NewAm at River to River Festival: A Marvelous Order + Amir ElSaffar

NewAm at LMCC's River to River Festival:

excerpts from
A Marvelous Order

by Judd Greenstein, Joshua Frankel,
Will Rawls, and Tracy K. Smith

June 15, 17, 18
7-7:30pm

MORE INFO
 

Multimedia opera about the battle between Robert Moses and Jane Jacobsover the fate of New York City, featuring singers Dashon Burton, Eliza Bagg, Tomás Cruz, Lucy Dhegrae and Christopher Herbert. Live instrumentation by NOW Ensemble and conducted by David Bloom.

Presented in partnership with Times Square Arts and Times Square Advertising Coalition’s Midnight Moment, where the electronic billboards in Times Square will display Frankel’s animations during the month of May 2017.


Amir ElSaffar's
Not Two

June 16
6-8pm
MORE INFO
 

Album-release concert for the Rivers of Sound Orchestra’s debut album, Not Two, bringing together 17 musicians from a broad spectrum of traditions, ranging from Iraqi maqam to American jazz. Using resonance as its governing principle, the music incorporates elements of maqam modal music of the Middle East with jazz and other contemporary practices to create a unique microtonal environment that moves beyond the notions of style and tradition into a realm of uninhibited musical communication.

NOW AVAILABLE: Brooklyn Youth Chorus’ debut album "Black Mountain Songs"

NOW AVAILABLE:

Brooklyn Youth Chorus's
Black Mountain Songs
 

featuring works by Bryce Dessner, Richard Reed Parry, 
Jherek Bischoff, Tim Hecker, John King, Nico Muhly,
Caroline Shaw and Aleksandra Vrebalov


project created by Bryce Dessner and a highlight of the
Grammy Award-winning Chorus’ 25th Anniversary Season


buy via BandcampiTunes, and Amazon




New Amsterdam Records is proud to announce the release of Black Mountain Songs, the debut album from the Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus, out today and available for purchase from BandcampiTunes,and Amazon.

The album has already garnered much praise ahead of its release, with NPR Music writing that it "vividly captures the broad variety of songs in agile, energetic performances by a chorus of nearly 50 vocalists" and The New Yorker praising the "astonishingly secure performance of the young singers, who have been tasked with executing some formidably complex choral textures."

This expansive choral work celebrates and rekindles the utopian spirit of Black Mountain College, where iconic artists including Willem de Kooning, John Cage, Buckminster Fuller, Merce Cunningham, Josef and Anni Albers, Franz Kline, and Robert Rauschenberg converged and collaborated in the mid 20th Century. Black Mountain Songs features works by Bryce Dessner (who also created the project), Richard Reed Parry, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline ShawJherek Bischoff, John King, Nico Muhly, Aleksandra Vrebalov, and a collaboration between Dessner and Tim HeckerBlack Mountain Songs is the studio recording of an evening-length stage work of the same name, which premiered to acclaim in BAM’s 2014 Next Wave Festival. The project was co-commissioned by the Chorus and BAM, co-curated by Dessner and Parry (of the rock bands The National and Arcade Fire), and produced by the Chorus. Dessner, Parry, and Shaw, along with the Chorus, perform on the album.
 
Black Mountain Songs, a highlight of Brooklyn Youth Chorus’ 25th anniversary season, will be celebrated with a special performance, on the evening of the album’s release, at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WQXRThe event is part of the Chorus’ 2016-17 Season artist residency. 


Brooklyn Youth Chorus re-envisions choral music performance through artistic innovation and collaboration, in addition to a distinctively beautiful sound. Black Mountain Songs expresses the spirit of the Chorus as well as Black Mountain College—a richly collaborative, multi-dimensional approach to music making and artistic creativity. Black Mountain College operated from 1933 until 1957, and was fundamentally different from other colleges and universities of the time. It was owned and operated by the faculty, and was committed to democratic governance and to the idea that the arts are central to the experience of learning. Dessner went to a summer camp in the mountains of North Carolina as a child, not far from where Black Mountain College had been, and created Black Mountain Songs to serve as a collaborative work that pays tribute to the college and its ideals. Brooklyn Youth Chorus is perfect for his narrative song cycle in both principle and skill.
 
Most of the words featured in Black Mountain Songs come from poems and texts from Black Mountain faculty or students, including John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Josef and Anni Albers, Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Buckminster Fuller, Robert Duncan, Fielding Dawson, Ruth Asawa, Basil King, and MC Richards.


Brooklyn Youth Chorus performing at Brooklyn Academy of Music

Brooklyn Youth Chorus performing at Brooklyn Academy of Music


The album was produced and edited by two-time Grammy Award-winner Grace Row, recorded and mixed by two-time Grammy Award-winner Charles Harbutt, It was recorded January and March 2015 at Watermusic Recording Studios, Hoboken, NJ; and October 2016 at Systems Two Recording Studios, Brooklyn, NY. The line producer was Jennifer Cambras, and packaging design was by DM Stith.
 
The world premiere production at Brooklyn Academy of Music was conducted by Dianne Berkun Menaker, directed by Maureen Towey, filmmaker Matt Wolf, choreographed by Jenny Shore Butler, set design by Mimi Lien, costume design by Sarah Maiorino, lighting design by Ben Stanton, video and projection design by Grant McDonald, sound design by Jamie McElhinney, narrated by Black Mountain College alumnus Basil King. The production was line produced by Laura Roumanos.
 
