Entries tagged with: Nico Muhly
photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis
Nico Muhly / Philip Glass / Tanya Tagaq @ National Sawdust 10/1/2015
Years in the planning, new not-for-profit, artist-led venue National Sawdust finally opened its doors on Thursday night with two disparate "discover the space" inaugural shows. A former actual Williamsburg sawdust factory, the space has been radically tranformed into a very unique space. The entrance and bar occupy a narrow, but tall space with shiny black walls jutting at odd angles. When the door to the main space opened, it revealed a chamber hall, all white with geometric pattern on the walls which can be used as a movie screen (or to project names of the performers). It looks kind of like the Death Star.
It's also smaller than I was expecting. (Official capacity is less than 200.) There's no stage and it feels a bit like a recording studio (which it will double as). The early show, featuring Philip Glass, Nico Muhly, Chis Thile, Nels Cline, Canadian inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq, NS artist in residence Glen Kotchke, and NS curator Jeffrey Zeigler, was seated. But the late show -- Cibo Matto (with Nels Cline and Sean Lennon), a collaboration between steel drum composer Andy Akiho, Zeigler, and poet Roger Bonair-Agard, and a DJ set from James Muphy -- was standing room only and felt more like a DIY show where bands play on the floor. (Albeit a DIY show where people were dressed to the nines and tickets were $100.) There's a balcony across the back of the chamber hall as well. Sound was great and both the Roger Bonair-Agard and Cibo Matto sets were really fun.
A show like that, for me, is where this space's potential really becomes evident. You get intimacy as well as acoustics. While watching Roger Bonair-Agard my mind immediately went to Kate Tempest and thinking how incredible it would be to see her at National Sawdust. Something like Majical Cloudz, who play the venue on October 21 (tickets only $15 for that one), should be interesting too. Most of the programming is of the BAM/Ecstatic Music Festival variety, definitely something Williamsburg hasn't had too much of before. It will be interesting to see how programming goes forward -- but if there's a performer you like playing here, it will mostly likely be a unique experience.
Tonight at National Sawdust, Tanya Tagaq will perform her score to silent documentary Nanook of the North at 8 PM (tickets), and then at 10 PM pianist and keyboardist Leo Genovese will present Legal Aliens, "a new set of compositions for a large ensemble comprised of musicians from around the world" (tickets).
Other shows of note: Matmos, John Zorn, Roomful of Teeth, and more on Saturday (10/3) as part of the Terry Riley festival (tickets); Pitchfork/Blackened Music's Tinnitus Music Series with Sunn O)))'s Stephen O'Malley, Glenn Branca Ensemble guitarist Reg Bloor and Psalm Zero's Andrew Hock on October 25 (tickets); and Real Estate's Martin Courtney on November 20 (tickets).
More pictures from National Sawdust's opening night, below...
the in-process exterior of National Sawdust
Back in May, we posted details on the new non-profit Williamsburg venue National Sawdust, that's set to open on the corner of Wythe Ave and North 6th Street on October 1. Now the venue's initial schedule has been announced.
Three of the venue's curators, The National's Bryce Dessner, composer Nico Muhly and vocalist Theo Bleckmann, will team up for a concert on opening night. They'll be joined by the ACME ensemble and violist Nadia Sirota. Chris Thile (Punch Brothers, Nickel Creek) will open with a solo set. Tickets are on sale now. That's a 7:30 PM show, and there's also a late show that will have curator Jeffrey Zeigler teaming up with Cibo Matto and more (tickets).
Other upcoming shows include throat singer Tanya Tagaq on 10/2 (tickets), a multi-day Terry Riley festival (tickets), Chris Thile's band Punch Brothers on 10/8 (tickets), a John Zorn festival (tickets), Majical Cloudz on 10/21 (tickets), and much more. The venue currently has shows booked through December. Check out the full schedule.
That 10/21 show is currently the only upcoming tour date for Majical Cloudz, who have a new album on the way.
by Andrew Sacher
photo by Annabel Mehran
Joanna Newsom's 2010 album, Have One On Me, is still one of the very best albums of this decade so far, and its followup has been much anticipated for a while. Now, finally, five years later we'll get her fourth album, Divers, on October 23 via Drag City. The first single is "Sapokanikan," which so far is making Divers seem like it's gonna be worth the wait. The video for the single was directed by There Will Be Blood / Boogie Nights filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson, who Joanna worked with on Inherent Vice.
