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Here There Be Dragons: Mapping New Territory

July 30, 2010 | By Ellen Jacobs
President, Ellen Jacobs Associates
Here There Be Dragons, a concert of 21st century music that erases the line between pop and classical to create a new musical geography, will be performed by NOW Ensemble, William Brittelle’s Television Landscape and Missy Mazzoli’s group Victoire as part of Peak Performances @ Montclair’s 2010/11 music programs. The concert is on September 11 at the Alexander Kasser Theater on the Montclair State University campus. Using a title inspired by ancient maps that demarked unknown territories with labels such as “Here There Be Dragons,” the evening brings together this trio of young, adventurous groups, each on the New Amsterdam Records label, for the first time. The program is crafted so that the end of one composition naturally slides into the beginning of the next, creating a musical unity between the diverse groups. Together, the ensembles comprise a total of 19 musicians.

The audience is invited to join the musicians for a post-show party in the Alexander Kasser Theater lobby and the Montclair State University Amphitheater to kick off the 2010/11 Peak Performances season.

PROGRAM INFORMATION: Victoire: Like a Miracle (Missy Mazzoli) NOW Ensemble: Velvet Hammer (Sean Friar) Victoire: Cathedral City (Missy Mazzoli) Television Landscape: Dunes of Vermillion (William Brittelle) Television Landscape: Halcyon Days (William Brittelle) NOW Ensemble: Awake (Patrick Burke) Victoire: A Door Into The Dark (Missy Mazzoli) Television Landscape: Pegasus In Alcatraz (William Brittelle) NOW Ensemble: Burst (Mark Dancigers) Victoire: India Whiskey (Missy Mazzoli) NOW Ensemble: Change (Judd Greenstein) Television Landscape: Rio Rio (William Brittelle) Television Landscape: Cheyenne Autumn/Spiritual Robot (William Brittelle) Television Landscape: Television Landscape (William Brittelle) Victoire: A Song For Mick Kelly (Missy Mazzoli)

About the Artists: NOW Ensemble is a collection of performers and composers dedicated to making new chamber music for the 21st century. The group is comprised of flute (Alex Sopp/Andrew Rehrig), clarinet (Sara Budde), electric guitar (Mark Dancigers), double bass (Logan Coale) and piano (Michael Mizrahi). NOW Ensemble has premiered more than 60 works including compositions by Ensemble members Patrick Burke, Mark Dancigers and Judd Greenstein, as well as young artists such as Ryan Brown, David T. Little, Missy Mazzoli, Nico Muhly and dozens more. NOW Ensemble has performed at The Bang on a Can Marathon, the Festival Internacional de Chihuahua, Pittsburgh's Music on the Edge, the Carlsbad Music Festival, Sarasota's New Music New College, Wordless Music and Look & Listen. In New York, it has played regularly at Le Poisson Rouge, Joe's Pub, Galapagos Art Space and the Chelsea Art Museum, as well as on WNYC radio. The ensemble’s first album, “NOW,” was released in 2008.

William Brittelle's Television Landscape is inspired by the tradition of progressive conceptual albums such as “Purple Rain,” “Dark Side of the Moon” and “OK Computer.” “Television Landscape” features an expansive palette of sound, mixing rock instruments and orchestral horn and string sections, including guitar solos, a sax section featuring extended jazz harmonies, vintage synthesizers and drum machines, vocal harmonies, harp ornaments, late 1970s-style French horn and flute riffs, a children's choir and more. “Television Landscape” is the follow-up project to Brittelle's “Mohair Time Warp” and was released on New Amsterdam Records on July 27, 2010.

Victoire, founded by New York composer/pianist Missy Mazzoli (recipient of a 2002 Fulbright Grant and three ASCAP Young Composer Awards), is a blend of winds, strings, keyboards and lo-fi electronics. Since its formation in 2008, the chamber-rock ensemble has shared the stage with Tortoise, Twi the Humble Feather, Redhooker, and Bing and Ruth, performing in New York at The Bang on a Can Marathon, Galapagos, The Tank and The Stone. In 2009, the group released its debut EP, “A Door into the Dark,” through eMusic.com. A full-length album, “Cathedral City,” will be released with New Amsterdam Records September 28, 2010.

For more information on the artists, please visit http://bit.ly/newamrec.

The below links offer samples of music by each artist: NOW Ensemble - “Sing Along” http://bit.ly/NOWensemble

William Brittelle - “Dunes of Vermillion” http://bit.ly/brittelle

Victoire - “Cathedral City” http://bit.ly/victoire1

The curtain for Here There Be Dragons is September 11 at 8pm at the Alexander Kasser Theater.

Tickets are $15 and are available at the Alexander Kasser Theater Box Office, by calling 973-655-5112 or online at www.peakperfs.org.

Charter bus service is provided from New York City’s Port Authority Bus Terminal – arcade on 41st Street between 8th and 9th Avenues – to the Alexander Kasser Theater ($10 per person, roundtrip) for all Saturday and Sunday performances. Bus reservations may be made by calling 973-655-5112 or by visiting www.peakperfs.org. For train service, available only on weekdays, go online to www.njtransit.com or call 973-275-5555.

For restaurants close to the Alexander Kasser Theater, visit http://www.destinationmontclair.com

Montclair State University is located at 1 Normal Avenue, Montclair, New Jersey 07043.

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