This recording is made possible in part through the generosity of an anonymous donor, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, J. Barclay Collins, II, Marie DeRosa and Richard McNeil, Educational Foundation of America, Jeanne Donovan Fisher, Charles J. and Irene Hamm, Annie Keating and Kim Hawkins, Gwen R. Libstag, Hillary Richard and Peter McCabe, Jennifer Sage and Nicolas Grabar, New Music USA, The Morris and Alma Schapiro Fund, Tiger Baron Foundation and Mary Anne and Dick Yancey. Black Mountain Songs is lovingly dedicated to the memory of Brooklyn Youth Chorus’s past chair, fervent supporter and beloved friend, Mary Anne Yancey.


Black Mountain Songs Tracklisting:

1. Black Mountain Song (Bryce Dessner)
2. there is a sound (Richard Reed Parry)
3. Its Motion Keeps (Caroline Shaw)
4. ars imitatur naturam (John King)
5. My World (Bryce Dessner)
6. Bubbles (Aleksandra Vrebalov)
7. Childhood’s Retreat (Jherek Bischoff)
8. Fielding Dawson in Franz Kline’s Studio (Nico Muhly)
9. Maximus to Gloucester (Bryce Dessner)
10. Spaceship Earth (Richard Reed Parry)
11. M.C. Richards (Tim Hecker and Bryce Dessner)
12. Anni’s Constant (Caroline Shaw)
13. Their Passing in Time (Richard Reed Parry)

ANNOUNCING: "Not Two" -- debut album from Amir ElSaffar’s Rivers of Sound Orchestra

ANNOUNCING:

Amir ElSaffar's Rivers of Sound Orchestra:
Not Two

out June 16
 

ensemble's debut album featuring 17 musicians from a broad spectrum of traditions, creating a new musical language that transcends established notions of style and convention

to be released as a double LP with a digital download

pre-order via Bandcamp



“Amir ElSaffar is uniquely poised to reconcile jazz and Arabic music without doing either harm… ElSaffar’s music [is] the result of engagement across the board, presented with clarity and eloquence.”
– The Wire


New Amsterdam Records is proud to announce the release of Not Two, the debut album from Amir ElSaffar's Rivers of Sound Orchestra, to be released June 16 as a double LP with a digital download and now available for pre-order via Bandcamp.

Iraqi-American trumpeter, santur player, vocalist, and composer Amir ElSaffar has mastered disparate musical styles and created a singular approach to combining aspects of Middle Eastern music with American jazz, extending the boundaries of each tradition. ElSaffar’s Rivers of Sound orchestra presents 17 musicians from a broad spectrum of traditions; together, the group creates an entirely new musical language that transcends established notions of style and convention. In performing Not Two, a composition by ElSaffar, each musician in the Rivers of Sound orchestra interacts with the group to create a new approach to transcultural music through the combination of improvisation and composition, the merging of musical languages, maqam and polyphony, and the novelty of the sound. 



Using resonance as its governing principle, Not Two incorporates elements of maqam modal music of the Middle East with jazz and other contemporary musical practices to create a unique microtonal musical environment that moves beyond the notions of style and tradition into a realm of uninhibited musical communication. 

The highest ideal in maqam music is to reach a state of tarab, or “musical ecstasy,” which results from the melting away of borders between a notion of self and other, as performers and audience revel together in the music. As pitches and rhythms become fluid, so do cultural boundaries: elements that traditionally divide musicians and genre-specific modes are re-contextualized in a fresh transcultural soundscape. 

This ideal is central to the music on Not Two. 


The work sees microtonal maqam melodies traverse a richly-textured bed of sound created by oud, buzuk, and santur, in combination with cello, violin, saxophones, English horn and trumpet. Also at play are multi-layered, rhythmic patterns and harmonies performed by re-tuned vibraphone, piano and guitar. The drum set, mridangam, dumbek, frame drums and double-bass provide the rhythmic foundation and subdivisions of the multiple currents. 

ElSaffar also wrote the music with each musician’s sensibilities in mind, and encouraged everyone in the orchestra to consider the written scores as points of reference, beginnings from which they may improvise, vary, re-write, create their own music. This way, the music could be alive, unique to each performance, yet of a certain essence. The players bring their individual experience and understanding into the orchestra, their collective uniqueness combining to form a cohesive whole, allowing Not Two to approach something universal. As pitches and rhythms become fluid, so do cultural boundaries: elements that traditionally divide musicians and genre-specific modes are re-contextualized in a fresh transcultural soundscape. 

ElSaffar has previously forged his novel approach to combining musical languages through his six-piece ensemble Two Rivers. Over the past eight years, the group has released three CD's on Pi Recordings. Not Two is a continuation of the Two Rivers concept, but projected onto a wider canvas unprecedented in scope and imagination. 


Amir ElSaffar photo credit: Michael Crommett

Amir ElSaffar
photo credit: Michael Crommett


Amir ElSaffar explains:

“Rivers of Sound is not concerned with “bridging” divergent cultures. In each composition, one can hear elements of maqam, polyphony, polyrhythmic structures, melisma, and groove. But these do not exist as separate entities “belonging” to any people or place.

After spending much of my life playing and composing in diverse musical worlds, I question the idea of culture. My interest is in finding sonic realms that can embrace the phenomena found in the myriad musical languages, drawing upon sensibilities and materials of various idioms, but without the limitations of a particular genre. The idea is about fluidity: sounds flow into one another, overtones interact, as we come closer to a universal human sound.

Years ago, I had the good fortune to study with Kongo Langlois Roshi, a Zen Buddhist teacher in Chicago. One day, when I shared my inner state of confusion, he replied, “When the mind becomes muddled in dualistic thinking, think ‘not two,’ and all will become clear.”


ElSaffar believes that the nature of this sound cannot be captured digitally and committed to all analog recording, with Not Two being released as a double LP. The limited possibility of making edits when recording analog brought an intense focus to the players' performance in the studio, which is as close as possible to reproducing the feel of a live performance.

ElSaffar received funding from the MAP Fund and Arab Fund for Arts and Culture to create Rivers of Sound. In 2015, the 17 members came to New York City from as far away as Qatar, Palestine, and Brussels in April for three days of rehearsal, the premiere of Not Two at the Lincoln Center, and an epic 14-hour day at Avatar Studios, where they recorded the 80-minute suite directly to tape. The album was produced by ElSaffar, engineered by Sascha Van Oertzen, mixed by John Davis at Bunker Studios, and mastered by Scott Hull at Masterdisk. All compositions on Not Two were written by ElSaffar, whose work is published by BMI.


"Refrains build and fall, textured timbres churn, trancelike waves swell and crest. The rivers motif is fitting — there’s something liquid about these breaking waves of sound, a liquidity to these cascading drops of simple repeating melodic fragments.”
– Rob Garratt, The National

"With his jazz talent, combined with the roots of his ancestors, Amir has created an individual style that is memorable to all who have the good fortune to hear it.”   
– George Wein, Newport Jazz Festival

“ElSaffar’s melismatic trumpet lines conveyed tremendous lyric beauty, his phrases bending and twisting in ways that Western ears are not accustomed to hearing...
among the most promising figures in jazz today.”

– Howard Reich, The Chicago Tribune


Rivers of Sound Orchestra photo credit: Alice Gebura

Rivers of Sound Orchestra
photo credit: Alice Gebura


Not Two Tracklisting:

SIDE A
1. Iftitah
2. Jourjina Over Three

SIDE B
1. Penny Explosion
2. Ya Ibni, Ya Ibni (My Son, My Son)

SIDE C
1. Layl (Night)
2. Hijab 21/8

SIDE D
1. Shards of Memory / B Half-flat Fantasy
2. Bayat Declamation

Rivers of Sound Orchestra:
Amir ElSaffar, trumpet/santur
Carlo DeRosa, acoustic bass
Craig Taborn, piano
Dena ElSaffar, violin/jowza
Fabrizio Cassol, alto saxophone
George Ziadeh, oud/vocals
Jason Adasiewicz, vibraphone
JD Parran, bass saxophone/clarinet
Miles Okazaki, guitar
Mohammed Saleh, oboe/English horn
Naseem AlAtrash, cello
Nasheet Waits, drums
Ole Mathisen, tenor & soprano saxophone
Rajna Swaminathan, mridangam
Tareq Abboushi, buzuq
Tim Moore, percussion/dumbek/frame drum
Zafer Tawil, percussion/oud

This Tuesday: Jasper Quartet Album Release Show at LPR

THIS TUESDAY:

Jasper String Quartet's
Unbound Album Release Show

all show attendees will receive
two free track downloads from the album at the performance


March 28, 2017, 8pm
(Le) Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10012

MORE INFO AND TICKETS


featuring works by Donnacha Dennehy, Annie Gosfield, Judd Greenstein, Ted Hearne, David Lang, Missy Mazzoli, and Caroline Shaw

co-released by New Amsterdam and Sono Luminus


buy via iTunes & Amazon



"The Jaspers... match their sounds perfectly, as if each swelling chord were coming out of a single, impossibly well-tuned organ,
instead of four distinct instruments."
— New Haven Advocate

“Sonically delightful and expressively compelling”
— The Strad

"Powerful"
— The New York Times


New Amsterdam Records is excited to celebrate the release of Unbound, the latest album from Philadelphia's Jasper String Quartet, with an album release show at NYC’s (Le) Poisson Rouge this Tuesday, March 28. All audience members will also receive two free track downloads from the album. More information and tickets here.

Unbound is the latest album from Philadelphia's Jasper String Quartet and released in partnership with Sono Luminus. This is the “sonically delightful and expressively compelling” (The Strad) and "powerful" (The New York Times) ensemble’s fourth album, featuring never-before-recorded works by Donnacha Dennehy, Annie Gosfield, Judd Greenstein, Ted Hearne, David Lang, Missy Mazzoli, and Caroline Shaw, as well as its first album released beyond the Sono Luminus imprint. The release of Unbound also marks the first co-release between New Amsterdam Records and Sono Luminus, and is now available for purchase via iTunes and Amazon.

In advance of the album's release, The Log Journal has shared an exclusive stream of the full album. Second Inversion recently premiered the video to Caroline Shaw's "Valencia"garnering much praise from Pitchfork which stated: "From first note to last, every dramatic twist in 'Valencia' sings." Additionally, WNYC's New Sounds has featured Judd Greenstein's "Four on the Floor," calling it "a non-stop motoring work."


Video for Caroline Shaw's "Valencia," premiered via Second Inversion.


The Jasper String Quartet has spent a decade performing premier works old and new at top concert halls around the world, but for the creation of Unbound, they looked close to home for inspiration. With an equal mix of men and women, the members of the Quartet sought to create an album that represents themselves and their community. Using Judd Greenstein’s “Four on the Floor” as a centerpiece — a virtuosic, dynamic piece that requires togetherness and spirit to perform — the Quartet built a collection of moving, post-genre, and technically impressive works by male and female composers close to their generation. An album for and reflective of right now, Unbound is unbound by convention, yet retains the performance quality expected of a traditional classically trained string quartet.

