#3663: Black Mountain Songs

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For this New Sounds, Richard Reed Parry and Bryce Dessner, the co-curators of “Black Mountain Songs,” along with Dianne Berkun-Menaker, the director of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, join John Schaefer in the studio. Richard Reed Parry is a member of the Grammy-winning rock group Arcade Fire, as well as the chamber post-rock band Bell Orchestre. Bryce Dessner is also known as the guitarist for indie-rock band the National, as well as the improvising new music quartet, Clogs.

“Black Mountain Songs” is a collection of choral works commissioned and produced by BAM and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. The expansive choral and visual multimedia work includes choreography, sound design, projections, film, and celebrates the interdisciplinary and utopian spirit of Black Mountain College. Over the course of its 23 years (1933-57), the progressive liberal arts school in western North Carolina was an experiment in education and artistic idealism, attracting bright American artists (John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Elaine de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg) who were encouraged to collaborate across a wide range of disciplines. We’ll hear selections from the collection of choral works, including works by Dessner, Parry, Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw, and Tim Hecker. Hear Shaw’s piece, “Its Motion Keeps” for the Brooklyn Youth Chorus accompanied by Shaw herself on viola, with text from the traditional shape note hymn book, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion. Then, listen to Richard Reed Parry’s work where the Brooklyn Youth Chorus stamp-stomps and sings “Their Passing In Time.” Plus, music by Clogs and Bell Orchestre.

PROGRAM #3663 Black Mountain Songs with Bryce Dessner, Richard Reed Parry, Dianne Berkun-Menaker (Brooklyn Youth Chorus) (First aired on 11/19/2014)  

ARTIST: New Music Consort
WORK: John Cage and Lou Harrison: Double Music [6:37]
RECORDING: Pulse
SOURCE: New World Records - #80405
INFO: newworldrecords.org

ARTIST: Brooklyn Youth Chorus, led by Dianne Berkun-Menaker
WORK: Richard Reed Parry: Their Passing In Time [4:25]
RECORDING: Private rehearsal tape
SOURCE: This performance not commercially available.

ARTIST: Brooklyn Youth Chorus, led by Dianne Berkun-Menaker
WORK: Caroline Shaw: Its Motion Keeps [7:15]
RECORDING: Recorded by Q2 Music
SOURCE: This performance not commercially available, but appears as part of “Meet the Composer”
INFO: meet-composer-caroline-shaw

ARTIST: Brooklyn Youth Chorus, led by Dianne Berkun-Menaker
WORK: Bryce Dessner & Tim Hecker: M.C.Richards [2:42]
RECORDING: Private rehearsal tape
SOURCE: This performance not commercially available.

ARTIST: Brooklyn Youth Chorus, led by Dianne Berkun-Menaker
WORK: Bryce Dessner:Black Mountain Song, excerpt [1:30]
RECORDING: Private rehearsal tape
SOURCE: This performance not commercially available.

ARTIST: Clogs
WORK: I used to do [4:35]
RECORDING: New Sounds Live, 5/2006
SOURCE: This performance not commercially available. 
INFO: The piece appears on “The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton” available on brassland.org

ARTIST: Bell Orchestre
WORK: Dark Lights [5:29]
RECORDING: As Seen Through Windows
SOURCE: Arts and Crafts A&C041
INFO:  galleryac.com