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Contemporaneous presents Self-Portrait, a Fifth Anniversary Celebration

Contemporaneous celebrates its 5th anniversary by turning the spotlight on its own performers with new work by composers in the ensemble.

The Latest Update

Final Update and Thank You

Posted on June 9, 2015 by Contemporaneous

On March 7 at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, Contemporaneous presented Self Portrait, a performance of five works commissioned by Contemporaneous, including four world premieres and works by artists in the ensemble. This same program was performed a second time on March 8 at Bard College. The diverse pieces explored the rich, often complex, relationship between music and self-expression. Taken together, they offer a picture in sound of the ensemble at the present moment, informed by its history and imagining its future.

Tamzin Elliott, whose work The New York Times has described as “effervescent” and “fresh,” set her poetry to music in a new cycle of songs that featured soprano Lucy Dhegrae. Drawing on disparate traditions, of songs for singer and large ensemble from Mahler to Frank Sinatra, Elliott’s music is intimate, vulnerable, and deeply affecting. Dylan Mattingly’s Lighthouse (Refugee Music by a Pacific Expatriate) is inspired by the composer’s hometown San Francisco Bay, while Finnegan Shanahan’s Water Cycle (Music for a Hudson River Railroad Dream-Map) reflects on the river that stretches from New York City up through Shanahan’s native Hudson Valley. Impulses, by Brazilian composer and Contemporaneous clarinetist Vicente Alexim, is marked by high-energy bursts to propel and shape its dramatic transformations. Contrasting with this is the serene beauty of Still Life for Ensemble by Contemporaneous percussionist Matt Evans.

On March 9, 2015, Contemporaneous performed at P.S. 142, a public elementary school on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, as a benefit for the school’s music program. Presented by the Neighborhood Classics Series, this concert featured Contemporaneous performing alongside Kaufman Music Center’s teenage new music ensemble, Face the Music.

Contemporaneous concluded this project with two additional educational events. On May 19th at Bard Early College Academy, four Contemporaneous core members presented two hour-long presentations to a total of 30 middle school-age students. They introduced students to the compositional experience through talking about and experimenting with form, graphic scores, and improvisation. By the end of the workshop, students were created small-scale modular compositions and Contemporaneous members performed them. Bard Early College Academy is a free after-school enrichment program for middle school students on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

On May 29th, at Bard High School Early College Queens, four Contemporaneous core members presented at the school’s Symposium Day. Contemporaneous was a guest of the music program, led by composer Stefan Weisman. Students had prepared compositions for our core members to workshop with them; we workshopped four student composers’ pieces, and also presented solo pieces. Students and Contemporaneous members discussed compositional techniques, instrument ranges and capabilities, and score notation, among other things. BHSECQ is a NYC public school. Plans are in place to expand this kind of workshop relationship with BHSECQ and Contemporaneous. Approximately 30 students total were present for the two class presentations.

Self Portrait was funded by donations from 218 funders from an online fundraising campaign. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to these donors.

Self Portrait was supported by New Music USA.

Self Portrait was made possible in part with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and Administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

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“Lighthouse” by Dylan Mattingly

Posted on June 6, 2015 by Contemporaneous
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Lighthouse (Refugee Music by a Pacific Expatriate) (2010)

Dylan Mattingly (b. 1991)
filmed live at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music

March 7, 2015

World premiere of “Still Life for Ensemble” (2015) by Matt Evans

Posted on June 6, 2015 by Contemporaneous
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Check out the world premiere of “Still Life for Ensemble” (2015) by Matt Evans!

filmed live at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music

March 7, 2015

World premiere of “Impulses” by Vicente Alexim

Posted on June 6, 2015 by Contemporaneous
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Check out the world premiere of “Impulses” (2015) by Vicente Alexim!

filmed live at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music

March 7, 2015

Catch Contemporaneous this weekend!

Posted on March 2, 2015 by Contemporaneous

We are hard at work rehearsing some really amazing new music that we can’t wait to share with you! Thanks in part to New Music USA, we are excited to offer 2 of our 3 Self Portrait shows to you for FREE! Please join us this weekend.

Saturday, March 7, 2015 | 7:30 pm
DiMenna Center for Classical Music | Mary Flagler Cary Hall | 450 West 37 Street, NYC
Free admission!