Releasing Unbound on both New Amsterdam Records and Sono Luminus is an extension of the album’s ideals. New Amsterdam is celebrated for its commitment to releasing expertly performed post-genre music, and Sono Luminus is praised for its meticulous recording process that pulls the best performances out of its groups. Unbound captures the spirit of both labels, and the spirit of the Jasper String Quartet.


Jasper String Quartet Credit: Dario Acosta

Jasper String Quartet
Credit: Dario Acosta


Words about Unbound from the Jasper String Quartet:

“Seeking out new pieces to contribute to this conversation is as important, if not more so, as rediscovering the sublime human experience of a Beethoven quartet. The seven pieces on this album represent a collection of treasures we’ve discovered from this century. One of these pieces, Annie Gosfield’s “The Blue Horse Walks on the Horizon” was written expressly for our quartet. The rest we unearthed as we sifted through the vibrant and varied landscape of music being created today. 

We sought to find a set of pieces that were both enchanting on their own and together represent a cohesive aesthetic. From the immense technical challenges of Judd Greenstein’s “Four on the Floor”, the meditative contemplation of David Lang’s “almost all the time”, to the raw emotion and vivid imagery of Missy Mazzoli’s “Death Valley Junction”, these pieces represent an incredible diversity of sound and style. Yet they all reside comfortably in this wonderful tradition of string quartets, of which we are lucky enough to be a part.”


The Quartet (J Freivogel, first violin; Sae Chonabayashi, second violin; Sam Quintal, viola; and Rachel Henderson Freivogel, cello) is the winner of the prestigious CMA Cleveland Quartet Award, and is currently the Professional Quartet in Residence at Temple University’s Center for Gifted Young Musicians. The Quartet has released three highly acclaimed albums in addition to this one — Beethoven Op. 131, The Kernis Project: Schubert, and The Kernis Project: Beethoven — all released through Sono Luminus.

The group recently launched the inaugural season of Jasper Chamber Concerts, a series in Philadelphia devoted to world class performances of masterworks from around the world and Philadelphia.

Unbound was recorded at Sono Luminus Studios by Dan Merceruio, producer, editing engineer; Daniel Shores, recording, mixing & mastering engineer, editing engineer; David Angell, recording technician; and Collin J. Rae, executive producer.



Unbound Tracklisting:
1. Valencia (Caroline Shaw) WATCH VIDEO
2. Death Valley Junction (Missy Mazzoli)
3. The Blue Horse Walks on the Horizon (Annie Gosfield)
4. Four on the Floor (Judd Greenstein) STREAM
5. almost all the time (David Lang)
6. Pushpulling (Donnacha Dennehy)
7. Excerpts from the middle of something (Ted Hearne)
 


Jasper String Quartet Live:


March 28, 2017 — New York, NY @ (Le) Poisson Rouge, Album Release Show TICKETS / MORE INFO (**All audience members will receive two free track downloads from the album at the performance**)
 
March 30, 2017 — New York, NY @ Atrium Series at Lincoln Center
TICKETS / MORE INFO  

April 04, 2017 — Philadelphia, PA @ Art Alliance
TICKETS / MORE INFO

April 11, 2017 — Detroit, MI @ Cranbrook Music Guild
TICKETS / MORE INFO

April 13, 2017 — Ann Arbor, MI @ Kerrytown Concert House
TICKETS / MORE INFO  

April 19, 2017 — Poughkeepsie, NY @ Arlington Residency
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

April 22-23, 2017  — Wilmington, NC @ Chamber Music
TICKETS / MORE INFO

April 28, 2017  — Swarthmore, PA @ Swarthmore Orchestra
TICKETS / MORE INFO

May 4, 2017 — Philadelphia, PA @ Jasper Chamber Concerts
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

May 7, 2017 — Stamford, CT @ Treetops CMS
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

May 14, 2017 — Washington, DC @ Smithsonian
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

June 16, 2017 — London, England @ Wigmore Hall
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

July 1-10, 2017 — Asheville, NC @ Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

July 19, 2017 — Oberlin, OH @ Credo Music Festival
TICKETS / MORE INFO

July 23, 2017 — Woodstock, NY @ Maverick Chamber Music Festival
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

July 26, 2017 — New Brunswick, NJ @ Chamber Music Institute at Rutgers University
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

July 29, 2017 — New Lebanon, NY @ Tannery Pond
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

August 12-13, 2017 — Delhi, NY @ Honest Brook Music Festival (with Jupiter String Quartet) 
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

September 23, 2017 — Hillsdale, NY @ Clarion Concerts, Leaf Peeper Series
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

October 23, 2017 — Norfolk, VA @ Old Dominion University
TICKETS / MORE INFO

NOW AVAILABLE: Jasper String Quartet's "Unbound"

NOW AVAILABLE:

Jasper String Quartet's
Unbound

co-released by New Amsterdam and Sono Luminus
 

featuring works by Donnacha Dennehy, Annie Gosfield, Judd Greenstein, Ted Hearne, David Lang, Missy Mazzoli, and Caroline Shaw


full album now streaming via The Log Journal

buy via iTunes & Amazon


album release show:
March 28, 2017, 8pm

(Le) Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10012

MORE INFO AND TICKETS



"The Jaspers... match their sounds perfectly, as if each swelling chord were coming out of a single, impossibly well-tuned organ,
instead of four distinct instruments."

