Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sounds of a New Century Festival

photo by Michael Geller

New music is alive and kicking in New York and there’s nothing like a nine-day festival of music by more than 100 composers age 40 and under to make the point. Tomorrow is the kick off for the Sounds of a New Century Festival (SONIC), the American Composers Orchestra-produced new music extravaganza.

The SONIC concerts will take place at ten venues and will feature over a dozen ensembles presenting 18 (or so) world premieres and eight U.S. premieres. Navigating a festival of this size is always daunting, so it’s probably best to approach it like a new music smorgasbord; there are some things that are going to taste good and other things that are going to be the musical equivalent of that odd pickled fish dish that you push over to the side of your plate. That’s some of the fun though, isn’t it?  You can explore and make your own choices. SONIC looks like it’s going to offer plenty of options.

Eighth Blackbird, photo by Luke Ratray

The number of composers and ensembles is pretty impressive. In addition to the American Composers Orchestra, there will be performances by (to name just a few) Eighth Blackbird, International Contemporary Ensemble, PRISM Quartet, JACK Quartet and the electric guitar quartet Dither. The composer line-up includes familiar names like Nico Muhly, Tarik O’Regan, Kenji Bunch and Corey Dargel as well as a host of up and comers.

Kenji Bunch, photo courtesy of the artist
If you are not in New York, you can get a taste of what you will hear during the festival by sampling some albums by SONIC composers and performers. You can can also check out videos about the festival by visiting Cinema Ariama

Tarik O'Regan

--Craig Zeichner

No comments:

Post a Comment