by Mike Breen
21 days ago
The National's Bryce Dessner celebrates 10th anniversary of his Cincinnati new music fest with live collection
MusicNOW, the popular new music festival founded by Cincinnatian Bryce Dessner of internationally acclaimed Indie Rock band The National, will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year when the fest returns March 11-15 at Music Hall, Memorial Hall and first-time venue Woodward Theatre.
On March 10, the Over-the-Rhine fest will be celebrated with the digital release of a compilation album featuring musical highlights from MusicNOW’s first nine years. MusicNOW- 10 Years will feature previously unreleased performances by Dirty Projectors, Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Grizzly Bear, My Brightest Diamond and others.
The album’s “Trials, Troubles, Tribulations” by Sounds of the South, a project featuring Vernon, Sharon Van Etten, Megafaun, Matthew E. White and Fight the Big Bull, was recently released as a preview.
“The first track ‘Trials, Troubles, Tribulations’ gets at the spirit of the compilation and the event. It is an American bluegrass gospel song written by Estil C. Ball. Here it is performed by Sounds of the South, a project featuring Justin Vernon (Bon Iver, Volcano Choir), Sharon Van Etten, Megafaun, Matthew E. White, and Fight the Big Bull. The project, organized by Megafaun, initially appeared at Duke Performances in North Carolina and MusicNOW in Cincinnati, Ohio, and subsequently traveled to Sydney Festival in Australia.”
In the press release for the album, Dessner says, ““Many of my most significant memories as a musician have taken place in Cincinnati during the MusicNOW Festival over the last 10 years. When we started, we were driven to create an intimate music festival that was as much a creative refuge for the artists as it is for the audience to partake in intimate and rare performances. We have celebrated works in progress and new commissions, new collaborations and detailed music of all kinds regardless of genre or popularity."
This year’s MusicNOW festival features appearances by Stevens, Nico Muhly, So Percussion, Timo Andres, concert:nova with Jeff Zeigler, Cloud Nothings, Will Butler and more. The National will also perform at the festival on March 13 at Music Hall with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Click here for full details and ticket info.Here is the full track listing for the compilation:Sounds of the South "Trials, Troubles, Tribulations"Robin Pecknold "Silver Dagger"Sufjan Stevens "The Owl & The Tanager"eighth blackbird "Omie Wise"My Brightest Diamond "I Have Never Loved Someone"Dirty Projectors "Emblem Of The World"Tinariwen "Imidiwan Ma Tenam"Tim Hecker "Chimeras (Live) 2011"Colin Stetson "Nobu Take"Owen Pallett "E Is For Estranged"Erik Friedlander "Airstream Envy"Bonnie 'Prince' Billy "Love Comes to Me"Grizzly Bear "While You Wait For The Others"The Books with Clogs "Classy Penguin"Andrew Bird "Section 8 City"Justin Vernon "Love More"
by Mike Breen
80 days ago
Annual new music fest founded by The National’s Bryce Dessner announces details for March concerts
The annual MusicNOW festival, founded by Cincinnati native and guitarist for Indie Rock superstars The National, returns to various venues in Over-the-Rhine this March for a celebration of the festival’s 10 successful years. The event will utilize Music Hall and Memorial Hall (past MusicNOW venues), as well as the new Woodward Theater (the Contemporary Arts Center will also host a related music/art installation March 11-20). Heavy on collaborations again this year, the shows will run March 11-15. Highlights from MusicNOW 2015 include a collaborative performance featuring The National and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. The CSO will also perform “Songs from the Planetarium” with MusicNOW vets Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly and Dessner. Here is the full lineup announced this morning: Wednesday, March 11thWoodward Theater - 1404 Main St, Cincinnati, OHWill Butler Thursday, March 12thWoodward Theater - 1404 Main St, Cincinnati, OHconcert:nova with Jeffrey Zeigler Friday, March 13thCincinnati Music Hall - 1241 Elm St, Cincinnati, OHCincinnati Symphony Orchestra, The National with the CSO and new commission by Caroline Shaw Saturday, March 14thCincinnati Music Hall - 1241 Elm St, Cincinnati, OHCincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Songs from Planetarium featuring Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly & Bryce Dessner with the CSO, new commission by Daníel Bjarnasonand So Percussion
Sunday, March 15thMemorial Hall - 1225 Elm Street, Cincinnati, OHPerfume Genius, The Lone Bellow, Mina Tindle March 11th-20thContemporary Arts Center- 404 E. 6th St, Cincinnati, OHA Lot Of Sorrow - by Ragnar Kjartansson featuring The NationalAn ongoing Installation (see video below)"Many of my most significant memories as a musician have taken place in Cincinnati during the MusicNOW Festival over the last 10 years," founder Bryce Dessner says in the press release. "When we started, we were driven to create an intimate music festival that was as much a creative refuge for the artists as it is for the audience to partake in intimate and rare performances. We have celebrated works in progress and new commissions, new collaborations, and detailed music of all kinds regardless of genre or popularity."Click here for ticket and further info.
