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Soundlines at NYU Skirball

  • Skirball Center for the Performing Arts 566 LaGuardia Place New York, NY, 10012 United States (map)
Photo: Digitice Media Team

Photo: Digitice Media Team

Program: 
George Lewis: Soundlines: A Dreaming Track
George Lewis: P. Multitudinis

International Contemporary Ensemble returns to NYU Skirball following its critically acclaimed, sold-out run of the whisper opera in 2018 with Soundlines, a program featuring two premieres by composer and MacArthur Fellow George Lewis. The program, performed on both October 18th and October 19th at 7:30pm, will feature the NYC premiere of Lewis’ Soundlines: A Dreaming Track and the U.S. premiere of P. Multitudinis.

Building on a decade of collaborative work, the International Contemporary Ensemble, George Lewis, Steven Schick, and Jim Findlay present Soundlines, a monodrama in the style of a radio play that explores and confronts the relationships between self, identity, and personal journeys within complex social constructs. As a musical interpretation of percussionist Steven Schick’s journal documenting his 700-mile walk from the US-Mexico border to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006, the work traverses space in order to transmit an introspective narrative. Soundlines: A Dreaming Track features a chamber ensemble of seven instruments and an array of digitally spatialized multichannel electronics.

P. Multitudinis, a musical epic that relies on intricate and wordless forms of group communication will, alternately, subsume and reveal the personal within the power of the collective. The work's title, text, ethics, movement trajectories, and musical methodologies all derive from Spinoza’s notion of potentia multitudinis, presented in his 1677 Tractatus Politicus, published posthumously and later banned: “The right of a commonwealth is determined by the power of a people that is guided as though by a single mind. But this union of minds could in no way be conceived unless the chief aim of the commonwealth is identical with that which sound reason teaches us is for the good of all men.”

Performances and commissioning activities during the 2018-19 concert season are made possible by the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, Booth Ferris Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Jerome Foundation, A.N. and Pearl G. Barnett Family Foundation, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, Amphion Foundation, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Pacific Harmony Foundation, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, The Casement Fund, BMI Foundation, as well as public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council for the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. Yamaha Artist Services New York is the exclusive piano provider for ICE.