the University of California through Berkeley's Center for Japanese Studies in January, and at the N.E.O.N. Festival through The University of Nevada in July under the direction of Virko Baley. The piece will be premiered in 2019 in San Francisco, Sonoma County, CA and in NYC.
His numerous other commissions and premieres include the Avian Orchestra, The Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra, the Oakland Youth Orchestra, The Seattle Chamber Players, Third Angle New Music, The BEO String Quartet, The Glass Farm Ensemble, PUBLIQuartet, Iron Works on the Edge, Anti-Social Music, Trio Tara, The Poné Ensemble, The Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, HERE Arts Center, PS122, La Mama ETC, Horizon Theater Rep., the Stony Brook Department of Theater Arts, and numerous individual performers. Duykers' Glass Blue Cleft was recently released by the Escher String Quartet on Bridge Records. Of the piece, Three Village Patch writes "[Glass Blue Cleft] is a piece for lovers of the string quartet, those amazed by how fiery and how dulcet these four-stringed instruments can range in expression." This and other pieces have been featured at music festivals throughout the U.S. and abroad, including the Seattle Chamber Players’ Icebreaker IV, curated by The New Yorker’s Alex Ross.
Duykers is a founder and co-director of Ensemble Ipse, a contemporary music pierrot sextet based in NYC which just completed its 2016-17 inaugural season, with several commissions and premieres. Ipse’s mission is to find common threads in works whose stylistic profiles appear, on the surface, as divergent. The group presents recent music that transcends aesthetic categorization and strives to create a forum for composers on the edges of the mainstream of contemporary music. To this end, Ipse commissions and performs pieces that fall outside the practical confines of traditional concert resources, including works of long duration, multidisciplinary projects, collaboratively composed pieces, and pieces with unusual or non-standard instrumentation. In addition, Ipse partners with ensembles active in historic performance to present new work that breathes in the continuum of the old and the new.
Duykers has also been commissioned to compose music for over 35 theatrical, dance, film, and multimedia projects in the New York City area. With the theater group Prototype he was an artist-in-residence at HERE Arts Center in 2002-2004, and in 2000-2001 he worked for Philip Glass’ The Looking Glass Studios and Dunvagen Music Publishers, where he did studio recording, Pro-Tools post-production, music sequencing, music copying and music editing for the Philip Glass Ensemble, film scoring projects, and operatic works. He received a BM from Oberlin Conservatory where he studied composition with Randy Coleman, and has recently completed his PhD at Stony Brook University where he studied with Sheila Silver. At Stony Brook he was also honored with the 2012 Ackerman Award for Excellence in Music. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife Rebecca and sons Quinlan and Liev.