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FIVE BOROUGHS MUSIC FESTIVAL Presents Premiere of TERRA NOVA

Terra Nova is inspired by a range of ambitious, gritty (and sometimes naïve, cruel, and myopic) explorers.

FIVE BOROUGHS MUSIC FESTIVAL Presents Premiere of TERRA NOVA

Five Boroughs Music Festival, Brooklyn Public Library, and the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art at Snug Harbor present the New York and digital premieres of Terra Nova, a new concert-length song cycle created by the members of composer-collective Oracle Hysterical and performed in collaboration with the contemporary mixed-instrument quartet Hub New Music.

Commissioned by Hub New Music and Five Boroughs Music Festival, Terra Nova is inspired by a range of ambitious, gritty (and sometimes naïve, cruel, and myopic) explorers, comprising songs that are by turns darkly ironic, heartrending, and straight-up fun (and occasionally a confounding mix of all three), coalescing into a powerful experience of both text and music.

The New York premiere takes place outdoors on Saturday, May 15, 2021 at 4:00pm at Brooklyn Public Library on Grand Army Plaza and the ensemble will record the cycle the next day at the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art at Snug Harbor in Staten Island for digital world premiere co-produced by the Newhouse Center on Thursday, June 17, 2021 at 7:30pm ET.

Among its songs is a playful setting of John James Audubon's descriptions of wood warblers by Brad Balliett; Dylan Greene's depiction of the pre-Columbian exploration of North America by Chinese mariners; a melancholy view from Amelia Earhart's cockpit by Majel Connery; Elliot Cole's haunting setting of Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott's final letter home; Doug Balliet's tension-filled spoken-and-sung cantata depicting the ill-fated king Agamemnon's reunion with Clytemnestra; plus many more. These adventurers, captivated by unchartered territory, share an often combustible mix of guts, ego, greed, and unwavering determination, their discoveries ranging from the beautiful to the terrible.

Both the Brooklyn Public Library on Grand Army Plaza and the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art at Snug Harbor share deep connections with the musical material. Terra Nova will be in its element on the grounds of the library, one of the city's great monuments to the printed word, whose collection contains all of the texts that inspired these new works. The Newhouse Center, by contrast, shares in the songs' spirit and history; now a museum for contemporary art, it was once a dormitory for sailors, with frescoed walls that still read "Rest after dangerous Toil," a 188-year-old space, existing then and now for intrepid explorers and explorations.

Learn more at https://5bmf.org/events/terra-nova/.


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