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Save the Date May 15 - 18, 2024
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Black Tie International Magazine:
26th Annual MATA Festival
 

MATA Festival

*Photo Credit: Kris Graves


“inventive, stylistically nondogmatic new music”
– The New York Times

www.matafestival.org
 

Music at the Anthology Announces 26th Annual MATA Festival
Fotografiska New York | May 15 – 18, 2024 

2024 MATA Festival, INTEGRATION: Music/Technology + Human/Nature, 
Explores Human Connection in Relation to Technology, 
Conceived in Alignment with Fotografiska New York’s
Spring Exhibition

Opening Concert Features NYC Premiere of GRAMMY®️-nominated and Emmy Award-winning
Composer Adam Schoenberg’s AUTOMATION, Performed by Cellist Yves Dhar
with the GRAMMY®️-Winning Experiential Orchestra led by James Blachly

Closing Concert Features Olivier Glissant’s
World Premiere Orchestration of 

Philip Glass’s Aguas da Amazonia, 
Featuring the Brooklyn Orchestra

 

New York, NY — Tickets are on sale now for the 26th Annual MATA Festival, taking place from May 15-18, 2024 in New York City. For more than 25 years, Music at the Anthology (MATA) has been a home for early-career composers, sound artists, and other music creators, described as “the most exciting showcase for outstanding young composers from around the world” (The New Yorker). Through its annual festival, artist residencies, and educational initiatives, MATA has fostered the work of hundreds of experimental artists since its founding by Philip Glass, Eleonor Sandresky, and Lisa Bielawa.

Helmed by Executive Director Pauline Kim Harris, the four-night festival will be presented at Fotografiska New York, reflecting a newly forged relationship between the MATA Festival and the famed Contemporary Museum of Photography, Art and Culture in Gramercy. The theme of this year’s festival, conceived in alignment with the museum’s spring exhibition, will be “INTEGRATION: Music/Technology + Human/Nature” – an exploration of human connection against the backdrop of ever-advancing technology that is changing how we relate to one another and make music.

“Upon meeting Fotografiska’s Director of Programming Wendi Weinman and Associate Director of Programming Jordan McClean, a partnership was inevitable,” says Harris. “I was blown away by their vision and how it coincided with what MATA Festival stands for. Their mission to be an expression of commitment to local culture and inviting the community to gather, discuss, share and celebrate defines not only the intention, but the purpose of our journey in the discovery of new talent and sounds. Cultivating relationships through understanding the past and motivating toward the future is what MATA Festival represents: Tomorrow’s Music Today.”

The festival’s four concerts have been integrated according to the four classical elements of fire, air, earth and water, with music constituting the connective thread that brings them together in harmony. Each program features small-ensemble works selected from more than 400 submissions by a panel of eight distinguished composers and performers from the US, South America and the Czech Republic: Bethany Younge, Sam Yulsman, Jennifer Choi, Kyra Sims, Eric Lyon, Carlos Quebrada, Petr Bakla and Yoon-Ji Lee. Eighteen of these selected works will be performed this year by some of the composers themselves, as well as by the newly established MATA Mavens, a festival ensemble of hand-picked virtuosos specializing in genres ranging from contemporary classical and experimental music, to hip-hop, jazz, folk and traditional music from cultures around the world. This year’s performers in the ensemble include Azalea Twining, voice; Titilayo Ayangade, cello; Laura Cocks, flute; Dennis Sullivan, percussion and Jennifer Choi, violin. Besides works selected through the annual submissions process, the opening and closing concerts of this year’s festival also integrate pieces under the umbrella of the MATA Presents initiative, which provides support for projects already in motion. Featuring numerous New York and world premieres, the festival is bookended by the New York premiere of Adam Schoenberg’s AUTOMATION and the world premiere of Olivier Glissant’s new orchestration of Philip Glass’s Aguas da Amazonia by the Brooklyn Orchestra.

