New Music Detroit
ABOUT THE ARTIST
New Music Detroit (NMD) is a collective of musicians dedicated to performing groundbreaking musical works from the late-20th century to the present day. Designed as a highly flexible ensemble with a rotating cast of core members and prominent guest artists, NMD performs new and adventurous classical music in a wide variety of settings, for a wide variety of people.
NMD strives to collaborate with the most exciting creative voices of our time, including artists as diverse as composers Marc Mellits, Nico Muhly, Virgil Moorefield, and Evan Ziporyn; singer-songwriter Shara Worden; visual artist and filmmaker Matthew Barney; members of the Bang on a Can All- Stars; and maverick Detroit musicians Frank Pahl, Clem Fortuna, Slither, and Apetechnology, to name a few.
NMD is also deeply committed to the live performance of seminal new music ‘classics’, and regularly gives performances of rarely-heard works by major figures such as John Luther Adams, Louis Andriessen, Iannis Xenakis, Georges Aperghis, Luciano Berio, John Cage, Philip Glass, David Lang, György Ligeti, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Frederic Rzewski, Bright Sheng, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and John Zorn, and many others.
Through its innovative programming and risk-taking, virtuoso performances, NMD continues to explore new ways of bringing the best of new and experimental music to the City of Detroit.
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NEW DETROIT SOUNDS
NMD will present a live performance of “The Detroit Project,” a collection of new works for mixed ensemble by experimental Detroit composers. Frank Pahl, known for designing his own instruments, will present an expanded version of “Imperfect Suite,” featuring his clock-chime-rod-box. Microtonal specialist, Clem Fortuna, premieres a new work for prepared piano and ensemble. Internationally-recognized Detroit composer and vocalist, Shara Worden, will perform one of her works specifically arranged for NMD. The audience is encouraged to attend a casual meet and greet after the performance to discuss the composition process with the musicians and composers.
Clem Fortuna is a composer, musician and piano technician from Detroit, Michigan. His focus is creating music using microtones or new tuning systems, drawing from his self-directed study of both Eastern and Western musical traditions. Fortuna has performed on piano, pedal steel guitar, violin, vibraphone and accordion, as well as various homemade instruments including musical glasses, washtub bass, 7-string zither and microtonal xylophones. His performances include the Detroit Institute of Arts, Trinosophes, the International Glass Music Festival, Xenharmonic Praxis Summer Camp and many Detroit area art galleries. Fortuna founded, built instruments and composed for the Detroit sextet Xenharmonic Gamelan. He also organized the Microtonal Revue, performing and showcasing new microtonal works by local composers such as Frank Pahl and Joel Peterson, as well as works by Harry Partch and Nicola Vicentino. Current projects include a duo with singer Jennie Knaggs, co-writing and performing original microtonal songs.
Frank Pahl has received over 100 commissions to write music for Theater, Film and Dance. From the 1980s to the present, his music has appeared on over 100 releases. Last year, Frank spent a month in Shreveport collaborating with the New Orleans Airlift group to help build a dozen musical houses and compose/conduct music for those houses. Last year also marked a return to writing music for his favorite local ensemble, New Music Detroit. Frank has also composed music for silent film with his toyband ensemble, Little Bang Theory. In June they will perform a new score to Orson Welles’ “Too Much Johnson” at the Detroit Film Theater.
Shara Worden received a BA in Opera from the University of North Texas. After moving to New York, she began studying composition with composer/performer Padma Newsome (Clogs, The National). During this time she composed music for several off-Broadway theater productions of plays by Adam Rapp and Jean-Paul Sartre. In 2004, she assembled a band, My Brightest Diamond, and released Bring Me The Workhorse(2006), A Thousand Shark’s Teeth (2008) and All Things Will Unwind (2011) on Asthmatic Kitty Records. Recent years have found Worden in the role of composer as much as songwriter. She has received commissions from the chamber ensemble, yMusic; the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and the Young New Yorkers’ Chorus; the string quartet, Brooklyn Rider; and violist Nadia Sirota. Currently, she is composing an operetta with playwright and director Andrew Ondrejcak to premiere at DeSingel in Antwerp, Belgium in September 2013. Additionally, many composers, songwriters and filmmakers have sought out Worden’s distinctive voice, including Sarah Kirkland Snider, Sufjan Stevens, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Laurie Anderson, The Decemberists, David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, as well as Matthew Ritchie and Matthew Barney.