FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2014
Information: 212/854-7799; millertheatre.com
Aleba Gartner, 212/206-1450; firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlotte Levitt, 212/854-2380; email@example.com
“a highly stylized, darkly beautiful love story that’s steeped in myth yet utterly modern.”
– Washington Post
“a polished, personable, routinely dazzling sextet … a group whose professionalism and proficiency are amplified by that indefinable X factor, charisma” – The New York Times
Miller Theatre at Columbia University
School of the Arts
opens the 2014 – 2015 Season with
HEART & BREATH
A 21st-century fantasia on 17th-century Italian music and theater
including the New York premiere of
AMY BETH KIRSTEN’s Colombine’s Paradise Theatre
directed, designed, and choreographed by MARK DeCHIAZZA
Thursday, September 18, 2014, 8:00 p.m.
Miller Theatre (2960 Broadway at 116th Street)
Tickets: $25-$40 • Students with valid ID: $7-$24
“We like to begin the season each fall with a bold musical statement, and this year is no exception. This programcreates a fascinating dialogue between contemporary classical music, early music, and indie rock. I’m especially excited to be presenting the New York premiere performance of Amy Beth Kirsten’s rich and inventive music-theater piece Colombine’s Paradise Theatre, which is an incredible showcase for the unique artistic talents and sensibilities of eighth blackbird.”
September 18, 2014
Heart & Breath
Miller Theatre (2960 Broadway at 116th street)
Miller opens its fall season with a captivating new production. Sparking a music dialogue across centuries, Heart & Breath deftly combines modern arrangements of music by Gesualdo and Monteverdi with contemporary works that blend music, dance, and theater, including composer Amy Beth Kirsten’s “wildly imaginative” (Washington Post) Colombine’s Paradise Theatre. The six musicians of eighth blackbird play, speak, sing, whisper, growl, and mime, breathing theatrical life into the timeless characters of the commedia dell’arte in this uniquely immersive concert experience. Click here to view a trailer for Colombine’s Paradise Theatre.
Amy Beth Kirsten: Colombine’s Paradise Theatre (2013) – New York premiere
Richard Reed Parry: Duo for Heart and Breath (2012)
Bon Iver, arr. Kaplan: Babys (2009/13) – New York premiere
Claudio Monteverdi, arr. Munro: Lamento della Ninfa (1638/2013) – New York premiere
Carlo Gesulado, arr. Munro: Moro, lasso al mio duolo (1611/2013) – New York premiere
Matthew Duvall, percussion
Lisa Kaplan, piano
Yvonne Lam, violin & viola
Michael J. Maccaferri, clarinets
Tim Munro, flutes
Nicholas Photinos, cello
eighth blackbird combines the finesse of a string quartet, the energy of a rock band and the audacity of a storefront theater company. The Chicago-based, three-time Grammy-winning “super-musicians” (LA Times) entertain and provoke audiences across the country and around the world.
Colombine’s Paradise Theatre is eighth blackbird’s new staged, memorized production. Composer Amy Beth Kirsten challenges the sextet to play, speak, sing, whisper, growl and mime, breathing life into this tale of dream and delusion. Performances have taken place at the University of Richmond, as well as DC’s Atlas Arts, and it has been called a “Tour de Force” by the Washington Post.
Other highlights include debuts with the Cincinnati Symphony (where the ensemble is an Artist in Residence) and New World Symphony; residencies at UCLA, SUNY Purchase, Baylor and Duke; a collaboration with Oberlin College’s CME; and a debut on the Lincoln Center’s Atrium series.
eighth blackbird holds ongoing Ensemble in Residence positions at the Curtis Institute of Music, University of Richmond, and University of Chicago. A decade-long relationship with Chicago’s Cedille Records has produced six acclaimed recordings. The ensemble has won three Grammy Awards, for the recordings strange imaginary animals, Lonely Motel: Music from Slide and Meanwhile. The name “eighth blackbird” derives from the eighth stanza of Wallace Stevens’s evocative, aphoristic poem, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” (1917).
Mark DeChiazza works across disciplines as a director, filmmaker, designer, and choreographer. Many of his projects explore expressive and kinetic possibilities in the presentation of new music. He is currently, with composer Steven Mackey, creating a new multimedia work Orpheus Unsung: an opera for electric guitar— the latest work in their ongoing series of collaborations. DeChiazza is making a film to accompany Amy Beth Kirsten’s Strange Pilgrims for American Composer’s Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and also for the Jerry Granelli and Rinde Eckert piece Sandhill’s Reunion, which has a tour in development.
Recent work includes: creation of a music video for New York Polyphony; projection design for two new operas, Visitations: Theotokia and The War Reporter composed by Jonathan Berger and presented by Stanford Live; and directing the premiere of Anthony Davis’s new opera Lear on the 2nd Floor, at UCSD, for which also designed projections for the production. His 2009 production of Pierrot Lunaire for eighth elackbird and soprano Lucy Shelton continues to tour, most recently to The Kennedy Center in D.C. With MacArthur-winning choreographer Susan Marshall, he composed site-specific performances for Asphalt Orchestra as part of Lincoln Center Out of Doors 2010 and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Other directing credit’s include Philip Glass’s choral work Another Look at Harmony at the Park Avenue Armory, composer Barbara White’s chamber opera Weakness, and her staged concert Desire Lines—both at Princeton University—and Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking at Playmakers Repertory Company.
After spending a decade playing in Chicago venues, singer-songwriter Amy Beth Kirsten entered the graduate program in music composition at Roosevelt University in 2002. A short time later, she heard the music of George Crumb for the first time. So affected by this concert and a 20th century music history course, she set aside songwriting for a while to focus on a different approach to music. Yet those earlier years as a performer and vocalist created the foundation for a compositional language rooted in the voice and breath. Many of Kirsten’s chamber works require instrumentalists to vocalize and play simultaneously, and her purely instrumental works often experiment with melody and timbre.
Recent projects include Colombine’s Paradise Theatre, a fully staged music-theatre piece for eighth blackbird, directed by Mark DeChiazza; and strange pilgrims for orchestra and chorus with video by Mr. DeChiazza and Mark Andrew premiering in Carnegie Hall in February 2014. Also this season HOWL, a music theatre ensemble founded by Ms. Kirsten, vocalist Lindsay Kesselman, and Mark DeChiazza makes its debut at Lyric Hall in New Haven, CT on Valentine’s Day.
Ms. Kirsten was the recipient of the 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition, Rockefeller Foundation Artist Fellowship, and a Fromm Foundation Commission. Her projects have been funded by The MAP Fund, ASCAP Foundation, The Leonard Bernstein Family, New Music USA, Chamber Music America, and The National Endowment for the Arts.
Also a published poet and librettist, Ms. Kirsten lives and works in New Haven, CT. She teaches music composition privately, at New Haven Symphony Young Composer Project, and at the HighSCORE summer festival in Pavia, Italy.
Columbia University’s Miller Theatre is located north of the Main Campus Gate
at 116th St. & Broadway on the ground floor of Dodge Hall.
Directions and information is available online at www.millertheatre.com
or via the Miller Theatre Box Office, at 212.854.7799.
For further information, press tickets, and to arrange interviews,
please contact Aleba & Co. at 212/206-1450 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For photos, please contact Charlotte Levitt at 212/854-2380 or CL2867@columbia.edu.