Live from Merkin Concert Hall’s Ecstatic Music Festival 2012
“On Tuesday, March 20 at 7:30 pm ET, Q2 Music and New Sounds Live present a live audio webcast of composer and indie heavyweight Dan Deacon from Merkin Concert Hall’s Ecstatic Music Festival. Following on last year’s collaboration with So Percussion, Dan Deacon now teams up with NOW Ensemble and the Calder Quartet to present a series of world premiere works for chamber ensembles.”
A live Webcast of the Ecstatic Music Festival
“On Wednesday, February 8 at 7:30 pm ET, John Schaefer of WNYC’s New Sounds Live hosts a live audio Webcast on Q2 Music of Son Lux, Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry, and new-music heavyweights yMusic as part of the Ecstatic Music Festival‘s continued collaboration between classical and indie musicians.
Multi-instrumentalist and composer Richard Reed Parry, of the Grammy-winning rockers Arcade Fire, is also a founding member and producer of the Montreal-based instrumental group Bell Orchestre. Ryan Lott, who as Son Lux melds elements of electronica, indie rock, and classical composition, has earned accolades for his two LPs, At War with Walls & Mazes and We Are Rising, a record composed during a single month in response to an NPR challenge.
yMusic, a sextet of classically-trained New York-based composers, released their debut album, Beautiful Mechanical last fall. The record was rated the number-one classical release of 2011 by The New York Times and included compositional contributions from Son Lux along with indie rock luminaries St. Vincent and Shara Worden as well as from composer and Ecstatic Music Festival curator Judd Greenstein. The ensemble’s collaborative spirit is a microcosm for that of the festival: its members have collaborated with Grizzly Bear, The National, Björk and others.”
See the full article here.
“As New Composers Flourish, Where Will They Be Heard?“
This article is copyright protected, so just a couple of notes.
“…the world of young, inventive and often populist composers is exploding…These young composers may hold the key to classical music’s future, and the future they create might not be what you expect. Increasingly they have come to consider the machinations of the big-ticket musical organizations — and debates about how to get them to accommodate new music — as beside the point….”
This article is an in depth look at the new serious music universe. This universe includes the new composers themselves, their record labels (or the lack of them) and the venues which they find amenable to their musical pursuits. Among the labels mentioned are “…New Amsterdam, Cantaloupe and Tzadik, all composer run and stylistically freewheeling….” To this list, I might add Innova, from American Composers Forum, St Paul, MN.
Among the venues we find Le Poisson Rouge, Cornelia Street Café, Galapagos, The Stone, Issue Project Room, Roulette, all in New York City. Composers noted in the article include Nico Muhly, Missy Mazzoli, Du Yun, Judd Greenstein, Caleb Burhans, and Bryce Dessner. The only groups I saw noted were ETHEL and Victoire. But others which might have been included are ACME, ICE, yMusic, eighth blackbird, and itsnotyouitsme.
Not at all mentioned in the article (if I missed it, I hope that someone will correct me), is New York Public Radio’s 24/7 New Music web stream Q2. This stream takes these and other composers and musicians out to a wide world, with an international listenership. A stand-out at Q2 is the work of Nadia Sirota. She hosts a four hour program which includes several themes, e.g, Hope Springs Atonal. Her program streams at noon and midnight. Two other standout focused programs are Hammered! which is concerned with keyboard music, and The New Canon.Also important to the success of what has been called “New Music” are two programs on WNYC, New York Public Radio’s original outlet service. For thirty years, John Schaefer has been bringing new composer to the public on the nightly program New Sounds. For a somewhat shorter time, we have been able to hear them on John’s other program, Soundcheck.
Something that I personally would like to see added into the mix for New Music would be the advent of long form music videocast. The best examples I can cite for this are three videos produced by and for ICE, which were made available at Q2. Just to give one example, the music of Steve Lehman in a 46 minute video can be found here. I just actually searched this up also at Google Video here. Both of these examples are free to the public.But, I would personally like to see these videos made available at the music groups’ web sites, based upon a membership fee for a user id and password, and then some sort of fee, maybe $5 or $10 as a “ticket” price. This would greatly universalize the availability of musical experience to populations living no where near to actual concert events. To whit: ICE just did a heavily promoted concert in Chicago. But, I am in New Jersey. I might be very interested in that musical experience. So, if it were made available from a videocast archive, and if I was registered with ICE, I could pay a small “ticket” price and have that experience.
