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Ecstatic Music Festival: Clogs, Sarah Kirkland Snider & Orchestra for
the Next Century

Wednesday, February 06, 2013  |  7:30pm


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A New Sounds Live Presentation hosted by WNYC's John Schaefer

Sarah Kirkland Snider presents her new work for seven vocalists and chamber orchestra, Unremembered, a 13-song cycle set to poetry (and with accompanying projected artwork) by New-York-based poet/writer Nathaniel Bellows, featuring vocal performances by DM Stith, Shara Worden and Padma Newsome. A cycle about memory, innocence and the ways we cope with an unpredictable world, the poems recall strange and beautiful happenings experienced during a childhood in rural Massachusetts. Newsome will also appear with Clogs, the legendary hybrid band/chamber ensemble whose latest album was called "one of the most evocative and appealing records of the year, in any genre" (NPR). Clogs return to the Ecstatic Music Festival in a trio incarnation with Newsome (vocals, viola), Rachael Elliott (bassoon) and Thomas Kozumplik (percussion). Orchestra for the Next Century, directed by Gary Schneider, will present Snider's work along with new works and arrangements by Newsome, Worden and Stith.

Read EMF curator Judd Greenstein's intro to the 2013 festival and this concert.

In Snider's song cycle Unremembered, The pastoral is belied by a subtle pathos as a houseguest takes sudden leave in the middle in the night, a boy makes a shocking discovery on the banks of a river, a girl disappears in woods behind a ranging farm, a swan meets its artless end -- all while the grouse fly and birdsong intones wordlessly through the fields.

Go to the Ecstatic Music Festival home page.

Read the press release.or download hi-res press photos.

Download this program.

Merkin Concert Hall
Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Kaufman Music Center
Ecstatic Music Festival®

Clogs, Sarah Kirkland Snider and Orchestra for the Next Century,
Gary M. Schneider, conductor

New Sounds Live co-presentation
WNYC’s John Schaefer, host


Overtures to the Public from 2 Moon Smile (2012)

Pink Lycra - Only Friend (2012)

Selections from Shady Gully (2012)

Song of the Bees (2011)

 Loev Song (2007)


Mountains of Mind (2012)
Arr.  Judd Greenstein DM STITH and CHAMBER ORCHESTRA


Looking at the Sun (2012)

That Point When (2012)

Whoever You Are (2012)
Originally commissioned by Brooklyn Youth Chorus



Unremembered (2012)   World Premiere
Words: Nathaniel Bellows for chamber orchestra and vocalists

1. Prelude
2. The Estate
3. The Guest
4. The Girl
5. The Swan
6. The Witch
7. The River
8. The Orchard
9. The Speakers
10. The Song

Commissioned by Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center for the Ecstatic Music Festival

About the Ecstatic Music Festival®

The Ecstatic Music Festival was inaugurated in 2011 by Kaufman Music Center. Deeply committed to music education and performance that incorporate the ideas and trends of the 21st century, the Center seeks to put truly modern music on its stage—redefining music for the post-classical generation, and serving it up to new audiences. Under the inspired direction of curator Judd Greenstein, co-director of New Amsterdam Records, the Festival brings together innovative artists for adventurous collaborations between musicians from the indie/pop/and classical realms. At the nexus of New York City’s vibrant “indie classical” scene, the festival shines a bright light on one of the most intriguing areas of contemporary music, in which lines between genres are blurred and the concert environment combines the elegance of a traditional concert hall setting with the energy of a nightclub. The Ecstatic Music Festival’s programs give true meaning to the notion of “Ecstatic Music” as a joyful and adventurous collaboration between composers and performers from the indie/pop and classical realms.

This year’s Ecstatic Music includes three New Sounds Live concerts hosted by WNYC’s John Schaefer, which are webcast live on Q2 Music and taped for future broadcast on WNYC. Q2 Music is the festival’s digital venue and the center for on-demand artist interviews and concert audio.  The festival is presented in association with New Amsterdam Presents.

About the Artists

Padma Newsome is a composer, arranger and performer on violin, viola, voice, keyboards and various lutes. Born in Alice Springs, Central Australia, he has a broad musical palette, composing for traditional small and large ensemble, electro-acoustic media, song writing and improvised chamber ensemble. His works have been performed by ensembles such as the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orche-stra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Academy of Melbourne, Locrian Chamber Players and Da Capo Chamber Players.

