Experience the annual music series, New Sounds Live, virtually! Curated by WNYC’s John Schaefer, this two-part series was recorded in the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place and features performances by Sō Percussion with guests Angélica Negrón and Darian Thomas as well as innovative guitarists, Kaki King and Yasmin Williams. Watch both performances below.
Sō Percussion with guests Angelica Negron and Darian Thomas
Premiered on January 27
Kaki King and Yasmin Williams
Premiered on January 28
About New Sounds Live
Activated year-round with cultural, arts, and performance-based events, Brookfield Place is one of New York City’s most iconic and celebrated destinations. Founded in 1986 by New Sounds host and producer John Schaefer, New Sounds Live is an annual series of live broadcast concerts devoted to many times of new and unusual forms of music. New Sounds Live began their adventurous, contemporary music series at the former World Financial Center in 1997 and has continued to present performances each fall at what is now Brookfield Place.
About Sō Percussion
Through its sensational interpretations of modern classics, innovative multi-genre original productions, and “exhilarating blend of precision and anarchy, rigor and bedlam,” (The New Yorker), SōPercussion has redefined the scope and role of the modern percussion ensemble, placing it at the leading edge of 21st-century music.
Sō’s repertoire ranges from 20th century works by John Cage, Steve Reich, and Iannis Xenakis, et al, to commissioning and advocating works by contemporary composers such as David Lang, Julia Wolfe, Steven Mackey, and Caroline Shaw, to distinctively modern collaborations with artists who work outside the classical concert hall, including Shara Nova, choreographer Susan Marshall, The National, Bryce Dessner, and many others.
Sō Percussion’s original productions – including From Out A Darker Sea, Where (we) Live, and Jason Treuting’sAmid the Noise – employ a distinctively 21st century palette of original music, artistic collaboration, theatrical production values and visual art, yielding powerful explorations of the human experience.
In December 2019, Sō Percussion made a triumphant return to Carnegie Hall for a sold-out performance of “A Percussion Century,” a sprawling exploration of the modern percussion repertoire including works by composers Cage, Lang, Reich, and Xenakis as well as works by Carlos Chávez, Johanna Beyer, and the New York premiere of Sō’s newest commission, Forbidden Love, a string quartet by Julia Wolfe. Other 19/20 highlights include a Miller Theatre Composer Portrait of frequent Sō collaborator, Caroline Shaw (with whom Sō has a new album due this season); David Lang’s man made and Lully’s Le Bourgeois gentilhommewith Louis Langrée and the Cincinnati Symphony; dates in Paris, Lithuania, and throughout the US. Sō also collaborated with choreographer John Heginbotham on a new ballet, RACECAR, premiered as part of The Washington Ballet’s season-opening production, NEXTsteps.
This season Sō celebrates its sixth year as the Edward T. Cone Performers-in-Residence at Princeton University and welcomes the appointment of flutist, composer, and vocalist Nathalie Joachim as the ensemble’s inaugural Andrew W. Siegel Composition Fellow. 19/20 also marks the release of album collaborations with Dan Trueman and the JACK Quartet (Songs that are Hard to Sing, from New Amsterdam), and with indie duo Buke and Gase.
Sō has recorded more than 20 other albums; appeared at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Walt Disney Hall, the Barbican, the EauxClaires Festival, MassMoCA, and TED 2016; and performed with JadAbumrad, JACK Quartet, the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and the LA Phil and Gustavo Dudamel, among others.
Rooted in the belief that music is an essential facet of human life, a social bond, and an effective tool in creating agency and citizenship, Sō Percussion enthusiastically pursues a growing range of social and community outreach. Examples include their Brooklyn Bound presentations of emerging artists and composers; commitments to purchasing offsets to compensate for carbon-heavy activities such as touring travel; and the Sō Percussion Summer Institute (SōSI), an intensive two-week chamber music seminar for percussionists and composers. Now in its second decade, SōSI features community performances, new work development, guest artist workshops, and an annual food-packing drive, yielding up to 25,000 meals, for the Crisis Center of Mercer County through the organization EndHungerNE.
About Angélica Negrón
Puerto Rican-born composer and multi-instrumentalist AngélicaNegrón writes music for accordions, robotic instruments, toys and electronics as well as chamber ensembles and orchestras. Her music has been described as “wistfully idiosyncratic and contemplative” (WQXR/Q2) and “mesmerizing and affecting” (Feast of Music) while The New York Times noted her “capacity to surprise” and her “quirky approach to scoring”. Angélica has been commissioned by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, loadbang, MATA Festival, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Sō Percussion, the American Composers Orchestra, and the New York Botanical Garden, among others. Her music has been performed at the Kennedy Center, the Ecstatic Music Festival, EMPAC, Bang on a Can Marathon and the 2016 New York Philharmonic Biennial and her film scores have been heard numerous times at the Tribeca Film Festival. She has collaborated with artists like Sō Percussion, The Knights, Face the Music, and NOVUS NY, among others and is a founding member of the tropical electronic band Balún. Angélica holds a Master’s degree in music composition from New York University and pursued doctoral studies at The Graduate Center (CUNY) under the guidance of Tania León. She’s a teaching artist for New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers Program working with young learners on creative composition projects. Upcoming premieres include works for the LA Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Girls Chorus, and NY Philharmonic Project 19 initiative. Negrón continues to perform and compose for film.