This is a huge and important article. The items I note as missing from the article do not in any way diminish its thesis or importance. See the full article here.
Composer Ben Frost, Brian Eno, & host John Schaefer ((WNYC/Caryn Havlik))
If Brian Eno is your guy, you are in good company.
Thanks, John, for 30 great years. I just caught PGM 2067, the 20th anniversary show, on my Zune. It used to be a lot of work to get those shows, recording them. Now, with RSS feeds to tell us what is going on, and downloads, it is a snap.
JS-30: CELEBRATING THREE DECADES OF JOHN SCHAEFER
Friday, December 2 at 8 PM
Come celebrate Soundcheck and New Sounds host John Schaefer, as he marks 30 years on the air at WNYC.
Join us for an evening of live music with special guests and heartfelt memories, emceed by Grammy Award-winning singer Angelique Kidjo. With special guests Laurie Anderson, ETHEL String Quartet, Simone Dinnerstein and others.
Tickets: $30 at thegreenespace.org
Includes access to the after-party
“On Wednesday, March 17 at 7 pm, Q2 and New Sounds Live team up once again to bring you a live audio and video Webcast from The Greene Space. Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble and the Todd Reynolds Quartet perform tracks from Monk’s newest album, Songs of Ascension. Join New Sounds’ host John Schaefer for performance and conversation with Monk and featured musicians, including Q2’s own Nadia Sirota.”
See the full article here.
Be there or be square.
These are my sources for music and information. If you have any suggestions for me, I would appreciate seeing them in Comments.
New Amsterdam Records – “…a non-profit-model record label and artists’ service organization that supports the public’s engagement with new music by composers and performers whose work grows from the fertile ground between genres….”
From NPR/music and WNYC’s New Sounds: “The Unsound Music Festival – Hear A Mix Of Modern Composers From This Year’s Concert Series”
by John Schaefer
“There is music, and there is noise. That statement, uninteresting in itself, becomes less so when you try to determine the boundary between the two. Sound exists as a spectrum, and the bar between music and noise exists in very different places along that spectrum for each listener. At one extreme, you can still find, say, a diehard Bach fan who says that all rock music sounds like noise. This may not be just a dismissive opinion, but a genuine experience of amplified music as being disorganized and grating. In other words, noise. At the other end, you have someone like the late John Cage, who famously said that everything we do is music, and who loved to listen to the sounds of the world coming through the window of his Sixth Avenue apartment in Manhattan. Even Cage, though, was initially repulsed by the dense blocks of sound created by Glenn Branca in his symphonies for electric guitars. The point is, “music” and “noise” are in the ear of the beholder, and the ways we divide and organize the sounds around us are as unpredictable as we are.
This kind of thinking seems to reside at the heart of the Unsound Festival. It has certainly been a part of my thinking in programming New Sounds, the long-running WNYC new-music show that was distributed by NPR for much of the 1980s and ’90s. Sounds that may not seem musical at first can become musical in context, and sounds that some people have deep emotional and physical responses to may not be recognizable as “music” to many others. Examples: Train whistles and spoken voices become not just musical, but melodic in Steve Reich’s Different Trains. Listening to Ben Frost’s By the Throat can be genuinely unsettling, and nowhere more so than in the moments where the recognizable instruments fall away, leaving the whistling Arctic wind, wolf howls and blocks of distorted sound. These are the types of artists who have appeared, both on recordings and in person, on New Sounds over the years, and both will be represented in the Unsound Festival this year, as well.
Brian Eno (right) and his protege, composer Ben Frost, are featured at this year’s Unsound Festival in New York City.
See John’s full article here. And take a lokk at “New Sounds’ “Unsound” Playlist” at the end of the page. Wow!
During its long time on the air, New Sounds has brought forward all sorts of music, musicians and composers. While there are sometimes guests in the studio, this program sticks pretty much to the presentation of the music.
So, guess what? If you visit the show page at the WNYC web site, and scroll down, on the right you will see a calendar which can lead you to probably every New Sounds program ever broadcast. This is the current incarnation of the New Sounds Archive, long may it live.
