Cedille Records
1205 W. Balmoral Ave., Chicago IL 60640

Cedille Records Press Contact
Nat Silverman/Nathan J. Silverman Co. PR
Phone/Fax (847) 328-4292
natsilv@aol.com

Eighth Blackbird Press Contact:
Sarah Baird Knight/DOTDOTDOTMUSIC
Phone: (718) 344-3690
sarah@dotdotdotmusic.net                                                                                                                                                

News


Release date: April 8, 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Eighth Blackbird Teams Up with Sleeping Giant
for ‘Hand Eye’ from Cedille Records 

Indie label issues world-premiere recording inspired by cutting-edge contemporary art

            American new-music sextet Eighth Blackbird, which has won Grammy Awards for each of its four most recent Cedille Records albums, teams with the adventurous composers of the Sleeping Giant collective for Hand Eye, a suite sparked by cutting-edge works of contemporary art.

            A world-premiere recording, Hand Eye will be released April 8 on CD and as a digital download (Cedille Records CDR 90000 162). It will be Eighth Blackbird’s eighth Cedille album.

(more…)

Fresh on the heels of a fourth GRAMMY Award (2016 Best Small Ensemble/Chamber Music Performance for Filament), ​Eighth Blackbird yesterday was awarded the prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, a one-time grant of $400,000, given in recognition for past leadership and success, and an investment in the future of the organization. For these Awards, the Foundation does not seek or accept nominations. 

Co-Founding Member, Co-Artistic Director, and Pianist Lisa Kaplan speaks for the ensemble in saying, “We are hugely honored and grateful to receive the respect and support of the MacArthur Foundation. When we formed the ensemble as six Oberlin students in 1996, we set out on a mission to move music forward through innovative performance, advocacy for new music by living composers, and a legacy of guiding an emerging generation of musicians. This Award enables us to build upon the strong foundation of the past 20 years and to expand and secure the organization’s mission for the next generation, with exciting news to come.”

The Award has been presented annually since 2006 to organizations across the country and around the world that demonstrate exceptional creativity and effectiveness. This year’s 14 recipients are drawn exclusively from Chicago’s diverse arts and culture community in order to strengthen the city’s vibrant cultural life and underscore the Foundation’s commitment to its hometown. 

W H A T ‘ S   N E X T ?

(more…)

Cedille Records 1205 W. Balmoral Ave., Chicago IL 60640

Cedille Records Press Contact: Nat Silverman/Nathan J. Silverman Co. PR Phone/Fax (847) 328-4292 natsilv@aol.com eighth blackbird Press Contact: Sarah Baird Knight/DOTDOTDOTMUSIC Phone: (718) 344-3690 sarah@dotdotdotmusic.net                                                                     

News


Release date: Sept. 11, 2015     

Enterprising eighth blackbird Connects With Indie Music Icons on ‘Filament’ CD

Grammy-winning sextet’s latest Cedille label album presents world-premiere recordings of works by Bryce Dessner of The National, Nico Muhly, and Son Lux

Disc includes live recording of Philip Glass’s ‘Two Pages’ at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago  

filament_cover_300American new-music sextet eighth blackbird, which won Grammy Awards for each of its last three Cedille Records albums, continues to connect with genre-spanning, cutting-edge composers on FILAMENT, a CD of world-premiere recordings of works by Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, and Son Lux, plus a Philip Glass classic.

The ensemble’s new album, FILAMENT, was produced by Dessner, a Brooklyn-based composer, guitarist, and member of the Grammy-nominated, Billboard-charting indie rock band The National. FILAMENT will be available September 11 on CD and as a digital download, with an LP to follow. The 16-page CD booklet features original artwork, photography, and design by New York-based artist and architect Karl Jensen (Cedille Records CDR 90000 157).

Premieres include Dessner’s Murder Ballades and Muhly’s Doublespeak, both written for eighth blackbird, and Son Lux’s To Love and This is my Line, a remix created from the album’s other tracks.

(more…)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

July 2015

Media Contacts: 

Elena Grotto 312.397.3828 egrotto@mcachicago.org

Karla Loring 312.397.3834 kloring@mcachicago.org

Images: www.mcachicago.org/media 

EIGHTH BLACKBIRD NAMED MCA ARTISTS-IN-RESIDENCE 

September 2015 – June 2016 

Building on a long-standing and rich history of working with eighth blackbird, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago announces the acclaimed Chicago-based ensemble as this year’s artists-in-residence. Throughout the residency—spanning September 2015 through June 2016—the artists will be embedded in the galleries, utilizing the MCA as their studio space. They will rehearse and perform throughout the museum sharing the creative process of making music with MCA visitors. During the residency, there will be a regular series of accessible and engaging talks, workshops, and live performances that showcase the work of eighth blackbird.

The eighth blackbird residency occupies the museum’s third-floor galleries, which are divided into two designated spaces: a studio/rehearsal room and a visitor engagement space. eighth blackbird will be at the museum rehearsing in the studio space to allow visitors to experience their creative work up close. Outside of rehearsal times, visitors can see what rehearsals are like through an immersive video soundscape that projects footage from a previous rehearsal of David Lang’s these broken wings across the walls of the galleries.2

Through accompanying audio, visitors can listen to the compositions that the musicians are preparing for upcoming concerts and hear the discussions that the artists have with each other as they rehearse. Instruments and scores will also be in the space when the artists are not on-site.

In the adjacent engagement space, the gallery has been transformed into a gathering space for visitors to experience participatory musical installations and explore how to listen to and engage with new music. The engagement space features an interactive installation of John Cage’s seminal Child of Tree (1975)—a conceptual work that inspired the museum to select a group of instruments made of plant materials. This installation presents visitors with the opportunity to explore new ways of listening as they perform the piece using the amplified instruments. Graphics and archival materials that were sourced in collaboration with music libraries at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago are installed to tell a story of how the contemporary music field is evolving, both in Chicago and nationally. As the residency evolves, additional projects will take place in the engagement space.

In addition to occupying the gallery spaces, eighth blackbird will hold two performances presented by MCA Stage in the museum’s Edlis Neeson Theater. Other members of the new music community will also contribute to the residency by leading performances, talks, and workshops on the second Tuesday of each month, from October through May (specific programs will be announced each month).

Rehearsal Schedule 

September 1-3, 2015

September 15-19, 2015

September 26, 2015

(Specific times will be announced on the MCA website, as will the schedule for future months.)

Performances 

MCA Stage presents eighth blackbird: Hand Eye 

January 23–24, 2016

Hand Eye connects two groups in one vibrant project—the six members of eighth blackbird are paired with Sleeping Giant, a collective of six composers. Each composer has written a different section of Hand Eye, composing each in reference to a different visual artwork, and the sections each highlight one eighth blackbird musician. The entire evening is accompanied by a set and visual design by Deborah Johnson, aka CandyStations, who has collaborated with musicians including Sufjan Stevens, Ray LaMontagne, St. Vincent, Lucius, Wilco, and ETHEL.