— New Haven Advocate

“Sonically delightful and expressively compelling”
— The Strad

"Powerful"
— The New York Times


New Amsterdam Records is proud to announce the release of Unbound, the latest album from Philadelphia's Jasper String Quartet and released in partnership with Sono Luminus. This is the “sonically delightful and expressively compelling” (The Strad) and "powerful" (The New York Times) ensemble’s fourth album, featuring never-before-recorded works by Donnacha Dennehy, Annie Gosfield, Judd Greenstein, Ted Hearne, David Lang, Missy Mazzoli, and Caroline Shaw, as well as its first album released beyond the Sono Luminus imprint. The release of Unbound also marks the first co-release between New Amsterdam Records and Sono Luminus, and is now available for purchase via iTunes and Amazon.

In advance of the album's release, The Log Journal has shared an exclusive stream of the full album. Second Inversion recently premiered the video to Caroline Shaw's "Valencia"garnering much praise from Pitchfork which stated: "From first note to last, every dramatic twist in 'Valencia' sings." Additionally, WNYC's New Sounds has featured Judd Greenstein's "Four on the Floor," calling it "a non-stop motoring work."

The quartet will also celebrate the release with an album release showat NYC’s (Le) Poisson Rouge on March 28, at which all audience members will automatically receive two free track downloads from the album. More information and tickets here.



The Jasper String Quartet has spent a decade performing premier works old and new at top concert halls around the world, but for the creation of Unbound, they looked close to home for inspiration. With an equal mix of men and women, the members of the Quartet sought to create an album that represents themselves and their community. Using Judd Greenstein’s “Four on the Floor” as a centerpiece — a virtuosic, dynamic piece that requires togetherness and spirit to perform — the Quartet built a collection of moving, post-genre, and technically impressive works by male and female composers close to their generation. An album for and reflective of right now, Unbound is unbound by convention, yet retains the performance quality expected of a traditional classically trained string quartet.

Releasing Unbound on both New Amsterdam Records and Sono Luminus is an extension of the album’s ideals. New Amsterdam is celebrated for its commitment to releasing expertly performed post-genre music, and Sono Luminus is praised for its meticulous recording process that pulls the best performances out of its groups. Unbound captures the spirit of both labels, and the spirit of the Jasper String Quartet.


Jasper String Quartet Credit: Dario Acosta

Jasper String Quartet
Credit: Dario Acosta


Words about Unbound from the Jasper String Quartet:

“Seeking out new pieces to contribute to this conversation is as important, if not more so, as rediscovering the sublime human experience of a Beethoven quartet. The seven pieces on this album represent a collection of treasures we’ve discovered from this century. One of these pieces, Annie Gosfield’s “The Blue Horse Walks on the Horizon” was written expressly for our quartet. The rest we unearthed as we sifted through the vibrant and varied landscape of music being created today. 

We sought to find a set of pieces that were both enchanting on their own and together represent a cohesive aesthetic. From the immense technical challenges of Judd Greenstein’s “Four on the Floor”, the meditative contemplation of David Lang’s “almost all the time”, to the raw emotion and vivid imagery of Missy Mazzoli’s “Death Valley Junction”, these pieces represent an incredible diversity of sound and style. Yet they all reside comfortably in this wonderful tradition of string quartets, of which we are lucky enough to be a part.”


The Quartet (J Freivogel, first violin; Sae Chonabayashi, second violin; Sam Quintal, viola; and Rachel Henderson Freivogel, cello) is the winner of the prestigious CMA Cleveland Quartet Award, and is currently the Professional Quartet in Residence at Temple University’s Center for Gifted Young Musicians. The Quartet has released three highly acclaimed albums in addition to this one — Beethoven Op. 131, The Kernis Project: Schubert, and The Kernis Project: Beethoven — all released through Sono Luminus.

The group recently launched the inaugural season of Jasper Chamber Concerts, a series in Philadelphia devoted to world class performances of masterworks from around the world and Philadelphia.

Unbound was recorded at Sono Luminus Studios by Dan Merceruio, producer, editing engineer; Daniel Shores, recording, mixing & mastering engineer, editing engineer; David Angell, recording technician; and Collin J. Rae, executive producer.



Unbound Tracklisting:
1. Valencia (Caroline Shaw) WATCH VIDEO
2. Death Valley Junction (Missy Mazzoli)
3. The Blue Horse Walks on the Horizon (Annie Gosfield)
4. Four on the Floor (Judd Greenstein) STREAM
5. almost all the time (David Lang)
6. Pushpulling (Donnacha Dennehy)
7. Excerpts from the middle of something (Ted Hearne)


Jasper String Quartet Live:

March 19, 2017— Beacon, NY @ Howland Chamber Music Circle
TICKETS / MORE INFO

JUST ADDED: March 28, 2017 — New York, NY @ (Le) Poisson Rouge, Album Release Show TICKETS / MORE INFO (**All audience members will automatically receive two free track downloads from the album at the performance**)
 
March 30, 2017 — New York, NY @ Atrium Series at Lincoln Center
TICKETS / MORE INFO  

April 04, 2017 — Philadelphia, PA @ Art Alliance
TICKETS / MORE INFO

April 11, 2017 — Detroit, MI @ Cranbrook Music Guild
TICKETS / MORE INFO

April 13, 2017 — Ann Arbor, MI @ Kerrytown Concert House
TICKETS / MORE INFO  

April 19, 2017 — Poughkeepsie, NY @ Arlington Residency
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

April 22-23, 2017  — Wilmington, NC @ Chamber Music
TICKETS / MORE INFO

April 28, 2017  — Swarthmore, PA @ Swarthmore Orchestra
TICKETS / MORE INFO

May 4, 2017 — Philadelphia, PA @ Jasper Chamber Concerts
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

