VisionIntoArt Announces Launch of VIA Records
VisionIntoArt (VIA), the non-profit company founded by Brooklyn-based composer Paola Prestini, is pleased to announce the launch of a record label, VIA Records, with three inaugural albums this fall. The formation of the label expands upon VIA's already vast body of work, which, over the last ten years, has included commissioning and producing new music by a wide range of artists. VIA Records will help to broaden the canon of new multimedia works through the commissioning and recording of artists on VIA's roster.
On September 23, the label will release Anna Clyne's The Violin, featuring violinists Cornelius Dufallo and Amy Kauffman; and Prestini's multimedia opera Oceanic Verses, featuring Helga Davis, Hila Plitmann, Christopher Burchett, Claudio Prima and, under the baton of Julian Wachner, the DeCoda orchestra and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street. Then, on November 18, in collaboration with VIA Records, the Innova label releases Something of Life, the debut album from cellist Jeffrey Zeigler. The album features VIA-commissioned music by Glenn Kotche, Gity Razaz and Paola Prestini, as well as new compositions by Philip Glass, Felipe Perez Santiago and John Zorn.
All three albums feature remarkable visuals commissioned by VIA-by Josh Dorman for The Violin, Ali Hossaini for Oceanic Verses, and S. Katy Tucker for Something of Life. The physical package for each release will be a beautiful box designed by Mogollon (Katy Perry, Nelly Furtado), including a DVD with these visuals and a CD with the music. Dorman's, Hossaini's and Tucker's work will also be streamable at www.visionintoart.com and downloadable with online purchases.
Artists featured on The Violin, Oceanic Verses and Something of Life will perform the music in NYC this fall; please see below for details.
The Violin is a collaboration between the acclaimed London-born composer Anna Clyne and New York-based visual artist Josh Dorman. The recording, engineered by Jody Elff at The Orchard in Clintondale, NY, features violinists Amy Kauffman and Cornelius Dufallo performing Clyne's seven compositions, and incorporates layers of sound and fragments of spoken poetry performed by Clyne herself. Stop-motion animations by Dorman vary from abstract to narrative, and incorporate materials such as graphite, tealeaves, paint and collaged paper.
Reviewing a performance co-presented by Original Music Workshop (OMW, of which Prestini is Creative Director) and LMCC last summer as part of the River To River Festival 2013, The New York Times said that "the music was deeply moving," and that Dorman's "gently whimsical films, in which archaic images of people, animals and machines floated through impossible, cloudlike pastel landscapes, complemented the tone of the performance without literally interpreting the music."
The Violin gives audiences an opportunity to hear the cutting-edge work of a composer that Time Out New York has described as "dazzlingly inventive." Clyne's acoustic and electro-acoustic music combines resonant soundscapes with propelling textures that weave, morph, and collide in dramatic explosions. Clyne, who is the Chicago Symphony's Mead Composer-in-Residence through the 2013-14 season, has been championed by some of the world's finest conductors, including Marin Alsop, Pablo Heras-Casado, George Manahan, Jeffrey Milarsky, Riccardo Muti, Alan Pierson, Andre de Ridder, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Osmo Vänskä.
After years working with critically acclaimed new music ensembles ETHEL and Ne(x)tworks, of which he was a founder, Cornelius Dufallo is at the forefront of redefining violin repertoire. Known for his virtuosic work with both acoustic and electric violin, Dufallo has gained praise for the sensitivity and range he brings to the instrument. His compositions and performances are captured in recordings for Mode, Tzadik, Cantaloupe and Innova labels. Amy Kauffman has been a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since 2002. A former member of the Houston and Pittsburgh Symphonies, she holds degrees from Indiana University and Juilliard. She and Dufallo live in Manhattan with their two young children.
Josh Dorman lives and works in New York City, and is represented by Ryan Lee Gallery in New York City, Koplin Del Rio in Los Angeles, and John Martin Gallery in London. His work is in many museum and private collections across the country and has been reviewed in Art News, Art in America, Los Angeles Times, Modern Painters, ArtForum and The New Yorker, and has been written about by acclaimed authors Paul Auster and Nam Le.
On September 18 at 7pm, Kauffman and Dufallo will perform live while excerpts of Dorman's film are shown at Ryan Lee Gallery (515 West 26th Street, NY 10001), where Dorman's solo exhibition Whorled is on view September 4 - October 11. Admission to the performance is free.
Oceanic Verses perfectly reveals Paola Prestini's sensibility as a composer and creator of multimedia productions. The work is an operatic tableau for soloists, chorus and orchestra, with a score that draws on lost songs, rituals and ethnic dialects from the Salento and Sardinian regions of Italy, and combines them with improvisation and contemporary classical music.
