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New Concerts Announced From National Sawdust's DIGITAL DISCOVERY FESTIVAL

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New Concerts Announced From National Sawdust's DIGITAL DISCOVERY FESTIVAL

National Sawdust's physical doors are still closed but, thanks to a generous grant from the Alphadyne Foundation, the mission of providing artists the resources and support they need to create and present new work continues with the Digital Discovery Festival, featuring over 100 artists from May through August. All past and present Digital Discovery Festival events are accessible on the newly-constructed Live@NationalSawdust website, as well as on Facebook Live, entirely free of charge.

Since its inception in late April, the Festival has released several free-to-watch events each week, including at least one newly-released full-length Archival Concert, two 30-minute taped-from-the-artist's-home Discovery Performances that showcase emerging artists in concert, and a performance-based Masterclass with an established artist discussing their pandemic experience and their vision for the future. Following their premiere dates, all events are readily accessible on the newly-constructed Live@NationalSawdust website, as well as on Facebook Live. Both sources also house videos from all the previous week's events.

All participating Discovery and Masterclass artists are paid $1000 per performer for each 30-minute event and receive gifts of relevant audio-visual equipment and livestream training to better prepare them for the immediate realities and future of the post-COVID live music world. In keeping with National Sawdust's reputation for the highest-quality A/V experience in our concert hall, the venue's staff provides strong oversight for sound and lighting and commercial-level post-production finishing. No other American music venue is currently providing this level of artistic financial support and polished content.

Information about upcoming and already available events follows. National Sawdust is currently seeking media support for individual performances and for the entirety of the Digital Discovery Festival. Please contact to inquire about high-resolution artist and venue images, exclusive embeddable clips from aired events, and opportunities for artist and curator interviews.

Friday, July 3 - First Airing at 1PM


Stream at Live@NationalSawdust
Join us for a Masterclass conversation-performance hosted by vocalist Helga Davis and National Sawdust co-founder Paola Prestini who will be joined by composer, singer, bandleader and recording artist Ted Hearne to discuss the first workshop showing of his new multimedia piece Agnes in the Graveyard. Acclaimed for making audacious, politically acute music for our time that traverses boundaries of style and discipline, composer and singer Ted Hearne has been heralded for producing "some of the most expressive socially engaged music in recent memory" (Pitchfork).

Monday, July 6 - Available at Noon

IN SITU: Miyamoto is Black Enough

Archival Release - First Performed in March 2018
Stream at Live@NationalSawdust
Miyamoto is Black Enough is a collaborative exploration of meaning and conversation, based on Ariana Miyamoto, a Japanese national who grew up as a self-described mixed race "hafu," the child of an African American father and Japanese mother. After winning Miss Universe Japan 2015, many Japanese expressed concern at her lack of "pure" parentage-that she was not Japanese enough. In Miyamoto is Black Enough, a contemporary band that boasts two hafu of their own-a Trinidadian-Brooklynite Black man, and an Irish/Finnish/Swedish hip-hop influenced drummer-Miyamoto is certainly Black enough. Three remarkable artists (minus the collective's drummer Sean Dixon, who contributed to the piece) form the cohort that makes this project possible: Andy Akiho as composer and performer on his trademark steel pans; Roger Bonair-Agard with poetry and spoken word and Jeffrey Zeigler as cellist.

Tuesday, July 7 - First Airing at 6PM


Stream at Live@NationalSawdust
Join us for a Digital Discovery concert with the multi-talented cellist Andrew Yee, a founding member of the award-winning Attaca Quartet. Yee will perform works by new music composers Ernst Reijseger, Mingjia Chen, Caroline Shaw, and past National Sawdust Hildegard Competition winner, inti figgis-vizueta. Cellist Andrew Yee has been praised by Michael Kennedy of the London Telegraph as "spellbindingly virtuosic." Trained at the Juilliard School, they are a founding member of the internationally acclaimed Attacca Quartet who have released several albums to critical acclaim including Lee's arrangement of Haydn's "Seven Last Words" which praised as "... easily the most satisfying string version of the work that I've heard." They were the quartet-in-residence at the Met Museum in 2014, and have won the Osaka and Coleman international string quartet competitions. Their recording of the string quartets of Caroline Shaw won a Grammy for best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble performance.

Friday, July 10 - First Airing at 1PM


Stream at Live@NationalSawdust
Join us for a Masterclass conversation-performance hosted by vocalist Helga Davis and National Sawdust co-founder Paola Prestini who will be joined by the acclaimed violinist Lara St. John. St John has been an outspoken advocate for victims of sexual abuse in the music conservatory world. As part of this event St. John will perform works by Bach and composer activist Melissa Dunphy. Canadian-born violinist Lara St. John has been described as "something of a phenomenon" by The Strad and a "high-powered soloist" by The New York Times. She has performed as soloist with the orchestras of Cleveland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Belgrade, Amsterdam, the Royal Philharmonic, among many others. Recitals in major concert halls have included New York, Boston, San Francisco, Washington, Prague, Berlin, Toronto, Montreal, Bogotá, Lima and the Forbidden City. Lara manages her own label, Ancalagon, which she founded in 1999. Her Mozart recording won a Juno Award in 2011. In 2014, her Schubert album, with harpist Marie-Pierre Langlamet, cellist Ludwig Quandt and soprano Anna Prohaska, was chosen as one of the "Best CDs of Spring" by Der Tagesspiegel. Her 2016 release of re-imagined folk music, with pianist Matt Herskowitz, earned a five-star review from All About Jazz.

