Rhys Chatham Will Produce the Sound of 200 Guitars Wailing

Cover of "A Crimson Grail"
Cover of A Crimson Grail

From NYTimes.com:

THE scene at Damrosch Park last August promised something spectacular: amplifier setups for 200 guitarists and 16 bassists, configured in a horseshoe that stretched along the south end of Lincoln Center, across the front of the park’s band shell, and curved up alongside the Metropolitan Opera House. The rehearsals for “A Crimson Grail,” an epic-scale work by the experimental composer Rhys Chatham, had gone exceedingly well — first at the nearby Church of St. Paul the Apostle, then, at 1 p.m. on the day of the event, in the park.

On Aug. 8, in another of the city’s remarkable season of free concerts, the plan is to try it all again. But this time there will be risers for the musicians, tenting and a different electrical plan. In addition to the opportunity to bask in a highly unusual concert, the United States premiere of “A Crimson Grail” will offer a chance to witness the homecoming of a prodigal son of New York Minimalism, an art-music composer who has had a tremendous, if underappreciated, impact in the world of rock. After last year’s washout, which received a lot of blog attention, word is getting out; if the weather is good, Lincoln Center is expecting a crowd of more than 10,000.

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Nathan Davis & Cristina Valdes in Seattle

From Wayward Music:

8:00 PM; $5 – $15 sliding scale donation at the door.

Nathan Davis and Cristina Valdes – music for percussion, piano, and electronics

Critically acclaimed composer and percussionist Nathan Davis makes music inspired by natural processes, acoustic phenomena, and the abstraction of simple stories. Tonight he plays his solos for triangles, river stones, and amplified laptop – probed with microphones and exaggerated with live electronic processing. Pianist Cristina Valdes (Seattle) performs the world premiere of CuoRE, a solo piano piece written for her by Seattle composer Donald Stewart. Together they play duos including the US premiere Orlando Garcia’s September 2007 (Remembering Morty), a memorial to Morton Feldman.

Nathan Davis (NYC) makes music as a composer and percussionist. He has received commissions from the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the Meehan/Perkins Duo, Ethos Percussion Group, the Jerome Foundation, Concert Artists Guild, and received awards from ASCAP, Meet the Composer, the Look and Listen Festival, and the ISCM. His music has been performed in the U.S., Canada, Cuba, Europe, Finland, and China, in Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space, Roulette, The Stone, LPR, and many others. Several of his electroacoustic percussion pieces are available on a solo cd, Memory Spaces, and his acoustic music is published by Frog Peak. As a percussionist, Nathan is a member of ICE and plays original and commissioned works with cellist Ha-Yang Kim in the duo Odd Appetite, touring as far as Russia, Bali, and Turkey, and appearing closer to home as a soloist at Carnegie Hall and at the Bang on a Can Marathon. He has worked with Evan Ziporyn, Lee Hyla, Louis Andriessen, and Christian Wolff, premiering their music, and has recorded for Tzadik, New Albion, Bridge, Cold Blue records.

Cristina Valdes has performed across four continents and in a multitude of venues including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Recital Hall and the Kennedy Center. As an advocate of new music she has collaborated with and premiered the works of countless composers. Her festival performances include the Singapore Arts Festival, the Foro Internacional de Musica Nueva in Mexico City, the New Music in Miami Festival, and the Festival of Contemporary Music in El Salvador among others. She has also performed with the Bang on a Can “All Stars”, Musicians Accord and the Parsons Dance Company. Cristina holds degrees from the New England Conservatory and SUNY at Stony Brook, and is the recipient of an Arts International Grant, the Thayer Award for the Arts, and an Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music grant.

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