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May 18, 2019: Contemporaneous at Littlefield

  • Littlefield 635 Sackett St Brooklyn, NY 11217 United States (map)

Saturday, May 18, 2019 | 7:00 pm
Littlefield | 635 Sackett Street | Brooklyn, NY
in association with World Music Institute
Tickets forthcoming

— wild new music with Contemporaneous and berimbau sextet Projeto Acromusical —

In this groundbreaking collaboration between Contemporaneous and berimbau sextet Projeto Arcomusical, disparate traditions of string instruments collide in an explosion of radical new music that draws from diverse traditions of ancient string instruments. The program builds a musical atlas of the ubiquitous and eclectic history of music for strings, from the kora to the harp to the cello to the berimbau.

In world premiere works written for Contemporaneous and Projeto Arcomusical, visionary composers Elliot Cole and Ian Gottlieb reimagine the sound of the berimbau (the one-string Afro-Brazilian percussion instrument known for its use in capoeira) to stretch its expressive possibilities in a new context. Cole’s piece Roda takes its title and its physical energy from the circular formation that audiences form around capoeira martial art performers. Gottlieb draws on his longtime study of Brazilian music and his time in São Paulo for his new work for both ensembles.

New arrangements map the mold-shattering string playing of revered Gabian kora player Alhaji Bai Konte and psychedelic folk singer/harpist Joanna Newsom onto the whole of Contemporaneous. RODA gives us the chance to imagine the past and future of our world, bound together across time and space by strings across a resonator.


Alhaji Bai Konte (1920-1983), arr David Bloom (b. 1990): Alla L’aa Ke (1973, arr. 2019) — world premiere arrangement
Elliot Cole (b. 1984): Roda (2017, rev. 2019) — world premiere, chamber concerto version
Ian Gottlieb (b. 1990): New work (2019) — world premiere, Contemporaneous commission
Joanna Newsom (b. 1982), arr. Dylan Mattingly (b. 1991): Cosmia (2006, arr. 2019) — world premiere arrangement