ANNOUNCEMENT: 2017-18 Liquid Music Series Announced

New Amsterdam is proud to partner with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s pioneering Liquid Music Series, which recently announced the full schedule of events for its 2017-18 season. Entering its fifth season this fall, Liquid Music expands the world of chamber music through innovative new projects and iconoclastic artists in unique presentation formats. Many NewAm artists and projects will be presented in the coming season, including the U.S. premiere of Sarah Kirkland Snider's Unremembered, Roomful of Teeth with special guest Nick Zammuto, and more.

Entering its sixth season this fall, Liquid Music has become known for developing innovative new projects with iconoclastic artists in unique presentation formats. Performances invite adventurous audiences to discover the new and the fascinating within the flourishing landscape of contemporary chamber music. Each program features new works, world or regional premieres and new collaborations including many artists working together for the first time. Mpls.St.Paul Magazine calls Liquid Music “the epitome of experimental music making,” and the Star Tribune praises the series for its “risk-taking and genre-mashing.” In addition to facilitating these transformational performances, this season sees the continuation of Liquid Music’s virtual residency program.

Liquid Music continues to stretch musical imaginations and facilitate the creation of emotionally-engaging contemporary chamber music projects featuring today’s most exciting and expansive artists in the 2017.18 season, with five world premiere projects from artists with a diverse range of influences and musical perspectives. Son Lux guitarist / composer / electronic music artist Rafiq Bhatia joins forces with Minneapolis-based visual artist Michael Cinaand video artist Hal Lovemelt in a Walker Art Center co-commission to transform his latest work, Breaking English, into an immersive multimedia experience. “Michael Cina once told me that he has come to relish the uncomfortable knot he gets in the pit of his stomach when stepping into uncharted territory, because that feeling is almost always a harbinger of progress,” Bhatia explains. “These words became a signpost as I created the music ofBreaking English, which, like much of Cina’s work, explores the continua between beauty and destruction, otherworldliness and intimate familiarity.”

Liquid Music ventures into a new venue for the world premiere of Emily Wells’ The World Is Too _____ For You at the Machine Shop in Minneapolis. The violinist / singer / producer / composer will showcase new work inspired by hymns, imagined eulogies for loved ones, along with new orchestral arrangements by Michi Wiancko. Wells describes her music as “a space for its listeners to enjoy its influences which are rooted in traditional classical music but extend to minimalism, dance music and literature. I blend sonic worlds that value lyrics, synthesized and acoustic instrumentation, and repetition.”

Local music icon Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and the innovative dance troupe TU Dance come together for three performances at the newly renovated Palace Theatre, featuring new music by Vernon paired with new choreography from Uri Sands. Vernon expressed his excitement for the project stating, “I feel so inspired by the prospect of collaborating with Uri on new work; it’ll be a brand new experience for me. After seeing TU Dance in top form at a recent recital, I know that the experience will be both positively challenging and extremely rewarding for all involved.”

Grand Band, a New York-based supergroup formed by pianists Vicki Chow, David Friend, Paul Kerekes, Blair McMillen, Lisa Moore and Isabelle O’Connell, makes its Midwest debut at the Ordway Concert Hall in a performance featuring the world premiere of Degenerate Psalms by Missy Mazzolialongside music by Julius Eastman, Michael Gordon, Paul Kerekes and Kate Moore.

In addition, Liquid Music presents deeply moving and insightful projects from Anna MeredithBrian HarnettyVijay Iyer and Teju Cole. Each of these projects poses exciting challenges and unique forms of expression that are perfectly suited to Liquid Music’s strengths. Copresented with the Walker Art Center, Anna Meredith’s performance of her maximalist compositions from her debut album Varmints mixes contemporary classical, art pop, electronica and experimental rock.

Performed with sampled archives, field recordings and live musicians, Brian Harnetty’s Shawnee, Ohio critically engages ecology, energy, place and personal history. The composer explains, “The Liquid Music Series and its attentive and adventurous audience are perfect for sharing the stories ofShawnee, Ohio, where residents of a small town talk and sing of coal, fracking, social life and hope amid our contested energy landscape. It is an honor to perform this piece for Liquid Music, to open a conversation about these issues and to be among so many other visionary artists.” This performance will be part of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s No Fiction Festival, a festival inspired by music’s ability to get to the emotional heart of a story. In addition toShawnee, Ohio, festival programming includes SPCO chamber music concerts at the Capri Theater, Icehouse and Saint Paul Academy on the theme of sisterhood, featuring works by intrepid composers Hildegard von Bingen, the Boulanger sisters (Nadia and Lili), Jessie Montgomery and Dame Gillian Whitehead; a Liquid Music presentation of Nathalie Joachim’s Fanm d’Ayiti, spotlighting women of Haitian song (the culmination of her 2016.17 Liquid Music virtual residency), and additional events with partners On BeingMacalester College and Carleton College.

In another Walker Art Center copresentation, jazz luminary Vijay Iyer joins photographer, novelist and spoken word artist Teju Cole for the Midwest premiere of Blind Spot, a multi-disciplinary investigation of humanity’s blindness to tragedy and injustice throughout history.

Liquid Music’s trendsetting virtual residency program continues in 2017.18, tracking the artistic process of Minneapolis-based Bharatanatyam dancer / choreographer Ashwini Ramaswamy and composer / DJ / author Jace Clayton. Using a shared love of literature and interest in artistic explorations of social memory as a starting point, the two artists will develop an original work for its 2018.19 world premiere. Audiences will be able to follow their creative process on the Liquid Music blog as Ramaswamy and Clayton share behind-the-scenes insight into their collaboration. Ramaswamy stated, "As a dancer/choreographer interested in the nuances within artistic and cultural hybridity, I am very excited to work with Jace, who dexterously defies categorization. I approach this project like a Rubik’s Cube with myriad possibilities and no absolute solution." Clayton mirrored her sentiments: “A large part of my art involves creating connective space between different audiences, discourses, and media. So I'm thrilled with this opportunity to generate new work from the ground up with Ashwini."

In the 2017.18 Liquid Music season, musicians of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra will continue to play a vital role in the series, performing in Emily Wells’ The World is Too ­­­_____ For You, Nathalie Joachim’s Fanm d’Ayiti, and Vijay Iyer & Teju Cole’s Blind Spot. SPCO Principal Violin Francisco Fullana, who helped to shape the Emily Wells and Nathalie Joachim projects and is a member of the Liquid Music Advisory Council, shared his excitement about being a part of the series: “I find it so refreshing to have a series that truly listens to musicians, that looks for amazing artists outside of the traditional channels and that isn't afraid to take risks and push the envelope.” In addition, SPCO Artistic Partner Patricia Kopatchinskaja will make her Liquid Music debut, performing Luigi Nono’s La Lontananza Nostalgica Utopica Futura in Walker Art Center galleries as part of the museum’s Target Free Thursday Nights programming.

For more information and tickets to Liquid Music’s 2017-18 season, click here.