The album features arrangements by Nico Muhly, Ryan Francesconi, Dave Longstreth, and Joanna herself, and production by Steve Albini and Noah Georgeson. Watch the new video and check out the album artwork and tracklist, below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
St. Vincent / Nelly Furtado, tUnE-yArDs, Dev Hynes / finale
In "Contemporary Color," a copresentation of Barclays Center in Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Mr. Byrne has organized collaborations among 10 elite color guard teams and recording artists, including St. Vincent, Nelly Furtado and Devonté Hynes. Between acts, the showcase, performed on Saturday at Barclays Center, included video clips making it clear that for many students, color guard is a way to find like-minded souls in what can be the most harrowing of American experiences: high school.After two shows last week in Toronto, David Byrne brought his music-meets-color-guard "Contemporary Color" extravaganza to Barclays Center on Saturday (6/27) and Sunday (6/28), pairing performers such as St. Vincent, How to Dress Well, Dev Hynes, Ad Rock & Money Mark, tUnE-yArDs, Nelly Furtado and Zola Jesus (performing songs written just for this production) with high school color guard teams. Pictures from Saturday's performance, plus video of St. Vincent and David Byrne's performances from Sunday, continue below...
The idea to pair color guard with live music is an intriguing one, but the results don't entirely click. One exception was the pairing of Somerville High School in New Jersey with Money Mark and Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys whose music, not unlike that of a marching band, grew in power. But too much of the music was on the slow side, suffocating the routines and making it apparent that the earnestness of the performers clashed with the musicians who had difficulty shedding their personas. They may have been in bands in high school, but it didn't feel as if they had ever been band geeks. - [NY Times]
at the corner of Wythe Ave and North 6th Street in Williamsburg...
The non-profit National Sawdust, formerly known as Original Music Workshop, is pleased to announce that its highly anticipated, state-of-the-art, Williamsburg, Brooklyn venue will open this fall. Adopting the name of the factory once housed within the century-old building's shell, the $16 million, 13,000-square-foot space will welcome the public for an inaugural season beginning in October. National Sawdust also revealed today the diversity of world-class artists and composers who are working with the venue's Creative and Executive Director, composer Paola Prestini, to curate the space, and announced the inaugural season's artists- and groups-in-residence and partners. Programming and dates will be announced this summer, with tickets on sale in July.As the press release quoted above points out, new nonprofit Brooklyn venue National Sawdust will open October 1 on the corner of Wythe Ave and North 6th Street in Williamsburg.
In a city teeming with venues, National Sawdust, located at North 6th Street and Wythe Avenue in the heart of Williamsburg, is founded upon a singular, expansive vision: to provide composers and musicians across genres with a setting in which they can flourish, and a place where they are given commissioning support, mentoring and other critical resources essential to create, and then share, their work. It will be a resource not only for the community of musicians, but also for audiences in search of remarkable musical experiences--serious fans and casual listeners alike--at accessible ticket prices. National Sawdust will also offer progressive public programs and educational initiatives.
Designed by Brooklyn-based studio Bureau V, with acoustic design by Arup, National Sawdust is housed within the preserved shell of a century-old, two-story building. The intimate concert venue combines the crafted sensibility of an historic European concert hall with the flexibility of a contemporary, dynamic performance space.
Paola Prestini said, "It's a dream come true, and a rare opportunity, for me to lead a place like National Sawdust as a young composer. I am excited to be in turn creating a venue curated by--and focused on providing vital mentoring, space and support to--so many other still-nascent artists. I look forward to sharing the thrill of their creations and discoveries with audiences."
In addition to Paola Prestini, curators at the venue include The National's Bryce Dessner, contemporary composer Nico Muhly, cellist Jeffrey Zeigler, Baby's All Right/Elvis Guesthouse's Billy Jones, and more. Artists/groups in residence will include Wilco's Glenn Kotche, the ACME ensemble, indie bands Givers and Hessismore, and more. Other partners include American Composers Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and Pitchfork's Brandon Stosuy who will present and co-curate concerts at the venue too.
More curators, artists in residence and partners are listed, via the press release, below...
Ad Rock, Money Mark & Somerville High School Color Guard
David Byrne's high-concept Contemporary Colors shows, which pair pop musicians with high school marching band color guard troupes, are coming up, happening June 22 & 23 in Toronto (tickets) and June 27 & 28 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (tickets).
More details have been announced since we posted, including the composer and team pairings which are as follows:
David Byrne and Les EclipsesFor a better idea of what to expect, you can check out a couple Contemporary Colors videos below. The first, directed by Bill and Turner Ross and edited by Steven Lippman, follows Ad Rock and Money Mark to Somerville High School in NJ for their first meeting. It makes its premiere in this post. The other is more of an overview of the event and a look at what color guard is, featuring Byrne and some of the students. Watch those below.
Nelly Furtado and Ventures
How To Dress Well and Mechanicsburg High School
Devonté Hynes and Black Watch
Kelis and Brigadiers
Lucius and Shenendehowa High School
Money Mark + Ad-Rock and Somerville High School
Nico Muhly + Ira Glass and Alter Ego
St. Vincent and Field of View
tUnE-yArDs and Emanon
photos by Greg Cristman
There were no speeches, or stagy hugs, or arms lifted in reconciliation. Not even a handshake. Still, on Tuesday night at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, two pioneers of Minimalism, the composers Philip Glass and Steve Reich, both 77, put aside a personal and professional feud that lasted more than 40 years and, for the first time since the early '70s, performed together as they had in their early days so often and so momentously."Nonesuch Records at BAM," the 50th anniversary celebration of the label, began last night (9/9) with two events, one being the highly-anticipated collaboration from contemporary composer greats Philip Glass and Steve Reich, their first in four decades. As the above review points out, they were joined by Nico Muhly, Timo Andres and David Cossin, and the performance lived up to its expectations. Pictures and a video in this post.