MCA Stage presents eighth blackbird: Bryce Dessner, David T. Little 

March 25–26, 20163

The ensemble performs new works by Bryce Dessner— a composer, guitarist, and music curator known widely through his band The National—and David T. Little, an acclaimed composer of innovative opera, orchestral, and chamber works. Dessner, who is drawn to the early folk tradition of recounting violent acts with stories and songs, has expanded his Murder Ballades to include additional music. Little, whose compositions reflect his experience as a punk/metal drummer as well as his classical training, is composing a new work that will be developed throughout the course of eighth blackbird’s residency at the MCA.

About eighth blackbird 

eighth blackbird, the Chicago-based, three-time Grammy Award-winning sextet has provoked and impressed audiences for twenty years across the country and around the world. One the industry’s most formidable ensembles, eighth blackbird began in 1996 as a group of six entrepreneurial Oberlin Conservatory students. Over the course of two decades, eighth blackbird has commissioned and premiered hundreds of works by dozens of composers including David T. Little, Steven Mackey, Missy Mazzoli, and Steve Reich, whose commissioned work, Double Sextet, went on to win the Pulitzer Prize (2009).

The ensemble’s mission extends beyond performance to curation and education. They served as Music Director of the Ojai Music Festival (2009), enjoyed a three-year residency at the Curtis Institute of Music, and holds ongoing Ensemble-in-Residence positions at the University of Richmond and the University of Chicago. The name “eighth blackbird” derives from the eighth stanza of Wallace Stevens’s poem, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (1917). eighth blackbird is managed by David Lieberman Artists.

Percussionist Matthew Duvall is a founding member of eighth blackbird and holds a double degree in Percussion Performance and Classical Civilization, with minors in Art History and Religion, from Oberlin Conservatory and Oberlin College. Duvall completed additional degrees at the University of Cincinnati with The Percussion Group: Cincinnati, and Northwestern University.

Flutist Nathalie Joachim, a member of eighth blackbird since 2015, is a composer, producer and singer, and co-founded the internationally acclaimed urban art pop duo, Flutronix. She has performed with artists and ensembles including Miguel Zenón, Vampire Weekend, the International Contemporary Ensemble, Richard Reed Parry and Dan Deacon. Her original compositions have been premiered and featured at Park Avenue Armory, the Brooklyn Museum, and National Flute Association Conventions.

Pianist Lisa Kaplan is a founding member of eighth blackbird and has premiered new pieces by composers, including Andy Akiho, Derek Bermel, Jennifer Higdon, Amy Beth Kirsten, David Lang, Nico Muhly, George Perle and Steve Reich. Kaplan has collaborated with Mario Batali, Jeremy4

Denk, Bryce Dessner, Glenn Kotche, Gustavo Santaolalla, Steve Schick, Robert Spano, Dawn Upshaw and Michael Ward-Bergeman.

Violinist Yvonne Lam, a member of eighth blackbird since 2011, served as Assistant Concertmaster for the Washington National Opera Orchestra from 2008-2011 and has performed chamber music with such distinguished artists as Paul Katz, Roger Tapping, Anthony Marwood, Ida Kavafian, Ani Kavafian, Gil Kalish, and Fred Sherry.

Clarinetist and bass clarinetist Michael J. Maccaferri is a founding member of eighth blackbird and has performed as soloist with leading orchestras such as the Cleveland Orchestra, Toronto Symphony and the Atlanta Symphony. Maccaferri has also performed with the Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Green Bay Symphony and serves as bass clarinetist with the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra.

Cellist Nicholas Photinos, a member of eighth blackbird since 1996, has performed as a member of the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra and Canton and Columbus Symphony Orchestras, and performed and recorded with artists including Björk, Wilco, Autumn Defense, violinist Zach Brock, bassist Matt Ulery and singer Grazyna Auguscik. Photinos has recorded for numerous labels including the Cedille, Nonesuch, and Naxos labels.

# # #

Lead support for the eighth blackbird residency is provided by Helen and Sam Zell. Additional generous support is provided by Anne Kaplan.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The museum is generously supported by its Board of Trustees; individual and corporate members; private and corporate foundations, including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; and government agencies, including the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Museum capital improvements are supported by a Public Museum Capital Grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The MCA is a proud member of Museums in the Park and receives major support from the Chicago Park District.

The MCA is located at 220 E. Chicago Avenue, one block east of Michigan Avenue. The museum and sculpture garden are open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm and Tuesday from 10 am to 8 pm. The museum is closed on Monday. Tuesdays are Community Free Days with free admission for Illinois residents. Suggested general admission is $12 for adults and $7 for students and seniors. Children 12 years of age and under, MCA members, and members of the military are admitted free. Information about MCA exhibitions, programs, and special events is available on the MCA website at mcachicago.org or by phone at 312.280.2660.

 

eighth blackbird announces
2015-16 SEASON


NEW FLUTIST NATHALIE JOACHIM
ALBUMS: ‘FILAMENT’ & ‘HAND EYE’
ARTISTS-IN-RESIDENCE @ MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
EXTENSIVE TOUR + PREMIERES IN AUSTIN, CHICAGO, DC, AND NYC

20th ANNIVERSARY IN 2016

The blackbirds are examples of a new breed of super-musicians. They perform the bulk of their new music from memory. They have no need of a conductor, no matter how complex the rhythms or balances. They are […] stage animals, often in motion, enacting their scores as they play them. They are without stylistic allegiances.” — Los Angeles Times

eighth blackbird perform with a freedom almost unheard of in their technically demanding repertoire.” — The Sunday Telegraph

eighth blackbird (8bb) announces its 2015-16 season with a host of special projects, premieres, albums, and residencies fit for an organization whose artistic excellence is matched only by the scope of its mission.

The three-time GRAMMY Award-winning ensemble releases and tours two new albums—Filament and Hand Eye—with works by Bryce DessnerPhilip GlassNico MuhlySon Lux, and the composer collective Sleeping Giant (Timo AndresChristopher CerroneJacob CooperTed HearneRobert HonsteinAndrew Norman). Celebrated locals, 8bb will spend much of the year as a living installation in the role of artists-in-residence at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA). Following a January stop to kick off the group’s 20th anniversary celebrations at Carnegie Hall with the New York premiere of Hand Eye, 8bb performs the world premiere of a newly commissioned work by David T. Little at the Kennedy Center in March 2016. This season, 8bb welcomes the talents of new flutist Nathalie Joachim (Flutronix, The Juilliard School), whose first public appearances with the ensemble will be at the Wratislavia Cantans Festival* in Wroclaw, Poland.

