OZ ARTS NASHVILLE PRESENTS RENOWNED PIANIST-COMPOSER VIJAY IYER’S MUSIC OF TRANSFORMATION
OZ ARTS NASHVILLE PRESENTS RENOWNED PIANIST-COMPOSER VIJAY IYER’S MUSIC OF TRANSFORMATION, A TWO-PART PROGRAM OF COLLABORATIONS WITH WORLD-CLASS ARTISTS, NOVEMBER 8 & 9
RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi, Created by Iyer and Filmmaker Prashant Bhargava, Performed by Iyer and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)
Mutations I-X, Scored by Iyer for String Quartet, Piano and Electronics, Performed by Iyer, Miranda Cuckson, Michi Wiancko and Members of ICE
OZ Arts Nashville is pleased to welcome the immensely celebrated artist Vijay Iyer, whom The New Yorker has called one of “today’s most important pianists,” for Music of Transformation, a two-part program of collaborations with world-class artists. The first half of the concert will feature Mutations I-X, which Iyer composed for string quartet, piano and electronics. He will perform the work with violinists Miranda Cuckson and Michi Wiancko, as well as Kyle Armbrust and Kivie Cahn-Lipman of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). For the second half of the performance, Iyer presents RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi, a work of film and music he created with filmmaker Prashant Bhargava, which he performs with that same group, plus percussionist Tyshawn Sorey, and ten other members of ICE. David Fulmer will conduct.
OZ Arts Nashville presents Music of Transformation Saturday, November 8 at 8pm, and Sunday, November 9 at 2pm. Tickets, $45 - $57.50, can be purchased at www.oznashville.com. Music of Transformation runs 80 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission. OZ Arts is located at 6172 Cockrill Bend Circle in Nashville.
Vijay Iyer (pronounced “VID-jay EYE-yer”), a Grammy nominee, is known for his fresh, vitalizing approach to modern music. Pitchfork has described him as “one of the most interesting and vital young pianists in jazz today,” LA Weekly has deemed him “a boundless and deeply important young star,” and Minnesota Public Radio has hailed him as “an American treasure.” Iyer was recently named DownBeat Magazine’s 2014 Pianist of the Year, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, and a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist. He received an unprecedented “quintuple crown” in the 2012 DownBeat International Critics Poll (winning Jazz Artist of the Year, Pianist of the Year, Jazz Album of the Year, Jazz Group of the Year, and Rising Star Composer categories), a “quadruple crown” in the JazzTimes extended critics poll (winning Artist of the Year, Acoustic/Mainstream Group of the Year, Pianist of the Year, and Album of the Year), and the Pianist of the Year Awards for both 2012 and 2013 from the Jazz Journalists Association.
RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi
The inspiration for RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi, Iyer’s collaboration with Prashant Bhargava, is the Holi festival, a joyful, chaotic and colorful celebration of springtime in India. The work was a cornerstone of last year’s 100th anniversary celebration of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. Iyer composed new music within the structural framework of the famed Russian composer—but in a completely different style and from an entirely new cultural perspective: RADHE RADHE transports the semi-mythological tale of mysterious primordial Russian rituals into an actual cultural festival that takes place in India (and more recently around the world) each spring.
As Bhargava’s lush film—including footage of the Holi festival in Mathura, a town in Uttar Pradesh, India—screens, Iyer will perform the music with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and other instrumentalists, conducted at OZ Arts by David Fulmer.
ECM will release RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi as a concert DVD and BluRay in late October, just before the performances at OZ.
Mutations I-X is the centerpiece of Mutations (March 2014), Iyer’s first album as a leader for the esteemed label ECM, and his first album under a classical rubric. The recording, a suite of compositions whose very subject is change, interweaves acoustic and electronic sound-textures and decisive improvisational interventions in notated music. A major piece built out of cells and fragments, Mutations veers through many atmospheres, from moment to moment propulsive, enveloping, lyrical, luminescent and strangely beautiful.
In a four-star review, The Guardian said the music “will engage classical and jazz listeners alike,” and described the album as “thoughtful, typically original, and…very exciting.” The Chicago Tribune has said Mutations “extends and deepens [Iyer’s] range...showing a delicate, shimmering, translucent side of his playing.” A New York Times profile on the occasion of the album’s release described Iyer as “a jazz pianist and bandleader of rigorous concept and glowing critical acclaim,” and said, “To the extent that he has stood between worlds—bridging academic and real-world concerns, the avant-garde and the mainstream, composition and improvisation—he’s in a position to close the distance between them, and largely on his own terms.”
RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi was created for and commissioned by Carolina Performing Arts at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Additional commissioning funds for revision and completion of the work were provided by The Brooklyn Academy of Music/Next Wave Festival, CAP UCLA and The Strathmore Hall Foundation.