The opening night concert on Wednesday, May 15, 2024 at 7:00pm, Automation, represents the “fire” element, while epitomizing the mission of the MATA Festival. Taking center stage in this program is cellist Yves Dhar in Press “1” for Cello, an immersive cello experience incorporating three world premieres in a performance for solo cello, electronics and interactive visuals. In the first of these world premieres, two-time GRAMMY® ️Award-winning composer and violist Nathan Schram unveils his new work Plant Church. Reflecting a psychedelic journey into an overstimulated subconscious, the piece weaves its way through primordial dust, a mechanistic working life, and stupefying social interactions before embarking on a final journey through the celestial orbs of the universe. Pianist and composer Adonis Gonzalez follows with the world premiere of his composition Nrtya – the Hindi word for “dance” – a work that artfully blends dance rhythms originating from India, West Africa and the Caribbean Islands. In a unique role for the featured soloist, this piece calls for a cellist who also performs on percussion instruments to capture the spirit of dance, yielding a harmonious synthesis of diverse cultural influences. In a third world premiere, Dhar is featured in Cristina Spinei’s new work Missed Deadline. Commissioned by Dhar, this fast-paced work employs ostinati, “chopping” techniques and fun grooves to showcase the virtuosity of the performer. Strettoa specialist in innovative technologies for both live performances and streaming, has been engaged by Dhar to create an interactive audience experience around this piece.

The program culminates in the New York premiere of AUTOMATION, a double concerto for two cellos – with one part written for a live cellist and the other composed by a machinelearning algorithm for a holographic AI cellist dubbed A.G.N.E.S (Automatic Generator Network of Excellent Songs). Developed over a five-year period by Dhar and GRAMMY®️-nominated/Emmy Award-winning composer Adam Schoenberg, the piece will be performed at the MATA Festival by Dhar alongside the GRAMMY®️ Award-winning Experiential Orchestra, led by conductor James Blachly. Through a musical duel of human and machine, the work explores the musical ramifications of machine-learning and the degree to which human musical expression can survive digital mediation. In the key question posed by the work, we are asked: Can a technically superior machine with no soul make music that moves us? Contrasting passages evoke the bleak possibility that humans must lose out in a society obsessed only with output and productivity – vs. the hope we find in those qualities that make us uniquely human: the ability to feel, love and empathize. In another unique element of the performance, Dhar doubles on a futuristic instrument known as the halldorophone, which was commissioned and purpose-built for the composition’s 2022 world premiere by Dhar and the Louisville Orchestra, led by GRAMMY® Award-winning conductor Teddy Abrams. A video trailer for AUTOMATION can be viewed here.

The festival’s second and third concerts feature performances by the Bergamot Quartet, by selected composers performing their own works, and by the MATA Mavens, (formerly Friends of MATA). On Thursday, May 16, 2024 at 7:00pm, the festival presents its “air” program, Changing Voices, a concert reflecting connections – composer to performer, humans to nature, technology to music – and how these ever-evolving bonds are integrated into the fabric of music-making. This concert’s performances feature the Bergamot String Quartet, as well as MATA Maven Yuma Uesaka (saxophone) and composers Annie Aries Ruefenacht and Christian Quiñones performing their own works. Ideas embedded in the program focus on communication through music and how technology impacts that process. Highlighted works include Danae Venson’s Atlas for saxophone and string quartet with video; Vasiliki Krimitza’s Streichquartett No. 1 (world premiere); Giuseppe Gallo-Balma’s OrnitomaquiaAngela Elizabeth Slater’s Eye o da hurricaneLeo Chang’s Topic of Discussion (2020); Daniel Sabzghabaei’s At any rate II. باقی مانده "what remains" for singing string quartet and record player; Annie Aries Ruefenacht’s Fragments for mod synthesizer (world premiere); and Christian Quiñones’ Artifacts (2023) for laptop, keyboard, live electronics and visuals.