...The audience that packed the house on Tuesday applauded and cheered with delight when Mr. Glass and Mr. Reich walked onstage to play "Four Organs," scored for four digital keyboards and maracas. The other players were two composer-pianists of the new generation, Nico Muhly and Timo Andres, and the percussionist David Cossin from the Glass Ensemble.
...The ensemble then played Parts 1 and 2 of Mr. Glass's "Music in 12 Parts," completed in 1974, a sort of how-to catalog of Minimalist techniques turned into a haunting, audacious piece. Best of all was the "Funeral of Amenhotep III" from Mr. Glass's 1983 opera "Akhnaten," performed by nine players, including two percussionists, music that in its obsessive figurations seems at once terrifying and exuberant. [NY Times]
Reich and Glass do it two more times, first tonight (9/10) and again on Thursday (9/11). They're in the Howard Gilman Opera House, while jazz composer Brad Mehldau (the other show last night) wraps up his two-night run in the Harvey Theater tonight. Tonight Brad will be joined by Chris Thile of Nickel Creek/Punch Brothers.
More pictures, and that video, below...
Dean Wareham @ Maxwell's, 2011 (more by Chris Gersbeck)
While we already knew that "Nonesuch Records at BAM" and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus / Bryce Dessner collaboration (though details on that one were TBA) were going to be part of the 2014 Next Wave Festival, the full line-up of programming has just been announced. BAM Next Wave runs from September 9 through December 20, featuring 30 theater, music, dance, and film productions. 2014 Next Wave Festival subscriptions and single tickets to BAM Fisher presentations go on sale June 23 to the general public (June 16 to friends of BAM). Single tickets for all other Next Wave engagements go on sale Aug 18 (Aug 11 for Friends of BAM).
That doesn't count the 13 Nonesuch Records 50th anniversary concerts which include shows featuring Philip Glass / Steve Reich; Devendra Banhart, Stephin Merritt, and Iron and Wine; Youssou N'Dour; Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, and more. Tickets to the Nonesuch shows are on sale now.
Among the non-Nonesuch music events, the highlight is probably Exposed: Songs for Unseen Warhol Films which happens at Howard Gilman Opera House on November 6 - 8. Presented by The Andy Warhol Museum (which turns 20 this year) and Dean Wareham, the events comprise 15 never-before-seen films captured by Andy Warhol between 1963 and 1968 on his original 16mm Bolex camera, scored (and performed live) by Bradford Cox, Eleanor Friedberger, Martin Rev, Tom Verlaine and Wareham.
In addition to his three nights with Steve Reich, Philip Glass will also be performing The Complete Piano Etudes at two concerts at Howard Gilman Opera House on Dec 5 & 6.
There's also the world premiere of Black Mountain Songs featuring music by Bryce Dessner, Tim Hecker, John King, Nico Muhly, Richard Reed Parry, Caroline Shaw, and Aleksandra Vrebalov as performed by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. That happens Nov 20 - 22 at BAM Harvey Theatre. You may have gone to a preview of that earlier this month.
Part of the music-theatre program is the US premiere of Shakespeare's Sonnets, "a contemporary take on 25 specially chosen sonnets from Shakespeare's cannon" with a score by Rufus Wainwright and direction by Robert Wilson. Performances happen October 7 - 11 at Howard Gilman Opera House, and Wilson and Wainright will discuss the project on October 8 at BAM Fisher (Hillman Studio).
There is, of course, lots more. A brief rundown of all BAM Next Wave Festival 2014 programming is below...
BYC at Ecstatic Music Fest 2014 (more by David Andrako)
The Brooklyn Youth Chorus have a few performances coming up, and as usual, a couple of them are with notable indie musicians. First, they'll team up with The National's Bryce Dessner for the NYC 2014 Gala Concert on May 20 at The Green Building (452 Union St) which follows the 6 PM cocktails/buffet at 501 Union. They'll be previewing a new work by BYC, Dessner and collaborators commissioned by BAM which will make its world premiere at BAM's Next Wave Festival this year (details TBA). The gala honors Dessner, as well as TD Bank's Peter M. Meyer. Tickets (starting at $375) for the gala are on sale now and proceeds will benefit the Chorus' programming.
Another BYC/indie musician collaboration happens when the Chorus teams up with ambient artist Julianna Barwick for their annual Soundscapes concert, taking place on June 7 at Roulette in Brooklyn. The show will include new music by Julianna, in addition to material from her 2013 album, Nepenthe. Plus, this year's Soundscapes will feature works by Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, and Caroline Shaw. Tickets are on sale now.
