Tag Archives: Jad Abumrad

New Music’s next wave

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Remixer Dennis DeSantis, in the shadows, left, with the Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble at (Le) Poison Rouge. (Photos copyright 2009, Steven P. Marsh)

I saw and heard the future of New Music on Sunday night, and I am happy to report the future is bright.

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A saxophone solo opens the performance of "In C."

The Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble, which burst onto the scene with its fabulous 2007 performance (and followup recording) of Steve Reich‘s “Music for 18 Musicians”, filled (Le) Poisson Rouge last Sunday night with the sounds of another 20th Century classic — Terry Riley‘s “In C.”

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Radio Lab host Jad Abumrad was master of ceremonies.

Riley’s piece is more of a challenge than Reich’s because it is less structured, more mutable and highly shaped by the musical personality of the performers. The 15 talented players in GVSUNME — most of them students — played an engaging version that they made their own with the use of electronics and flourishes like a saxophone solo  to open the performance.

Sunday’s concert was a celebration of the release of In C Remixed, GVSUNME’s double-CD recording of In C and 18 remixes by 16 artists. The ensemble’s recording of “In C” clocks in at just over 20 minutes. For Sunday’s concert, the group played for about an hour. That’s the other major variable of the piece — it’s written in such a way that it can be as long or short, within certain limits, as the players want it to be.

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Jad Abumrad to host In C Remixed live

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WNYC Radio Lab host Jad Abumrad is MC for the In C Remixed show at (Le) Poisson Rouge on Sunday evening.

If you haven’t booked tickets for the In C Remixed show at (Le) Poisson Rouge tomorrow evening, here’s another incentive: the innovative radio host Jad Abumrad will be MC for the evening.,

Jad is host of WNYC’s Radio Lab, a program that Ira Glass of This American Life has called Jad’s program “the best show on radio.”

Jad is the perfect choice of hosts, as he’s one of the artists who remixed the Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble‘s recording of Terry Riley‘s 20th Century classic In C for inclusion on the ensemble’s new In C Remixed CD.

With Jad as host and an opening set by the Slow Boys (Todd Reynolds and Michael Lowenstern, who also have remixes on the CD), it’s shaping up to be a memorable evening.

But if you really can’t make it, not to worry. The show is being recorded by WNYC/WQXR and will be available for listening on WQXR’s Q2 stream.

In C Remixed, featuring the GVSU New Music Ensemble and the Slow Boys is at (Le) Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, Manhattan. (212) 505-3474. Doors at 6:30 pm, show at 7:30.  Click here for more info or here for tickets. $15 in advance.