About Darian Thomas
Darian Donovan Thomas is a mediaqueer artist, whose work is rooted in exploring the intersectionality of genre, identities (imposed and/or claimed), and artistic medium. To create a body of all-inclusive works that makes every audience member realize they are being spoken to directly and personally is the goal – being at the intersection of multiple identities means being able to speak to everyone.
Darian received his Bachelors in Music Composition from The University of the Incarnate Word, and was a 2018 New Amsterdam Composer Lab Fellow, 2018 SoSI Composer Fellow, and 2019 Banglewood Composition Fellow. He has toured the world with Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead, and is currently the touring violinist for Moses Sumney.
About Kaki King
Composer and musician Kaki Kingis considered one of the world’s greatest living guitarists, known both for her technical mastery and for her constant quest to push the boundaries of the instrument. Hailed by Rolling Stone as “a genre unto herself,” Kaki has released 9 albums and toured extensively, presenting in such prestigious arts centers as the Kennedy Center, MoMA, LACMA, The Met and Smithsonian Design Museum. She has created music for numerous film and TV soundtracks, including “August Rush” and “Into the Wild”, for which received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Score. She has performed with symphonies and chamber ensembles, and recorded an album in collaboration with the Porta Girevole Chamber Orchestra commissioned by the Berklee College of Music.
In 2015 Kaki launched “The Neck is a Bridge to the Body”, a groundbreaking multimedia performance that toured extensively throughout the world, marking her first foray into multimedia and experimental theater. Kaki’s new multimedia project, DATA NOT FOUND, marks her first foray into experimental theater as she continues to redefine her guitar as a tool for storytelling, exploring contemporary issues like A.I., the natural world, “big data” and personal empowerment. The show will begin touring in 2021.
About Yasmin Williams
Yasmin Williams is an acoustic fingerstyle guitarist with an unorthodox, modern style of playing. Her music has been commonly described as refreshing, relaxing, and unique and has been called some of the most imaginative guitar music out today. She utilizes various techniques including alternate tunings, percussive hits, and lap tapping in her music to great effect. She has won various local talent shows, was a finalist in the Rolling Stones Young Gun guitar competition, was the Grand prize winner of New York University’s Ultra Violet Live talent show, and won the Gold Prize in the Instrumental category of the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest. She has been featured on several radio and television programs including NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday show, NPR Night Owl, Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour, and WUSA9, along with high profile magazine features such as Acoustic Guitar Magazine and Vintage Guitar Magazine.
She grew up in northern Virginia where various genres of music from smooth jazz to hip-hop were played in her household. She was introduced to the guitar after playing the video game Guitar Hero 2 and became interested in playing the guitar in 2009. She begged her parents to buy her a real electric guitar and once she received her first guitar and amplifier, she taught herself how to play the guitar by ear. After a few years of playing the electric guitar, she taught herself how to play the bass guitar, 12 string guitar, and classical guitar before eventually deciding to switch her focus to the acoustic guitar because of the instrument’s versatility. While in high school, she released her first EP Serendipity in 2012, which she recorded and mixed herself.
She graduated from New York University with a BM in Music Theory and Composition in December 2017. Her first album, Unwind, was released on May 4, 2018 and is available on all major streaming services and Bandcamp. The album has charted highly on several Amazon and iTunes charts including top paid albums, including charting at #7 on Amazon’s top paid albums and #1 on iTunes‘s Folk chart, and charted at #15 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart. Her new album, Urban Driftwood, will be released on January 29, 2021 by SPINSTER Sounds.
NEW SOUNDS LIVE CREDITS:
Curated by: WNYC’s John Schaefer
Arts Brookfield Staff: Elysa Marden, Vice President & Artistic Director Courtney Whitelocke, Director Lauren Moriah Stern, Event Manager Tara Davis, Marketing Director Alexandra Axiotis, Marketing Manager Abigail Clark, Marketing Manager Rebecca Zuber, Senior Production Director Emily Rolston, Production Manager Cat Maliha, Assistant Production Manager Mark Torchia, Technical Director Brandon Vensand, Assistant Technical Director Dalis Wilson, Senior Financial Administrator Lindsey Power Arora, Executive Assistant Yolanda Pray, Arts & Events Administrator
WNYC Crew: Edward Haber, Technical Director Bill Siegmund, George Wellington, and Chase Culpon, Audio Engineers for Night 1 Irene Trudel & George Wellington, Audio Engineers for Night 2 Caryn Havlik, Assistant Producer
Video & Additional Audio Crew: David McLean, Video Editor Michael Mastromarino (SDN Broadcast), Director & Switcher Dave Ferdinand (SDN Broadcast, One Dream), Video Equipment & Operation, Backline & Audio Filip Aaby, Monitor Mix
Lighting & Set: Tess James, Lighting Designer Parker Conzone, Lighting Supervisor Matt Monahan (Drape Kings), Star Drop, Pipe & Drape Jim Schoenfelder (4Wall), Lighting Equipment
Additional Credits: Jen Ash, Covid-19 Compliance Officer Jane DiBartolo, Coordinator Rafi Levavy, Production Assistant Jana Bergstedt, Production Assistant Rachel Calter, Production Assistant