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Music for Contemplation

Six concerts of contemporary music that invite a contemplative state of listening

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The Latest Update

Affinity Brass Rehearsal

Posted on October 28, 2014 by Craig Shepard

Affinity Brass rehearses Erik Carlson’s new sextet.

More Updates ▼

Sound files for Peckinpah Trios now available

Posted on September 16, 2014 by Craig Shepard

Three excerpts from the April 5th perfomance of Antoine Beuger‘s Peckinpah Trios, arranged and realized by Craig Shepard, Dan Joseph and Tyler Wilcox and recorded by Billy Gomberg and edited and mastered by Assaf Gidron are now available on SoundCloud.

Excellent Turnout for Andrew Lafkas

Posted on September 7, 2014 by Craig Shepard

Very grateful to the attentive 78 listeners who turned out to experience Andrew Lafkas’ new work last night!

Andrew Lafkas: creating a space

Posted on September 6, 2014 by Craig Shepard

A brief writing on tonight’s concert and the purpose of this series can be found here: http://www.mufoco.net/writing/2014/8/28/andrew-lafkas-creating-a-space

Andrew Lafkas Rehearsal

Posted on August 28, 2014 by Craig Shepard

Andrew Lakfas (L) with Barry Weissblatt and Rick Brown (R)

9/6/14 Andrew Lafkas and ensemble

Posted on August 20, 2014 by Tyler Wilcox


ANDREW LAFKAS: Two Paths with Active Shadows under Three Moons and Surveillance (Second Phase)

259 North 5th St, at Havemeyer and Metropolitan
Williamsburg, Brooklyn 11211 – http://goo.gl/maps/hUoYS

Doors open at 7:30 pm, $15
All concerts begin promptly at 8:05 pm

Music for Contemplation continues Saturday September 6th with a new large-scale ensemble work by New York-based composer Andrew Lafkas. Arising out of a dossier of ideas under the title Two Paths with Active Shadows under Three Moons and Surveillance, this new work represents the second phase of an ongoing project that began with phase one in a performance earlier this year at Eyebeam art and technology center. Phase two was composed specifically for this concert and will be performed by a diverse ensemble that includes Marcia Basset (electric guitar), Barry Weisblat (electronics), Ron Stabinsky (organ), Che Chen (violin), Marandi Hostetter(violin), Laura Ortman (violin), C Spencer Yeh (violin), Michael Bullock (bass),Andrew Lafkas (bass) Rick Brown (cymbal), Ryan Sawyer (cymbal), Sean Meehan(cymbal and snare), Brian Chase (bass drum), Sandy Gordon (bass drum), Gil Arno(microphone and recording), Wolfgang Gil (microphone and recording), Daniel Neumann (microphone and recording) and Ben Owen (microphone and recording).

About the work, Lafkas writes:  “Like other ensemble works I organize, this piece uses predetermined elements to facilitate group intuition. Through the rehearsal process I have started feeling these written elements functioning more and more as possibility generators, illustrating the ability of parameters to both limit and expand simultaneously. This second phase will continue generating material as well as ways to approach and disseminate said material. Organized, the ensemble unites, resists, embraces and frolics.

Music for Contemplation is produced in cooperation with the parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and is organized by composers Craig Shepard, Tyler Wilcox, Erik Carlson and Dan Joseph. All six programs in the series will take place in the elegant sanctuary of the Church of the Annunciation in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and will include works by a wide range of composers whose work explores an expansive sense of time and space.

About the artist:

Andrew Lafkas is a musician living in New York,  his primary instrument is the doublebass.  He is currently focused on developing pieces that encourage group intuition; this interest was greatly inspired and influenced by experiences working in groups led by Milo Fine and by Bill Dixon.  He has performed at venues and festivals including The Walker Art Center, The Living Theatre, Experimental Intermedia,  Roulette, The Vision Festival, and The Seattle Improvised Music Festival.

Upcoming on Music for Contemplation:

10/4 – Michael Oesterle: l’hiver monastiqie performed by Erik Carlson (violin)
11/1 – New works by Erik Carlson, Dan Joseph, Craig Shepard and Tyler Wilcox performed by Affinity Brass Sextet

More information: http://www.mufoco.net

Music for Contemplation was supported by New Music USA. To follow the project as it unfolds, visit our project page:


Copyright © 2014 Music for Contemplation, All rights reserved. 
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Our mailing address is: 

Music for Contemplation

c/o Craig Shepard, 2 Berry St #D2

BrooklynNY 11249



Music for contemplation in the New York times!!

Posted on April 18, 2014 by Tyler Wilcox

Check out this write up of our last concert by Steve Smith

At the risk of hyperbole, it seemed likely that fewer notes were played during a 110-minute performance of “Peckinpah Trios,” a 2004 piece by the Dutch composer Antoine Beuger, on Saturday night, than might have been contained in a single ringtone on an audience member’s smartphone. No one present could make the comparison the hard way, thanks to the standard cautionary announcement.

The performance, by the trombonist Craig Shepard, the saxophonist Tyler William Wilcoxand the hammered-dulcimer player Dan Joseph, constituted the second event of Music for Contemplation, a new concert series at theChurch of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. These musicians and one more, the violinist Erik Carlson, established the series to present music that promotes stillness and permits rumination — most of it contemporary and avant-garde in character.

That’s not to say there were no distractions on Saturday. To facilitate a suitable environment, the series presenters lock the doors before a concert starts. Not quite five minutes into this one, a latecomer’s insistent knocking resounded throughout the ornate Lombard Romanesque chapel.