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Celebrating his 46th anniversary as music director for the Cincinnati Ballet, Carmon DeLeone has a lot to be proud of.
by Benjamin Kitchen
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
has announced expanded access to their forthcoming LumenoCity series at
Over-the-Rhine’s Washington Park after initial tickets sold out in 12
At last year’s inaugural LumenoCity,
a total of 35,000 spectators were dazzled over the course of two nights as
Music Hall was lit up with three-dimensional graphics, bringing OTR to life
with a visual and musical spectacle.
When tickets for a trio of
concerts on Aug. 1-3 became available to the general public in June, CSO
clocked more than 300,000 visits to its website, and the event capacity of 37,500
over three nights was reached in 12 minutes.
CSO has unveiled plans to make the
groundbreaking concert experience open to an even larger number of
Cincinnatians, streaming each concert live on the web at lumenocity2014.com and
broadcasting to nearly 900,000 households throughout the region.
“From day one, LumenoCity has been
guided by a spirit and character of equity, access and generosity,” said CSO
President Trey Devey. “Demand for the event far exceeds the capacity of the
Washington Park viewing area.”
“Now, we’re able to make this free
event available on television, radio, live simulcast sites and the worldwide
web. It is our goal to reach as many people as possible with LumenoCity and
highlight the extraordinary creative energy of our community.”
90.9 WGUC, Cincinnati’s classical
public radio station, will broadcast the performance live on Friday, Aug. 1,
which will open LumenoCity up to listeners who can eye Music Hall from hilltops
or rooftops. Public television station CET will air the event on Saturday, Aug.
In addition to live Internet
streams, the third and final performance will be simulcast at Fountain Square and Riverbend Music Center on Sunday, Aug. 3. Additionally, CSO will issue
5,000 free tickets for a dress rehearsal on Thursday, July 31.
CSO is also putting 3,300 newly
released tickets for the trio of shows up for grabs, which will be issued for
free via a drawing. Patrons may register at lumenocity2014.com, but those who
already have reserved tickets will not be eligible.
The 2014 LumenoCity concert
performances will begin at 8:30 p.m. each of the three evenings with John
Morris Russell conducting the Orchestra as the Cincinnati Pops. After a brief
intermission, Music Director Louis Langrée will lead the Cincinnati Symphony
The visual effects will accompany a
live 40-minute CSO program featuring works from Copland, John Adams,
Tchaikovsky, Elgar and Borodin.
by Kelsey Kennedy
years ago, Over-the-Rhine was considered one of the most dangerous and
dilapidated neighborhoods in the United States, a title earned through a
controversial analysis of the area’s crime statistics. Today it’s a different
story, with Over-the-Rhine at the forefront of community revitalization, and Washington
Park at the core of that progress.
year’s inaugural LumenoCity, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra brought in a
total of 35,000 spectators over two nights to see Music Hall come to life
through a visual and musical collaboration. The crowds alone were proof of the growth
OTR has made as a neighborhood and the mark it continues to make on Cincinnati.
year, the free concert experience will be expanded to three days – Aug. 1-3, rain
or shine. The 40-minute, all-new visual performances promise heart-pounding
music paired with stunning animation.
technique called architectural mapping, three-dimensional graphics will be
projected from trailers on Race Street onto the façade of Music Hall, quite
literally shining a light on a cherished city landmark. Each performance will
begin at 8:30 p.m. with John Morris Russell conducting the orchestra as the
Cincinnati Pops. After a brief intermission, Music Director Louis Langree will
lead the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in the light show for the second time.
In an interview
with CityBeat’s Anne Arenstein last year, Langree stated why he loved
performing in Over-the-Rhine over other venues: “There’s a great sense of
creativity and innovation you can feel. Washington Park is a great venue. I
know that at one time it was a sketchy place but now it’s alive and thriving.
