The Kinds of Kings / ~Nois collaboration grew from a friendship between Gemma Peacocke and ~Nois that formed at the Eighth Blackbird Creative Lab in 2018. After a year of planning, the premiere of the first iteration of the Kinds of Kings and ~Nois program took place at Roulette Intermedium in Brooklyn, New York, with performances following in Chicago and Los Angeles during the Winter of 2020. As the musical world went on hiatus during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the collaboration between ~Nois and Kinds of Kings did not. Instead it has continued to morph into the final product that we have today: Kinds of ~Nois.
Gemma Peacocke – Dwalm
Maria Kaoutzan – Shore to Shore
Shelley Washington – BIG Talk
Maria Kaoutzan – Count Me In
Gemma Peacocke – Hazel
Written in 2018 and premiered in 2019, Gemma Peacocke’s Dwalm and Maria Kaoutzani’s Shore to Shore represent the beginning of the musical friendship between the two groups. BIG Talk by Shelley Washington (the only work on the program not written for ~Nois) serves as a personal response to the repulsive prevalence of rape culture that can be observed in catcalling and sexual harassment that female-identifying persons experience and endure on a daily basis. These three pieces became a central part of the ~Nois repertoire, and were being performed across the country until March 2020.
Over the course of the pandemic, Peacocke’s Hazel and Kaoutzani’s Count Me In were composed as counterparts to the two composers’ first saxophone quartets. These new works represent a different style of musical collaboration: one that thrives on hope for togetherness in the future despite not having the luxury of physical proximity in the present.