M A J R   P R O J E C T S

F I L A M E N T

On September 11, Cedille Records releases eighth blackbird’s Filament (digital, CD, LP). The composers and performers are connected by Philip Glass, the album’s aesthetic grandfather, without whom none of this omnivorous music would exist. Nico Muhly’s Doublespeak was written for eighth blackbird for Bryce Dessner’s Music Now festival in Cincinnati, in honor of Philip Glass’s 75th birthday. This piece harks back to a time in the 1970s when, according to Muhly, “classical music perfected obsessive repetition.” From Glass himself, the album features the meditative yet rigorous 1968 work, Two Pages, which is written as a single unison line of music, and can be played by any combination of instruments. Both Muhly and Dessner join 8bb in performing this piece live for the album. In Murder Ballades, Bryce Dessner (of The National) re-examines several traditional murder ballads through his own musical lens and adds his own original tunes for the album. Recording artist Son Lux (Ryan Lott) contributes two remixes, gathering sounds from the others’ compositions and stringing together the delicate musical filament of this album with the addition of the voice of Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond).

H A N D   E Y E

The centerpiece of eighth blackbird’s touring season is the concert-length production Hand Eye, which pairs eighth blackbird with Sleeping Giant—a superstar composer sextet—creating a work fizzing with the alchemy of twelve unique personalities. Hand Eye’s composers embrace diverse worlds: wild rambunctiousness (Andrew Norman), driving tunes (Ted Hearne), fragile lyricism (Christopher Cerrone), flickering virtuosity (Timo Andres), atmospheric beauty (Jacob Cooper), and minimalism-tinged athleticism (Robert Honstein). Each composer has written a different section of Hand Eye, for a collection of six pieces catalyzed by each of the six members of eighth blackbird.  The evening is complemented by projections by the acclaimed visual performance designer Deborah Johnson, aka CandyStations, who has designed and performed live concert visuals for Sufjan Stevens, Ray LaMontagne, Lucius, St. Vincent, Wilco, Calexico, and ETHEL. Co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall, Hand Eye receives its New York premiere on January 18 at Zankel Hall, followed by its Chicago premiere on January 23-24 as part of the residency at the Museum of Contemporary Art, and will be released as an album on Cedille Records (January 18). 8bb tours this work throughout the season at places such as the University of Texas at Austin, Yale University, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Cal Performances, Vancouver New Music, and Philharmonic Society of Orange County.

B R Y C E   D E S S N E R  /  D A V I D   T.  L I T T L E

8bb performs the world premieres of new commissioned works by Bryce Dessner— a composer, guitarist, and music curator known widely through his band The National—and David T. Little, “one of the most imaginative young composers on the scene” (The New Yorker). The program premieres March 7 at The Kennedy Center, Terrace Theater, as part of the Fortas Chamber Music Concerts, and considers the myths, truths, and lies that have played a role in American history. Dessner, who is drawn to the early folk tradition of recounting violent acts with stories and songs, has expanded his Murder Ballades for the occasion. Little, whose compositions are shaped as much by his experience as a punk/metal drummer as his classical training, has written a new work for eighth blackbird. The program receives its Chicago premiere on March 2526 as part of the ensemble’s residency at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (see below).


R E S I D E N C I E S

M U S E U M   O F   C O N T E M P O R A R Y   A R T   C H I C A G O

Artists-in-residence at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) from September 2015 through June 2016, eighth blackbird will take over MCA galleries as studio space, rehearsing and performing as a living installation. Through this lively and unusual residency,8bb shares the creative process of making music with MCA visitors with a regular series of engaging talks, workshops, and live performances that showcase the group’s vibrant work.

The residency occupies the MCA’s third-floor galleries, divided into two designated spaces: a studio/rehearsal room and a visitor engagement space. Outside of rehearsal times, visitors can see what rehearsals are like through an immersive video soundscape projecting footage from a previous rehearsal of David Lang’s these broken wings across the walls of the galleries. Through accompanying audio, visitors can listen to the compositions that the musicians are preparing for upcoming concerts and hear the discussions that the artists have with each other as they rehearse. Instruments and scores will also be in the space when the artists are not on-site.

In the adjacent engagement space, the gallery has been transformed into a gathering space for visitors to experience participatory musical installations and explore how to listen to and engage with new music. The engagement space features an interactive installation of John Cage’s seminal Child of Tree (1975)—a conceptual work that inspired the museum to select a group of instruments made of plant materials. This installation presents visitors with the opportunity to explore new ways of listening as they perform the piece using the amplified instruments. Graphics and archival materials that were sourced in collaboration with music libraries at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago are installed to tell a story of how the contemporary music field is evolving, both in Chicago and nationally. As the residency evolves, additional projects will take place in the engagement space.

In addition to the gallery and installation, the residency entails two major performances presented by MCA Stage in the museum’s Edlis Neeson Theater. The first is Hand Eye (January 23-24), 8bb’s touring collection of six pieces by the six composers of Sleeping Giant with projections by the Deborah Johnson, aka CandyStations. On March 25-26, 8bb performs the Chicago premiere of Bryce Dessner’s Murder Ballades and David T. Little’s commissioned piece.

U N I V E R S I T Y   O F   C H I C A G O

Resident artist with the University of Chicago since 2000, 8bb joins the Pacifica Quartet, conductor Cliff Colnot, and artistic director Marta Ptaszynska to form the new music collective known as Contempo. Now in its 51st season, Contempo has earned an enviable reputation for outstanding performances of music by living composers, both established and emerging. 8bb works with student composers on campus and performs on four Contempo concerts this season: a portrait concert for outgoing artistic director Shulamit Ran on October 27, “Focus on Europe” on February 29 and Tomorrow’s Music Today” programs featuring the works of doctoral students on May 13 and May 20.

U N I V E R S I T Y   O F   R I C H M O N D

8bb enjoys its eleventh year as Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of Richmond (Virginia) with six weeks on campus, working individually and collectively with students and performing concerts, master classes, and workshops. The 2015-16 dates include September 21–25, November 2–7 (in conjunction with the Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival), January 25–29, March 14–18, April 4–8, and April 11–18 (in conjunction with the Matthew Ulery project).


