Ars Nova Copenhagen
Conducted by Paul Hillier since 2003, Denmark’s Ars Nova Copenhagen has built an immovable reputation as one of the world’s most versatile and inventive vocal ensembles. First Drop is testament to that spirit; it’s a wide-ranging and ambitious project that interprets the choral work of some of the giants of contemporary classical music, including Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Louis Andriessen, Michael Gordon, David Lang and more.
John Luther Adams
Canticles of the Holy Wind
Lauded by the New York Times as a “…hypnotic and ethereally beautiful invocation of wind, sky and birdsong,” John Luther Adams’ Canticles of the Holy Wind, performed by the renowned chamber choir The Crossing, is his most technically challenging choral work, and yet the music’s mesmerizing aura of stillness encourages listening at its most elemental. The piece is composed for four choirs of eight singers each, and moves through spaces that are as fantastical (“Sky with Four Suns”) as they are serene (“The Hour of the Doves”), always with a connection to our inner world, as well as the world around us.
David Lang & Molly Barth
thorn is flutist and eighth blackbird founding member Molly Barth’s collection of short works by David Lang, and has been described as “…a varied yet consistent overview of Lang’s chamber music activities, a vital part of his output that deserves continued attention even as he moves into larger forms and more expansive concepts. The performances, by Barth and a small host of excellent associates (including fellow former blackbird Matt Albert on violin), strike just the right balance between nervous tension and technical security.” (Steve Smith, The Log Journal)
Bearthoven is a small ensemble that has its roots in the Bang on a Can organization’s Summer Music Festival at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art—known worldwide as a mecca for emerging composers of adventurous contemporary music. Comprised of Karl Larson (piano), Pat Swoboda (upright & electric bass) and Matt Evans (percussion & drumkit), the group started in name only as a cheeky tribute to Beethoven, and quickly took on the mission of making art music more accessible to a wider range of listeners than the traditional “classical music” crowd. Trios features the work of six young composers and serves as a living blueprint of Bearthoven’s support network.
Alarm Will Sound & Meet the Composer
Conceived and realized in partnership with Q2 Music’s Peabody award-winning podcast Meet the Composer, Splitting Adams is Alarm Will Sound’s tribute to American composer John Adams, and in particular to his works Chamber Symphony (1992) and Son of Chamber Symphony (2007).