The same weekend as Soundscapes, BYC also play their annual Spring Sings! concerts at Roulette with one on Friday night (June 6) and two Saturday (6/7) matinees before the Soundscapes show that night.
The Soundscapes concert is part of a few upcoming dates for Julianna Barwick, who is getting her own beer in collaboration with Dogfish Head:
This June, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery will release Rosabi, a well-hopped Imperial Pale Ale brewed with musician Julianna Barwick. An exclusive run of 1,000 cases of six 750ml bottles will be packaged with a 10-inch record of original songs that Julianna composed using sounds from Dogfish Head's expanded brewery.Just make sure the Brooklyn Youth Chorus doesn't get their hands on any, Julianna!
..."I just love Julianna's sonic palette," says Sam. "Her layered style reminds me of the art of brewing. Her songs are beautiful but completely unconventional, just as our beer recipes are completely nontraditional. But in the end, they are both distinct and find an adventurous community of enthusiasts."
The four-song mini-album will be available in a limited edition of 1,000, sold only in sealed cases of six 750ml bottles of the 8% ABV Rosabi. The vivid rose hue of Rosabi comes from a combination of Munich and Caramel malts and a touch of red rice from Julianna's home state of Louisiana. Citrusy Simcoe and Centennial feed Julianna's love of hops, and the star of the showis her go-to ingredient: wasabi. What's hoppy? ... Wasabi. The Japanese root adds bittering and herbal notes similar to hops, with its subtle heat creeping in after the kick of carbonation.
All of her dates are listed below...
photos by Chris La Putt
Iggy Pop with New Order // Sufjan Stevens with The National
The 24th Annual Tibet House US Benefit Concert took place at Carnegie Hall last night (3/11) with Patti Smith, New Order, Iggy Pop, The National, Sufjan Stevens, Robert Randolph, Philip Glass, Nico Muhly, and many more.
As always, the night featured many collaborations--Iggy Pop with New Order, Sufjan Stevens with The National, Nico Muhly with Philip Glass, and so on. Headliner Patti Smith also paid tribute to the late Lou Reed by covering Transformer's "Perfect Day." Video footage of Iggy Pop and New Order playing Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart," "Transmission," and NO's own "Californian Grass" are in this post. UPDATE: Footage of The National and Sufjan Stevens performing "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks," "This Is the Last Time," and "I Need My Girl" can also be found below.
More pictures, those videos, and the full Tibet House US 24th Annual Benefit setlist lie after the jump...
Iggy Pop at SXSW 2013 (more by Greg Cristman)
The annual Tibet House Benefit Concert is returning for its 24th year on March 11 at Carnegie Hall. As usual, artistic director Philip Glass is performing and has a typically amazing lineup of Bryce Dessner (of The National), Nico Muhly, Iggy Pop, New Order, Patti Smith (who also played last year), Techung and Joe Walsh. Tickets are on sale now and proceeds will benefit the Tibet House US.
Aesop Rock in Austin in 2012 (more by Tim Griffin)
Bang On A Can's David Lang is the 2013-2014 season's holder of the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair at Carnegie Hall, and for the season, he'll be presenting his collected stories series. On the series, David says:
My series--collected stories--divides up the narrative world into topics so we can see how the music changes from subject to subject. Music from different cultures, times, environments, and sound worlds, plus some really exciting commissions, are placed next to each other, highlighting their narrative similarities and telling a larger kind of story about how we listen, experience sound and time, and use music to make sense of the world around us.The series includes a number of shows throughout the year, notably 'collected stories: love/loss' on April 24 with The Uncluded (aka Aesop Rock and Kimya Dawson), Sam Amidon, Nico Muhly, Nadia Sirota and others (tickets); 'collected stories: (post)folk' on April 27 with guitar great Kaki King, the Alarm Will Sound ensemble, and others (tickets); and 'collected stories: spirit' on April 23 with Tuvan throat singers Huun-Huur-Tu and others (tickets). Full collected stories schedule below.
Speaking of Kaki King, she also plays the New York Guitar Festival this month.
And speaking of Bang On A Can, BOAC's marching band Asphalt Orchestra is performing the Pixies' Surfer Rosa in NYC at Le Poisson Rouge on Sunday (1/12). Tickets for that show are on sale now.
collected stories schedule below...
NPR Music posted their 50 Favorite Albums of 2013, and as usual it included a lot of classical, jazz, world music, but also many of the indie/pop/rap/metal that shows up on these lists like Bill Callahan, Blood Orange, Chance the Rapper, Deafheaven, Flaming Lips, Haim, James Blake, Kanye West, Laura Marling, Run the Jewels, Sky Ferreira, Waxahatchee and more. Their list is in alphabetical order, and you can browse the full thing below.
Nico Muhly's opera Two Boys, which opened last week, continues its run at the Metropolitan Opera run with five more shows through November 14, including this Wednesday (10/30) and Saturday(11/2). You can still grab tickets at the Met's website.
