American Composers Orchestra Announces Release of Its 4th Album, ORCHESTRA UNDERGROUND: A-V
New York, NY - American Composers Orchestra (ACO) announces the release of its fourth digital album, an all music-video release entitled Orchestra Underground: A-V, streaming free of charge on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/channels/orchestraunderground. This new album (the A-V stands for "audio-visual") is the first of its kind for ACO, and features the orchestra in multimedia works by some of today's leading composers and film artists - Margaret Brouwer with Kasumi inBreakdown (2008); Sebastian Currier with Pawel Wojtasik in Next Atlantis (2009); and Michael Gandolfi with Ean White in As Above (2005).
Orchestra Underground: A-V is released in celebration of the tenth anniversary of Orchestra Underground, ACO's exploration of the orchestra as an elastic ensemble that can respond to composers' unhindered creativity. For a decade, Orchestra Underground has challenged notions about what an orchestra is, embracing new technology, eclectic instruments and influences, altered spatial orientation, new experiments in concert format, and the kind of interdisciplinary collaborations seen and heard on this album. Since the opening of Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall's subterranean state-of-the-art auditorium after which the series is named, Orchestra Underground has played to sold-out audiences, bringing to life nearly 100 world premieres and newly commissioned works. The works here represent the many new video/orchestra pairings born of Orchestra Underground in its first decade.
As unified as the works are individually, the collection is stunning in the range of themes, sounds, and aesthetics it offers. Each work on this album is an integrated whole - the impact of the audio-visual experience being much more than the sum of its parts.
Breakdown, by Brouwer and Kasumi, is a sample-based hybrid opera in one act created entirely in a highly collaborative partnership between the composer and video artist - the music and visual images were interrelated from the very beginning of the process. Breakdown was commissioned and premiered by ACO in 2008, and was a 2010 Vimeo Awards Remix Winner. A mash-up of thousands of public domain samples, Breakdown explores issues of power and corruption, and mass deception of the public.
Next Atlantis, by Sebastian Currier with video by Pawel Wojtasik, was commissioned and premiered by ACO in 2009 and addresses the interaction between human culture and nature. The watery world featured in the visual images is New Orleans and the surrounding bayou, which flows into the Gulf of Mexico. Currier says, "I've always loved the sound of water and have had in mind for some time to write a piece that wove water sounds into a musical fabric. And here the sound of water is especially poignant, because for New Orleans water is both the life-blood of the city and its potential destroyer."
As Above, by Michael Gandolfi with video by Ean White, was given its New York premiere by ACO in 2005. As Above is a diptych featuring two sections - Touch, featuring natural images and a musical structure based on fractal processes, and Electric, which explores more urban imagery and incorporates rock harmonies, blues lines, and Caribbean-inflected rhythms.
Orchestra Underground: A-V follows the March 2011 release of ACO's inaugural digital album, Playing It UNsafe, the February 2012 release of Emerging Composers Series: Vol. 1, and the June 2012 release of Orchestra Underground: X10D. By making available never-before-recorded orchestral music, ACO goes beyond the concert hall, reaching new listeners and gaining greater exposure and visibility for the composers it showcases on its recordings.
American Composers Orchestra: www.americancomposers.org
Margaret Brouwer: www.margaretbrouwer.com | Kasumi: www.kasumivideoart.com
Sebastian Currier: www.sebastiancurrier.com | Pawel Wojtasik: www.pawelwojtasik.com
Michael Gandolfi: www.michaelgandolfi.com | Ean White: www.incendiaryarts.org