To see so many thousands of people gathered to celebrate the city was
visual elements for the concert’s second half are being developed by Brave
Berlin, a world-class creative design and production company based in
Cincinnati. Music to be featured in the second performance include Copland’s “Fanfare
for the Common Man,” John Adams’ “Short Ride in a Fast Machine,” the fourth
movement from Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, Elgar’s “Nimrod” and Borodin’s “Polovtsian
Dances.” Details of the concert’s first half with Russell and the Cincinnati
Pops will be announced on a date closer to the festival.
isn’t just a collaboration between some of Cincinnati’s best music and art
scenes, but a celebration of the city itself. In addition to the performances,
organizers are planning an all-new LumenoCity Village with pre-concert performances,
arts and crafts, and greatly expanded food and beverage services. Two
additional speaker arrays are being added this year for improved sound
coverage, as well as expanded restroom services. Performers from the May Festival
Chorus, Cincinnati Ballet and Cincinnati Opera will also be showcased during
The village will open at 3 p.m. on Friday, Aug.
1, and 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The designated viewing area inside
Washington Park will be fenced in to ensure guest safety and comfort, and
attendance within that designated area will be capped at 12,500 people each
night. All are welcome, and this year’s concerts will be free to the general
public, but ticketed. Advance tickets will be offered starting May 19 to CSO and
Pops season ticket holders. Complimentary tickets will be available starting
Monday, June 9, at 8 a.m. at lumenocity.com and will be issued until capacity
is reached. For audience members without a computer or Internet access, a
supply of free tickets will be made available to several of CSO’s partner
organizations. In addition to the www.lumenocity2014.com
website, the CSO has established a LumenoCity telephone information line at
by Jason Gargano
CSO's new music director talks collaboration with nine-year-old MusicNOW fest
Louis Langrée is well aware of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's rich history. The CSO's freshly minted music director also knows part of that history includes the nurturing of contemporary composers and their often unconventional works.
Enter MusicNOW, Bryce Dessner's 9-year-old festival of adventurous sounds. (Read our conversation with Dessner here.) This year's sonic extravaganza includes the CSO's take on new pieces by such esteemed composers as Nico Muhly and David Lang, as well as the title work from Dessner's new Classical album, St. Carolyn by the Sea.
CityBeat recently connected with the genial Langrée — who spoke in self-described "primitive" English by phone from Paris — to discuss the CSO's collaboration with MusicNOW.
CityBeat: Before we get into MusicNOW, I'm curious about your initial impressions of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Why were you interested in coming on as music director?
Louis Langrée: The fame the orchestra is really big. Everybody knows it's a major orchestra. But then making music with them was a completely different experience because, yes, they have the qualities of all major American orchestras — precision, clarity of the attack of the situation. But they have also from their heritage, in their DNA, this German conception of sound, that you build the sound from the base of the harmony. That means the density of the sound is something absolutely remarkable, and that's rare in the United States. I think it has to do with the tradition, the roots, of this orchestra and also, of course, about the quality and the spirit of the musicians, which is really wonderful.
CB: Why were you interested in collaborating with MusicNOW and taking on a festival of contemporary music?
LL: One of the strengths of the orchestra is to have supported and commissioned and performed contemporary music from their very early age. Having given the American premiere Mahler Third, Mahler Fifth, Stravinsky coming to Cincinnati before he was considered a giant, having premiered (Aaron Copland's ) "Lincoln Portrait," having commissioned (Copland's) "Fanfare for a Common Man" and many other pieces and many more recent pieces. That's why I wanted to open my tenure as music director with eighth blackbird and Jennifer Higdon concerto piece. It shows that we should support, play, commission and perform contemporary music — and, of course, contemporary American music.
CB: What was it like collaborating with Bryce?
LL: Meeting Bryce was a wonderful. His French is perfect. Especially compared to my primitive English. (Laughs). I like his attitude in making music and experimentation. And any strong institution should be also a place of experimentation. Music is not something you put in a museum. It's alive. And then we should perform contemporary music like Classical music and perform Beethoven music, not forgetting that he only composed contemporary music. All the composers — Mozart, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Bartok — composed contemporary music, so we have to continue it. He's very focused and concentrated, but on the other hand the spectrum was quite bright. I think we have arrived on wonderful programs — very challenging, but very exciting.
CB: What makes him unique as a composer?
