I am humbled that some of these notes were once my notes. Aaron Roche made a gorgeous remix of my piece "Everness", and found something about the heart of the piece in the process. Listen the first week of December on WQXR.
NOW Ensemble had a joyous 10th Anniversary show at the Lincoln Center Atrium this past November, where we gave the premiere of my arrangement of Derek Bermel's "Interval Training". Prior to that we had an awesome time at Town Hall Seattle and the Alberta Rose Theater, Portland.
PopMatters has a kind quote about "Everness" from yMusic's new album.
"The penultimate “Everness”, featuring Mark Dancigers of the NOW Ensemble, awes with its descending figures that leap across a tense staccato surface, before a stretching thread of violin joins it to a more winding second half."
"I Care If You Listen" has a well articulated review of yMusic's "Balance Problems", including this about "Everness":
"Mark Dancigers' “Everness” begins as the most texturally varied work on the album exploring the juxtaposition of articulated ostinato lines with singing melodic phrases but transitions to an atmospheric metrically-ambiguous layering of sounds."
Find a very interesting and thoughtful review of "Balance Problems" on Pitchfork.
Textura has posted a glowing review of "Balance Problems" here, and an interview with their members here, naming it an "album of the month."
"Elevated by gorgeous writing for strings and woodwinds, Dancigers's luscious moodscape “Everness” benefits from a...nuanced reading."
The Boston Globe ran a great story on the group and its history here.
Pitchfork posted a nice preview of yMusic's upcoming album, which features my piece "Everness." Looking forward to the release at the end of this month.
In other news, classes have started at the New College of Florida. Breaking out the scales and modes, Stravinsky and Schoenberg, the Mozart Dissonance, and some newer works for brass quintet for this year's composition students.
I scored, with incredible composing synesthesia-ist Troy Herion, the new film "The Dog", a documentary about the life of the man who inspired "Dog Day Afternoon". The New York Times writes about the film here and reviews it here.
We blasted out over 40 cues of 70's funk inspired tunes and score using some great vintage sounds. More importantly, we did our best to imaginatively empathize with a character who had such a rough and wild ride in life, and who came to such desperation at multiple points..
Proof of the premiere, below!
So NOW Ensemble went to Zurich. It happened. The fine people at the Apples and Olives Festival were fantastic, welcoming hosts and musical inspirations. I performed in Sarah Kirkland Snider's gorgeous "Penelope", and two sets with NOW of rep by Sarah, Judd Greenstein, Nico Muhly, Patrick Burke, and myself. And Michael Mizrahi also performed my solo piano piece "The Bright Motion". At the end of the festival USA musicians teamed up with our Swiss colleagues for an epic jam created by the truly innovative and articulate Nik Bartsch.
In other news, this fall will mark the start of NOW Ensemble's 10th Anniversary season, which I've been planning for over a year now. Lots of cool stuff coming up!
I had an awesome experience working with Oscar-nominated director Sam Green and the great ensemble yMusic on a film called The Measure of All Things, which had its premiere at Sundance this January. The piece was a "live documentary" which Sam narrated live and yMusic accompanied live. The New York Times called it "something like 'Koyaanisqatsi' filtered through an episode of 'This American Life.'"....maybe? A truly terrific and collaborative project.
November 4, 2013
yMusic will be performing "Everness" on November 5 in Durham, NC, along with music by Nico Muhly, Timo Andres, Marcos Balter, Gabriel Kahaine, and others. Very excited for their album release coming up in the next year as well!
September 26, 2013
NOW Ensemble will be playing my new piece "Dreamfall" at the Arts Brookfield Winter Garden on November 19, and at Barge Music on December 13.
Update Feb. 2014: A pic from the Winter Garden:
It has been a busy and inspiring fall. I've gotten to work with the extraordinnary choreographer Justin Peck for the Fall for Dance festival at City Center, with incredible dancing by New York City Ballet's Sarah Mearns and Casey Herd. They were stunning as was pianist Cory Smythe.
Also, my 25 minute new piece for NOW Ensemble, "Dreamfall", had its premiere at New College of Florida, featuring Fuzion Dance artists and my beautiful dancer wife, Xiao-Xuan Yang Dancigers. Some press from these events:
NOW Ensemble at New College: Sarasota Herald Tribune
Dreamfall preview: Sarasota Herald Tribune
The Bright Motion at Fall for Dance: New York Times Review
And, while not an obvious candidate for a pull quote, I must admit to liking this description of Dreamfall from this blog review:
"Instead of thematic construction or musical evolution, there is much intangible poetry and diaphanous swaths of mist."