May 7, 2017 — Stamford, CT @ Treetops CMS
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

May 14, 2017 — Washington, DC @ Smithsonian
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

June 16, 2017 — London, England @ Wigmore Hall
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

July 1-10, 2017 — Asheville, NC @ Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

July 19, 2017 — Oberlin, OH @ Credo Music Festival
TICKETS / MORE INFO

July 23, 2017 — Woodstock, NY @ Maverick Chamber Music Festival
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

July 26, 2017 — New Brunswick, NJ @ Chamber Music Institute at Rutgers University
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

July 29, 2017 — New Lebanon, NY @ Tannery Pond
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

August 12-13, 2017 — Delhi, NY @ Honest Brook Music Festival (with Jupiter String Quartet) 
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

September 23, 2017 — Hillsdale, NY @ Clarion Concerts, Leaf Peeper Series
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

October 23, 2017 — Norfolk, VA @ Old Dominion University
TICKETS / MORE INFO

This Monday: Molly Joyce EP Release Show at 1 Rivington

THIS MONDAY:

Molly Joyce's
Lean Back and Release


FREE EP Release Show
March 6, 6:30pm

co-presented by New Amsterdam
and Metropolis Ensemble


featuring performances by Joyce and
Metropolis concertmaster Kristin Lee


1 Rivington St.
New York, NY 10002

MORE INFO AND RSVP


buy via BandcampiTunes, & Amazon





New Amsterdam Records is excited to celebrate the release of composer Molly Joyce's debut recording, Lean Back and Release, with aFREE release show this Monday, March 6. The event will be held at Metropolis Ensemble's new pop-up venue, 1 Rivington, and is co-presented by New Amsterdam. The EP title track will be performed by violinist Kristin Lee, concertmaster of the Metropolis Ensemble, and Joyce will also perform the premiere of a new work for toy organ and electronics titled "Form and Deform." Boutique wine will also be served, sponsored by Miro Cellars. More info and RSVP for the event here.

The digital EP, featuring violinists Adrianna Mateo and Monica Germino, has already received press from multiple outlets, including being praised as "arresting" by Textura and an "intoxicating, deepening experience" by Das KlienicumJoyce was also interviewed by the Hartford Courant, which proclaimed that "with 'Lean Back and Release,' Joyce's music will likely receive even more acclaim." Additionally, New York Music Daily has highly recommended the upcoming release show, stating that "fans of cutting-edge, intense string music would be crazy to miss this."

The EP is now available for purchase from BandcampiTunes, and Amazon.


The title track of the EP, "Lean Back and Release", acclaimed for being written to "superb effect" by The Wire, was first performed professionally at the 2014 Bang on a Can Marathon by violinist Adrianna Mateo, for which Mateo was praised as "triumphant" by Time Out New York. The piece is driven by a very gradual descent for the violin in range, imagining the violinist steadily “leaning back” and finally “releasing” the distinct low register of the violin. Two accompanying pre-recorded violin tracks accompany the live violin in order to propel this descent. The recording was engineered and mixed by Andrew McKenna Lee, and mastered by Greg Kalember.
 

The title track is followed by a more recent work, "Shapeshifter", originally written for the Dutch duo of violinist Monica Germino and sound engineer Frank van der Weij. Premiered in April 2015 in The Hague and Amsterdam, "Shapeshifter" is motivated by the concept of control and losing it. It is driven by the fact that with the duo, Frank is typically not seen visually, and therefore the idea of him controlling Monica’s sound and gradually letting go of that control is highlighted throughout the piece, and for Monica to gradually “shape-shift” to a new and divergent sound. The recording was engineered by Frank van der Weij, Krišs Veismanis, and mixed by Michael Laurello, and mastered by Greg Kalember.


Molly Joyce credit: Nadine Sherman

Molly Joyce
credit: Nadine Sherman


Tracklisting:

1. Lean Back and Release
2. Shapeshifter

Upcoming Performances:
 
Mar. 6, 2017: EP Release show
New York, NY @ 1 Rivington
presented by Metropolis Ensemble and New Amsterdam
(featuring violinist Kristin Lee and toy organist Molly Joyce)  LINK

Mar. 9, 2017: Rotterdam, NL @ De Doelen
(featuring violinist Isa Goldschmeding)  LINK

ANNOUNCING: Brooklyn Youth Chorus’ debut album "Black Mountain Songs"

ANNOUNCING:

Brooklyn Youth Chorus'
Black Mountain Songs


out March 31
 

featuring works by Bryce Dessner, Richard Reed Parry, 
Jherek Bischoff, Tim Hecker, John King, Nico Muhly,
Caroline Shaw
and Aleksandra Vrebalov


project created by Bryce Dessner and a highlight of the
Grammy Award-winning Chorus’ 25th Anniversary Season


debut track "Black Mountain Song" by Bryce Dessner
now streaming


pre-order via Bandcamp and iTunes



“Exhilarating…The choral songs at the heart of this work are performed with confidence, energy and tenderness...the sheer beauty of their singing was captivating.”
— Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times, 
on Black Mountain Songs live


New Amsterdam Records is proud to announce the release of Black Mountain Songs, the debut album from the Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus, out March 31.