Give yourself a treat. Access the archive, dig around and find what you might enjoy hearing.
You can also hunt stuff up by just doing a search on the WNYC web site. Just search on the name of the composer, musician, genre, group, whatever.
“There is so much Q2 on Q2 this week! Monday, Tuesday, and Friday on the show, we explore music that was written during composers’ salad days. We’re focusing on the early works that catapulted some of our favorite composers into their careers. For some, these are voice-defining pieces, and for others, these works were composed in styles long-discarded.
Wednesday and Thursday’s shows are devoted to our Web cast of the Kaufman Center’s Ecstatic Marathon, an event that took place three weeks ago. Having participated in the marathon, I can say that I was blown away by the quality and diversity of the performers, the craft of the music and, honestly, the rabid devotion of the audience! If you missed the marathon, or simply live elsewhere, this is your chance to virtually attend a wonderful show.
Make sure to listen to Q2 Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. for the Ecstatic Music Festival’s Bang on a Can People’s Comissioning Fund Concert. This concert is the first of four New Sounds Live Web casts hosted by WNYC’s John Schaefer.”
Bang On A Can All-Stars
Thursday, February 10, 7:30pm at Merkin Concert Hall
129 W 67th St
New York, 10023
New Sounds Live:
Bang on a Can All-Stars
2011 People’s Commissioning Fund Concert
This concert is part of the Ecstatic Music Festival.
The famed electric chamber ensemble, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, perform three world premiere commissions by Bryce Dessner, best known as the guitarist for the acclaimed rock band The National and the improvising new music quartet, Clogs; Nick Brooke, whose gamelan-inspired theatrical soundscapes are a genre all its own; and Karsh Kale, known for his genre-bending fusions of electronic, Indian classical music, rock, jazz and hip-hop. Also on the program: the pulsating, virtuosic Horses of Instruction by British composer Steve Martland , the hauntingly subtle Convex/Concave/Concord by Danish composer Pelle Gudmunsen-Holmgreen and the intensely grooving Believing by Bang on a Can co-founder Julia Wolfe.
“From January 17 through March 28, Merkin Concert Hall plays host to the first-ever Ecstatic Music Festival. This three-month, 14-concert event presents collaborations between songwriters, composers and performers from classical and popular music traditions.
The festival kicks off with a free seven-hour marathon on Jan. 17 featuring BūKE AND GāSS , Victoire, So Percussion, NOW Ensemble, Ne(x)tworks, members of the Bang on a Can All-Stars any many more. Q2 will Web cast this event at a later date and archive it as an on-demand stream. Q2 is also thrilled to partner again with New Sounds Live to bring you 4 live Web casts from the festival, all hosted by John Schaefer.
Unlike other festivals that juxtapose performers from different worlds on a single bill, Ecstatic Music aims to foster new collaborations and experimental commisions. Immerse yourself in this world of cross-pollinations all week starting Jan. 17 on Q2 as we embrace this spirit of sincere, unbridled creativity.”
John Meets Marvin – I’d Love to Be A Fly On The Wall
I have some of my best – or worst – ideas while out on my exercise walks. Here is my latest:
John Schaefer is the absolute impresario of New Music in New York City, maybe now, with the internet, the whole wide world. I have been listening to John it seems forever. New Sounds took me from my father’s world of Beethoven through Copland to the heights of the late 20th century with Arvo Pärt, Sir John Tavener, the Turtle Island Quartet, Steve Reich, Philip Glass and oh so many more great artists and composers. These days, Soundcheck is the key destination for artists and composers both new and not so new. It was on John’s Soundcheck celebration of New Sounds’ 20th anniversary that the Turtle Island guys said and I paraphrase, no New Sounds, no Turtle Island. I still have a copy of the 1985 interview with Steve Reich from the broadcast premier of the Desert Music.