Padma is a founding member and composer of Clogs, and has also performed with the Seymour Group, Fresh Air, Eggplant, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, with conductors such as Sir Christopher Hogwood, Sir Charles Makkerras and Stuart Challender. For the past decade, Padma has collaborated with rock bands as composer/orchestrator, performer and recording artist. These include The National, the Devastations, and Belgium singer-songwriter Daniel Hélin.

Recent commissions and grants include an Artists Fellowship from the Fromm Music Foundation, Brooklyn Rider string quartet, the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, Australia Council for the Arts, Chamber Music America, Vermont Arts Council, Fulbright Post-graduate Award, Symphony Australia, Arts SA, Helpmann Academy and numerous private commissions. He holds an MMA and an MM from Yale University and an MMus and BMus(Honors)  from the University of Adelaide.

Recently deemed “a potentially significant voice on the American music landscape” (Philadelphia Inquirer), composer Sarah Kirkland Snider writes music of direct expression and vivid narrative that has been hailed as “rapturous” (The New York Times), “strikingly beautiful” (Time Out New York), and “bear[ing] profound rewards” (Pitchfork). Her music has been commissioned and performed internationally by artists including ACME, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Colin Currie, Hebrides Ensemble, the Knights, NOW Ensemble, Psappha, Roomful of Teeth, Signal and yMusic, among others. Her first album, Penelope (Shara Worden and Signal, 2010, New Amsterdam Records) was named to dozens of top-ten lists internationally, including Time Out New York (#1), NPR (#5), textura (#3), WNYC and The Huffington Post, and drew high praise from The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Pitchfork, The Believer, and many others. Highlights of the 2012-2013 season include eight performances of Penelope with Shara Worden and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and yMusic as presented by The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Walker Art Center, the world premiere of The Currents, a solo piano work commissioned by the American Pianists Association and the recording of her second album, Unremembered, an orchestral 15-song cycle featuring vocalists Shara Worden, Padma Newsome and D.M. Stith. Upcoming projects include works for Cantus, violist Nadia Sirota, pianist Michael Mizrahi and a new orchestral song cycle for the Orchestra Engagement Lab. Snider has an MM and Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music and a BA from Wesleyan University. In addition to her work as a composer, she is Co-Director of New Amsterdam Presents and New Amsterdam Records. 

Shara Worden received a BA in Opera from the University of North Texas. After moving to New York, she began studying composition with composer/performer Padma Newsome. During this time she composed music for several Off-Broadway theater productions. In 2004, she assembled a band, My Brightest Diamond, and released Bring Me The Workhorse (2006), A Thousand Shark’s Teeth (2008) and All Things Will Unwind (2011) on Asthmatic Kitty Records. Recent years have found Worden in the role of composer as much as songwriter. She has received commissions from the chamber ensemble yMusic, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, the string quartet Brooklyn Rider and violist Nadia Sirota. Currently, she is composing an operetta with playwright and director Andrew Ondrejcak which will premiere at deSingel in Antwerp, Belgium in September 2013.  In addition to Sarah Kirkland Snider and Padma Newsome, many other composers, songwriters and filmmakers have sought out Worden’s distinctive voice, including Sufjan Stevens, The Decemberists, David Byrne and Fatboy Slim as well as Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler. In 2012, Worden was awarded a Kresge Artist Fellowship in the performing arts.

DM Stith’s songs trace themselves into existence, growing organically, but fossilizing into the work of a serious and singular poetic voice. Stith’s preoccupation with voice and sound has motivated a critically lauded album of songs called Heavy Ghost, released in 2009 on Asthmatic Kitty Records, as well as performances at the Sydney Opera House, Beacon Theatre in New York, Royal Festival Hall in London, and hundreds of shows in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. In 2011, Stith, with his clear-as-a-bell voice, was incorporated into Sufjan Stevens’ live show that took the pair to more than 25 countries playing in front of many thousands of people. 2012 saw DM touring Europe as lead singer of his band, The Revival Hour, and preparing two albums of original material for release in 2013.