On Friday, May 17, 2024 at 7:00pm, MATA holds its “earth” concert, Earthinga program exploring the interplay between earth and technology – between the natural and the manmade – and examining where human wellness can be found and maintained in the balance. The evening’s program features MATA Mavens Azalea Twining (voice), Laura Cocks (flute), Dennis Sullivan (percussion), Jennifer Choi (violin) and Titilayo Ayangade (cello) as well as composers Jane Sheldon (voice) and Henryk Golden (speaker). Among the works performed in this concert will be April Dawn Guthrie’s Toy Toy Toypurina, a composition for flute, cello and percussion commissioned by DogStar Orchestra Festival. Also selected for this program are Marco Adrián Ramos’s Altar with pines and bread from Acámbaro (Music with my grandma) for alto flute, percussion and electronics; Annie Hui-Hsin Hsieh’s Permeating Through the Pores of Shifting Planes for percussion and electronics; Qiujiang Levi Lu’s Before It Gets Too Late for solo percussion and laptop; Bobby Ge’s Doppelgänger Streets for violin and electronics; Henryk Golden’s Sprechen Sie Musik? for reader and mezzo-soprano; and Jane Sheldon’s I am a tree, I am a mouth for two voices and gong drone (world premiere).

The festival concludes Saturday, May 18, 2024 at 7:00pm with the MATA Festival’s “water” program, Open Waters, highlighting the world premiere of Olivier Glissant’s new orchestration of Philip Glass’s Aguas da Amazonia by the Brooklyn Orchestra. Composed by Glass based on his travels in Brazil during the early 1990s, Aguas da Amazonia deftly incorporates elements of classical, new age and jazz music. The work, composed as a series of musical sketches, was first performed by the Brazilian percussion ensemble Uakti using highly specialized instrumentation. Released as an album on Point Music in 1999, Aguas da Amazonia has since captivated countless listeners despite amassing only a thin live performance history – limited by the unusual Uakti instrumentation. In this new orchestration, Glissant has translated the feel and rhythms of Glass’s work into a version for mainstream instrumentation – making this enduring work accessible to a broader range of ensembles worldwide. This final program also features Anthony R. Green’s Connections, Wenbin Lyu’s Duke's Fantasy I and Mariel Terán’s Manos de Tierra, highlighting scores for open instrumentation, graphic notation, and a live installation performance of Andean wind instruments.

In addition to the four nights of concerts, daytime activities for the 2024 MATA Festival will include book signings as well as coffee/happy hours with invited guest speakers, composers and authors – plus surprise pre- and post-concert events, all held at Fotografiska. Composer Paul Swartzel’s video “Music for Mental Health” will be played on a loop before the concert in the loft on May 16 and 17. Tickets to the concerts include access to all events as well as to the exhibitions.

26th Annual MATA Festival Program Details
May 15 - 18, 2024
Fotografiska| 281 Park Ave S. | New York, NY
Tickets: $45 per single concert (includes admission to all museum exhibits); $150 for four-concert bundle
Link: 
www.matafestival.org/2024-mata-festival

Automation
Wednesday, May 15, 2024 at 7:00pm (doors open at 6:30pm)

Nathan Schram – A Night Out [World Premiere]
Adonis Gonzalez – Nrtya [World Premiere]
Cristina Spinei – Missed Deadline [World Premiere]
Adam Schoenberg – AUTOMATION 
[New York Premiere]

     Yves Dhar, cello
     Experiential Orchestra
     James Blachly, conductor

Changing Voices
Thursday, May 16, 2024 at 7:00pm (doors open at 6:30pm)

Danae Venson – Atlas
Vasiliki Krimitza’s – Streichquartett No. 1 [World Premiere]
Giuseppe Gallo-Balma – Ornitomaquia
Angela Elizabeth Slater – Eye o da hurricane [New York Premiere]
Leo Chang – Topic of Discussion [World Premiere]
Daniel Sabzghabaei – At any rate II. باقی مانده "what remains"
Annie Aries Ruefenacht – Fragments [World Premiere]
Christian Quiñones – Artifacts 
[New York Premiere]