O U R   S C H E D U L E   A T   A   G L A N C E
(RED = MAJOR PREMIERE)

  • Wroclaw, Poland: Wratislavia Cantans Festival- National Forum of Music, Red Hall, 9/11
  • Krotoszyn, Poland: Wratislavia Cantans Festival- Concert Hall of Krotszyn Culture Centre, 9/12
  • Olawa, Poland: Wratislavia Cantans Festival- Olawa Art Center, 9/13
  • Richmond, VA: University of Richmond, 9/21–25
  • Cincinnati, OH: Chamber Music Cincinnati- Corbett Auditorium, 9/29
  • Appleton, WI: Lawrence University- Lawrence Memorial Chapel, 10/2
  • New Haven, CT: Yale University- Morse Recital Hall, 10/20
  • Chicago, IL: University of Chicago, 10/27
  • Winona, MN: St. Mary’s UMN Winona- Page Theatre, 10/28
  • Richmond, VA: University of Richmond,11/ 2–7
  • Austin, TX: University of Texas at Austin-McCullough Theatre, 11/13
  • Philadelphia, PA: Philadelphia Chamber Music Society- Perelman Theater, 1/15
  • New York, NY: Carnegie Hall- Zankel Hall, 1/18
  • Chicago, IL: Museum of Contemporary Art- Edlis Neeson Theater, 1/23–24
  • Richmond, VA: University of Richmond, 1/25–29
  • Berkeley, CA: Cal Performances- Hertz Concert Hall, 2/14
  • Chicago, IL: University of Chicago-Logan Center, 2/29
  • Washington, DC: Fortas Chamber Music Concerts- The Kennedy Center, Terrace Theater, 3/7
  • Richmond, VA: University of Richmond, 3/14–18
  • Chicago, IL: Museum of Contemporary Art- Edlis Neeson Theater 3/25–26
  • Winchester, VA: Shenandoah Conservatory- Armstrong Recital Hall, 4/2
  • Richmond, VA: University of Richmond, 4/4–8, 4/11–18
  • Fairfield, CT: Fairfield University- Quick Center for the Arts, 4/21
  • Irvine, CA: Philharmonic Society of Orange County- Barclay Theatre, 4/24
  • Vancouver, BC, Canada: Vancouver New Music- The Orpheum Annex, 4/30
  • Chicago, IL: University of Chicago-Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5/13
  • Chicago, IL: University of Chicago-Logan Center, 5/20

A B O U T   E I G H T H   B L A C K B I R D

eighth blackbird’s “super-musicians” (Los Angeles Times) combine 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 Award-winning sextet has provoked and impressed audiences for 20 years across the country and around the world with impeccable precision and a signature style.

One the industry’s most formidable ensembles, eighth blackbird (8bb) began in 1996 as a group of six entrepreneurial Oberlin Conservatory students and quickly became “a brand-name…defined by adventure, vibrancy and quality….known for performing from memory, employing choreography and collaborations with theater artists, lighting designers and even puppetry artists” (Detroit Free Press).

Over the course of two decades, 8bb has commissioned and premiered hundreds of works by dozens of composers including David T. Little, Steven Mackey, Missy Mazzoli, and Steve Reich, whose commissioned work, Double Sextet, went on to win the Pulitzer Prize (2009). A long-term relationship with Chicago’s Cedille Records has produced six acclaimed recordings and three impressive GRAMMY Awards: for strange imaginary animals (2008), Lonely Motel: Music from Slide (2011) and Meanwhile (2013).

8bb’s mission extends beyond performance to curation and education. The ensemble served as Music Director of the Ojai Music Festival (2009), enjoyed a three-year residency at the Curtis Institute of Music, and holds ongoing Ensemble-in-Residence positions at the University of Richmond and the University of Chicago. The 2015-16 season brings a lively residency at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, featuring open rehearsals, an interactive gallery installation, performances, and public talks.

eighth blackbird’s members (Nathalie Joachim, flutes; Michael J. Maccaferri, clarinets; Yvonne Lam, violin & viola; Nicholas Photinos, cello; Matthew Duvall, percussion; Lisa Kaplan, piano) hail from the Great Lakes, Keystone, Golden, Empire and Bay states. The name “eighth blackbird” derives from the eighth stanza of Wallace Stevens’s evocative, aphoristic poem, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (1917). eighth blackbird is managed by David Lieberman Artists. www.eighthblackbird.org

A B O U T   N A T H A L I E   J O A C H I M

Recognized for her versatile and innovative performing and composing, Nathalie Joachim has become a notable figure in the international music community. She is hailed by critics for creating “a unique blend of classical music, hip-hop, electronic programming and soulful vocals reminiscent of neo-R&B stars like Erykah Badu” (The Wall Street Journal). Ms. Joachim is co-founder of the critically acclaimed urban art pop duo, Flutronix, internationally renowned for its ingenious stagecraft and technical prowess. Other performance experience consists of an impressive range including Miguel Zenón, Vampire Weekend, the International Contemporary Ensemble, Richard Reed Parry, and Dan Deacon.

Ms. Joachim has served as a faculty member at The Juilliard School’s Music Advancement Program (MAP) and is regularly engaged by elite educational institutions nationwide.  2015-16 projects include commissions from Helen Simoneau Danse and Park Avenue Armory’s Under Construction Series, as well as the release of City of Breath, a new Flutronix EP. Nathalie is an official Burkart Flutes & Piccolos artist, and is signed to Village Again records in Japan.  She received her training in flute performance, audio production and sound design at The Juilliard School and The New School.

#     #     #

Web*This engagement is supported by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists International in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

eighth blackbird announces new flutist Nathalie Joachim;

Three-time Grammy winning ensemble also bids a

fond farewell to departing flutist Tim Munro


photo: Arthur Moeller
photo: Joe Mazza

After nine years, flutist Tim Munro will leave eighth blackbird at the end of the 2014-15 season. New York based flutist Nathalie Joachim will move to Chicago in August to take up this position for the 2015-16 season and beyond.

Recognized for her versatile and innovative performing and composing, Nathalie Joachim has become a notable figure in the international music community. Critics hail the New York City based artist for creating “a unique blend of classical music, hip-hop, electronic programming and soulful vocals reminiscent of neo-R&B stars like Erykah Badu.” (The Wall Street Journal) Ms. Joachim is co-founder of the critically acclaimed urban art pop duo, Flutronix, known for bringing their ingenious stagecraft and technical prowess to stages world-wide. Other performance experience consists of an impressive range including Miguel Zenón, Vampire Weekend, the International Contemporary Ensemble, Richard Reed Parry and Dan Deacon.

Ms. Joachim is a faculty member at The Juilliard School’s Music Advancement Program (MAP) and is regularly engaged by elite educational institutions nationwide. Upcoming 2015-16 projects include commissions from Helen Simoneau Danse and Park Avenue Armory’s Under Construction Series, as well as the release of a new Flutronix EP. Ms. Joachim is the only person to have successfully completed the MAP, Pre-College, and College Division programs at The Juilliard School. She completed her graduate degree studies at The New School in audio production and sound design.

Nathalie’s first public appearances with the ensemble will be at the Wratislavia Cantans Festival in Wroclaw Poland in early September, 2015.