New York Times gave it a mostly positive review, writing "Nico Muhly has a voice, a Muhly sound, and it comes through consistently in his opera Two Boys, a dark, ambitious and innovative work." Plot-wise, the story is a bit of Catfish-meets-Law & Order in the sense that it follows a detective trying to unpack murder mystery (and involves chatrooms and online anonymity -- also hand jobs). The production is definitely worth seeing and tickets are as cheap as $25 (less if you don't mind standing).
It should also be mentioned that Muhly did the music for the Daniel Radcliffe-starring Beat Generation film Kill Your Darlings, which recently opened.
You can see Muhly himself, performing with violinist Pekka Kuusisto at Le Poisson Rouge on January 3 (doing the music of Bach, Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass and Muhly's own works). Tickets are on sale.
NPR did a concert with Muhly at Le Poisson Rouge in May, which included songs (and singers) from Two Boys, as well as performances by frequent collaborators Sam Amidon, Nadia Sirota and others. Check out video from that along with a trailer for 'Two Boys', below...
by Andrew Frisicano
Two Boys, the opera by Nico Muhly and librettist Craig Lucas, makes its NYC debut October 21 at the Metropolitan Opera House with a run of seven shows (10/21, 10/25, 10/30, 11/2, 11/6, 11/9 & 11/14). Tickets are on sale now. As described by the Met, the show explores "identity and desire in the shadowy world of the Internet as a detective investigates the stabbing of one teenage boy by another -- and discovers a tangled web of online intrigue." You can hear/see a preview of English National Opera's 2011 production in this post.
Another new opera, Anna Nicole, is currently at BAM (through September 28th) as part of the Next Wave Festival. The show is possibly the last ever production by the New York City Opera (and most certainly the last for this abbreviated season) -- the group says it needs to raise $7 million by the end of September to put on its planned 2013-14 schedule. And they're asking for $1 million from regular folks by way of Kickstarter.
Two Boys preview video below.
'Anna Nicole' kicks off BAM's 2013 Next Wave Fest...
BAM has announced the 2013 Next Wave Festival which runs from September 17 - December 22. The line-up features a diverse range of programming including opera, theater, music and dance. This year's fest kicks off with the US premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage's opera Anna Nicole which has performances at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House from September 17 - 28:
The 2013 Next Wave Festival launches with the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and New York City Opera co-production of Anna Nicole, an opera by composer Mark-Anthony Turnage and librettist Richard Thomas based on the flamboyant life and tragic death of Anna Nicole Smith.Other highlights include... the New York premiere of Jem Cohen's "We Have an Anchor" at BAM Harvey Theater from September 26 - 28:
DIY auteur and consummate independent filmmaker Jem Cohen (Museum Hours, Instrument, Benjamin Smoke) collaborates with a supergroup of acclaimed musicians-- Guy Picciotto (Fugazi), Jim White (Dirty Three), T. Griffin (The Quavers), Efrim Manuel Menuck and Sophie Trudeau (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Thee Silver Mt. Zion), and Jessica Moss (Thee Silver Mt. Zion), plus guest vocalist Mira Billotte (White Magic)--in this cinematic love letter to Nova Scotia's Cape Breton.And there's "21c Liederabend, op. 3" featuring compositions by compositions by new-music's finest: Thomas Cabaniss, Christopher Ceronne, Thomas Cipullo, Anna Clyne, Mohammed Fairouz, Judd Greenstein, Ted Hearne, Marie Incontrera, David T. Little, Tod Machover, Missy Mazzoli, Nico Muhly, Olga Neuwirth, Paola Prestini, Huang Ruo, Timur and the Dime Museum, Michael van der Aa, Alexandra Vrebalov, Julian Wachner, Holcombe Waller, Eric Whitacre, and Du Yun.
There's also Questlove with "Electronium: The Future Was Then," which happens at Howard Gilman Opera House on October 25 & 26:
Following the success of Shuffle Culture (2012 Spring Season), BAM welcomes back Questlove with Electronium: The Future Was Then, a freely-associative and impressionistic musical homage to pioneers in the electronic music scene between 1948 and 1979. Questlove will be joined on stage by artists including Jeremy Ellis, How To Dress Well, Sonnymoon, and others to be announced. In Electronium, seminal electronic and archival recordings will be paired with modern riffs on classic electronic music models such as Busoni's New Esthetic in Music and Pierre Schaffer's Cinq Etudes--in addition to music from technological innovators such as Bob Moog, Stevie Wonder, and George Clinton.Choreographer Bill T. Jones will have the New York premiere of his colaborative work, A Rite at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House from October 3 - 5:
Coinciding with the centenary of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, director Anne Bogart and choreographer Bill T. Jones present the collaborative work A Rite. A true dance-theater piece, A Rite examines the revolutionary score through the lens of our present cultural moment, incorporating the writings of physicist Brian Greene, musicologist Severine Neff, and Jonah Lehrer's bestselling book Proust was a Neuroscientist. The cast of dancers and actors blend seamlessly--from a discourse on the piece and its controversial reception to large group dances that reflect Nijinsky's famous steps--all set to a deconstruction of the score that ranges from a modern recording to an old crackling one to a section sung by the cast.Then there's Gary Lucas - "The Edge of Heaven" at October 4 & 5 at BAM Fisher:
Acclaimed American guitarist and songwriter Gary Lucas returns to BAM with a live performance of his album The Edge of Heaven (2010), a series of Chinese pop tunes from the 1930s, arranged and performed with a blues inflection. Those songs were made famous by two of the biggest music and film stars--Bai Kwong and Chow Hsuan--in an era when Shanghai was known as the Paris of the East. The Edge of Heaven album reached number one on the World Music charts in Canada and was chosen as one of the Best Discs of the Year by the French newspaper Libération. Featuring Lucas, his band Gods and Monsters, and two female vocalists--Sally Kwok and Mo Hai Jin-- from Shanghai, the cabaret-style performance received standing ovations in 2011 at both the 64th Holland Festival in Amsterdam and the 28th Nijmegen Music Meeting.And also post-classical string quartet ETHEL who are premiering their new work Documerica on October 2 at BAM Harvey Theater.
