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Sleeping Giant Collective and the Albany Symphony

October 28, 2014

Through our Music Alive program administered in partnership with the League of American Orchestras, the Albany Symphony has teamed up with Sleeping Giant, a collective comprising six composers Timothy AndresChristopher CerroneJacob CooperTed HearneRobert Honstein, and Andrew Norman.  The joint energy of these six artists and the opportunity to deploy them in all of the Albany Symphony’s activities, particularly education and community engagement, only strengthens a long-standing commitment to new music in Albany. 

Residency Snapshot:

Sleeping Giant will be in residence for nine cumulative weeks of activity during the 2014-2015 season in Albany. In the last few years, these gentlemen have experimented with modern-day reworkings of historical musical narratives and languages, and the first stage of their residency with Albany continues this exploration through a multi-faceted retelling of Mozart’s Requiem as part of Albany Symphony’s subscription concert series. Through musical and dramatic processes that both revere and undermine the original score, this performance seeks to mine the mysterious wonder of the Requiem. Using Mozart’s score (and Sussmayr’s completion) as a canvas, Sleeping Giant’s Requiem performance will be an unsettling but reverential love song to the ritual of classical music. In the spring, the Albany Symphony’s 18-member new music ensemble, Dogs of Desire, will collaborate with the members of Sleeping Giant to create a new evening-length work which will feature staging, lighting design, electronics, and video. Several members of Sleeping Giant will also participate with Albany Symphony’s “Adopt-a-School” program to add a layer of composition to the program that previously did not exist. Finally, Sleeping Giant will play a role in the redesign of the Symphony’s American Music Festival, aiding in its artistic and interdisciplinary growth.

Get to know Sleeping Giant:

To get an idea of how the collective works together on these projects, listen to Timo Andres’ and Ted Hearne’s movements of Histories, co-commissioned by the Deviant Septet and Carnegie Hall. Ted’s final movement includes not only his personal re-imagining of Stravinsky, but incorporates thematic elements of each of his peers’ prior movements:

Sleeping Giant is a collective of six Brooklyn-based composers. These “talented guys” (The New Yorker), who are “rapidly gaining notice for their daring innovations, stylistic range and acute attention to instrumental nuance” (WQXR) have composed a diverse body of music that prizes vitality and diversity over a rigid aesthetic. Their works have appeared in concert halls and clubs throughout the US and Europe, from Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center to Wigmore Hall and the Concertgebouw in performances by the Berlin Philharmonic Foundation, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, the Jack Quartet, and the New York Youth Symphony.

Sleeping Giant has presented sold-out concerts at New York’s (Le) Poisson Rouge, Brooklyn’s Littlefield, and at John Zorn’s The Stone. In 2011, they collaborated on Histories, a Stravinsky-inspired work for Ensemble ACJW and the Deviant Septet commissioned by Carnegie Hall. They are currently working on an evening-length piece for eighth blackbird, to be toured throughout the USA in the 2014-2015 season. From 2014-2017 they will be the New Music USA/Music Alive Composers-in-Residence of the Albany Symphony.

Get to know Artistic Director David Alan Miller and the Dogs of Desire: