Dreamfall is the fourth full-length release and third album of chamber repertoire from New York City new music mainstays NOW Ensemble. Sprawling in scope and ambition, the 76-minute album features seven composers - Scott Smallwood, Mark Dancigers, John Supko, Nathan Williamson, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Andrea Mazzariello and Judd Greenstein - and is by far the most expansive and ambitious record for the group to date.
Following the release of composer Missy Mazzoli's opera Song from the Uproar in 2012 and the critically-acclaimed collection Awake in 2011, Dreamfall stakes out a striking new landscape for the group. Ranging from ferocious and grooving to meditative and beautiful, the album is similar to the life of the ensemble itself over the past few years: pulsing with an urgent message, a desire to open up, be heard, and to share the sounds of unmediated musical worlds.
For the past 10 years, NOW Ensemble has worked tirelessly to craft a tightly-honed aesthetic. Dreamfall is the sound of the group letting go of the reins just a little and allowing a more free exchange between the conscious and subconscious. In the liner notes for the album, NOW Ensemble composer and guitarist Mark Dancigers explains that "dreamfall" is an outlook on the world. He writes: "It is a state of immense freedom... The sounds on this record reflect this freedom, this sense of something a little out of our hands, and, beyond all else, the practice of making music that is NOW Ensemble."
NOW Ensemble is a dynamic group of performers and composers dedicated to making new chamber music for the 21st century. With a unique instrumentation of flute, clarinet, electric guitar, double bass, and piano, the ensemble brings a fresh sound and a new perspective to the classical tradition, infused with the musical influences that reflect the diverse backgrounds of its members. Their 2014 - 2015 season celebrates 10 years of bringing some of the most exciting composers of their generation to national and international recognition. This past fall and spring saw the group travel to the Apples and Olives Festival in Zurich, Switzerland, Town Hall Seattle, Da Camera Houston, the Lincoln Center Atrium, and the Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts series. Upcoming projects include premieres of new works by composer Judd Greenstein, Dawn of MIDI's Qasim Naqvi, vibrant and innovative Princeton composition fellow Gabriella Smith, UT Austin professor Yevgeniy Sharlat, and Rome Prize winner Sean Friar.