Season tickets to BAM Next Wave go on sale June 10 to Friends of BAM and June 17 to the general public. Tickets to individual performances of Anna Nicole, The Blue Dragon, and We Have An Anchor go on sale August 5 to Friends of BAM and August 12 to the general public. Everything else goes on sale August 26 to Friends of BAM and September 3 to the general public.
There's lots more than this happening at BAM Next Wave and the rundown of all this season's programming is below.
photos by Amanda Hatfield
"#Planetarium brought the house down. The future is officially made of lights, lasers and projectors." - @BAM_Brooklyn
'Planetarium' at BAM, 3/21/2013
Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, and Sufjan Stevens' long-in-the-works collaboration, Planetarium, made its debut last night (3/21) at BAM's Howard Gilman Opera House and was a symphony of light and sound. The first half featured individual works by each of them played by a sting quartet (frequent Dessner/Sufjan players Rob Moose, Nadia Sirota, Ben Russell, and Clarice Jensen) which inlcluded the debut of a new piece by Dessner, four of Sufjan's "Year of" pieces, and Muhly's "Diacritical Marks 1--8."
After that, Planetarium commenced, with each song dedicated to a planet with projections to match on a huge orb above the stage. Plus, lots of laserrs. The evening ended with autotune/vocodered cover of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."
Planetarium continues tonight through Sunday (3/22 - 3/24) and Sunday is the only day there are still tickets available. You can't buy online but you can call the box office at 718.636.4100.
Meanwhile, Dessner's next BAM project is the 2013 Crossing Brooklyn Ferry festival in April.
More pics from last night's 'Planetarium' debut are below.
by Bill Pearis
With their EP Delicious release of September 2012, Birmingham's Peace showcased four distinct sides to their musical personality. There was the twitchy Foals-like number; another harking back to the ragged blues-rock of The Doors. The EP was high in quality, but posed a question: just what do Peace really sound like?UK group Peace (not to be confused with Vancouver punk band of the same name) are on the "longlist" for BBC's Sound of 2013 poll and their single "California Daze" came in at #13 on NME's Best Singles of 2012 list. As mentioned above, there's is a Foals-esque vibe to their music, but comparisons could be made to Mystery Jets as well. You can stream "California Daze" below and watch a few music videos as well, including one for their new single, "Wraith."
2013 will provide the answer - although the shape this blossoming band settles on is likely to be left malleable. Comparisons to Vampire Weekend and Friendly Fires are impressive on-paper parallels. But Peace are hinting at something rather more singular, and they'll want to deliver music that connects with unique effect, rather than via echoes of recent past. - [BBC Sound of 2013]
New Yorkers (or visitors to the area) who want to see what al the fuss is about in person will have that opportunity next week, as Peace are making a quick American visit to both coasts next week and will be in NYC on December 19 for two shows. They play a free early show (7PM) at Pianos, and will then head across the Williamsburg bridge to play Glasslands, opening for Touché, a show that also has Rarechild, and Night Shining on the bill. Tickets are still available. If you can't make it to those shows, Peace will be back in 2013 for SXSW which may include some non-Austin dates as well, we'll see.
If you're going to that Pianos show and want to stick around, the show immediately after (doors at 8PM, but not free) features a headlining set from Brooklyn's San Fermin a group that features Ellis Ludwig-Leone who has worked (as an assistant to Nico Muhly) on arrangements for The National, Passion Pit, Sufjan Stevens, and more. Sam Fermin (that also features Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe of Lucius) make music equally indebted to indie rock and theatre, and you can stream a track below which is from their self-titled debut, out in February 2013. The late show at Pianos also has Annie & the Beekeepers and Great Caesar on the bill and advance tickets ($8) are available.
Tour dates, videos are streams are below...
Crossing Brooklyn Ferry 2012 (more by David Andrako)
The inaugural Crossing Brooklyn Ferry festival that went down at BAM this past May and was curated by The National's Bryce and Aaron Dessner, was a success and they've decided to do it again in 2013. The 2013 festival will take place at BAM from April 25-27. The lineup has not been announced yet but stay tuned.
Another Dessner-related event happening in BAM's 2013 Winter/Spring season is Planetarium, "an evening of songs and instrumental works inspired by the solar system, by Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, and Sufjan Stevens." You may remember that Bryce, Nico, and Sufjan performed one of those pieces, "Venus," at the MusicNOW Festival this year. You can watch a video of that below.
Another music event in BAM's 2013 Winter/Spring season is Mic Check, a "celebration of contemporary music from North Africa and the Middle East," which features hip-hop artists alongside traditional musicians Amkoullel (Mali), El General (Tunisia), El Deeb (Egypt), Brahim Fribgane (Morocco), and Shadia Mansour (Palestine).
All three shows are part of the just-announced 2013 Winter/Spring Season at BAM which includes 12 theater, dance, music, and opera engagements--from Jan 17 to Jun 9.
That Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, and Sufjan Stevens video is below
Sufjan Stevens at Prospect Park in 2011 (more by Jessica Amaya)
As mentioned, the NYC Ballet will be presenting Two Hearts, with music by Nico Muhly, live vocals by Dawn Landes, and choreography by Benjamin Millepied (Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan), starting this Friday (10/5) and running through Tuesday (10/9). Also beginning Friday, is the ballet, Year of the Rabbit with music by Sufjan Stevens (from his Enjoy Your Rabbit album) and choreography by Justin Peck (who has also done work with Philip Glass). More info on Year of the Rabbit and tickets are available HERE. All dates are listed below.
Sufjan is also releasing Christmas music this year (for a change). He'll release a five-EP box set, Silver & Gold: songs for Christmas, Volumes 6-10, on November 13 via Asthmatic Kitty. The box set features guest appearances by Aaron and Bryce Dessner (of The National), Richard Reed Parry (of Arcade Fire, Cat Martino (who plays NYC soon), Ray Raposa of Castanets (who recently released an album), members of Danielson, and more. Check out the cover art(s), tracklist, and a free download of one of the songs below.
photos by Tim Griffin
Glen Hansard @ Hotel Vegan (BV-SXSW 2012)
Over 20 years in the making, singer songwriter Glen Hansard will release his first ever solo album, Rhythm and Repose, on Anti- Records June 19. Best known for his work with The Frames, The Swell Season and in the feature film Once, for which he won an Academy Award, Rhythm and Repose is Hansard's debut solo album and first album of new material since his 2009 release Strict Joy with The Swell Season. The album will be available for presale at http://www.anti.com/storeGlen Hansard previewed some of those new songs at SXSW where one of the shows he played was the BrooklynVegan day party at 'Hotel Vegan' on Thursday, March 15th. Some pictures and videos from his 12:45pm set are in this post.
In recent months Hansard has been seen in the documentary The Swell Season which has toured the film festival circuit this year, contributed two songs to the blockbuster soundtrack, The Hunger Games, and been active in the promotion of Once, The Musical which successfully opened on Broadway on March 18 to rave reviews, including the New York Times who explains, "what was always wonderful about 'Once,' its songs and its staging, has been magnified." Hansard will support the new record on a U.S. tour.
Rhythm and Repose is a result of Hansard's last year and a half of living in New York City. The album was recorded by Patrick Dillett (David Byrne, Arto Lindsay, Laurie Anderson) and produced by Thomas Bartlett (Doveman, The National, Antony and the Johnsons). The record features the musical talents of Brad Albetta (Martha Wainwright) on bass, Ray Rizzo on drums, Nico Muhly and Rob Moose on strings (Bon Iver, Y Music), David Mansfield on slide guitar (Dylan's Rolling Thunder Tour), Javier Mas (Leonard Cohen touring band) and half of Bruce Springsteen's current horn section. Assisting on vocals are Cristin Milioti (Once, The Musical), Sam Amidon, Marketa Irglova and Aida Shahghasemi (Marketa Irglova touring band).
As the above blurb points out, the Once musical is running NOW in NYC, though Glen does not personally act or sing in it.
Glen, who meanwhile is hitting the road with Eddie Vedder, will headline four select shows in June including one on June 29 at Beacon Theater. Tickets for the NYC show went on presale today, and will become available to all as of 9am on Thursday (4/5).
All tour dates, the new solo album tracklist, and a Once musical video, below...
A thick cloak of darkness draped the stage of Radio City when Antony Hegarty began to sing. My eyes trained on his white floor-length robe, the only thing that shone through the fog and shadows.