A native of Brisbane, Australia, Tim Munro’s work as a flutist, speaker, writer and teacher is united by a single goal: to draw audiences into an engrossing, whimsical and mischievous musical world. According to Chicago Tribune, “the fierce virtuosity of Munro was worth the price of admission.” Munro recently released his debut solo record, “one two three” (Parlour Tapes+), an album in which he is cast as flutist, singer, amateur mathematician and supervillain.

Says Munro, “The 2014/15 season will be my last as a member of eighth blackbird. I feel honored to be a part of a truly exceptional ensemble, one that consistently operates at the highest international level, and one that has inspired and encouraged me to play, speak, write, compose and teach at a higher level than I knew possible. eighth blackbird’s mission remains close to my heart, but after nine years I want the freedom to have greater autonomy in my professional life, the time to wander more diverse creative avenues, and the ability to spend more time at home in Chicago.”

Munro’s final public performances with the ensemble will be at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival in late June, 2015. You can find Tim’s new website at timothymunro.com.

eighth blackbird wishes Tim Munro the very best in his future endeavors.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 18, 2014

Press Contacts:

Information: 212/854-7799; millertheatre.com

Aleba Gartner, 212/206-1450; aleba@alebaco.com

Charlotte Levitt, 212/854-2380; cl2867@columbia.edu

“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

featuring

eighth blackbird

 

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.”

 Opening Night

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.

PROGRAM:

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

ARTISTS:

eighth blackbird

Matthew Duvall, percussion

Lisa Kaplan, piano

Yvonne Lam, violin & viola

Michael J. Maccaferri, clarinets

Tim Munro, flutes

Nicholas Photinos, cello

BIOS:

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 aleba@alebaco.com.

For photos, please contact Charlotte Levitt at 212/854-2380 or CL2867@columbia.edu.

Colombine's Paradise Theatre

The Museum of Contemporary Art, together with the Italian Cultural Institute, will be holding a discussion on the creation of the performance Colombine’s Paradise Theatre, featuring eighth blackbird’s pianist Lisa Kaplan and celebrated composer Amy Beth Kirsten.

The talk, which will be held at the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago, will explore the relationship between Colombine’s Paradise Theatre and Italy’s rich cultural and artistic history. Also in attendance to explore these themes will be an award winning music Professor, The University of Chicago’s Robert L. Kendrick, as well as Natalie Crohn Schmitt, Professor Emerita of Theatre and English at the University of Illinois Chicago.

Amy Beth Kirsten is the 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship recipient in music composition, and her work has been shown in venues such as the Miller Theatre in New York as well as Carnegie Hall.

The talk takes place on Wednesday, September 10th, from 6-8pm at the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago.

Ticket reservations can be made here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 2014
Media Contact: Peter McDowell
peter@eighthblackbird.org
773 484 8811

eighth blackbird: Heart and Breath at Chicago’s MCA

Featuring the Chicago Premiere of Amy Beth Kirsten’s Colombine’s Paradise Theatre

uuqvVt2vdnkBUJyoVETaPSrZeVHVMR1BYBnEmL8OvR0

 

 

The Museum of Contemporary Art’s 14/15 Season opens with a concert by MCA stage veterans eighth blackbird. The ensemble comes to the Edlis Neeson Theater on September 12th, 2014, at 7:30 pm, performing the incendiary Heart and Breath.

Heart and Breath is a two-part performance—first, an exploration of love through the ages, featuring an eclectic collection of works by Bon Iver, Claudio Monteverdi, Carlo Gesualdo, and Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire). Then, composer Amy Beth Kirsten’s Colombine’s Paradise Theatre — a dark 21st century musical fantasy on the 17th century commedia dell’arte theater of Italy. The result is a seamless yet surprising journey from language to music, music to symbol, and symbol to language again. Under the direction and design finesse of Mark DeChiazza, this moon-spun nightmare allows each member of the ensemble to glow, growl, and misbehave in a seductive battle for Colombine’s heart.

Complete Program:

Richard Reed Parry – Duo for Heart and Breath
Bon Iver, arr. Kaplan – Babys
Claudio Monteverdi, arr. Munro – Lamento della Ninfa
Carlo Gesulado, arr. Munro – Moro, lasso al mio duolo
Amy Beth Kirsten – Colombine’s Paradise Theatre

The Museum of Contemporary Art is located at 220 East Chicago Avenue. Tickets may be reserved online or by calling the Box Office at 312-397-4010.
Belleville, Illinois, native Amy Beth Kirsten is a composer for orchestra, chamber ensemble, opera, and solo instruments, as well as a librettist and poet. Kirsten earned a bachelor’s degree in jazz studies from Benedictine University; a master’s degree in composition from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University; and a doctorate in composition from Peabody Conservatory. She is the recipient of several notable awards and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Fromm Foundation at Harvard University, and the MAP Fund.

Mark DeChiazza is a director, filmmaker, designer, and choreographer. Colombine’s Paradise Theatre, his first creative collaboration with Amy Beth Kirsten, continues a relationship with eighth blackbird that began with their acclaimed production of Pierrot Lunaire which he conceived and directed for the ensemble. His work has been presented by prominent national venues including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Prototype Festival, Stanford Live, and the Kennedy Center.

ABOUT The Museum of Contemporary Art: One of the nation’s largest facilities devoted to the art of our time, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago offers exhibitions of the most thought-provoking art created since 1945. MCA Chicago documents contemporary visual culture through painting, sculpture, photography, video and film, and performance. Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, the MCA boasts a gift store, bookstore, restaurant, 300-seat theater, and a terraced sculpture garden with a panoramic view of Lake Michigan.

ABOUT eighth blackbird: 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 Award-winning “super-musicians” (LA Times) entertain and provoke audiences across the country and around the world. In addition to longstanding relationships as Ensemble in Residence at the University of Richmond and University of Chicago, eighth blackbird is also in its third year of a three-year, Mellon Foundation-funded term as Ensemble in Residence at Philadelphia’s prestigious Curtis Institute of Music. eighth blackbird’s members hail from America’s Great Lakes, Keystone, Golden and Bay states, and Australia’s Sunshine State. The name “eighth blackbird” derives from the eighth stanza of Wallace Stevens’s evocative poem Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (1917). Highlights of the 2014/15 season includes debuts at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival and Symphony Space in New York, Interlochen, and in Hawaii and Turkey, as well as returns to the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, and Chicago appearances at the Museum of Contemporary Art. www.eighthblackbird.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact Peter McDowell 773 484 8811 or peter@petermcdowell.com for more information

8th black bird print jpeg
IN BRIEF:
Celebrated designer and artist David Lee Csicsko and brilliant accordionist Michael Ward-Bergeman are having a meeting.Their meeting will take place on Tuesday, June 17th at 6 pm, next to the Hanig Cow outside of the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, in downtown Chicago

David will be carrying chalk. Michael will be carrying his accordion.