Marvin Rosen is the impresario of the Classical Discoveries web site. His two programs Classical Discoveries and Classical Discoveries Goes Avantgarde are a constant education. One of Marvin’s mottos, identical with mine, is “support living composers”. On Marvin’s longer programs this Summer, he has hosted extended interviews with Maya Beiser, Jennifer Castellano, Piffaro – The Rennaisance Band, Ethel, guitarist and Princeton University Professor Steve Mackey, Innova’s Philip Blackburn, and Barbara Harbach. What? You don’t know who some of them are? Tune in every Wednesday from about 6:00AM-3:00PM during the rest of this Summer and you will surely learn who they are and get a fuller education. Marvin is Dr Marvin Rosen, member of the Arts Faculty at Westminster Conservatory.
If I had to thank John for one composer, it would be Arvo Pärt. When I went all digital, I had to rip 16 CD’s to .mp3 .
From Marvin, it would be Alan Hovhaness. By this time, I was buying albums in .mp3 from Amazon. Right now, the number is nine, but we are still counting.
There is no way to thank these guys for the abundance of educational material they present to the listener each and every week.
Exciting Events at Classical Discoveries
In the coming weeks on-air host Marvin Rosen will be hosting exceptional composers on the faculty at Princeton University.
Marvin in the studio
On Wednesday, July 7, 2010, Marvin will have the company of Paul Lansky from 10:00AM-12:30PM. Paul Lansky is known as a composer of electronic or computer music. You can read about him at his web site or in Wikipedia.
On Wednesday, July 21, 2010, Marvin’s guest will be Steven Mackey . Steven Mackey is a guitarist, composer, and educator.
Marvin and I share one motto, support living composers. I choose to spend my money on living composers, I know Marvin does the same. But, Marvin also devotes a great deal of his few precious hours on the air to the people who are making music happen now.
If you are excited about New Music, be sure to catch Marvin’s programs on Wednesdays at WPRB.
You can visit the Classical Discoveries web site to keep up with what is happening.
“Look & Listen 2010” from Q2
Q2 tells us, “On Wednesday, May 14 at 8 p.m., Q2 streams the opening night of the three-day Look & Listen Festival, one of New York’s best new music events. Taking place May 7 at the Chelsea Art Museum and hosted by WNYC’s John Schaefer, this opening night features music by Q2’s friends Missy Mazzoli and Caleb Burhans, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Hannah Lash, and the revered John Corigliano. The impressive roster of performers includes eighth blackbird, the Jack Quartet, and pianist Jade Simmons.
Since 2002, the Look & Listen Festival has been presenting high-caliber performances of new music in art galleries, simultaneously stimulating eyes and ears. Prior to each concert, cutting edge ambient and electronica works are presented and the evenings also feature informal chats between host and composers.
Listen Wednesday, May 14 at 8 p.m. for the opening night concert from the Look & Listen Festival, as recorded live for Q2 at the Chelsea Art Museum.”
You can stream Q2 from the web site on the pop out player or your own choice of music player. My choice is Winamp.
I just got this album from Innova. Ms Beiser is a cellist. Let me tell you, this lady can play. She was an original member of the Bang On A Can All-Stars.
Here is just a taste of her biography from her web site:
“Described by the The New Yorker as a “cello goddess” and by the San Francisco Chronicle as “the queen of post-minimalist cello,” Maya Beiser has captivated audiences worldwide with her virtuosity, eclectic repertoire, and relentless quest to redefine her instrument’s boundaries.
Over the past decade, she has created new repertoire for the cello, commissioning and performing many works written for her by today’s leading composers. She has collaborated with composers Tan Dun, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, Steve Reich, Louis Andriessen and Mark O’Connor among many others. Maya is a featured performer on the world’s most prestigious stages, having appeared recently at the Sydney Opera House, New York City’s Lincoln Center, the World Expo in Nagoya, Japan, and in Barcelona, Paris, Tokyo, Shanghai, and San Francisco.”
New York City is famous for its ‘New Music” scene. Ms Beiser is an integral part of that scene.
I urge anyone with a sensibility for new Classical music to buy this album. You can buy the CD at Innova’s site, US$15.00, or the .mp3 album at Amazon, US$8.99.
John Schaefer’s New Sounds and Soundcheck Programs on WNYC
I would like to bring forward two radio programs which have both been around now for a very long time.
John Schaefer has cost me probably thousands of dollars. On his two programs John has brought to his audience the best of new music, musicians and composers. I have purchased a lot of music about which I first heard on one or the other of John’s two programs.