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New Sounds Live

New Sounds Live: Carla Kihlstedt, ICE, Face the Music

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On Saturday, January 26, 2013, New Sounds Live and the Ecstatic Music Festival present multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, bandleader and composer Carla Kihlstedt together with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), for the premiere of Kihlstedt's new ICElab commission, At Night We Walk in Circles and Are Consumed by Fire. Written for nine members of ICE plus Kihlstedt, the song cycle is based on dreams and their mirror on waking lives.  Also on the bill are Kihlstedt's band, Causing a Tiger, and teen alt-classical ensemble Face the Music, who will join ICE in performing the legendary composer George Lewis's Artificial Life 2007.

The title of At Night We Walk in Circles and Are Consumed by Fire is a translation of a Latin palindrome: In Girum Imus Nocte et Consumimur Igni. The ideas for each of the songs were collected from dreams; one’s teeth falling out, a flying dream, and meeting one’s younger self, which Carla then developed into abstract miniatures with ICE. 

Also, hear composer George Lewis’ structured improvising work, Artificial Life 2007, where Causing a Tiger, Face the Music, and ICE work from a detailed set of instructions for making music, and many conditions for when to play that music.

This concert is a part of the Ecstatic Music Festival and will be webcast live on our sister station WQXR's web service, Q2.  As usual, host John Schaefer will interview artists from the stage for later broadcast on New Sounds.  The next New Sounds Live/EMF concerts are Feb. 6 and March 14, both at Merkin Hall.


Carla KihlstedtCarla Kihlstedt
is a composer, improviser, violinist and vocalist. She spent seventeen of her most artistically formative years in California's Bay Area where she developed a striking, personal musical language unconstrained by traditional genre delineations. The cornerstone of her musical vocabulary comes from her initial classical training as a violinist (Peabody Institute, and the Oberlin and San Francisco Conservatories of Music), but her work now reaches far beyond the traditional concert hall. Carla is a founding member of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Tin Hat, 2 Foot Yard, Causing a Tiger, Minamo, and one half of the songwriting duo at the heart of Rabbit Rabbit Radio with Matthias Bossi. She created a staged song cycle for seven musicians and an actress called Necessary Monsters with poet Rafael Osés and director Rinde Eckert, and has written for the ROVA Saxophone Quartet, and the Bang on a Can All-Stars. Kihlstedt has recently joined the faculty of New England Conservatory's Contemporary Improvisation Department where she works with young inquisitive musicians, helping them find their own compositional and expressive voices. Her various projects and outpourings are cataloged on her web site:


ICE ensembleICE (International Contemporary Ensemble)
With a flexible roster of 33 leading instrumentalists performing in forces ranging from solos to large ensembles, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) functions as performer, presenter, and educator, advancing the music of our time by developing innovative new works and pursuing groundbreaking strategies for audience engagement. In an era of radical change, ICE redefines concert music as it brings together new work and new listeners. Since its founding in 2001, ICE has premiered over 500 compositions, the bulk of them by emerging composers, in venues ranging from New York’s Lincoln Center and Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art to galleries, bars, clubs, and schools around the world. The ensemble has released acclaimed albums on the Bridge, Naxos, Tzadik and New Focus labels, with forthcoming releases on Nonesuch, Kairos and Mode.



Face the Music
is Kaufman Music Center’s teen alt-classical ensemble, dedicated to performing music by living classical composers. Founded in 2005 by Dr. Jenny Undercofler with eight students with unique passion for experimenting with music, the ensemble has now grown to more than 120 teens and pre-teens from over 40 elementary, middle and high schools from across the New York City area. Students in Face the Music come from all the major NYC arts high schools and pre-college music programs.


causing a tiger

Causing a Tiger
is Violinist/Vocalist Carla Kihlstedt (Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, 2 Foot Yard, Tin Hat, Cosa Brava) Bassist/Guitarist Shahzad Ismaily (Ceramic Dog, Secret Chiefs 3, 2 Foot Yard) and Drummer/Storyteller Matthias Bossi (Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Cosa Brava, The Book Of Knots). The trio explores the language of memory and dreams through songs, improvisation, and field recordings.