This expansive choral work celebrates and rekindles the utopian spirit of Black Mountain College, where iconic artists including Willem de Kooning, John Cage, Buckminster Fuller, Merce Cunningham, Josef and Anni Albers, Franz Kline, and Robert Rauschenberg converged and collaborated in the mid 20th-Century. Black Mountain Songs features works by Bryce Dessner (who also created the project), Richard Reed Parry, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline ShawJherek Bischoff, John King, Nico Muhly, Aleksandra Vrebalov, and a collaboration between Dessner and Tim HeckerBlack Mountain Songs is the studio recording of an evening-length stage work of the same name, which premiered to acclaim in BAM’s 2014 Next Wave Festival. The project was co-commissioned by the Chorus and BAM, co-curated by Dessner and Parry (of the rock bands The National and Arcade Fire), and produced by the Chorus. Dessner, Parry, and Shaw, along with the Chorus, perform on the album.
 
Black Mountain Songs, a highlight of Brooklyn Youth Chorus’ 25th anniversary season, will be celebrated with a special performance, on the evening of the album’s release, at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WQXRThe event is part of the Chorus’ 2016-17 Season artist residency. 
 
Stream/embed track “Black Mountain Song“ by Bryce Dessner here.



Brooklyn Youth Chorus re-envisions choral music performance through artistic innovation and collaboration, in addition to a distinctively beautiful sound. Black Mountain Songs expresses the spirit of the Chorus as well as Black Mountain College—a richly collaborative, multi-dimensional approach to music making and artistic creativity. Black Mountain College operated from 1933 until 1957, and was fundamentally different from other colleges and universities of the time. It was owned and operated by the faculty, and was committed to democratic governance and to the idea that the arts are central to the experience of learning. Dessner went to a summer camp in the mountains of North Carolina as a child, not far from where Black Mountain College had been, and created Black Mountain Songs to serve as a collaborative work that pays tribute to the college and its ideals. Brooklyn Youth Chorus is perfect for his narrative song cycle in both principle and skill.
 
Most of the words featured in Black Mountain Songs come from poems and texts from Black Mountain faculty or students, including John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Josef and Anni Albers, Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Buckminster Fuller, Robert Duncan, Fielding Dawson, Ruth Asawa, Basil King, and MC Richards.


Brooklyn Youth Chorus performing at Brooklyn Academy of Music

Brooklyn Youth Chorus performing at Brooklyn Academy of Music


The album was produced and edited by two-time Grammy Award-winner Grace Row, recorded and mixed by two-time Grammy Award-winner Charles Harbutt, It was recorded January and March 2015 at Watermusic Recording Studios, Hoboken, NJ; and October 2016 at Systems Two Recording Studios, Brooklyn, NY. The line producer was Jennifer Cambras, and packaging design was by DM Stith.
 
The world premiere production at Brooklyn Academy of Music was conducted by Dianne Berkun Menaker, directed by Maureen Towey, filmmaker Matt Wolf, choreographed by Jenny Shore Butler, set design by Mimi Lien, costume design by Sarah Maiorino, lighting design by Ben Stanton, video and projection design by Grant McDonald, sound design by Jamie McElhinney, narrated by Black Mountain College alumnus Basil King. The production was line produced by Laura Roumanos.
 
This recording is made possible in part through the generosity of an anonymous donor, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, J. Barclay Collins, II, Marie DeRosa and Richard McNeil, Educational Foundation of America, Jeanne Donovan Fisher, Charles J. and Irene Hamm, Annie Keating and Kim Hawkins, Gwen R. Libstag, Hillary Richard and Peter McCabe, Jennifer Sage and Nicolas Grabar, New Music USA, The Morris and Alma Schapiro Fund, Tiger Baron Foundation and Mary Anne and Dick Yancey. Black Mountain Songs is lovingly dedicated to the memory of Brooklyn Youth Chorus’s past chair, fervent supporter and beloved friend, Mary Anne Yancey.


Black Mountain Songs Tracklisting:

1. Black Mountain Song (Bryce Dessner) STREAM
2. there is a sound (Richard Reed Parry)
3. Its Motion Keeps (Caroline Shaw)
4. ars imitatur naturam (John King)
5. My World (Bryce Dessner)
6. Bubbles (Aleksandra Vrebalov)
7. Childhood’s Retreat (Jherek Bischoff)
8. Fielding Dawson in Franz Kline’s Studio (Nico Muhly)
9. Maximus to Gloucester (Bryce Dessner)
10. Spaceship Earth (Richard Reed Parry)
11. M.C. Richards (Tim Hecker and Bryce Dessner)
12. Anni’s Constant (Caroline Shaw)
13. Their Passing in Time (Richard Reed Parry)

ANNOUNCING: Jasper String Quartet's "Unbound"

ANNOUNCING:

Jasper String Quartet's
Unbound

out March 17

co-released by New Amsterdam and Sono Luminus

featuring works by Donnacha Dennehy, Annie Gosfield,
Judd Greenstein, Ted Hearne, David Lang, Missy Mazzoli, and Caroline Shaw


debut track "Four on the Floor" by Judd Greenstein
now streaming


pre-order via Amazon



"The Jaspers... match their sounds perfectly, as if each swelling chord were coming out of a single, impossibly well-tuned organ,
instead of four distinct instruments."

—  New Haven Advocate


Philadelphia's Jasper String Quartet will release its new album, UnboundMarch 17 on New Amsterdam Records in partnership with Sono Luminus. This is the “sonically delightful and expressively compelling” (The Strad) and "powerful" (The New York Times) ensemble’s fourth album, featuring never-before-recorded works by Donnacha Dennehy, Annie Gosfield, Judd Greenstein, Ted Hearne, David Lang, Missy Mazzoli, and Caroline Shaw, as well as its first album released beyond the Sono Luminus imprint. The release of Unbound also marks the first co-release between New Amsterdam Records and Sono Luminus, and is now available for pre-order via Amazon.

