New World Symphony and USC Partnership Culminates in Cross-Disciplinary Performance
On October 1 at the New World Center, Percussion Fellows from the New World Symphony, America's Orchestral Academy (NWS), and students at the University of Southern California's Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation will present the culminating event in a yearlong collaboration that explores classical music in the context of contemporary culture, blending NWS's experimentation and musical expertise with insights from USC Academy students in the areas of design, technology, and cultural trends. The event, titled "Alien Jungle," is divided into three parts: pre-concert audience interaction with percussion instruments; performance of chamber works by Steve Reich (Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices, and Organ), George Crumb (Dream Sequence-Images II), and István Márta (Doll's House Story); and a post-concert reception. "Alien Jungle" begins at 2:45 p.m.
Tickets for the event are $10 and are available online by visiting NWS.edu/AlienJungle.
The collaboration is a joint learning opportunity for Fellows of NWS and students of the Iovine and Young Academy, who work together to create an event that explores intersections between classical music and broader cultural currents, with the goal of offering contemporary audiences new points of entry to the art form. In planning the event, NWS, its Fellows, and USC Academy students collaborated throughout the 2016-17 season, including a trip by USC Academy students to Miami Beach in January 2017 to see the New World Center, learn about its technology, brainstorm ways of integrating this technology into the event, visit and understand the surrounding communities and potential audiences, and meet in-person with NWS Fellows and administrators. USC Academy students will visit Miami Beach again at the end of September to help with the implementation of the final preparations for the event, in which they will participate on Sunday, October 1. The Iovine and Young Academy students leading this project are Serene Boachie, Evan Bovie, Kimari Jones, Nate Stranzi, Ben Taft and Nathan Wallace. Participating NWS Fellows include AnDrew Johnson, Joseph Kelly, Erich Rieppel, John Wilson, Dean Zhang, Dillon Welch, Alexa Ciciretti, Priscilla Rinehart and Autumn Chodorowski.
The USC Iovine and Young Academy and New World Symphony collaboration was one of four connected to an Academy junior-year course, "Discerning and Making." Other industry partners included TOMS Shoes, ViaSat and the USC Kuhn Lab/CancerBase.
The pre-concert portion of the event presents an opportunity for attendees to interact with a xylophone, glockenspiel and marimba and develop an appreciation for these instruments that they will hear in the performance. This hands-on experimentation is enhanced by video projections on the instruments that show participants possible patterns and rhythms to play, and the activities are also captured on video and displayed live in the concert space.
In the one-hour performance to follow, the hall will be transformed into an immersive sensory playground, with the music augmented by theatrical and multimedia elements created by students at the USC Academy, including special lighting, projections, and glowing costumes for the performers. NWS Fellows perform in the center of the room at floor level surrounded by the audience, and NWS Dean of Chamber Music and Fellow Development Michael Linville conducts.
After the performance, NWS Fellows and USC Academy students host a reception in the lobby to answer questions and meet audience members.
Additional information about USC's Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and Business of Innovation can be found at Iovine-Young.USC.edu, and information about the New World Symphony, America's Orchestral Academy, can be found at NWS.edu.