HOLLANDS, PUBLIQuartet and Amy Khoshbin to Premiere THE SCHEHERAZADE PROJECT at National Sawdust
After being awarded a 2015 Sphinx M Power Artist Grant by the Sphinx Organization and Music Assistance Fund. (MAF), Brooklyn-based rock, punk and folk band HOLLANDS, along with innovative contemporary ensemble PUBLIQuartet, and visual artist Amy Khoshbin are proud to announce the premiere of "The Scheherazade Project" on June 6 at 5PM at National Sawdust (corner of Wythe Ave and North 6th Street in Williamsburg).
A multimedia song cycle inspired by Scheherazade, it was chosen by the New York Electro-Acoustic Music festival (NYCEMF) to debut as a curated concert, co-presented by NYCEMF, National Sawdust and the New York Philharmonic's Biennial Celebration. The project is supported by MAC cosmetics and PUBLIQuartet will be using DPA microphones.
For tickets and more information, visit nationalsawdust.org/event/ny-phil-biennial-new-york-city-electroacoustic-music-festival-concert-4.
"The Scheherazade Project" takes its inspiration from the feminist icon Scheherazade, who crafts well-known folklore to suit her needs, saving her own life as well as the lives of thousands of women from a virgin-killing king in the classical Persian story "One Thousand and One Nights". Re-imagined through a contemporary western "lens", TSP conceives a disillusioned dictator wooed by media stories, slowly immersed into the realm of the screen where "reality" and "fiction" become indiscernible. This special performance is a multimedia collaboration of sight and sound between HOLLANDS, PUBLIQuartet and Amy Khoshbin that integrates rock 'n' roll, and classical music, merging electronic and acoustic genres via original song and improvisations that pay homage to Rimsky-Korsakov's symphonic poem "Scheherazade", accompanied by live storytelling and multi-channel video projections.
Check out a teaser of "The Scheherazade Project."
HOLLANDS will contribute a collection of original songs comprised of vocals, electric/acoustic guitar, and electric violin with amplified acoustic string quartet. PUBLIQuartet will arrange and re-imagine musical ideas, integrating Korsakov's original material mixed with improvisations. Amy Khoshbin will create fantastical imagery, stage-projections with multiple channels/screens, creating a visual landscape with elements from Persian miniature paintings, modern Western media, and original artwork. Keeping within the framework of the original folk tales, The Scheherazade Project incorporates elements of each of the artists' cultural identities represented in a modern visual and sonic context.
According to HOLLANDS and PUBLIQuartet's violinist Jannina Norpoth, "I was inspired to create this project after meeting, and becoming fast friends with artist Amy Khoshbin in a sauna at the Banff, Centre where HOLLANDS was doing an artist residency. I had already hoped to create a collaboration between my ensembles PUBLIQuartet and HOLLANDS and thought Amy would work well with everyone. I wanted to create a platform that would showcase the creativity of each artist, and Scheherazade and the stories of Arabian Nights, as well as Korsakov's tone poem, provided so much material to re-imagine."
Praised for their multi-faceted sound, HOLLANDS (fronted by multi-instrumentalist John-Paul Norpoth, and violinist Jannina Norpoth), has been described as "...provocative poetry sung over instrumentals laid out with such compositional intent." by "Relix Magazine" and a "...cherry mix of folk punk and free noise... breezy melodies and whimsical cuteness.." by Christopher Weingarten of the "Village Voice". They have released two EP's, and their recent debut record, Restless Youth, was profiled by BBC Radio as "...pulsing indie pop that really puts a spring in your step... mixing fun, folk, rock and elements of classical." HOLLANDS has been recognized internationally as one of the six top bands by the Banff Centre in Canada and they completed a two-week artist residency at the Banff Centre working with Canada's DJ Champion.
Dubbed "independent-minded" by "The New Yorker", PUBLIQuartet, featuring (Curtis Stewart, violin; Jannina Norpoth, violin; Nick Revel, viola; and Amanda Gookin, cello), presents creative, interactive programming, and through a deep commitment to audience inclusion, brings a fresh perspective to classical music. Since their inception in 2010, PUBLIQuartet has been dedicated to presenting innovative programs spanning music from the classical repertoire to contemporary works, original compositions, and open-form improvisations that expand the role and techniques for the traditional string quartet. It was recently announced that they will hold the prestigious title of Quartet in Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the 2016-2017 season. Among their many awards include the Concert Artists Guild's "New Music/New Places Ensemble", the "2013 Sylvia Ann Hewlett Adventurous Artist Prize" at the 2013 CAG Victor Elmaleh Competition, and the "2015 CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming", for their outstanding programming of contemporary classical, jazz, and world chamber music. PUBLIQuartet's original program, MIND|THE|GAP, which was heralded as "ingenious hybrids" by "Strad Magazine" and "innovative music making without any condescension or compromise" by music blog "Feast of Music", touches on deeper connections between traditional, modern and contemporary music by juxtaposing compositions from diverse genres through improvisation and group composition. Their commitment to supporting emerging composers inspired the development of their innovative program, PUBLIQ Access. PQA is a genre-independent program designed to promote under-represented music for the string quartet and supports composers at the most formative point in their careers. The quartet has performed in a diverse range of venues from Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center to SubCulture, and the Detroit Institute of Arts and Rockwood Music Hall. They have been presented by such organizations as The American Composers Orchestra, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Queens College, Music of Now Marathon at Symphony Space, and The Under the Radar Festival presented by the Public Theater. PQ recently released their debut album which was produced and engineered by Q2 Radio's Alex Overington and Nadia Sirota.
Amy Khoshbin is an Iranian-American Brooklyn-based visual artist merging performance, video, collage, costume and sound to examine our individual and collective compulsion to create, transform, and sometimes destroy the stories of who we are, who we think we are, and who we think we should be. She produces media and mythologies using humor and a handmade aesthetic to throw a counterpunch at the high-definition, profit-generating codes and signals that American audiences are trained and accustomed to consuming. She has shown her solo and collaborative work at such venues as Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Abrons Arts Center, the Invisible Dog Arts Center, The Stone, Blanton Art Museum, and festivals including River to River, SXSW and MakerFaire. She has attended residencies at The Watermill Center, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Workspace Residency 2014-16, Banff Centre of the Arts, Team Effort! in Glasgow, Scotland, and New York University at the Tisch School of the Arts. She is currently in a SciFi rap group called CAN-D with Michael Clemow. She has also collaborated with artists such as Laurie Anderson, Karen Finley, Tina Barney, and poets Anne Carson & Bob Currie, among others.
For more about the event, go to www.facebook.com/The-Scheherazade-Project-961131313964339. For more on the New York City Electro Acoustic Music Festival, go to nycemf.org. Visit National Sawdust online at nationalsawdust.org. For more about co-presenter NYPhil, click nyphil.org/concerts-tickets/1516/nyc-electroacoustic-music-festival-nyphil-biennial. And visit PUBLIQuartet (www.PUBLIQuartet.com), HOLLANDS (www.HOLLANDSSS.com) and Amy Khoshbin (www.TinyScissors.com) online!