Stop by to witness and document a unique street art collaboration, and perhaps a little bird will tell us something.

THE FINE PRINT:

Celebrated designer and artist David Lee Csicsko and brilliant accordionist Michael Ward-Bergeman will be collaborating for the first time on Tuesday, June 17th at 6pm just outside of the Chicago Cultural Center at 78 E. Washington.

Csicsko, who has created quirky, elegant pieces in the stained glass and mosaic mediums, will be creating a chalk mural near the Hanig Cow sculpture. Ward-Bergeman, who hails from New Orleans and is known for his Gig 365 endeavor to give a performance every day for a year, will be playing a short set to inspire Csicsko while he completes his drawing.

What does Csicsko plan on illustrating? Something related to the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events’ Loops and Variations series taking place at Pritzker Pavilion on Thursdays throughout June. Stop by and see for yourself–it’s for the birds.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact Peter McDowell

peter@eighthblackbird.org

773 484 8811

 

eighth blackbird 2014/2015 season announcement

  

8bb promo 3

 

eighth blackbird is pleased to announce their 2014/15 program and tour. Continuing their tour of Still In Motion, this season features pieces by Bryce Dessner (The National), Lee Hyla, Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire), Gabriella Smith, Tom Johnson, and György Ligeti. Last season’s Heart and Breath, which includes Amy Beth Kirsten’s multidisciplinary work Colombine’s Paradise Theatre, directed and designed by Mark DeChiazza, will also make its debut in several cities.

The season begins with two performances at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival. Members of the ensemble will be performing Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams’ Sila in Hearst Plaza on July 25th and 26th at 6 pm. Immediately following the performance on the 25th, the ensemble will be performing their own set at 8pm at the Damrosch Park Bandshell. The set includes the New York premieres of Murder Ballades, by The National’s Bryce Dessner, and Erase by Andy Akiho.

Heart and Breath opens the season for the Miller Theater at Columbia University in New York this fall. This New York performance of Heart and Breath follows a season opening performance of the program at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

eighth blackbird then returns to New York in mid-October to perform Murder Ballades at the Brooklyn Academy of Music with L.A. Dance Project and choreography by New York City Ballet dancer Justin Peck.

A collaboration with composer collective Sleeping Giant premieres in Michigan in early 2015. Inspired by minimalist visual artworks, the work Hand Eye pairs eighth blackbird with the sextet of composers in a work fizzing with the alchemy of twelve unique personalities. eighth blackbird will perform this work entirely from memory.

 

A list of confirmed 14/15 dates follows:

 

New York, New York: Lincoln Center Out of Doors, 7/25-7/26

Chicago, IL: Museum of Contemporary Art, 9/8-9/13

New York, New York: Miller Theater, 9/18

Chicago, IL: Matt Ulery’s In the Ivory, featuring eighth blackbird, 10/10

New York, New York: Brooklyn Academy of Music, 10/16-10/18

Boston, MA: New England Conservatory of Music, 10/26

Davidson, NC: Davidson College, 11/21

Ann Arbor, MI: University Musical Society, 1/17

Seattle, WA: University of Washington, 2/7

Hawaii: TBA, 2/8-2/15

State College, PA: Penn State, 4/2

Interlochen, MI: Interlochen Center for the Arts, 4/9

Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Summer 2015

 

ABOUT eighth blackbird: 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 Award-winning “super-musicians” (LA Times) entertain and provoke audiences across the country and around the world. In addition to longstanding relationships as Ensemble in Residence at the University of Richmond and University of Chicago, eighth blackbird is also in its second year of a three-year, Mellon Foundation-funded term as Ensemble in Residence at Philadelphia’s prestigious Curtis Institute of Music. eighth blackbird’s members hail from America’s Great Lakes, Keystone, Golden and Bay states, and Australia’s Sunshine State. The name “eighth blackbird” derives from the eighth stanza of Wallace Stevens’s evocative, aphoristic poem, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (1917). Highlights of the 2013/14 include Chicago appearances at Ravinia, Millennium Park and the Museum of Contemporary Art; the premiere and multi-city tour of the evening length work “Heart & Breath”; and, performances of the concerto “On a Wire” with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and New World Symphony. www.eighthblackbird.org



season annoucement pg 1

 

 

THE UNEXPECTED: 2014

a collaborative performance featuring 

Blair Thomas & Co., eighth blackbird, and Lucky Plush Productions

For the second consecutive year, Creative Partners will present THE UNEXPECTED, an evening of performances featuring its partner companies: Blair Thomas & Co., eighth blackbird, and Lucky Plush Productions. On Wednesday, May 21st, these three companies will share the Dance Center of Columbia College stage to showcase their current projects through an interwoven evening of music, dance and puppetry.

DATE: Wednesday, 5/21/14
TIME: 7:00 pm
LOCATION: Dance Center of Columbia College, 1306 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago IL
TICKETS: Reserve tickets online at www.creativepartnersarts.org, prices range from $30 (standard ticket) to $80 (includes post-performance VIP reception)

This event celebrates Creative Partners, a collective that provides professional fundraising to three Chicago-based, nationally-recognized arts organizations, which allows the companies to focus on what they do best: creating world-class theater, music, and dance. Tiered pricing for audience members gives fans the option to see the performance, or to snap up VIP tickets for the post-show reception: drinks and snacks with the artists and a facilitated conversation by Columbia College Dance Professor, audience dramaturge and dance historian Bonnie Brooks about the work.

The evening will feature the following pieces, alternating between playfulness and virtuosic movement and musicality:

·       Blair Thomas & Co.: Stephen Montague’s Mirabella y Tarantella for toy piano and  Frederic Chopin’s Scherzo in b flat minor
·       eighth blackbird: Tom Johnson’s Counting Duets and György Ligeti’s Études, arranged by the ensemble.
·       Lucky Plush: an excerpt from The Queue

Equal parts dance and theater, Lucky Plush’s The Queue unfolds in a fictional airport, where travelers stumble humorously, tragically and awkwardly into the high stakes of each other’s private lives; co-created by Julia Rhoads & Leslie Danzig, and featuring live music by drum & piano duo The Claudettes. Blair Thomas & Co.’s puppet appetizers, Mirabella y Tarantella and Scherzo in b flat minor, combine a piano recital and a puppet show. And if eighth blackbird’s take on Tom Johnson’s Counting Duets is Sesame Street on Acid, the ensemble’s new arrangements of Ligeti’s Études are Chopin Gone Wild!

