ACME, the American Contemporary Music Ensemble, announces three New York concerts in May and an album release in June 2012. At 8 pm both tonight, May 11 and Saturday, May 12 the group will take the stage at The Kitchen (512 W. 19th St., NYC) for two performances of the music of William Brittelle and Mick Barr. At 8 pm on Monday, May 14, ACME performs Timothy Andres' I Found it by the Sea as part of the 2012 Look & Listen Festival, held at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery (144 W. 14th St., 2nd Floor, NYC).
ACME last performed in New York in March at the innovative Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Concert Hall. That same month, the group performed at Stanford Lively Arts in California and at All Tomorrow's Parties curated by Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel in Minehead, England. ACME has performed in recent seasons at (Le) Poisson Rouge, Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Academy Of Music, the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, and Columbia University's Miller Theatre, among others.
ACME's concerts at The Kitchen bring together two distinct programs of music written for the ensemble – the world premiere of ACMED for string trio commissioned from Mick Barr, known for his relentless speed and agility on guitar and avant-garde compositions; and Loving the Chambered Nautilus, a series of works by electro-acoustic artist William Brittelle with original video by LoVid that merge the classical chamber music tradition with electronic retro-futuristic pop gestures. Barr will also join ACME for a performance of Louis Andriessen's 1975 milestone, Workers Union. These concerts celebrate the release of Brittelle and ACME's recording of Loving the Chambered Nautilus by New Amsterdam Records, forthcoming on June 26, 2012.
Mick Barr is an American avant-garde metal guitarist, well known for being one half of the band Orthrelm. His previous projects have included Crom-tech, a duo with drummer Zach Hill. He has also released albums under the names Ocrilim and Octis. Barr has recently been composing for chamber ensemble and in addition to ACME has written for the Kronos Quartet. ACME Artistic Director Clarice Jensen says, "ACME is thrilled to begin a new collaboration with Mick Barr, whose musical perspective is incredibly unique and respected by many. I've admired his music for years and we are already planning future works together."
William Brittelle's Loving the Chambered Nautilus re-imagines chamber music for the 21st century, juxtaposing the energy and sonic language of pop drum and synth programming with classical forms and instrumentation, resulting in propulsive and visceral music. The piece was composed by Brittelle to highlight ACME's remarkable rhythmic precision and crystalline tone against a backdrop of his programmed electro landscapes. Loving the Chambered Nautilus (at the time entitled Future Shock) debuted in August 2010 at Le Poisson Rouge and has since been featured at the String Theory Festival in Minneapolis and San Francisco's Switchboard Music Festival.
ACME players for these concerts are Caleb Burhans (violin, banjo, and voice), Clarice Jensen (cello), Eric Lamb (flute), Megan Levin (harp), Ben Russell (violin), Nadia Sirota (viola) and Chris Thompson (percussion).
At the 2012 Look & Listen Festival, ACME will perform Timothy Andres' piano quartet I Found it by the Sea, with the composer at the piano. I Found it by the Sea re-contextualizes elements of Brahms' chamber music. Andres says, "I found it impossible to write a piano quartet without paying homage in some way to Brahms's Op. 25 (which I first heard 11 years ago and remains my benchmark for great chamber music). I noticed a similarity between the theme of I Found it in the Woods to the piano theme about 10 bars into the Brahms quartet and mashed the two of them together, creating the theme for, in a sense, my Variations on a Theme by Brahms."
ACME players for the Look & Listen Festival are Ben Russell (violin), Caleb Burhans (viola), Clarice Jensen (cello), and Timothy Andres (piano). The concert will be hosted by Tracie Morris, Associate Professor, Humanities and Media Studies Department at Pratt Institute and also includes performances by Brooklyn Rider, janus trio, clarinetist/composer Derek Bermel and pianist/composer Michael Brown.
About William Brittelle: William Brittelle is a Brooklyn-based composer of pop-influenced electro-acoustic art music. His primary musical mentors include Mike Longo, longtime pianist/arranger for Dizzy Gillespie, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Del Tredici, and punk guitarist Richard Lloyd of Television. Brittelle's work is characterized by the melding of complex thematic ideas, rhythms, and formal structure with the visceral power and surface appeal of pop/rock music. That duality is best represented by Television Landscape, his fully-composed, post-apocalyptic art rock concept album scored for orchestra, rock band, synths, and children's choir. Brittelle has been the subject of features in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Time Out NY, and NPR's All Things Considered. His compositions have been presented across the U.S., including performances in Seattle's Icebreaker Festival curated by Alex Ross and Kyle Gann, the Festival Internacional in Chihuahua, Mexico, Pittsburgh's Music on The Edge series, New Music New College in Sarasota, Florida, the String Theory Festival in Minneapolis/St. Paul, the Switchboard Festival in San Francisco, the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, le Poisson Rouge, Galapagos Art Space, Joe's Pub at The Public Theater, The Stone, and the Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Hall. Recent commissions include Obituary Birthday (A requiem for Kurt Cobain) for the Seattle Symphony, Computer Wave for pianist Michael Mizrahi, and a series of pieces for Roomful of Teeth, premiered at Mass MoCA. Brittelle has been the recipient of grants and awards from the American Music Center, American Composers Forum, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and ASCAP. Along with composers Judd Greenstein and Sarah Kirkland Snider, he co-directs New Amsterdam Records and New Amsterdam Presents, a vital Brooklyn-based record label and presenting organization. He is a passionate promoter, presenter, and producer of new and adventurous music in New York City, having overseen the release of more than 30 critically acclaimed recordings. Brittelle also co-produced and presented more than 50 live music events throughout the U.S. in the last four years.