There’s something special about stories told by musicians. Whether they’re reminiscing about family history, sharing the memory of meeting a favorite collaborator, or revealing the impetus behind an important work, artists offer compelling insights into their lives and the work they create—and often the broader world at large.
For almost 16 years, NewMusicBox has showcased the artist’s voice and the stories behind the music for an online audience. Through profile interviews and articles, the magazine explores the lives and work of music makers, and the intersections between the two. With its first-ever live event, hosted by NewMusicBox Editors Frank J. Oteri and Molly Sheridan, NewMusicBox LIVE showcases three very different artists each telling their own stories through words and music.
Saxophonist/sound experimentalist Matana Roberts, who has been a member of both the Black Rock Coalition and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), is perhaps best known for her ongoing Coin Coin project, which has forged new conceptual approaches to considering narrative, history, and political expression within improvisatory structures. Grammy and Grawemeyer Award-winning composer Joan Tower, co-founder and original pianist for the Da Capo Chamber Players, has been described in The New Yorker as “one of the most successful woman composers of all time.” Polystylistic singer/songwriter Gabriel Kahane’s works range from a song cycle based on Craigslist ads to the Public Theater-commissioned musical February House inspired by the 1940s Brooklyn house where W.H. Auden, Paul and Jane Bowles, Benjamin Britten, Gypsy Rose Lee, and Carson McCullers all lived together communally. Visitors to NewMusicBox can, on a daily basis, explore the wide variety of approaches to music-making that these three artists exemplify, but it is rare for an audience to be able to interact with this range of artists side-by-side in the same room in real time.
NewMusicBox LIVE takes place at SubCulture (45 Bleecker St., NYC) on May 19, 2015 at 7 p.m. and will also feature performances by acclaimed pianist Ursula Oppens and violinist Bella Hristova. Please visit newmusicusa.org/nmblive to reserve your free ticket.