Original piano-based interstitial performances written by Lisa Kaplan (pianist for eighth blackbird) will facilitate interplay between the companies’ performances. The event demonstrates that Creative Partners companies share not only a dedicated development team, but also broad artistic sensibilities – all are doing work that is genre-bending, playful, and technically rigorous.

Launched in 2013, Creative Partners was strategically developed following three years of research and collaboration between Blair Thomas & Co., eighth blackbird, and Lucky Plush Productions, with additional assistance from the Arts Work Fund and The Center for Entrepreneurial Law at Northwestern University and major funding from the John G. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Prince Charitable Trusts.

Creative Partners addresses a contemporary problem in a meaningful way. At a time when artists must exhibit administrative savvy, social influence, and responsible financial practice while also generating ever-more-ambitious creative work, Creative Partners promises to help artists of all kinds do more with less.

The Chicago Cultural Plan recognizes that investing in organizational stability and longevity in the nonprofit sector yields promising returns. In Creative Partners, we advance a model that shares resources “focused on function instead of discipline”, promising broader exposure for our partners and a richer experience for our shared audiences. Creative Partners has already received recognition for taking up these sound principles:

·       Creative Partners was recognized the 2014 Fractured Atlas Arts Entrepreneurship Award.
·       Creative Partners members have participated in discussions at the Chicago Creative Expo, the National Performance Network Convention in New Orleans, a convening led by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and at the Chicago Suburban Arts Conference.

CreativeChicagoExpo_0131_square_wType

March 15, 2014 – Chicago, IL

Where are arts organizations innovating in administration to match and propel artistic innovation? Since its formal inception in January of 2013, Creative Partners has changed the fundraising landscape for three small-to-mid-sized arts organizations — Lucky Plush Productions (dance), eighth blackbird (music) and Blair Thomas & Co. (theater) — through a shared development team. The first of its kind resource-sharing model organized to effect long-term sustainability, Creative Partners has generated significant short-term outcomes for its partner organizations: an increase in individual and institutional giving, cross-disciplinary audience development, and greater collective visibility. 

With Pentacle’s Help Desk® and Back Office programs, in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and San Francisco, participants work with Pentacle staff and mentors, all experts in the field of performing arts management, to help support their company’s business life. In addition to working one on one with their mentors in the Help Desk® program and Back Office Managing Directors, all participants meet, both in their home cities, and as a national network, to build a supportive peer community.

This panel discussion will feature collaborative and shared business practices to support the continued vibrancy of the nonprofit arts sector, including a background on the inception and driving vision of both organizations and what we have learned from our work thus far.

Julia Rhoads, Artistic Director, Lucky Plush Productions
Peter McDowell, Managing Director, eighth blackbird
Angela Luem, Program Coordinator for Pentacle’s Help Desk and Managing Director of Back Office in Chicago

 

 

colombine's paradise theatre

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Atlas Performing Arts Center’s presenting series New Music at the Atlas, will feature leading contemporary classical chamber music ensemble eighth blackbird, in the program “Heart and Breath” on Friday November 15 and Saturday, November 16, 2013, 8pm, at The Theresa and Jane Lang Theatre, 1333 H Street NE Washington, D.C. Advance tickets are $38.50 and are available at www.atlasarts.org. Tickets at the door are $43.50. Student price: $20.00 with valid ID.

Heart and Breath, featuring Colombine’s Paradise Theatre, will also be performed at the Kitchen in New York City in February, 2014, and at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago in March, 2014.

ABOUT Heart and Breath: Amy Beth Kirsten’s “Colombine’s Paradise Theatre” is the foundation of this theatric production. Kirsten has created a dark musical tale of love and death, dream and delusion. The six musicians of eighth blackbird play, speak, sing, whisper, growl and mime, breathing theatrical life into these rich Commedia dell’Arte characters. Choreography and direction is by Mark de Chiazza. As a curtain­-raiser to this heart­-haunted show, eighth blackbird presents a set of love songs through the ages, including pieces by Claudio Monteverdi, Carlo Gesualdo, Bon Iver and Richard Reed Parry. 

ABOUT eighth blackbird: 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 Award-winning “super-musicians” (LA Times) entertain and provoke audiences across the country and around the world. In addition to longstanding relationships as Ensemble in Residence at the University of Richmond and University of Chicago, eighth blackbird is also in its second year of a three-year, Mellon Foundation-funded term as Ensemble in Residence at Philadelphia’s prestigious Curtis Institute of Music. eighth blackbird’s members hail from America’s Great Lakes, Keystone, Golden and Bay states, and Australia’s Sunshine State. The name “eighth blackbird” derives from the eighth stanza of Wallace Stevens’s evocative, aphoristic poem, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (1917). Highlights of the 2013/14 include Chicago appearances at Ravinia, Millennium Park and the Museum of Contemporary Art; the premiere and multi-city tour of the evening length work “Heart & Breath”; and, performances of the concerto “On a Wire” with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and New World Symphony. www.eighthblackbird.org

ABOUT Atlas Performing Arts Center: The presenting series is just one of the key aspects of the Atlas’ mission to nurture emerging and leading artists in their field. The Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, DC is located in a historic movie theatre complex on H Street, NE. H Street had been a bustling retail corridor for decades before the 1968 riots. In 2003, spurred by Jane Lang’s vision and commitment to restore the Atlas as a performing arts center, the city adopted a plan to rebuild the corridor and identified the Atlas as central to the revitalization. Vacant for years, the Atlas movie theatre re-opened as the Atlas Performing Arts Center in November, 2006 following an extensive four-year renovation. It is a 60,000 square foot landmark complex that includes four theatres, three dance studios, administrative offices, dressing rooms, lobbies, a café and production and rehearsal spaces. The center is home to a diverse group of locally renowned theatre and dance companies, symphony orchestras, choral groups and arts education programs. Its mission includes serving the greater metropolitan D.C. area as well as being the artistic heart of its immediate community. The mission of the Atlas Performing Arts Center is to foster the artistic growth of professional and aspiring performing artists throughout the region; to create a new model for collaborative arts management; to establish a unique community-centered venue for training and education in the performing arts and stagecraft; and to energize and sustain the revitalization of H Street, NE and the surrounding community. www.atlasarts.org


credit: luke ratray

Chicago, IL, Oct. 29, 2013 — eighth blackbird, Chicago-based new music sextet, is proud to announce founding member and pianist, Lisa Kaplan, as one of ten Chicago artists to be honored with the prestigious 3Arts Award for 2013.

3Arts is a nonprofit organization that advocates for women artists, artists of color and artists with disabilities working in the performing (dance, music and theater), teaching and visual arts. The annual 3Arts Awards honorees each receive an unrestricted $15,000 award to put to use according to their individual needs and priorities. This year ten artists were honored at a ceremony on Monday, October 21 at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Kaplan was selected from a pool of over one hundred Chicago artists for the award, all anonymously nominated by their peers.