     Bergamot Quartet
     MATA Maven Yuma Uesaka, saxophone
     Christian Quiñones, laptop/MIDI
     Annie Aries Ruefenacht, mod-synthesizer

Earthing
Friday, May 17, 2024 at 7:00pm (doors open at 6:30pm)

April Dawn Guthrie – Toy Toy Toypurina [New York Premiere]
Henryk Golden – Sprechen Sie Musik? [New York Premiere]
Annie Hui-Hsin Hsieh – Permeating Through the Pores of Shifting Planes [New York Premiere]
Marco Adrián Ramos – Altar with pines and bread from Acámbaro (Music with my grandma)
Qiujiang Levi Lu – Before It Gets Too Late [New York Premiere]
Bobby Ge – Doppelgänger Streets [New York Premiere]
Jane Sheldon’s – I am a tree, I am a mouth 
[World Premiere]

     MATA Mavens
          Azalea Twining, voice
          Titlayo Ayangade, cello
          Dennis Sulliva, percussion
          Laura Cocks, flute
          Jennifer Choi, violin
     Jane Sheldon, voice
     Henryk Golden, speaker

Open Waters
Saturday, May 18, 2024 at 7:00pm (doors open at 6:30pm)

Anthony R. Green – Connections [New York Premiere]
Wenbin Lyu – Duke's Fantasy I
Mariel Teran – Manos de Tierra [World Premiere]
Philip Glass, orch. Olivier Glissant – Aguas da Amazonia 
[World Premiere Orchestration]

     Brooklyn Orchestra
     Olivier Glissant, conductor

About MATA
Music at the Anthology (MATA) is an incubator for adventurous emerging artists experimenting with composition, multimedia, collaborative performance art, and every imaginable sound in between. We present, support, and commission the music of early-career composers, regardless of their stylistic views or aesthetic inclinations. Founded by Philip Glass, Eleonor Sandresky, and Lisa Bielawa in 1996 as a way to address the lack of presentation opportunities for unaffiliated composers, MATA has since developed into the world’s most sought-after performance opportunity for young and emerging composers.

The first MATA Festival took place in 1998, and showcased Jonathan Hart Makwaia, singing his own compositions, alongside performances by Lisa Moore and Ted Baker. Since then, MATA presents an internationally-recognized annual festival each spring in New York City of new music by early-career composers selected from a free global call for submissions; MATA Presents, commissioned projects presented at venues and non-conventional spaces throughout New York; and MATA Jr., an evening of music by pre-college composers, mentored by emerging composers, and performed by top performers in new music.

MATA’s festivals and events are critically acclaimed and broadly respected: The New Yorker has hailed MATA as “the most exciting showcase for outstanding young composers from around the world.” The New York Times has called it “nondogmatic, even antidogmatic;” The Wall Street Journal said that it “tells us a lot about how composers are thinking now.” Composers that have been presented by MATA early in their careers include future Rome, Alpert, Takemitsu, Siemens, and Pulitzer Prize-winners, Guggenheim Fellows, and MacArthur “Geniuses.” In 2010 MATA was awarded ASCAP’s prestigious Aaron Copland award in recognition of its work. Learn more at www.matafestival.org.

About Fotografiska
Fotografiska is the contemporary museum for photography, art, and culture. Founded in Stockholm in 2010 and led globally by its Chairman Yoram Roth, Fotografiska is a destination to discover world-class photography, eclectic programming, elevated dining, and surprising new perspectives. Guided by a mission to inspire a more conscious world through the power of photography, art, and culture, Fotografiska produces dynamic and unparalleled rotating exhibitions, spanning various genres in inclusive environments. With a dedicated international community and locations in Stockholm, New York City, Tallinn, Berlin and Shanghai, Fotografiska is the premier global gathering place for photography and culture.
www.fotografiska.com/nyc | @fotografiska.newyork

 
gerard Mc Keon

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