The Next Festival of Emerging Artists’ Next Fest Connects Presents Composer Lisa Bielawa in Free Online Seminar
Building Community Through Broadcast from Home
Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 4pm ET | Register at: http://bit.ly/nextfestconnects-broadcastfromhome
Information about Broadcast from Home: www.lisabielawa.net/broadcast-from-home
“…spellbinding, sparsely accompanied socially distanced choral pieces that play with absence and presence, isolation and community, fear and solace — and sound an awful lot like the voices in your head.” – The Washington Post
New York, NY – On Thursday, May 28 at 4pm ET, composer, vocalist, and producer Lisa Bielawa will give a free online seminar presented by the Next Festival of Emerging Artists’ Next Fest Connects called Building Community through Broadcast from Home. Broadcast from Home is Bielawa’s new musical work created in response to the coronavirus crisis featuring contributions from the public through both written testimonies and recorded vocals. It fosters community during this time of isolation and is created continuously on a weekly basis. New audio chapters are published every Thursday at www.lisabielawa.net/broadcast-from-home, featuring submissions from four continents thus far.
Broadcast from Home has brought new insights, skills and values to Bielawa’s compositional practice, and in this online seminar, she will share both the how and the why of creating this large-scale participatory project, with detailed explanations of how it evolved and what has been made and learned. Registration for the event is free at http://bit.ly/nextfestconnects-broadcastfromhome and is part of Next Fest Connects, an immediate support system for artists during difficult times created by the Next Festival of Emerging Artists.
NPR Music recently featured Broadcast from Home on Morning Edition, and the Washington Post included it on its list of four “Music for the Pandemic” projects. Bielawa has spoken about it in interviews on WWFM’s On a Positive Note and WPR’s To The Best of Our Knowledge. The San Francisco Classical Voice also interviewed her for its Artist Spotlight series.
Bielawa launched Broadcast from Home with Kaufman Music Center in New York as lead partner; the Center is providing needed production support and is also activating its community and students from all programs to participate in the work both with testimonies and in performance. Bielawa’s students from the Mannes School of Music at The New School, who are now scattered throughout the world and continued their studies remotely, as well as students from Kaufman Music Center’s Lucy Moses School, Special Music School, and Face the Music programs, have participated as instrumentalists and vocalists in the project.
Broadcast from Home memorializes the unique shared journey on which we find ourselves during this challenging time. In the final phase of the project, the work will be performed live and/or live-remote hybrid as needed for an unlimited number of singers and orchestra. The music for Broadcast from Home is composed and constructed in ways that make it ideal for eventual performance in either concert settings or public spaces. Eventual performances will incorporate the voice recordings uploaded throughout the time of isolation, so that the authentic voices of this time will blend with the voices of those gathered together at last.
Broadcast from Home is a follow-up to Lisa Bielawa’s earlier works for performance in public performances – Airfield Broadcasts (spacialized works for hundreds of musicians on the field of former airfields), and Mauer Broadcast (a participatory work for public performance, for the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall last year). Bielawa is currently at work on another piece called Voters’ Broadcast, which is also meant to be performed in public places in the lead-up to the Presidential Election and will also be developed remotely as needed, events unfold.
About Lisa Bielawa: Lisa Bielawa was recently awarded a 2020 Discovery Grant from OPERA America’s Grants for Female Composers for her opera in progress, Centuries in the Hours, which was premiered in September 2019 as a five-song orchestral cycle by mezzo-soprano Laurie Rubin and the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO), co-commissioned by the ASCAP Foundation Charles Kingsford Fund. Centuries in the Hours brings forward the lives of American women; through the opera, dozens of manuscripts rejoin the flow of public discourse. Based on extensive research undertaken by Lisa Bielawa at the American Antiquarian Society in 2019, resulting in a collection of 72 American women’s diaries spanning three centuries, the opera asks the question: What if these women could be lifted out of their historical contexts and respective life circumstances to encounter one another?
Bielawa is a Rome Prize winner in Musical Composition and takes inspiration for her work from literary sources and close artistic collaborations. Her music has been described as “ruminative, pointillistic and harmonically slightly tart,” by The New York Times. She is the recipient of the 2017 Music Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters and was named a William Randolph Hearst Visiting Artist Fellow at the American Antiquarian Society for 2018. In 1997 Bielawa co-founded the MATA Festival, which celebrates the work of young composers, and for five years she was the artistic director of the San Francisco Girls Chorus.
She received a 2018 Los Angeles Area Emmy nomination for her unprecedented, made-for-TV-and-online opera Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch’s Accuser, created with librettist Erik Ehn and director Charles Otte. Vireo was filmed in twelve parts in locations across the country and features over 350 musicians. The Los Angeles Times called Vireo an opera, “unlike any you have seen before, in content and in form.” Vireo was produced as part of Bielawa’s artist residency at Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, California and in partnership with KCETLink and Single Cel. In February 2019, Vireo was released as a two CD + DVD box set on Orange Mountain Music and it is coming to the stage in 2021 as VIREO LIVE, a hybrid film-opera 90-minute experience.
Her work has been premiered at the NY PHIL BIENNIAL, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, SHIFT Festival, Town Hall Seattle, and Naumburg Orchestral Concerts Summer Series, among others. Orchestras that have championed her music include the The Knights, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, American Composers Orchestra, the Orlando Philharmonic, and ROCO (River Oaks Chamber Orchestra). Premieres of her work have been commissioned and presented by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Rider, Seattle Chamber Music Society, American Guild of Organists, the ASCAP Foundation Charles Kingsford Fund, and more. She is recorded on the Tzadik, TROY, Innova, BMOP/ sound, Supertrain Records, Cedille, Orange Mountain Music and Sono Luminus labels. For more information, visit www.lisabielawa.net.
Faced with the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, The Next Festival of Emerging Artists, the unique contemporary music festival founded in 2013 by composer, conductor, and bassist Peter Askim, acted quickly to address the needs of musicians by forming a new component: Next Fest Connects. “An immediate support system for artists during difficult times,” Next Fest Connects has hired an all-star roster of music and business professionals to collaborate on a full slate of free programs, resources, and opportunities for connection and performance. For more information, visit www.next-fest.org/next-fest-connects
The Next Festival of Emerging Artists is a two-week immersive experience for the modern string player, composer, and choreographer. It provides a comprehensive approach to entrepreneurial career-building, contemporary music performance, and intensive, personalized artistic development. The Next Festival has featured some of the most prominent figures in new music today: guest artists including Tony Arnold, Matt Haimovitz, Jennifer Koh, Nadia Sirota, Richard Thompson, Jeffrey Zeigler, and the string quartet ETHEL; and composers including Aaron Jay Kernis, Derek Bermel, Lisa Bielawa, Liisa Hirsch, Pierre Jalbert, Phil Kline, Jessica Meyer, and Aleksandra Vrebalov; as well as choreographer Christopher D’Amboise.
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