Gary M. Schneider is a multi-faceted musician whose musical interests cross all stylistic boundaries. He first gained attention as music director of The Hudson Chamber Symphony, an award-winning ensemble he founded in 1981 and led for10 years. A prizewinner in the Leopold Stokowski Competition for American Conductors, he has distinguished himself conducting symphony, opera, new music, ballet and music theater in Europe and the United States. Mr. Schneider maintains an active guest conducting schedule that has included performances with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, National Philharmonic (Bethesda, MD), International Zelt Musik Festival Orchestra (Germany), Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Savannah Symphony, Plainfield Symphony, Chamber Symphony of Princeton, Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra (Hungary), Cumberland Valley Chamber Orchestra, New Jersey Ballet, Jungen Virtuosen Leningrad and the Internationale Festpiele Baden-Wurttemberg. Also active as a composer, Schneider is a member of American Composers Alliance, an affiliate writer of Broadcast Music, Inc., and has works published with Peer Music, Berben edizione musicale and American Composers Editions. His compositions span a variety of concert music as well as music for theater, dance and film.

Orchestra for the Next Century performs a blend of music from all time periods, with a special emphasis on the most compelling scores being written by today’s very fertile crop of genre defying composers. The ensemble’s aim is to present concerts that are virtuosic in execution, heartfelt in presentation and enthusiastic in performance. ONC returns to Merkin Concert Hall on April 30, 2013 to present a concert tribute to the noted Swiss conductor and musical philanthropist Paul Sacher. The program includes two great works commissioned by Sacher for his Basel Chamber Orchestra: Igor Stravinsky’s Concerto in D for Strings and Bohuslav Martinu’s Double Concert for Two String Orchestras, Piano and Timpani. Paired with these mid-20th Century works are two very recent works by noted American composers Paul Moravec’s Morph and the New York premiere of Margaret Brouwer’s Violin Concerto.

Thomas Kozumplik is a composer/performer and co-founder of Clogs, Loop 2.4.3, Music Starts From Silence, and the Yale Percussion Group. He was a long time member of the Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble, the Ron Parmentier Trio and Uncle Jimmy’s Dirty Basement. In addition to his main projects, Thomas has performed/recorded with artists ranging from Grammy-winner Dave Samuels to MacArthur Fellow John Jesurun, to indie-rock sensation The National. He has appeared on over 20 albums, in a variety of genres, on the Albany, Asthmatic Kitty, Beggars Banquet, Brassland, Digital Music Products (DMP) and Music Starts From Silence record labels.

Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, Thomas has toured throughout North America, Europe, Scandinavia, South Korea and Australia, and has performed for radio, film, theater and television including footage for The Learning Channel. He has given concerts, conducted master classes, and held residencies at Cornell University, Oklahoma City University, Ithaca College, Pacific College, Michigan State University and others. He has performed at festivals and venues including the London Jazz Festival, The Kitchen, Sydney Festival, Tonic, Bang on a Can Marathon, Carnegie Hall, the Warhol Museum and the Harry Partch Institute. Thomas has collaborated with prominent artists in a variety of media including The Books, Erik Friedlander, Alan Good, Dean Drummond, Joe Morello, Jon Catler, Shara Worden and Sufjan Stevens. He has received awards and support from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Connecticut Council on the Arts, Chamber Music America, ASCAP, Analog Arts, the UK Arts Council, Yale University and the International Association of Jazz Educators.

Rachael Elliott was raised in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom and currently lives in Durham, North Carolina. She teaches bassoon at Duke University and performs with Clogs, Dark in the Song, Heliand Consort and the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble. This season she is also touring with the Rushes Ensemble to perform Michael Gordon’s landmark concert-length composition for seven bassoons. Her debut solo CD, Polka the Elk, was released in 2011 and contains five world premiere recordings of music by David Lang, Padma Newsome and Tawnie Olson, with a cameo appearance by Clogs. Recent solo engagements include the world premiere of Don Jamison’s Through the Clouds with the Burlington Chamber Orchestra and the U.S. premiere of Jukka-Pekka Lehto’s Rhapsody for Bassoon and Wind Ensemble with the Duke University Wind Symphony. Ms. Elliott earned performance degrees from Manhattan School of Music (BM) and Yale University (MM).