Incredibly, this award offers much more than just its generous monetary prize: artists are granted access to an invaluable network of professional connections and resources, along with regular media promotion through 3Arts to further advance their careers. They are eligible to apply for fellowships and residencies offered nationally through the 3Arts network, and offered technical skills and support to crowdfund projects that require additional backing.

ABOUT Lisa Kaplan: Born in Motown, Lisa Kaplan is a pianist specializing in the performance of new work by living composers. Kaplan is also the founding pianist of the three-time Grammy Award-winning sextet eighth blackbird. She has won numerous awards, performed all over the country and has premiered new pieces by hundreds of composers, including Andy Akiho, Derek Bermel, Jennifer Higdon, Amy Beth Kirsten, David Lang, Nico Muhly, George Perle and Steve Reich. Kaplan has had the great pleasure to collaborate and make music with an eclectic array of incredibly talented people – Mario Batali, Jeremy Denk, Bryce Dessner, Glenn Kotche, Gustavo Santaolalla, Steve Schick, Robert Spano, Dawn Upshaw and Michael Ward-Bergeman to name a few. Recently she has greatly enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to do some composing and arranging for eighth blackbird. Kaplan is a true foodie, gourmet cook, avid reader, crossword and Scrabble addict, enjoys baking ridiculously complicated pastry and loves outdoor adventures. She has summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, braved the Australian outback, stared an enormous elephant in the face in Tanzania’s Ngorogoro Crater and survived close encounters with grizzly bears in the Brooks Range of Alaska.

ABOUT eighth blackbird: 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 Award-winning “super-musicians” (LA Times) entertain and provoke audiences across the country and around the world. In addition to longstanding relationships as Ensemble in Residence at the University of Richmond and University of Chicago, eighth blackbird is also in its second year of a three-year, Mellon Foundation-funded term as Ensemble in Residence at Philadelphia’s prestigious Curtis Institute of Music. eighth blackbird’s members hail from America’s Great Lakes, Keystone, Golden and Bay states, and Australia’s Sunshine State. The name “eighth blackbird” derives from the eighth stanza of Wallace Stevens’s evocative, aphoristic poem, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (1917). Highlights of the 2013/14 include Chicago appearances at Ravinia, Millennium Park and the Museum of Contemporary Art; the premiere and multi-city tour of the evening length work “Heart & Breath”; and, performances of the concerto “On a Wire” with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and New World Symphony. www.eighthblackbird.org

 

CHICAGO, Oct. 1, 2013—eighth blackbird, a leading contemporary classical chamber music ensemble, has hired Peter McDowell as its new Managing Director. Peter brings nearly two decades of professional arts administration expertise to the organization, most recently as the founder of Peter McDowell Arts Consulting, where he has coached individual performing artists and arts organizations throughout the country on capacity building and organizational development projects.  From 1997-2006, Peter was a Program Director for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs where he curated over 1000 music, dance, film/video and theater programs and first encountered eighth blackbird.

 

“I am thrilled about my new position as Managing Director of eighth blackbird. It feels like a natural extension to what I have been doing with classical music – both at the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, where I first met and worked with members of the ensemble, to the work I have been doing in the last four years with my consulting business. I believe strongly in the transformative power of chamber music and I am in awe of the talent, heart, and brilliant personalities of these musicians. I can’t wait to dive in to this new work with a group of individuals who are changing the face of classical music.”

 

Peter McDowell will work alongside of outgoing Managing Director Jen Richards for one month to ensure a smooth transition. Jen was the organization’s first full-time staff person and has overseen five years of rapid growth.  A nationally recognized organizer in the transgender community, she is leaving the organization to pursue activism full-time.

 

eighth blackbird Board President Sarah Solotaroff Mirkin states that “eighth blackbird owes a debt of gratitude to Jen Richards for building an administrative structure for the music ensemble over the five years she as acted as the Managing Director.  During her tenure she has provided financial, marketing, fund raising, and production skills and has added appropriate staff for those functions – all of this necessary to support the rapid growth of and increasing demand for eighth blackbird.  We are confident that Peter McDowell will bring that same vision and energy to the next stage of the ensemble.”

 

“These last five years have been an incomparably joyful and rewarding challenge,” says Jen Richards. “The opportunity to work with some of the world’s finest musicians, who just happen to be some of kindest, funniest, and brightest individuals I have ever met, has been a dream realized, one made all the sweeter by a similarly astonishing staff, Board, and wider community of colleagues.”

 

eighth blackbird has recently added four Board members – Chris Joyce, a director at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Jamie Rubin, an attorney with the Information Law Group, Nell Stanton, Senior Consultant at Towers Watson, and most recently Kate Bensen, Executive Director of The Chicago Network,  three new staff positions – Annie Higgins as Company Manager, as well as Dana Horst, Development Director, and Deidre Huckabay, Development Associate through the newly launched Creative Partners, a joint fundraising & staffing project with Lucky Plush Productions and Blair Thomas & Company.Looking ahead, Peter McDowell says he “will seek to strengthen a strong base for eighth blackbird here in Chicago, while working to increase their already prominent visibility and support nationally and internationally.”

 

ABOUT eighth blackbird: 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 Award-winning “super-musicians” (LA Times) entertain and provoke audiences across the country and around the world. In addition to longstanding relationships as Ensemble in Residence at the University of Richmond and University of Chicago, eighth blackbird is also in its second year of a three-year, Mellon Foundation-funded term as Ensemble in Residence at Philadelphia’s prestigious Curtis Institute of Music. eighth blackbird’s members hail from America’s Great Lakes, Keystone, Golden and Bay states, and Australia’s Sunshine State. The name “eighth blackbird” derives from the eighth stanza of Wallace Stevens’s evocative, aphoristic poem, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (1917).

 

Highlights of 2013/14 include Chicago appearances at Ravinia, Millennium Park and the Museum of Contemporary Art; the premiere and multi-city tour of the evening length work “Heart & Breath”; and, performances of the concerto “On a Wire” with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and New World Symphony.

 

More information at www.eighthblackbird.org

 

ABOUT Peter McDowell: A native of Champaign, IL, Peter has lived and worked in San Francisco, New York City, and Chicago over the past twenty years. Most recently, he is founder of Peter McDowell Arts Consulting, where he works with individual performing artists and arts organizations nationwide, conducts high level publicity campaigns, and creates WordPress web sites through PerformSites.com, a company Peter co-founded with San Francisco designer Ari Salomon. Peter was formerly Program Director for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs from 1997-2006, after which he served for over two years as Director of Programs at OPERA America in New York City. He has an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois, and a Masters in Arts Administration from the Bolz Center at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

 

Interview with Peter McDowell on eighth blackbird’s blog.