Viewed from another perspective, though, the knocking was part of the experience. Mr. Beuger, born in 1955, is a founder of the Wandelweisercollective, a loose confederation of disparate, globally dispersed composers bound by the implications of John Cage’s notorious “silent” piece, “4’33”,”as well as other works by Cage and Christian Wolff.

Taken too often as mere provocation, “4’33” ” presents a radical rethinking of the relationships among performer, composer, material, listener and environment. Wandelweiser members have mined that rich lode of intersecting variables in a variety of ways. Accordingly, “Peckinpah Trios” is permeable to interference almost by definition. Each of its 50 pages — some or all of which can be used in any rendition — contains one, two or three sustained notes per player, with attacks and durations determined individually.

“It may last 90 minutes,” Mr. Shepard, a Wandelweiser composer himself, told the small but rapt audience. “It is conceivable that the concert tonight will last five hours,” he added. For nearly two hours, the players whispered notes into the air, alone, in pairs and occasionally all together.

Adjusting to the space and stillness, perception changed slowly but markedly. Were the cars and buses rumbling past the church louder in the second hour than in the first? Were the planes flying lower overhead? Most likely, the answer to those questions was “no.” Yet everything sounded more acute, lively and present — qualities enhanced by the keen listening that the music enabled.


updated schedule of concerts

Posted on February 28, 2014 by Tyler Wilcox

Saturday, March 1st

Eva-­‐Maria Houben: tranquility (premier) Tyler Wilcox (bass clarinet), Christopher Johnson (organ)

Saturday, April 5th

Antoine Beuger: Peckinpah Trios Arranged and realized by: Craig Shepard (trombone), Tyler Wilcox (soprano sax) Dan Joseph (hammer dulcimer)

Saturday, May 3rd

Orlando di Lasso, Sequuntur Cantiones (sine textu) Larry Polansky: Christian Music Anastassis Philippakopoulos: Song 6, Song (for trombone) Jack Callahan: substantia absolute infinita Craig Shepard, Mark Broschinsky (trombones)

Saturday, September 6th

Andrew Lafkas and Ensemble present  a new  work

Saturday, October 4th

Michael Oesterle: l’hiver monastiqie Erik Carlson (violin)

Saturday, November 1st Four for Six

New works by Erik Carlson, Dan Joseph, Craig Shepard, Tyler Wilcox Affinity Brass Sextet

Doors open at 7:30 pm

All concerts begin promptly at 8:05 pm

Most concerts do not allow late admission

$15 each at the door

Church of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary
259 North 5th St, at Havemeyer and Metropolitan
Brooklyn, NY 11211

In co-operation with the Parish of
Our Lady of Mount Carmel (www.olmcchurchbk.com)


First Concert this Saturday

Posted on February 28, 2014 by Craig Shepard

Very excited to hear Tyler and Christopher perform this Saturday.


Music for Contemplation aims to engage a completely new audience for radical contemporary music in a historic church through a series of six concerts dedicated to presenting compositions with open structures, quiet dynamics and use of silence. Taking place at the Church of the Annunciation in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the series offers new music with a special focus on the contemplative nature of listening. The series includes premieres of works by five New York composers.

Location: Church of the Annunciation
255 North 5th St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11211

CONCERT 1 – March
Evening with Eva-Maria Houben
New Work by composer Eva-Maria Houben performed by Tyler Wilcox (bass clarinet) and Diego Tornelli (organ).

CONCERT 2 – April
Evening with Andrew Lafkas
The premiere of a new concert length composition by Andrew Lafkas performed by his ensemble: Ann Adachi (flute), Kenny Wang (violin), Karen Waltuch (viola),Andrew Lafkas (contrabass) and Adam Diller (saxophone).

Craig Shepard (trombone), Tyler Wilcox (bass clarinet), and Dan Joseph (hammer dulcimer) perform Antoine Beuger’s Peckinpah Trios.

CONCERT 4 – September
Canons and Angels
The program includes Angels by Carl Ruggles, Canons by Aldo Clementi, and works by Larry Polansky, Jack Callahan, and Craig Shepard; performed by Affinity Brass and guests

CONCERT 5 – October
Four for Six
New pieces for brass sextet by Craig Shepard, Tyler Wilcox, Tucker Dulin, and Erik Carlson; performed by Affinity Brass

CONCERT 6 – November
August Harp
Harpist Colleen Potter Thornburn performs James Tenney’s August Harp.




Project Media

Octet for trombone quartet and string quartet by Tyler Wilcox
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Features: Tyler Wilcox

This an excerpt of a recording of the premiere performance on june 28th 2013 at the Church of the Assumption.

Performed by Mark Broschinsky, Will Lang, Sebastian Vera, James Rogers (Trombones), Rachel Golub & Mario Gotoh (violins), Victor Lowrie (viola), and John Popham (cello).

This sample was chosen due to the strong positive feedback this performance received which lead to the proposal of this series. Octet is a 20 minute work comprised of shifting voicings of a chord alternated with silences.

Start and End Dates



Brooklyn, New York

9 updates
Last update on October 28, 2014

Project Created By

Brooklyn, New York
Tyler Wilcox (born 1979) is a composer, multi reedist and producer from Maryland, currently living in Brooklyn, NY. The philosophies of his music-making are influenced by time spent wandering in the forests and deserts of the western United States. Wilcox’s interests include a deepening and slowing into silence, simplicity, extended duration and subtle variation. His expansive awareness of, and…

In Collaboration With

Brooklyn, New York


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