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Composers Out Front

Composers Out Front at Joe's Pub

Sunday, November 14, 1999 at 9 pm
Daniel Bernard Roumain's Mission

Thursday, January 6, 2000 at 8:30 pm
Muhal Richard Abrams: Improvisations & Explorations

Tickets are $20. Call TeleCharge at 212-239-6200.

Tickets can also be purchased at The Public Theater box office from 1pm - 7pm daily. Joe's Pub and The Public Theater are located at 425 Lafayette Street, in lower Manhattan.

Composers Out Front & Mixing It Up

Composers live in ivory towers and their inspiration comes from on high, untouched by the fracas of world around them. Yeah, right!

This season, American Composers Orchestra (ACO) in association with Joe's Pub at The Public Theater, launches "Composers Out Front," a new series which seeks in-part to debunk that little bit of mythology about who composers are and how they create, and in so doing, provide a context for several composers whose orchestral music is being featured at ACO's Carnegie Hall concerts. Today's composers can draw on influences ranging from pop, to world music, to jazz, and beyond. And their inspiration is as likely to come from the latest political scandal as it is the classics. Further, many composers wear multiple hats--performing, composing and living in more than one realm of musical expression.

Composers Out Front. Graphic by Cliff Tisdale"Composers Out Front" puts composers on the stage at Joe's Pub, the hot downtown venue at The Public Theater, performing music that explores and integrates their diverse musical sources and experiences.

Daniel Bernard RoumainThe series kicks off with two composers of two different generations with very different musical backgrounds. On Sunday, November 14 at 9pm, Daniel Roumain performs with his band DBR's Mission. Roumain is a twenty-something composer who integrates the sounds of urban pop into his concert music. He's been called "a combination of Mozart, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Prince--just as far-out and creative and in another world." Roumain first came to ACO's attention at the 1997 Whitaker New Music Reading Sessions, where his "Hip-Hop Essay for Orchestra" impressed enough for ACO to offer him the annual Whitaker Commission. (His new "Harlem Essay for Orchestra and Digital Audio Tape" has its world premiere by ACO at Carnegie Hall on January 9.)

With the composer on guitar accompanied by bass, drums, percussion and vocals, DBR's Mission might be described as a funk or hip-hop band, but, like the "Composers Out Front" series itself, Mr. Roumain sees the group as a force for musical integration. "Bringing diplomatic delegations to a musical embassy of technicians, specialists, impostors, aristocrats and more," according to the composer. Also on the concert will be chamber works from a series Roumain entitled "Jams," featuring the composer on violin.

Muhal Richard AbramsMuhal Richard Abrams will be featured on Thursday, January 6 at 8:30pm, in a program that brings together his work as a freethinking pianist-improviser with his chamber music compositions. On this evening, Mr. Abrams will offer extended solo piano improvisations paired with a performance of his for Duet for Violin and Piano.

Abrams is widely recognized as a founder of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and a leader of the Chicago school of avant-garde jazz. While his work in experimental jazz is legendary, his numerous works for traditional chamber ensembles and orchestras are less well-known. But, Mr. Abrams original and largely self-taught approach to music stresses observation, analysis and creative development, no matter what the ensemble context, and the interplay of the written and the improvised have always fascinated this highly individual artist. (ACO listeners will have another opportunity to sample the music of Muhal Richard Abrams when his new orchestra piece, "Tomorrow's Song, as Yesterday Sings Today," commissioned by ACO with the support of the late Francis Goelet, has its world premiere at Carnegie Hall on January 9.)Graphic by Cliff Tisdale

Seating for both events in the "Composers Out Front" series at Joe's Pub is extremely limited. Tickets are $20 and are available from TeleCharge at 212-239-6200. Tickets can also be purchased at The Public Theater box office from 1pm - 7pm daily. Joe's Pub and The Public Theater are located at 425 Lafayette Street, in lower Manhattan.

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