Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sworn in on a stack of cheeseburgers

Last week I was sworn in, over milkshakes, to the board of thingNY, an experimental and classical concert music collective that just took the leap from ragtag band of performers to fledgling nonprofit organization. I had worked with founding director and ensemble member Erin Rogers at Peermusic, and did some fun post-production work in my studio for some of her own projects. That led me to a couple of thingNY shows, which were unlike any classical, new music, or other performance I had seen. The group blends top-quality classical training and expertise with a flair for performance and underground theatricality. Each project is different from the last -- if you've seen one show, you haven't seen anything yet.

I'll be posting about upcoming projects and performances, so keep an eye out.

Excerpt from the group's bio:

The New Yorker's Alex Ross listed thingNY as part of the city's burgeoning avant-garde classical music scene "striking an attitude of resistance to mainstream culture." Comprised of composer-performers from the NYC metro area, thingNY revels in creating and performing unrelenting experimental new works with passion and enthusiasm, oscillating between the "sweeter sounds" and the "punishingly loud." Since its first performance in October 2006, thingNY has produced four seasons of experimental music including a radio play by Beckett, a collaboratively-created opera and over a hundred premieres.

In its first three seasons, thingNY premiered thirty-two new works by emerging and established composers including commissions from Barry Seroff, Rocco Di Pietro, Paul Burnell, Tarik Ghiradella and others. In December 2009 thingNY reached a new level of community collaboration and visibility with its mass e-mail commissioning project, called SPAM. Kathleen Supove, Kyle Gann, Doug Yule, Joseph Nechvatal, Pauline Oliveros and William Brittelle were just some of the artists, composers and listeners who submitted new works of music, text, emails, images and videos for the marathon performance of over a hundred SPAM works.

In June 2009, five thingNY composers collaboratively composed and performed the multimedia opera ADDDDDDDDD to a sold-out house at the 45th Street Theatre presented by the Tank. In June 2010, thingNY will tour the opera and release a studio-recorded version on CD with a comic book libretto.

This year, thingNY opened its fourth season with new music and performance art as part of a 24-hour theatre marathon at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center. This performance was streamed live online and broadcast to venues around the world, reaching an estimated 1000 viewers. Watching online, composer Art Jarvinen wrote about the performance: “...truly a thing of great beauty, and wonder. Thank god there are groups like thingNY (or maybe you're the only one)."

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