More about Vijay Iyer
Prior to Mutations, Iyer’s “spectacular debut on the ECM label,” Iyer released Holding It Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project (2013), his third collaboration with poet Mike Ladd, based on the dreams of veterans of color from America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Los Angeles Times hailed Holding It Down as the #1 Jazz Album of the Year, and JazzTimes described it as “impassioned, haunting, [and] affecting.”
Two tremendously acclaimed and influential albums, Accelerando (2012) and Historicity (2009), both feature the Vijay Iyer Trio (Iyer, piano; Marcus Gilmore, drums; Stephan Crump, bass). Accelerando was voted #1 Jazz Album of the Year in three separate critics polls—DownBeat, Jazz Times, and Rhapsody—that surveyed hundreds of critics worldwide. The album was also chosen as jazz album of the year by NPR, the Los Angeles Times, PopMatters, and Amazon. Historicity was a 2010 Grammy Nominee for Best Instrumental Jazz Album, and was named #1 Jazz Album of 2009 in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Detroit Metro Times, National Public Radio, PopMatters, the Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll, and the Downbeat International Critics Poll. The trio won the 2010 Echo Award for best international ensemble and the 2012 Downbeat Critics Poll for jazz group of the year.
Previously Iyer was voted the 2010 Musician of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association, and named one of 2011’s “50 Most Influential Global Indians” by GQ India. His other honors include the Greenfield Prize, the Alpert Award in the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, the India Abroad Publisher’s Special Award for Excellence, and numerous composer commissions. Iyer’s many collaborators include Steve Coleman, Wadada Leo Smith, Roscoe Mitchell, Butch Morris, George Lewis, Amina Claudine Myers, William Parker, Graham Haynes, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Rez Abbasi, Craig Taborn, Ambrose Akinmusire, Liberty Ellman, Steve Lehman, Matana Roberts, Tyshawn Sorey, Miya Masaoka, Pamela Z, John Zorn, Mari Kimura, Dead Prez, DJ Spooky, Himanshu Suri of Das Racist, High Priest of Antipop Consortium, Karsh Kale, Suphala, and Talvin Singh; filmmakers Haile Gerima, Prashant Bhargava, and Bill Morrison; choreographer Karole Armitage; and poets Mike Ladd, Amiri Baraka, Charles Simic, and Robert Pinsky. His compositions have been commissioned and performed by Bang on a Can All-Stars, The Silk Road Ensemble, Ethel, Brentano String Quartet, JACK Quartet, American Composers Orchestra, Hermès Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, and Imani Winds.
A polymath whose career has spanned the sciences, the humanities and the arts, Iyer received an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in the cognitive science of music from the University of California, Berkeley. He has published in Journal of Consciousness Studies, Wire, Music Perception, JazzTimes, Journal of the Society for American Music, Critical Studies in Improvisation, in the anthologies Arcana IV, Sound Unbound, Uptown Conversation, The Best Writing on Mathematics: 2010, and in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies. Iyer has taught at Manhattan School of Music, New York University, and the New School, and he is the Director of The Banff Centre’s International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, an annual 3-week program in Alberta, Canada founded by Oscar Peterson. Iyer recently finished a multi-year residency with San Francisco Performances, performing and working with schools and community organizations. In 2014 he began a permanent appointment at Harvard University’s Department of Music, as the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts.
About International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)
The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), described by the New York Times as “one of the most accomplished and adventurous groups in new music,” is dedicated to reshaping the way music is created and experienced. With a modular makeup of 33 leading instrumentalists performing in forces ranging from solos to large ensembles, ICE functions as performer, presenter, and educator, advancing the music of our time by developing innovative new works and new strategies for audience engagement. ICE redefines concert music as it brings together new work and new listeners in the 21st century.
Since its founding in 2001, ICE has premiered over 500 compositions––the majority of these new works by emerging composers––in venues ranging from alternative spaces to concert halls around the world. The ensemble received the American Music Center’s Trailblazer Award in 2010 for its contributions to the field, and received the ASCAP/Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming in 2005 and in 2010. ICE was Ensemble-in-Residence at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago through 2013. The ICE musicians also served as Artists-in-Residence at the Mostly Mozart Festival of Lincoln Center through 2013, curating and performing chamber music programs that juxtapose new and old music.
ICE has released acclaimed albums on the Nonesuch, Kairos, Bridge, Naxos, Tzadik, New Focus and New Amsterdam labels, with several forthcoming releases on Mode Records. Recent and upcoming highlights include headline performances at the Lincoln Center Festival (New York), Musica Nova Helsinki (Finland), Wien Modern (Austria), Acht Brücken Music for Cologne (Germany), La Cité de la Musique (Paris) and tours of Japan, Brazil and France. ICE has worked closely with conductors Ludovic Morlot, Matthias Pintscher, John Adams and Susanna Mälkki.
