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Press Releases

Contemporaneous Presents “Day of Imagination” Sept. 18, 2021 - World Premieres by Kara-Lis Coverdale, Brian Petuch, Andrés Martínez de Velasco

August 27, 2021 | By Jennifer Wada Communications

Contact:  Jennifer Wada Communications





The festival of three sets, at 2pm, 5pm and 8pm, features operas Stranger Love, Acts II & III, by Mattingly, and Portrait and a Dream by Petuch




Contemporaneous, the ensemble specializing in new projects that take bold artistic risks, presents its inaugural “Day of Imagination” – an eight-hour festival described by the group as “a space for the presentation of ‘dream projects’ – which asks creators to share work they'd most like to be making regardless of traditional constraints on scale and practicality,” on Saturday, September 18, 2021, from 2pm to 10pm at The Space at Irondale in Brooklyn, NY.

 The festival features three sets, at 2pm, 5pm, and 8pm, featuring four world premieres: Acts II & III of Contemporaneous Co-Artistic Director Dylan Mattingly’s opera Stranger Love, Act I of which was premiered in concert performance at the 2018 PROTOTYPE Festival; Brian Petuch’s Portrait and a Dream, an opera about the life, work, and myth of painter Jackson Pollock that weaves in images of his work; Particles and Fields, a multimedia work by composer/physicist Andrés Martínez de Velasco and visual artist Michael DiRosa about scientists’ search for a theory to bridge quantum mechanics and general relativity; and a world premiere arrangement for live musicians of Kara-Lis Coverdale’s Aftertouches, a recording that was selected as one of NPR’s 10 Favorite Electronic Albums of 2015. (See more about each of these works below.)

 Recognized for its “ferocious, focused performance” (The New York Times), Contemporaneous had planned for the “Day of Imagination” to take place in 2020 in celebration of the group’s 10th anniversary, and so it now marks the group’s 11th year. The New York-based 23-member ensemble that brings new music to life with “captivating and whole-hearted commitment” (I Care If You Listen) performs and promotes the work of living composers through concerts, commissions, recordings, and educational programs, has been presented by such institutions as Lincoln Center, Park Avenue Armory, PROTOTYPE Festival, Merkin Concert Hall, MATA Festival, St. Ann’s Warehouse, and Bang on a Can, and has worked with such artists as David Byrne, Donnacha Dennehy, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Dawn Upshaw, and Julia Wolfe. Contemporaneous has premiered more than 200 works; the group champions the creation of large-scale works and “dream projects” which composers might not otherwise find opportunities to realize due to their scale. Contemporaneous was founded in 2010 at Bard College. www.contemporaneous.org


Saturday, September 18, 2021, 2pm – 10 pm (sets at 2pm, 5pm, 8 pm)


The Space at Irondale, 85 South Oxford Street, Brooklyn, NY

Tickets: $20 for each individual set, $30 full-day pass

Ticket page at Eventbrite

*A number of “community tickets” are available free of charge. Use the PROMO code TOGETHER when purchasing a ticket in order to receive a free “community ticket.”

*Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours required for entry


2pm: Set 1

Dylan Mattingly: Stranger Love, Acts II & III (World premiere)

The concert premiere of the last two acts from Dylan Mattingly’s “ecstatic six-hour opera” Stranger Love. Scored for 28 musicians (including three microtonal pianos), eight singers, and six dancers with music by composer Dylan Mattingly and text by Thomas Bartscherer, the creators call Stranger Love “a grand celebration of life itself. It follows two lovers whose romance unfolds to the rhythm of the seasons. Set on a vast time-scale against the ever-expanding universe, it broadens in scope and frame over the course of three acts, moving from the personal to the archetypical to a vision of the divine — a love supreme. Stranger Love evokes the visceral thrill of a gospel revival, the ethereal calm of watching snow fall, the wonder of staring into the night sky.” Contemporaneous presented Act I of Stranger Love in a concert performance at the 2018 PROTOTYPE Festival. Stranger Love will be presented in full in its world premiere production in Spring of 2023 in Los Angeles.

Dylan Mattingly’s work is fundamentally ecstatic, committed to transformative experience. His music has been described as “gorgeous” by the San Francisco Chronicle, “transcendent” and “the most poignantly entrancing passages of beautiful music in recent memory” by LA Weekly. Among the ensembles and performers who have commissioned Mattingly’s music are the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the Berkeley Symphony, John Adams, Marin Alsop, and many others.

Read more about and hear excerpts from Stranger Love: https://www.stranger.love/

Dylan Mattingly: http://www.dylanmattingly.com/


5pm: Set 2

Andrés Martínez de Velasco: Particles and Fields (World premiere)

Particles and Fields tells the story of scientists’ search for a theory to bridge quantum mechanics and general relativity in a multimedia work by composer/physicist Andrés Martínez de Velasco, visual artist Michael DiRosa, and physics historian Alexander Blum. As Michael DiRosa explains, “In quantum physics we learn that the universe is a ‘microscopic swarming of fleeting microevents’ (from physicist & author Carlo Rovelli) where things change in relation to each other. We thought, why not create something that celebrates that structure, but with music and image, the two in a dance of cause and effect, chance and probability? Why not let the structure of our work reflect the concept inspiring it?”

Andrés Martínez de Velasco (Mexico City 1991) is a composer-physicist currently based in Amsterdam. He studied at the McGill University Conservatory and the Bard College Conservatory of Music, where he worked with Joan Tower and George Tsontakis. His recent work musically explores the connections between physical concepts and the history of physics, and music.

Kara-Lis Coverdale: Aftertouches (World premiere of instrumental arrangement)

Aftertouches is an electronica album created and produced by Canadian composer Kara-Lis Coverdale, who describes it as “a series of narrative-rich experimental miniatures that focus on the composer’s distinct penchant for holographic timbres.” It was named a top album of 2015 by The Wire, NPR, and others.  In collaboration with Coverdale, composers Dylan Mattingly and Zachary Ritter have worked on an arrangement of this album for live performance by the musicians of Contemporaneous, which will be heard here for the first time.

Driven by a patient devotion to sonic afterlife, memory, and material curiosity, Kara-Lis Coverdale’s dynamic work occupies new planes built upon a borderless understanding of electronic music with roots in several interlocking musical systems and languages. Coverdale’s work has been met with consistent critical acclaim; The Guardian has described her as " one of the most exciting young composers in North America."        

Read more about Aftertouches: https://www.kara-liscoverdale.com/works

Kara-Lis Coverdale: https://www.kara-liscoverdale.com/


8pm: Set 3

Brian Petuch: Portrait and a Dream (World premiere)

Music, Libretto: Brian Petuch

Director: Ashley Tata

Design: Magnus Pind

Portrait and a Dream is an opera about the life and work of artist Jackson Pollock. Using never-before-released interviews and conversations with Pollock provided by The Pollock-Krasner House and poetry and literary excerpts pertinent to Pollock's world, and weaving in images of his iconic work, composer Brian Petuch and designer Magnus Pind build a musical imagination of the creative life of Pollock, focused on the art itself.

Brian Petuch's music inhabits extreme contrasts of reflection, celebration, and irreverence. His works have premiered at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, 911 Memorial at Liberty Park, EMPAC, Constellation, MASS MoCA, and Joyce Theatre, and performed by Albany Symphony, the New York Youth Symphony, andPlay, Bang on a Can, Exceptet, Echo Chamber, Contemporaneous, Latitude 49, and Bearthoven.

Read more about the work and the composer and hear excerpts from Portrait and a Dream: https://www.brianpetuch.com/




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