Oceanic Verses meditates upon fading civilizations and an ancient environment continually transformed by waves of immigration. Donna Di Novelli's libretto leaps from Prestini's own investigations to four archetypes caught in the clash between past and present. A journey through the folkloric landscape is led by an Archaeologist (improviser and vocalist Helga Davis), whose search for musical artifacts leads her to a Sailor (Italian folksinger and accordionist Claudio Prima), who offers a warning; a Peasant (soprano Hila Plitmann), who offers a meal; and a Soldier (baritone Christopher Burchett), who offers a critique. Along with these principal performers, the album features the 16-piece DeCoda orchestra and the eight-member Choir of Trinity Wall Street, conducted by Julian Wachner.
Oceanic Verses was originally commissioned by Carnegie Hall in 2009 and began with Prestini exploring Italian folk music throughout the ages, from the Salento and Sardinian regions of the county. VIA commissioned the completion of the work, produced by Beth Morrison Projects. It premiered at the Kennedy Center in DC and the River to River Festival in NYC in 2012 and had its UK premiere at the Barbican Centre with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London in 2013. The New York Times described Oceanic Verses as "a sweeping social portrait of southern Italy," and said, "The songs and choral settings are painted in the bright hues and varied rhythms of folk exotica." The Washington Post wrote, "Paola Prestini and her creative team have high ambitions...[and] common sense about what works onstage: characters you can connect to, music that engages," and "The layering of ideas and music knitted together to present something that moves forward with the vitality of the original folk material." The Huffington Post called the work a "stunning multimedia opera," and Opera Pulse heralded it as "an inquisitively progressive piece" and "a gem."
In performance, a film by Ali Hossaini is projected and offers a contemporary perspective on the struggles within the opera through the prism of the characters' emotional states. The sequences are a part of a larger video environment that immerses the opera's players and audience in the multilayered landscape that inspired it. As with The Violin, VIA will make the visuals available digitally.
Oceanic Verses was recorded by Dave Cook at Orange Music Sound Studio in West Orange, NJ, and by David Sheppard at Goldsmiths Music Studios in London. Cook mixed the album at Area 52 Studios in Saugerties, NY.
Helga Davis, Christopher Burchett and Julian Wachner will perform selections from the work during an installation of Ali Hossaini's work on November 20, 7pm at Dillon Gallery (555 W 25th St, New York, NY 10001). Admission is free.
Paola Prestini's compositions have been deemed "radiant"[and] amorously evocative" by The New York Times, which has also hailed "her gift for bringing together disparate artists, technicians and other creative professionals to produce cross- disciplinary works greater than the sum of their parts." Terry Riley has praised her for "music [that] speaks from the heart and inspires," and Osvaldo Golijov has described her compositions as "wrenching and tender and luminous and pure and exuberant: always vivid and always generous."
Something of Life
After eight seasons as a member of the Kronos Quartet, cellist Jeffrey Zeigler is forging a new path as a soloist and collaborative artist. He moves fluidly across style and genre. Zeigler's recent collaborations include such artists as Andy Akiho, Laurie Anderson, Nora Chipaumire, Hauschka, Vijay Iyer, David Krakauer, the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and Kimmo Pohjonen. He has given the world premiers of works written for him by Mohammed Fairouz, Jesse Jones, John King, Glenn Kotche, Gity Razaz and John Zorn.
Something of Life, which Innova releases on November 18, features new works by Philip Glass, Glenn Kotche, Felipe Perez Santiago, Paola Prestini, Gity Razaz and John Zorn with special guest performances by Glenn Kotche, Felipe Perez Santiago and Jason Treuting from So Percussion.
Something of Life is a sonic exploration of human existence. The journey begins with the discovery of a human being through religion and their questions of faith and belief. The album then continues on a path through fantasy, magic, memories and the cosmos before finally being brought back to earth where one must find resolution with their fate.
VIA commissioned "Shadow Lines," by Gity Razaz, and "Something of Life," by Glenn Kotche. Simultaneous with the album release, VIA Records will release short films VIA commissioned from the artist S. Katy Tucker, for two pieces: "Glaub," by Felipe Perez Santiago, and "Listen, Quiet," by Paola Prestini.
Zeigler will perform music from the album November 3 at (Le) Poisson Rouge.
About VisionIntoArt (VIA)
VisionIntoArt (VIA) is a non-profit new music and interdisciplinary production company that creates and develops new work. With the belief that collaboration sustains artistic innovation, VIA creates and commissions works that involve various disciplines, presented around the world for the general audience, and forged from the most exciting emerging and established artists living today.
Established in 1999, VIA was co-founded by Paola Prestini, a composer herself, who wanted to develop a broader platform for the commissioning of new music-driven interdisciplinary work. By supporting new works that brim with artistic and intellectual virtuosity, VIA gives voice to the foremost emerging and established composers and their collaborators. By developing their works through collaboration-through commissions, marketing, contracting, web presence-VIA is creating a successful model for artists to thrive in the 21st century musical ecology while simultaneously cultivating their visions into art.
To date, the company has commissioned, developed, and/or produced more than 50 projects by composers including Terry Riley, John Luther Adams, Du Yun, Kamala Sankaram, Daniel Wohl, Anna Clyne, David T. Little and Paola Prestini, among others.