With leading support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, ICE launched ICElab in early 2011. This new program places teams of ICE musicians in close collaboration with six emerging composers each year to develop works that push the boundaries of musical exploration. ICElab projects will be featured in more than one hundred performances from 2011–2014, and will be documented online through ICE’s blog, and DigitICE, a new online venue.
ICE’s commitment to build a diverse, engaged audience for the music of our time has inspired The Listening Room, a new educational initiative for public schools without in-house arts curricula. Using team-based composition and graphic notation, ICE musicians lead students in the creation of new musical works, nurturing collaborative creative skills and building an appreciation for musical experimentation.
About Prashant Bhargava
Prashant Bhargava is an award-winning filmmaker and commercial director/designer. The producer Anthony Bregman has described him as “visionary and soulful,” Roger Ebert has called him “masterful,” and Michael Phillips of The Chicago Tribune has called him “a humanist and a real talent.”
Bhargava's filmmaking builds upon his pioneering work as a commercial director and motion designer. Known for his intricately layered and lush visuals, Bhargava spearheaded over 100 campaigns for HBO, including “The Wire,” “Def Poetry Jam,” “Rome” and “OZ,” and films such as Born into Brothels, John Frankenhiemer’s Path to War, Mira Nair’s Hysterical Blindness, Raoul Peck’s Lumumba, and Denzel Washington’s Antwone Fisher. Bhargava has designed effects sequences for Alex Rivera's feature Sleep Dealer (Berlin, Sundance) and directed music videos and promos for bands and musicians such as Cornershop, Talib Kweli and Missy Elliot. Notable clients include Accenture, NBC, Woolrich, PBS, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Volvo and OMango. He has collaborated with numerous design and production studios including R/GA, Click 3x and Edgeworx. His commercial work has earned recognition by the Broadcast Design Assocation and Adobe.
Bhargava's feature length directorial debut, PATANG (The Kite), weaves together the stories of six people during India's largest kite festival. Defying convention in its process and cinematic language, the film united a community torn apart by religious conflict and natural disaster, starring two of India's finest actors, Seema Biswas and Nawazuddin Siddiqui.
PATANG received rave reviews upon its cinematic release, garnering a rare four-star review from Roger Ebert, who selected chose the film as one of twelve films in his annual EbertFest film festival. The New York Times selected PATANG as a Critic’s Pick, celebrating its “lovely, unforced quality.” Celebrated composer Michael Nyman hailed it as a “masterpiece,” and The Los Angeles Times described it as “reminiscent of Wong Kai Wai.” PATANG premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and in the main competition at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Bhargava’s short film Sangam, described by Greg Tate in The Village Voice as “an elegant and poetic evocation of immigrant angst, memory and haunted spirituality,” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and received awards at the Clermont Ferrand Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival and Short Shorts Asia. Bhargava’s other directorial efforts include Ammaji, the documentary portrait of his grandmother, the experimental Super 8 short Backwaters (Vimeo Staff Pick), and the poignant and meditative Kashmir, a film and live music performance featuring the electronic band Dawn of Midi. Bhargava directed film projections for the politically searing Still Life with Commentator, by Vijay Iyer & Mike Ladd (BAM Next Wave Festival).
Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Bhargava is one of the first South Asians worldwide to emerge from the hip hop movement as a graffiti artist. Bhargava studied computer science at Cornell University and theatrical directing at the Barrow Group and at the Actors Studio MFA program. He has lectured at New York University, Cornell University, Amherst College, UNC Chapel Hill, Stonybrook, Indiana University, University of Chicago and CEDIM. Bhargava was a Copeland Fellow at Amherst College and a New York Foundation of the Arts Fellow in both 1997 and 2012.
About OZ Arts Nashville
As the first 501(c)3 contemporary arts institution in the region, the arrival of OZ Arts has begun to transform the cultural landscape of Nashville. Through a year-round program of performing and visual arts events, OZ supports the creative explorations of leading artists from around the world and inspires curious audiences of all ages. Nashville’s Ozgener family established the non-profit OZ Arts in the building that once housed their cigar company, C.A.O. Under their leadership, OZ has been transformed into a column-free, 10,000 square-foot performance and installation venue nestled amidst artfully landscaped grounds.
In addition to presenting celebrated national and international artists, OZ Arts serves as a catalyst for local creativity. Conceived by OZ Artistic Director Lauren Snelling, TNT (Thursday Night Things) is a monthly series of unexpected collaborations with Nashville-based artists from varying creative disciplines. OZ provides a platform for these artists to create, develop and present a one-time-only event that would traditionally not be seen in a visual art gallery or theatre—utilizing the vast expanse of the Grand Salon, entrance gallery and/or surrounding grounds.
OZ Media Contacts
Nashville press, please contact Amy Atkinson at Amy Atkinson Communications, 615.305.8118 or email@example.com.
National press, please contact Blake Zidell at Blake Zidell & Associates, 718.643.9052 or firstname.lastname@example.org.