Monday, July 13


Stream at Live@NationalSawdust
This solo set from Angélica Negrón - composer, performer, band member with the group Balun and National Sawdust Artist in Residence for the 2018/2019 National Sawdust season - showcases her ambient work with a set of original electronic songs with Negrón on vocals. Negrón focuses on her more esoteric and technically daunting work here, including bioelectric music through plant life and support from unique video visuals.

Tuesday, July 14 - First Airing at 6PM

Dan Tepfer

Stream at Live@NationalSawdust
Join us for our first LIVE edition of Digital Discovery concert featuring the pianist, composer, and coder Dan Tepfer. One of his generation's extraordinary talents, Dan Tepfer has earned an international reputation as a pianist-composer of wide-ranging ambition, individuality and drive - one "who refuses to set himself limits" (France's Télérama). Tepfer has performed around the world with some of the leading lights in jazz and classical music; he has also crafted a discography striking for its breadth and depth, encompassing probing solo improvisation and intimate duets, as well as trio albums rich in their rhythmic verve, melodic allure and the leader's keen-eared taste in songs no matter the genre.

Thursday, July 16 - First Airing at 6PM


Stream at Live@NationalSawdust
Join us for a Digital Discovery concert with composer and performer Molly Joyce. Joyce will present five self-composed songs, including one from her forthcoming sophomore album on July 16. The accompanying visuals feature closed captioning. Composer and performer Molly Joyce's music has been described as "serene power" (The New York Times), written to "superb effect" (The Wire), and "impassioned" (The Washington Post). Her work is primarily concerned with disability as a creative source. She has an impaired left hand from a previous car accident, and the primary vehicle in her pursuit is her electric vintage toy organ, an instrument she bought on eBay which suits her body and engages her disability on a compositional and performative level. Her debut full-length album, Breaking and Entering, featuring toy organ, voice, and electronic sampling of both sources will be released in June 2020 on New Amsterdam Records, and has been praised by New Sounds as "a powerful response to something (namely, physical disability of any kind) that is still too often stigmatized, but that Joyce has used as a creative prompt."

Friday, July 17 - First Airing at 1PM


Stream at Live@NationalSawdust
Join us for a Masterclass conversation-performance hosted by vocalist Helga Davis and composer and National Sawdust co-founder Paola Prestini who will be joined by the AI-inspired Irish composer Jennifer Walshe, exploring the topic of how our rapidly advancing technological future is poised to shift the way we listen to and create music. "The most original compositional voice to emerge from Ireland in the past 20 years" (The Irish Times) and "Wild girl of Darmstadt" (Frankfurter Rundschau), composer and performer Jennifer Walshe was born in Dublin, Ireland. Her music has been commissioned, broadcast and performed all over the world. She has been the recipient of fellowships and prizes from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York; the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm, the Internationales Musikinstitut, Darmstadt and Akademie Schloss Solitude among others. Recent projects include Aisteach, a fictional history of avant-garde music in Ireland; EVERYTHING IS IMPORTANT, a work for voice, string quartet and film commissioned by the Arditti Quartet; and TIME TIME TIME, an opera written in collaboration with the philosopher Timothy Morton, which has been touring to critical acclaim. ALL THE MANY PEOPLS, her second solo album, was released on Migro Records in May 2019. Walshe is currently Professor of Experimental Performance at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Stuttgart.

Friday, July 24 - First Airing at 1PM


Stream at Live@NationalSawdust
Join us for a Masterclass conversation-performance hosted by vocalist Helga Davis and composer and National Sawdust co-founder Paola Prestini, who will be joined by the extraordinary organist Cameron Carpenter. Carpenter will perform a short live piece by Bach on his self-built spectacular digital organ and discuss the role of patterns in his musical thinking. Cameron Carpenter is already leaving his mark on recent music history. Ever since the completion of his own instrument, the International Touring Organ (ITO) in 2014, Cameron defies initial skepticism towards this digital instrument and established the ITO on the world's most prestigious stages. By now, he almost exclusively performs on the ITO, be it in recital or concerto appearances. This tailor-made instrument, based on Carpenter's own plans, allows him to perform at almost any location worldwide. Thus far, he has taken it on tour to Australia, New Zealand, Russia and Asia in addition to numerous appearances around Europe and the US. Cameron's latest album, Rachmaninoff & Poulenc, is a live recording with the Berlin Konzerthaus Orchestra released in April 2019 on Sony Classical. It is the follow-up to All You Need Is Bach, which topped the Billboard Classical charts at #1 in the USA and on the European charts upon its release in 2016.

