What exactly is “new music”? Ask ten people and you’ll probably get ten answers, because everyone has a different opinion on what constitutes contemporary classical music these days—in all honesty, many have no idea it exists at all.
The fact is that, regardless of stylistic differences, present-day “new music” is influenced by 21st-century culture, whether that reflect technological developments, multiculturalism, or an interest in blending past traditions. The YInMn (or “in-min”) Project showcases the breadth of styles new music can constitute, bringing awareness of contemporary classical music to new audiences through interactive, intimate, and visually oriented festival experiences. The project harkens back to its namesake—YInMn Blue—a newly discovered pigment whose arresting, vivid color has an effect not unlike the bright timbre, striking quality, and thrilling nature of so much contemporary music.
Founded in Atlanta in 2018, the YInMn Project has a twofold mission: first, to craft annual, day-long new-music festivals in unsaturated cities, using so intimate and engaging a design, so broad and relatable a mix of musical styles, that these events might be accessible to the most and least exposed of a city’s residents, whether those be composers, young suburban families, or kids from underprivileged areas; and second, to develop those cities’ existing new-music scenes, expanding local groups’ audience base while allowing them to develop relationships with professional new-music ensembles from outside their region.
The inaugural YInMn Project featured six groups from Atlanta, Athens, Ann Arbor, Detroit, and New York and was hosted by Whitespace Gallery, a contemporary art gallery in the walkable heart of Atlanta. The half-day event engaged the visual as much as the aural and was a rousing success with musicians, hosts, and audience members, even receiving a positive review from ArtsATL’s Mark Gresham. This year YInMn Atlanta is returning to Whitespace, and we are ecstatic to be featuring eight ensembles hailing from Detroit, New York, Boston, Ann Arbor, Cleveland, Athens, and Atlanta. From a cello quartet to a guzheng-violin duo to a solo cellist commissioning five works specifically for YInMn, this year’s sets will showcase thrilling musical variety, including improvised, electro-acoustic, folk, and avant-garde works along with semi-improvised “story songs.”
In 2019 YInMn is also expanding to Ann Arbor, MI, where this city’s inaugural festival will be hosted by Bløm Meadworks and include live painting by local visual artists. Five of this event’s six programmed ensembles will also be performing at YInMn Atlanta, allowing these participants to establish deeper camaraderie with the potential to develop long-term collaborative relationships.
At its heart, YInMn is about inspiring individuals and building community: it’s about motivating young musicians to explore new avenues of performance; allowing music-lovers to discover fresh, invigorating modes of listening; and ultimately reducing barriers between art-lovers and art-creators. We’re thrilled to see the positive response YInMn has had so far, and we hope to see this project inspire active, bubbling, and approachable new-music scenes in regions whose communities currently have limited exposure to contemporary classical music, starting with Atlanta and expanding beyond.
A performer in YInMn 2018, Joshua DeVries will return to both YInMn Atlanta and YInMn Ann Arbor in 2019. His planned solo set explores how the Block Strap allows cellists to engage more interactively with collaborators and audience members and will include five works commissioned for the YInMn Project. The commissioned composers represent backgrounds in Iranian folk and classical, contemporary rock / metal, and Avant Garde singing among others, and their work will be paired with standards like Saariaho’s Sept Papillons and John Zorn’s Maspiel.
The first of Cassidy’s and Muqi’s “story songs,” Tata Made for Jumping Cow is a verbally scripted, musically improvised piece based on one of Cassidy’s childhood adventures. Cassidy (violin, voice) and Muqi (guzheng, voice) are a Boston-based duo exploring the reach of combined vocal and instrumental improvisation and its ability to tell stories, integrating Bulgarian, Japanese, Chinese, and European Renaissance singing styles with their respective instrumental voices. They will be joining YInMn 2019 in Atlanta and Ann Arbor.
Another YInMn 2018 participant, Detroit- and New York-based duo Juxtatonal [JUX] melds music, art, and theatre to create intensely engaging shows that welcome audiences as participants in the creative process. They will be bringing YInMn 2019 (Atl and AA) selections from their recent commissioning project, “To Be or Not To Be (Relevant)?,” a set of fourteen commissions exploring artistic relevance in today’s society. JUX aims to engage YInMn audiences this year with a playful but sincere exploration of this relevance through new music.
Start and End Dates
06/08/2019 — 06/29/2019