Sunday, March 8, 2015 | 5:00 pm
Olin Hall | Bard College
Free admission!

Monday, March 9, 2015 | 7:00 pm
Side-by-side concert with Face the Music, presented by Neighborhood Classics
P.S. 142 | 100 Attorney Street, NYC
$15 admission at the door | All proceeds benefit the P.S. 142 music program

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Overview

In celebrating our fifth anniversary in March of 2015, Contemporaneous will present three shows in New York City and the Hudson Valley, three world premieres, educational outreach events and an online component that will extend the project far beyond the live audiences.

Come celebrate with us!

Self-Portrait
Saturday, March 7, 2015 | 7:30 pm
DiMenna Center for Classical Music | New York, NY

Self-Portrait
Sunday, March 8 | 5:00 pm
Olin Hall, Bard College | Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

Side-by-side show with Face the Music
Monday, March 9 | 7:00 pm
P.S. 142 | Lower East Side, New York, NY

About Contemporaneous

Contemporaneous is a New York-based ensemble of twenty-one musicians dedicated to performing and promoting the most exciting music of our time. Founded at Bard College in 2010, Contemporaneous has developed a thriving community to support the work of young composers and musicians. From the start, our mission has been:

  • to provide composers with the opportunity to take risks and to challenge themselves and their audiences, without regard for conventional constraints on creative imagination;
  • to present the most exciting music of our time through innovative performances and recordings; and
  • to bring educational and outreach programs to communities that would not otherwise have access to new music.

About the Shows

Marking exactly five years since our first show, Contemporaneous will perform in New York City and, the next day, at Bard College in the Hudson Valley. The program celebrates not only the exceptional abilities of its performers, but also the creative energies of three of its composer-performers with world premieres of new works by Contemporaneous members Matt Evans and Vicente Alexim, who are writing specifically for the ensemble. The program will also feature a new work by Contemporaneous collaborator Tamzin Ferré Elliott and co-artistic director Dylan Mattingly’s Lighthouse, one of the first works to be written specifically for us.

On March 9, 2015, Contemporaneous will perform at P.S. 142, a public elementary school on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, as a benefit for the school’s underserved music program. Presented by the Neighborhood Classics Series, this concert will feature Contemporaneous performing alongside Kaufman Music Center’s teenage new music ensemble, Face the Music.

Educational Programs

The musicians of Contemporaneous love to share our enthusiasm for new music with young people. Our Self-Portrait project includes programs specifically for students aged 5 to 18 at P.S. 142, Face the Music, and two Bard High School Early College campuses in New York City. The engaging, participatory activities will encourage creative play and critical thought, aimed at inspiring young people to take the initiative to achieve their dreams, artistic and otherwise.

Online Component

In addition to the live audiences, Contemporaneous will reach people everywhere by live streaming one performance for free and posting preview and post-project videos.

Project Media

Dylan Mattingly: Atlas of Somewhere on the Way to Howland Island: II. Islanded in a Stream of Stars
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The title track of our debut record on Innova Recordings in 2012, this is the second and final movement of a piece written specifically for Contemporaneous by founding co-artistic director Dylan Mattingly.

Donnacha Dennehy: Grá agus Bás

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Features: Contemporaneous

Live from the 2014 New Music Bake Sale, Contemporaneous performs Donnacha Dennehy’s epic, ecstatic tragic and beautiful Grá agus Bás, featuring Contemporaneous vocalist Finnegan Shanahan.

Andrew Norman: Try
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Features: Contemporaneous

Live from the 2014 Bang on a Can Marathon, Contemporaneous performs Andrew Norman’s fast and furious “Try” in what The New York Times lauded as a “ferocious, focused performance.”

Start and End Dates

03/07/201503/09/2015

Location

New York City and Hudson Valley, New York

5 updates
Last update on June 9, 2015

Project Created By

New York, New York
Contemporaneous is an ensemble of 21 musicians whose mission is to bring to life the music of now. Recently recognized for a “ferocious, focused performance” (The New York Times) and for its “passionate drive…setting an extremely high bar for other ensembles to live up to” (I Care If You Listen), Contemporaneous performs and promotes the most exciting…

In Collaboration With

composer
New Haven, Connecticut
composer
Brooklyn, New York
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Annandale on Hudson, New York
composer
New York, New York

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