New Amsterdam was proud to partner with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus to present Soundscapes, the Chorus’ annual concert dedicated to contemporary works. This 2014 edition of Soundscapes showcased the latest fruits of BYC’s commissioning program: new music by fellow Brooklynite Julianna Barwick, who, like the Chorus, is widely acclaimed for exploring new directions in singing. She also joined the Chorus in performing selections from her recent album Nepenthe.
Brooklyn Youth Chorus’ collaboration with Julianna Barwick is part of a season of commissions the organization engaged New Amsterdam to curate. Soundscapes also featured Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw’s “Its Motion Keeps,” the first BYC commission New Amsterdam originated which made its premiere at Carnegie Hall in December 2013. Results of the BYC-New Amsterdam alliance were also on display in this year’s Ecstatic Music Festival, when BYC and Colin Stetson performed Stetson compositions co-commissioned by BYC.
In addition to the Barwick and Shaw compositions, Soundscapes included music BYC has commissioned from its corps of collaborators: Bryce Dessner’s “Tour Eiffel” and Nico Muhly’s “Short Prayers in Respect of a Storm,” both commissioned for BYC’s Tell the Way (2011), and Missy Mazzoli’s “As Long As We Live.”