Caroline Shaw, originally from North Carolina, is a musician appearing in many guises. She performs primarily as violinist with the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) and as vocalist with Roomful of Teeth. She has also worked with the Trinity Wall Street Choir, Alarm Will Sound, Wordless Music, Ensemble Signal, AXIOM, The Yehudim, Victoire, Opera Cabal, the Mark Morris Dance Group Ensemble, Hotel Elefant, the Oracle Hysterical, Red Light New Music, the Yale Baroque Ensemble, and in collaboration with tUnE-yArDs, Glasser, A Winged Victory for the Sullen, John Cale, Max Richter and Steve Reich. Caroline’s original music has been described as “a tour de force of vocal mischief-making” (John Schaefer, eMusic) and “vaguely sexual” (Pitchfork). Her works have been performed by Roomful of Teeth, So Percussion, ACME and the Brentano Quartet. Caroline has been a Yale Baroque Ensemble fellow and a Rice University Goliard fellow (fiddling in Sweden), and she was a recipient of the infamous Thomas J. Watson fellowship, to study historical formal gardens and live out of a backpack. She lives in New York and is currently pursuing a PhD at Princeton. Her favorite color is yellow, her favorite opera is La Traviata hands down, and she is often craving a hamburger.

Nathaniel Bellows (lyrics for Unremembered) is the author of the novel On This Day (HarperCollins), a collection of poems Why Speak? (W.W. Norton) and Nan, a novel-in-stories (Harmon Blunt Publishers). He is a graduate of Middlebury College and Columbia University, and lives in New York City.

Soprano Martha Cluver has been hailed by the New York Times for her “fluid, dark-hued” and “soulful” vocals. She has performed as soloist with the Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Janacek Philharmonic, Remix Ensemble, Prague Modern, and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin.  Noted performances include Feldman’s Neither, George Benjamin’s Into the Little Hill, Shelter by Bang on a Can, and many works by Steve Reich.  As a chamber musician, she has collaborated with groups such as Roomful of Teeth, Alarm Will Sound, Signal, Dogs of Desire, Axiom, Zorn Vocal Quintet, NEXUS, So Percussion and ACME.  Martha has worked closely with and premiered works of composers such as John Zorn, Caleb Burhans, Sarah Kirkland Snider, William Brittelle, Judd Greenstein, Paul Mealor and Emmanuel Nunes.  As a choral musician, she is a member of the Trinity Choir Wall Street, Antioch, Voices of Ascension and Clarion. Conductors she has worked with include Bradley Lubman, Peter Rundel, Stefan Parkman, Jeff Milarsky and Alan Pierson. Upcoming engagements include recording and performing a new work by Caleb Burhans for soprano solo, chamber ensemble (Fifth House Ensemble, Chicago) and itsnot-youitsme (Caleb Burhans and Grey McMurray), with libretto by John Coletti, in March 2013. She will also be joining Dogs of Desire for her second appearance as soprano soloist in May 2013.  Martha’s discography includes New Amsterdam, Naxos, Nonesuch, Cantaloupe, Mode and Tsadik. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Viola Performance from Eastman School of Music where she studied with John Graham.

Allen Tate is a 23-year old baritone from Chalfont, PA.  His musical career began as a singer/songwriter, attending summer sessions at Berklee College of Music in Boston. There he met longtime friend and collaborator Ellis Ludwig-Leone in whose band, San Fermin, he currently sings as the lead male vocalist sharing singing duties with Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe of Lucius. Described as “brass-fangled baroque folk” by Time Out New York, San Fermin’s self-titled debut LP will receive an international release in April 2013. Allen recently graduated from NYU where he studied Philosophy.

Majel Connery is co-founder and Executive Director of Opera Cabal, a Chicago- and NYC-based collective of interdisciplinary scholars and artists dedicated to reshaping how opera is defined, developed and realized in the United States. A singer and director with the group, she is also the producer of operaSHOP, the company’s newest initiative, a commissioning series that identifies and recruits artistic teams working at the highest level in fields traditionally unrelated to opera to bring new blood and fresh ideas to the art form. Majel is the curator for the Cabal’s monthly salons on Chicago’s South Side, a forum for promoting unusual operatic work in its earliest stages. A scholar of contemporary opera and staging practice, Majel’s academic projects explore the relationship between music and movement, and visual aspects of the modern operatic stage. She has worked with opera director Christopher Alden at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Den Norske Oper (Oslo) and at Chicago Opera Theater. In Chicago, she also served at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as assistant dramaturg under David J. Levin. Early doctoral research at the University of Chicago was supported by a Mellon Foundation Fellowship, and advised by Martha Feldman and David J. Levin. Majel holds a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Chicago, an MA in Ethnomusicology (University of Chicago) and an AB in music composition (Princeton University). She is currently teaching a class at the University of Chicago on Wagner’s and Sciarrino’s Lohengrin operas, and is a freelance performer in Chicago and New York City.

Avery Griffin is a freelance musician working extensively in New York, New Jersey and New England. He has had the privilege of working with a wide variety of notable artists including conductors Simon Carrington, Andrew Parrot and Jane Glover.  He is currently a baritone in the St Thomas Choir of Men and Boys at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Manhattan. Avery has extensive performance experience with new music and has performed works by Pascale Criton, Joseph Maneri, Martin Amlin, James Bergin, and many others. He has premiered several works written specifically for him by composers that include Boston-based great Ezra Sims.

Michael Hammond is a Brooklyn-based sound artist, composer and software engineer. His music has been performed by the Princeton Laptop Orchestra, electronic duo Matmos, and So Percussion, among others. He first collaborated with Sarah Kirkland Snider to contribute sound design and programming to her debut album, Penelope, an epic song cycle performed by chamber ensemble Signal and vocalist Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond. Along with composers Judd Greenstein, Sarah Kirkland Snider and William Brittelle, Michael helps run New Amsterdam Records.  In his spare time, he codes custom pieces of interactive musical software. As a composer, Michael has studied with Dan Trueman, Perry Cook, Paul Lansky, Steven Mackey and Annie Gosfield. As a sound designer, he has performed with yMusic, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Signal in venues which include Carnegie Hall, The Kitchen and Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium. His debut album, a collection of electro-noir pop songs, will be released by New Amsterdam Records in 2014.

John Schaefer is the host of WNYC’s innovative music/talk show Soundcheck, which features live performances and interviews with a variety of guests. Schaefer has also hosted and produced WNYC’s radio series New Sounds since 1982 (“The #1 radio show for the Global Village” – Billboard) and the New Sounds Live concert series since 1986. Schaefer has written extensively about music, including the book New Sounds: A Listener’s Guide to New Music (Harper & Row, NY, 1987; Virgin Books, London, 1990); the Cambridge Companion to Singing: World Music (Cambridge University Press, U.K., 2000); and the TV program Bravo Profile: Bobby McFerrin (Bravo Television, 2003).  He has also written about horse racing (Bloodlines: A Horse Racing Anthology, Vintage, NY 2006) and has been a regular panelist on the BBC’s soccer-based program Sports World.

New Sounds Live is an annual series of concert broadcasts, both live and time-delayed, established in 1986, and devoted to many types of new, unusual, uncategorizable and overlooked forms of music (and sometimes, film, dance and literature).  Produced and hosted by John Schaefer, who also hosts WNYC’s innovative music talk show Soundcheck, these on-location recordings bring to the long-running New Sounds radio show the energy of live performance and the chance to hear composers and musicians in on-stage interviews. 

Orchestra for the Next Century
Gary M. Schneider, music director

Francesca Anderegg, concertmaster
Emilie-Anne Gendron, principal second
Lynn Bechtold
Pala Garcia
Mario Gotoh
Pauline Kim Harris
Hajnal Pivnick
Andie Springer

Denise Cridge, principal
Amelia Hollander-Ames
Cory Ramey

Serafim Smigelskiy, principal
Hamilton Berry

Double Bass
Doug Balliett

Taylor Levine

Nuiko Wadden

Emi Ferguson

Hassan Anderson

English Horn
Arthur Sato

Brad Balliett
Rachael Elliott
Shelley Monroe-Huang

French Horn
Laura Weiner
Rachel Drehmann

Micah Killion

Andrew Funcheon
Thomas Kozumplik

Yael Manor

Padma Newsome, violin, viola, acoustic guitar, piano
Rachael Elliott, bassoon
Thomas Kozumplik, steel drum, marimba, percussion
James Moore, baritone ukulele

Martha Cluver, soprano
Shara Worden, soprano
Caroline Shaw, mezzo-soprano
Majel Connery, alto
Padma Newsome, tenor
D.M. Stith, tenor
Allen Tate, baritone
Avery Griffin, baritone

Michael Hammond, electronics, guitar on “The Witch”

Clogs DM Stith

Merkin Concert Hall

Tel: 212 501 3330

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