The Jasper String Quartet will perform works from the album at several album release performances this spring, including Philadelphia’s Skyspace onMarch 16 and NYC’s Lincoln Center Atrium on March 30. More information here and below.



The Jasper String Quartet has spent a decade performing premier works old and new at top concert halls around the world, but for the creation of Unbound, they looked close to home for inspiration. With an equal mix of men and women, the members of the Quartet sought to create an album that represents themselves and their community. Using Judd Greenstein’s “Four on the Floor” as a centerpiece — a virtuosic, dynamic piece that requires togetherness and spirit to perform — the Quartet built a collection of moving, post-genre, and technically impressive works by male and female composers close to their generation. An album for and reflective of right now, Unbound is unbound by convention, yet retains the performance quality expected of a traditional classically trained string quartet.

Releasing Unbound on both New Amsterdam Records and Sono Luminus is an extension of the album’s ideals. New Amsterdam is celebrated for its commitment to releasing expertly performed post-genre music, and Sono Luminus is praised for its meticulous recording process that pulls the best performances out of its groups. Unbound captures the spirit of both labels, and the spirit of the Jasper String Quartet.


Jasper String Quartet Credit: Dario Acosta

Jasper String Quartet
Credit: Dario Acosta


Words about Unbound from the Jasper String Quartet:

“Seeking out new pieces to contribute to this conversation is as important, if not more so, as rediscovering the sublime human experience of a Beethoven quartet. The seven pieces on this album represent a collection of treasures we’ve discovered from this century. One of these pieces, Annie Gosfield’s “The Blue Horse Walks on the Horizon” was written expressly for our quartet. The rest we unearthed as we sifted through the vibrant and varied landscape of music being created today. 

We sought to find a set of pieces that were both enchanting on their own and together represent a cohesive aesthetic. From the immense technical challenges of Judd Greenstein’s “Four on the Floor”, the meditative contemplation of David Lang’s “almost all the time”, to the raw emotion and vivid imagery of Missy Mazzoli’s “Death Valley Junction”, these pieces represent an incredible diversity of sound and style. Yet they all reside comfortably in this wonderful tradition of string quartets, of which we are lucky enough to be a part.”


The Quartet (J Freivogel, first violin; Sae Chonabayashi, second violin; Sam Quintal, viola; and Rachel Henderson Freivogel, cello) is the winner of the prestigious CMA Cleveland Quartet Award, and is currently the Professional Quartet in Residence at Temple University’s Center for Gifted Young Musicians. The Quartet has released three highly acclaimed albums in addition to this one — Beethoven Op. 131, The Kernis Project: Schubert, and The Kernis Project: Beethoven — all released through Sono Luminus.

The group recently launched the inaugural season of Jasper Chamber Concerts, a series in Philadelphia devoted to world class performances of masterworks from around the world and Philadelphia.

Unbound was recorded at Sono Luminus Studios by Dan Merceruio, producer, editing engineer; Daniel Shores, recording, mixing & mastering engineer, editing engineer; David Angell, recording technician; and Collin J. Rae, executive producer.


Unbound Tracklisting:
1. Valencia (Caroline Shaw)
2. Death Valley Junction (Missy Mazzoli)
3. The Blue Horse Walks on the Horizon (Annie Gosfield)
4. Four on the Floor (Judd Greenstein) STREAM
5. almost all the time (David Lang)
6. Pushpulling (Donnacha Dennehy)
7. Excerpts from the middle of something (Ted Hearne)


Jasper String Quartet Live:

March 16, 2017 — Philadelphia, PA  @ Jasper Chamber Concerts
TICKETS / MORE INFO


March 19, 2017— Beacon, NY @ Howland Chamber Music Circle
TICKETS / MORE INFO
 
March 30, 2017 — New York, NY @ Atrium Series at Lincoln Center
TICKETS / MORE INFO  

April 04, 2017 — Philadelphia, PA @ Art Alliance
TICKETS / MORE INFO

April 11, 2017 — Detroit, MI @ Cranbrook Music Guild
TICKETS / MORE INFO

April 13, 2017 — Ann Arbor, MI @ Kerrytown Concert House
TICKETS / MORE INFO  

April 19, 2017 — Poughkeepsie, NY @ Arlington Residency
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

April 22-23, 2017  — Wilmington, NC @ Chamber Music
TICKETS / MORE INFO

April 28, 2017  — Swarthmore, PA @ Swarthmore Orchestra
TICKETS / MORE INFO

May 4, 2017 — Philadelphia, PA @ Jasper Chamber Concerts
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

May 7, 2017 — Stamford, CT @ Treetops CMS
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

May 14, 2017 — Washington, DC @ Smithsonian
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

June 16, 2017 — London, England @ Wigmore Hall
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

July 1-10, 2017 — Asheville, NC @ Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

July 19, 2017 — Oberlin, OH @ Credo Music Festival
TICKETS / MORE INFO

July 23, 2017 — Woodstock, NY @ Maverick Chamber Music Festival
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

July 26, 2017 — New Brunswick, NJ @ Chamber Music Institute at Rutgers University
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

July 29, 2017 — New Lebanon, NY @ Tannery Pond
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

August 12-13, 2017 — Delhi, NY @ Honest Brook Music Festival (with Jupiter String Quartet) 
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

September 23, 2017 — Hillsdale, NY @ Clarion Concerts, Leaf Peeper Series
TICKETS / MORE INFO 

October 23, 2017 — Norfolk, VA @ Old Dominion University
TICKETS / MORE INFO