The Wordless Music Series has announced preliminary details of its 2007-08 season, which will include the much-anticipated U.S. premiere of Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood's Popcorn Superhet Receiver for string orchestra. The series, which brings together classical and contemporary rock and electronic artists in nontraditional chamber-music spaces, will feature performances in the fall of its second season from Do Make Say Think, Beirut, Múm, Colleen, Nico Muhly, Valgeir Sigurdsson, Sandro Perri, Bing and Ruth, Hauschka, Torngat, and Electric Kompany. Also appearing will be classical soloists and ensembles performing the music of Bach, Bartók, Chopin, Scriabin, and György Ligeti, as well as contemporary composers Arvo Pärt, John Adams, Gavin Bryars, Osvaldo Golijov, Jacob TV, Nick Didkovsky, and Marc Mellits.
The 2007-08 season of Wordless Music will open with a concert by Toronto big band Do Make Say Think and New York new-music quartet the Electric Kompany on Friday, September 14, at the New York Society for Ethical Culture on Central Park West and 64th Street. Continuing in the Wordless Music tradition of offering concerts in alternative and unconventional spaces, shows will also take place at Good-Shepherd Faith Church and The Church of St. Paul the Apostle in Manhattan, as well as the Brooklyn Masonic Temple in Fort Greene. Beginning with the 2007-08 season, in a special new partnership, Wordless Music concerts will take place for the first time at venues outside New York City, at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis.
The 2007-08 season will also include an extremely rare full-orchestra program on January 16-17, 2008, with music exploring the subjects of religion, technology, and modernity by contemporary composers John Adams (Christian Zeal and Activity), Gavin Bryars (The Sinking of the Titanic), and Jonny Greenwood (Popcorn Superhet Receiver). Commissioned by the BBC in 2005, when Greenwood was named the BBC's Composer-in-Residence, and premiered in November 2006 at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London by the BBC Concert Orchestra, Popcorn Superhet Receiver is a 20-minute work inspired by the phenomenon of white noise and the music of Krzysztof Penderecki, György Ligeti, and Olivier Messiaen. For its U.S. premiere, the work has been revised by the composer and will be performed by a string orchestra comprising 18 violins, 6 violas, 6 cellos, and 4 double basses. The Wordless Music Orchestra will be led by conductor Brad Lubman, known for his work conducting the Steve Reich Ensemble, and will feature a one-time gathering of 50 instrumentalists, who represent many of the brightest talents in New York's classical and new-music community. They come from a diverse group of bands and ensembles who have drawn inspiration from the music of Jonny Greenwood and Radiohead throughout the group's 15-year history, including members of Alarm Will Sound and So Percussion.
Tickets for all 2007-08 Wordless Music shows will be on sale beginning at noon on Friday, August 9. Planning for Wordless Music concerts in the winter and spring is in progress and will be announced soon. Full schedule details and ticket sale info are available at wordlessmusic.org.
Friday, September 14 (at the New York Society for Ethical Culture) will be headlined by the Toronto big band Do Make Say Think, with support from the amplified new-music ensemble the Electric Kompany, who will perform music for rock quartet by the composers Jacob TV, Nick Didkovsky, and Marc Mellits.
Thursday, September 20 (at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple) will be headlined by Beirut with support from Fifth Veil, a clarinet-and-string-quartet ensemble from the Bard Conservatory of Music that will perform composer Osvaldo Golijov's The Dreams and Prayers of Issac the Blind (1994), which combines Klezmer clarinet playing with classical string quartet writing.
Monday, September 24 (also at SEC) will also be headlined by Beirut with support from the French cellist/electronic artist Colleen, as well as the pianist Katya Mihailova playing solo pieces by Chopin and Scriabin, followed by duos for piano and violin (with violinist Colin Jacobsen) by Arvo Pärt and Bela Bartók.
Saturday, September 29 (at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis) will mark the first Wordless Music concert to take place outside New York City, and will feature a large ensemble led by composer Nico Muhly and producer/electronic artist Valgeir Sigurdsson.
Friday, October 5 (at Good Shepherd Church) will be a showcase devoted in part to the Bedroom Community label in Iceland, with a large ensemble led by composer Nico Muhly and producer/electronic artist Valgeir Sigurdsson, best known to date for his work producing records by Bjork, Múm, and Bonnie "Prince" Billy. The show will open with music from Toronto musician Sandro Perri.
Friday, November 9 (at St. Paul the Apostle) will be headlined by Múm with support from Torngat, a horn/percussion/keyboard trio from Montreal with Pietro Amato from Bell Orchestre/Arcade Fire, along with the cellist Jihyun Kim performing one of Bach's solo cello suites and György Ligeti's sonata for solo cello.
Saturday, November 10 (at SEC) will again be headlined by Múm, with support from Hauschka, a German pianist and composer on the Fat Cat label, as well as Bing and Ruth, a rotating "ambient orchestra" of ten or more instrumentalists and vocalists, mainly living in Brooklyn. Bing and Ruth's set will open with a brief solo piano program by bandleader, composer, and pianist David Moore, who will perform a selection of Bach's Goldberg Variations.
Wednesday & Thursday, January 16 & 17 (at St. Paul the Apostle) will feature a full Wordless Music Orchestra led by conductor Brad Lubman, performing a program of works exploring the subjects of religion, technology, and modernity, including the U.S. premiere of Jonny Greenwood's Popcorn Superhet Receiver for string orchestra, as well as music by John Adams (Christian Zeal & Activity) and Gavin Bryars (The Sinking of the Titanic).
Tickets for all 2007-08 Wordless Music concerts go on sale at noon this Friday, August 10, via wordlessmusic.org.