May 22, 2013
Very honored to have my new yMusic piece, "Everness", premiered on May 22 at Rockwood Music Hall alongside music by Nico Muhly, Marcos Balter, Sufjan Stevens, Timo Andres, and Andrew Norman. Can't wait to get the recording!
March 25, 2013
NOW Ensemble had a great residency at the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne, and then a terrific concert at the Andy Warhol Museum. My "Burst" was on the program at the Andy Warhol.
The previous weekend my first piece for NOW Ensemble, "Hanging There", lead off a program at the Strathmore Mansion.
February 25, 2013
I'm writing a piece for an incredible group of musicians called YMusic in the next few months. They're awesome people and one of the most exciting chamber ensembles working in NYC today. Very honored to get to collaborate with them. Listen to some of YMUsic's work here.
A nice review from a February 14 performance of my orchestra piece "Liquid Song" by the Alabama Symphony Orchestra has appeared in the Birmingham Observer:
"Liquid Song," which began the concert...jumped and danced, conductor Justin Brown ensuring its intricacy and buoyancy."
January 31, 2013
Michael Mizrahi will be performing The Bright Motion in a few concerts this February.
Sunday, February 3, 2013. Woodmere Art Museum.
Recital featuring works from The Bright Motion and by Beethoven and Chopin. 3:00 PM.
Sunday, February 10, 2013. Sears Recital Hall, University of Dayton.
Recital on University of Dayton Arts Series. 3:00 PM. The recital is part of a two-day residency.
January 3, 2013
I'm thrilled to announce that my orchestral work "Liquid Song" is being performed by the Alabama Symphony Orchestra (concert opener) this coming February 14. The program also features pieces by Steve Reich, Ingram Marshall, and Judd Greenstein.
Michael Mizrahi's "The Bright Motion", which I produced and features one of my pieces, ended up on some incredible Best of 2012 Classical lists:
Time Out New York
Time Out Chicago
And, NOW Ensemble's performances of Missy Mazzoli's "Somg from the Uproar" were named the Number 3 Best Classical Event of 2012 in Time Out New York.
October 30, 2012
I'm delighted to announce some upcoming performances.
First, Michael Mizrahi will be performing "The Bright Motion" in Cape Cod on November 4 at Highfield Hall.
Then, my NOW Ensemble "Burst" will get a run of performances:
November 15, Lawrence University
November 16, University of Wisconsin at Madison
November 17, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire
November 18, The Cedar, Minneapolis
Click here for details.
It was a pleasure to perform an older NOW piece, "Hanging There", at Williams this past October 9.
"The Bright Motion" was also performed live on Wisconsin Public Radio by Michael, this past September 30. Michael also performed the work in a concert at SUNY Fredonia on October 3. Thanks to Michael and his audiences for their support!
And, I'm brushing up on the electric guitar part for Missy Mazzoli's "Song from the Uproar" for a record release performance at LPR, November 11.
June 7, 2012
Michael Mizrahi's record release show receives a plug in The Rest is Noise:
Come on out Tuesday, June 12 at 7pm.
NOW Ensemble collaborates with amazing dancers from Nimbus Danceworks this Thursday through Saturday at Grace Church, Jersey City, playing a 25 minute premiere by Hong King composer Samson Young. More info at nimbusdanceworks.org.
May 25, 2012
The Bright Motion receives a nice mention on The Rest is Noise, and a thoughtful and kind review in Seated Ovation.
May 20, 2012
The Bright Motion is WQXR's Q2 Album of the Week. And the video is sparking some interesting discussion about the potential for marriages of visuals and music to have an impact in the classical world.
April 29, 2012
Many thanks to Alex Ross of The New Yorker for posting the Bright Motion video on his blog this morning!
April 26, 2012
Very excited to release a video collaboration with Michael Mizrahi and filmmakers Troy Herion and Elan Bogarin, debuting today on NPR's Classical Music blog, Deceptive Cadence. Titled "Finding Stillness in the Heart of the City", the video explores Michael as a character whose world is transformed by music. Troy and Elan deftly synced moving shots of subways and city views with freely notated "grace-note" gestures in the music, a fusion of visual and aural techniques that we all found to be mind-expanding.