LL: He knows how to make an orchestra sound. It's a very clear and precise writing but at the same time there is so much flexibility in the variations of colors written and the flow of the music. It's always quite exciting to study a piece and hear it. Having the privilege of working with the composer is something wonderful because there are so many questions I would like to ask of Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, and of course it's impossible. So being able to ask the composer and to hear his answers is just wonderful.
Bryce is someone who has great harmonic taste, and I think for the orchestra it's wonderful because you can express yourself much easier. I think he's very much like his music — a very welcoming man, a very open, very luminous person. I see that in his music, which is not always the case with composers. With him, I get the feeling he's one with his music.
CB: How has the orchestra responded to playing these new, sometimes challenging pieces?
LL: Any new piece you don't know what to expect. What I've found is that these musicians are very open-minded, they are very generous and positive in their attitude and are eager to try any new experience. It's a privilege to perform these two concerts of new music, but it's also very challenging, so you have to be very practical.
CB: And what's the experience been like for you?
LL: It's a great responsibility when you conduct a piece, but it's also a great privilege that today's major American composers are willing to write for us. To be sharing this experiment and experience in concert, to be a part of MusicNOW, is really something beautiful. MusicNOW's 2014 festival begins tonight and continues tomorrow. Visit musicnowfestival.org for tickets and full programming details.
Bryce Dessner collaborates with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra for this year’s MusicNOW fest
0 Comments · Tuesday, March 18, 2014
On the eve of its ninth festival, MusicNOW founder and The National guitarist Bryce Dessner says after next year he’ll re-evaluate continuing the fest in its current state.
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 12, 2014
The recent $46 million
restoration/reinvention of Over-the-Rhine’s Washington Park is already
reaping artistic dividends — it’s responsible for a new musical tribute
to the transformative powers of landscape architecture.
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Music Director Louis Langrée on his debut concert, Cincinnati and LumenoCity's afterglow
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 6, 2013
During our conversation (in French), it becomes clear that the CSO’s
marketing blast, “Louis + CSO + You,” sums up Langrée’s vision for the
orchestra and the community: He frequently uses partager, French for “to share.”
by Jac Kern
Music Hall will
come to life this weekend. Thanks to a collaboration between Cincinnati
Symphony Orchestra, Landor Associates and funding from local organizations, the
Cincy landmark will be part of LumenoCity, a first-of-its-kind multimedia performance
in Washington Park Saturday and Sunday. Many details of the performance won’t
be revealed until the show, but we know it involves live orchestra music set to
a process called architectural mapping — where three-dimensional graphics are
projected onto a building’s surface, interacting with its
architectural details, causing the building to illuminate and appear in motion. This process of mapping
has been done before (just check out the video below), but never
like what we’ll see this weekend.
marks Maestro Louis
Langrée’s arrival as the CSO’s new musical director. The free concert takes
place at 8:30 p.m. in Washington Park Saturday and Sunday. Bring your own
seating. Read more about the event here.
Newly opened OTR brewery Rhinegeist unveils its limited edition Saber Tooth Tiger IPA
with a celebration Saturday. This Imperial IPA is the brewery’s first “Rarity,”
meaning they’ll brew it only once and have a limited amount. Admission to
the release party is $10 and includes a goblet with 12 oz. of STT and
guaranteed option to purchase a 32 oz. growler of the IPA. There will also be
local food vendors, live music, merch for purch(ase) and more. The event runs 5-10 p.m. Saturday.
Buy tickets here.
definitely got a case of the blues this weekend with Cincy Blues Fest at Sawyer
Point Friday-Saturday and Findlay Market’s Blue BBQ Sunday. The Cincy Blues
Society’s CBF turns 21 this year, bringing dozens of Blues acts from around the
country. Check out our preview here.
p.m. Sunday, Findlay Market’s eighth annual Blue BBQ brings local Blues
musicians together with delicious barbeque from Eli’s BBQ, Velvet Smoke and
other area restaurants. Go here
for more info.
It’s an end of
a sweaty era Saturday as Northside Tavern holds the final Dance_MF EVER.
Projectmill’s monthly first Saturday dance party has been going strong for five
years, steaming up the Tavern’s back room and even taking to the high seas (or
at least the Ohio River) for a couple RiverDance_MF events on a boat. So limber up, drink up
and dance your ass off one last time, starting at 10 p.m.For more art openings, summer festivals and other stuff to do this weekend, check out
our To Do
picks, full calendar
and Rick Pender’s Stage
for weekend theater offerings.