With its piano melodies and strings arrangements, the Antony and the Johnsons discography is far from sonically lacking. But after hearing the opening measures of "Rapture," the aptly named first song of the evening, it quickly became clear that Hegarty's music was destined to be bigger. And tonight it got that chance, thanks to the addition of a talented sixty-member orchestra. Under the guidance of conductor Rob Moose, Hegarty's music unfurled and exploded into a host of symphonic crescendos. And soon, the darkness on stage subsided as one-by-one, the screens that blanketed the stage began to lift to reveal a dream-like installation of hanging 3D geometric shapes. A restrained laser show only added to the mystique, at times blanketing Antony in a twinkling world of colorful light.
It was that rare kind of performance that breaks your heart only to have the pieces lovingly reassembled, down to the tiniest, most tender bloody shard. Hegarty's lyrics may reveal inner turmoil, but filtered through his sprawling multi-octave voice and unflinching poise, the painful material becomes mesmerizing, life-affirming, and wildly triumphant.
Combining songs from all four Antony and the Johnsons albums and at least one EP, the set revealed the evolution of the band's music, as well as Heggarty's emotions. He even threw in a surprisingly moving rendition of Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" (slowed down and fleshed out to make it nearly unrecognizable). Hegarty powered through the majority of the set, playing some fourteen songs without speaking. But following the dramatic unveiling of the orchestra during "Her Eyes Are Underneath the Ground," Hegarty broke his spell of silence to introduce and sincerely thank everyone who helped make the MoMA-commissioned one-night event possible, including Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman) on piano and Nico Muhly who - along with Maxim Moston and Rob Moose- arranged much of the music. "Well that's quite the bulk of the show," said Hegarty. "I'm so fucking glad. It was so ambitious, this production! It was really insane."
After the applause and laughter died down, Hegarty and his 60+ band mates signed off with two additional songs before the golden velvet curtain slowly made its descent, prompting the audience to collectively exhale before erupting into an elated standing ovation that resonated beautifully throughout the cavernous hall.
More pictures and the setlist from the 1/26 show, below...
photos by Toby Tenenbaum
The guest-filled six-night run of National shows came to an end on Saturday night (12/17), complete with an opening set by Bristol, England-based group This is the Kit who the National discovered on their recent tour of Europe. Maybe you watched the whole show livestreaming online.
Most of the guests on Saturday were the same as Friday, though no Trey. Saturday guests were Thomas Bartlett, Nico Muhly, Richard Reed Parry, Rob Moose, Nadia Sirota, Conrad Doucette and yMusic. Ben Lanz, who also played Thursday and Friday, was on trombone again after leaving the band earlier this year to join Beirut full time.
As mentioned, the Ecstatic Music Festival kicks off on February 4 at Merkin Concert Hall with Jherek Bischoff, who plays with Parenthetical Girls and The Dead Science. He's teaming up with Wordless Music Orchestra and an incredible list of guest vocalists from his upcoming album, which comes out this February, including David Byrne, Craig Wedren (Shudder To Think), Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Mirah, and Zac Pennington (Parenthetical Girls. Tickets are still on sale now.
Speaking of Parenthetical Girls, their tour began last night (12/1) at Glasslands with Gauntlet Hair, Dinowalrus, and Eraas. If you missed it, they'll also be in NYC this Friday (12/3) at Santos Party House with YACHT and Midnight Magic (tickets).
As previously mentioned, Brassland Records is celebrating its 10th anniversary as a label and debuted a new/old track every day of November via various methods including Soundcloud. None of those tracks can be heard in the player that's embedded below. Those include "Spinney" by This is the Kit (who are opening for the National at Beacon Theater on 12/17) and "Secret of the Machines (instrumental)" by Jherek Bischoff. The latter also features drums by Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), and will have vocals by Caetano Veloso in its album version.
Antony w/ an orchestra in 2010 (more by Richard Termine)
This is awesome:
The Museum of Modern Art has commissioned artist/musician Antony to conceive, produce, and perform a large-scale concert and performance event, Swanlights, with Antony and the Johnsons, on Thursday, January 26, 2012, at 8:00 p.m. at Radio City Music Hall. Featuring a 60-piece orchestra, the performance piece is conceived as a new commission especially developed for the January 26 performance, and an evolution of the highly acclaimed The Crying Light, which was presented at the Manchester Opera House for the 2009 Manchester International Festival. Envisioned as a meditation on light, nature, and femininity, Swanlights includes songs from all four of Antony and the Johnsons' albums (self-titled, I am a Bird Now, The Crying Light, and Swanlights), set to symphonic arrangements by Nico Muhly, Rob Moose, and Maxim Moston. It is produced in collaboration with light artist Chris Levine, lighting designer Paul Normandale, and set designer Carl Robertshaw. Antony and the Johnsons: Swanlights is organized by Klaus Biesenbach, Chief Curator at Large of The Museum of Modern Art and Director of MoMA PS1, with the assistance of Eliza Ryan, Curatorial Assistant, MoMA PS1.Tickets go on sale Saturday, 11/12 at at 10am.
This month also sees a work-in-progress screening of TURNING, a film by Charles Atlas and Antony on November 11th at Copenhagen's Documentary Film Festival CPH:DOX.