Thursday, July 30 - First Airing at 6PM


Stream at Live@NationalSawdust
Join us for a Digital Discovery concert with the versatile percussionist Sae Hashimoto. A rising star on the avant-garde scene, Hashimoto has premiered new works by John Zorn, performed with the New York Philharmonic and the Met Opera. This Juilliard graduate will present a program of contemporary works, including pieces by composers such as Edmund Campion, Pierre Jodliowski, and Christopher Deane. Sae Hashimoto is a percussionist based in New York City who is a passionate advocate for contemporary music. She has served as guest timpanist with the New York Philharmonic and has performed off-stage at the Metropolitan Opera. She is currently the principal timpanist of the New Jersey-based orchestra Symphony in C. In 2014, she gave the world premiere of Robin de Raaff's Percussion Concerto. In 2017, she premiered two works by John Zorn for solo vibraphone and improvised rhythm section, which is featured on The Interpretation of Dreams (Tzadik).

Thursday, August 6 - First Airing at 6PM


Stream at Live@NationalSawdust
Join us for a Digital Discovery concert with Tesla Quartet, who will perform works from their "Alternating Currents" commissioning project, in which Tesla selected 12 freelance composers whose work has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic to write short works for string quartet. Praised for their "superb capacity to find the inner heart of everything they play, regardless of era, style, or technical demand" (The International Review of Music), the Tesla Quartet brings refinement and prowess to both new and established repertoire. Dubbed "technically superb" by The Strad, the Tesla Quartet has won top prizes in numerous international competitions, most recently taking Second Prize as well as the Haydn Prize and Canadian Commission Prize at the 12th Banff International String Quartet Competition. In 2018, the Tesla Quartet released its debut album of Haydn, Ravel, and Stravinsky quartets on the Orchid Classics label to critical acclaim. BBC Music Magazine awarded the disc a double 5-star rating and featured it as the "Chamber Choice" for the month of December. Gramophone praised the quartet for its "tautness of focus and refinement of detail." Their second disc on the Orchid Classics label, a collaboration with clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein featuring quintets by Mozart, Finzi, John Corigliano and Carolina Heredia, was released in 2019.

Friday, August 14 - First Airing at 1PM


Stream at Live@NationalSawdust
Join us for a Masterclass conversation-performance hosted by vocalist Helga Davis and composer and National Sawdust co-founder Paola Prestini who will be joined by the interdisciplinary sculptor, inventor and experimental composer Trimpin. The German-born MacArthur 'Genius Award" winner will join us from his new home studio for a Masterclass performance and conversation on the nature and aims of innovation Trimpin is a German-born composer and sound artist who has lived and worked in Seattle since 1979. His sound sculptures, installations and set designs have been commissioned by artists as diverse as Merce Cunningham, Samuel Beckett and the Kronos Quartet. These works have been exhibited locally, nationally and internationally at spaces including the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, Circulo De Bellas Artes in Madrid and the LOGOS Foundation in Ghent. Trimpin's awards include the MacArthur Foundation's "Genius Award" and a Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as residencies at numerous art centers, universities and colonies.

Monday, August 17 - Available at Noon

Huang Ruo's Sonic Great Wall

Stream at Live@NationalSawdust
What does a "wall" mean to you, and how can we break down barriers? Sonic Great Wall is a sonic, spatial, visual, and participatory project by composer Huang Ruo that explores new music for new audiences. The ancient Great Wall of China is one of the world's earliest and largest communication projects. Inspired by that Great Wall, Sonic Great Wall uses new music to reach, connect, and engage audiences with performers. The performance-installation piece is redesigned for each site at which it is performed. Inspired by the Great Wall's structure, "watchtowers" are created as mini-stages for the performers, with connecting "walls" made of audience members seated on benches or rows of chairs facing one another. Performers move between the watchtowers throughout the piece, while audiences are invited to participate in sound-making through humming, breathing, whispering, and other simple effects, representing the spirits guarding the Great Wall. Audiences are also invited to whisper poems themed around ideas of death, life, love, earth, fire, water, light, connection, and silence, which are crowd-sourced in advance of the performance.

Tuesday, August 18 - First Airing at 6PM


Stream at Live@NationalSawdust
Join us for a Digital Discovery Concert with composer and pianist Conrad Tao, called "one of classical music's faces to watch" and a musician of "probing intellect and open-hearted vision" by The New York Times. This Warner Classics artist finds a welcome showcase for his considerable talent presenting a program featuring John Adam's China's Gate and a series of original improvisations. Conrad Tao has appeared worldwide as a pianist and composer, and has been dubbed a musician of "probing intellect and open-hearted vision" by The New York Times, who also cited him "one of five classical music faces to watch" in the 2018-19 season. Tao is a recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, and was named a Gilmore Young Artist - an honor awarded every two years highlighting the most promising American pianists of the new generation.

Thursday, August 27 - First Airing at 6PM


Stream at Live@NationalSawdust
Hailed as "the future of chamber music" (Strings), the veteran string quartet Brooklyn Rider presents eclectic repertoire and gripping performances that continue to draw rave reviews from classical, world, and rock critics alike. NPR credits Brooklyn Rider with "recreating the 300-year-old form of string quartet as a vital and creative 21st-century ensemble."

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