with Ensemble LPR
Thu May 24th, 2018
Minimum Age: 18+
Doors Open: 7:30PM
Show Time: 8:30PM
Event Ticket: $25
Day of Show: $35
LPR X: Thomas Bartlett + Nico Muhly perform Peter Pears: Balinese Ceremonial Music with Ensemble LPR
Using Colin McPhee’s transcriptions of Balinese music as a springboard for their own texturally hypnotic dual piano compositions, Thomas Bartlett and Nico Muhly perform a collection of nine new songs. Colin McPhee, whose music inspired tonight’s performance, was the first composer to seriously study the music of Java and Bali, producing a number of transcriptions for two pianos that reimagined the gamelan for Western ears. In turn, Bartlett and Muhly reimagine McPhee’s transcriptions for the 21st Century, borrowing their mesmerising interlocking patterns for a new collaborative album to be released on Nonesuch Records, Peter Pears: Balinese Ceremonial Music – which they will perform in its entirety tonight. They will be joined by members of Ensemble LPR on strings & percussion.
The record, ten years in the making, was born from Bartlett and Muhly’s shared love of Colin McPhee’s music. McPhee himself was a close friend of Benjamin Britten and his partner Peter Pears – an accomplished musician in his own right, for whom this collaborative project is named.
Thomas Bartlett + Nico Muhly perform Peter Pears: Balinese Ceremonial Music
The live iteration of a highly anticipated collaboration between Thomas Bartlett, also known as Doveman, and contemporary classical composer Nico Muhly kicks off Le Poisson Rogue’s special 10th anniversary music programme. Bartlett and Muhly will perform their forthcoming record Peter Pears: Balinese Ceremonial Music (Nonesuch Records) in its entirety.
Ten years in the making, this recording was born from a love of Colin McPhee’s (1900-1964) transcriptions of Balinese ceremonial music for two pianos. The dual pianos translate the complicated overlapping patterns of gamelan music into a stylised, Western approximation. McPhee lived, in 1940, with the composer Benjamin Britten, his partner Peter Pears, W.H. Auden and other artists.
McPhee and Britten recorded the suite in 1941, and while the recording’s audio quality is dated, it is evocative and points towards the music Britten wrote before his death in 1976. Bartlett and Muhly decided to write a set of nine songs loosely based on the textures and interlocking rhythms from McPhee’s transcriptions, as well as the various resonant sounds from Balinese music, but consolidated into their own stylised processes.
The project is named after Peter Pears, who, in addition to being Britten’s partner, was an observer and collaborator not just of Britten, but of a larger community of musicians, writers, and thinkers.
Thomas and Nico have both been frequent contributors to Le Poisson Rouge and we are delighted to welcome them back for this very special 10th Anniversary show where they will be joined by members of Ensemble LPR on strings and percussion.
Named after and headquartered at the acclaimed New York City venue Le Poisson Rouge, Ensemble LPR is an assemblage of New York’s finest musicians. The group personifies the venue’s commitment to aesthetic diversity and artistic excellence.
Ensemble LPR performs an eclectic spectrum of music—from works by the finest living composers, to compelling interpretations of the standard repertoire—and collaborates with distinguished artists from classical and non-classical backgrounds: Timo Andres, Simone Dinnerstein, San Fermin, Daniel Hope, Taka Kigawa, Jennifer Koh, Mica Levi, David Longstreth (of Dirty Projectors), John Lurie, Ursula Oppens, Max Richter, André de Ridder, Christopher Rountree and Fred Sherry, to name a few.
In January 2015 Ensemble LPR made its Deutsche Grammophon debut with Follow, Poet, featuring the music of Mohammed Fairouz and the words of Seamus Heaney and John F. Kennedy. Ensemble LPR’s acclaimed Central Park performance last June, part of the 110th Anniversary of the Naumburg Orchestral Concerts.
In 2008 Le Poisson Rouge changed the classical music landscape, creating a new environment in which to experience art music. In doing so, Le Poisson Rouge expanded classical music listenership. The New York Times has heralded Le Poisson Rouge as “[a] forward-thinking venue that seeks to showcase disparate musical styles under one roof” and “[the] coolest place to hear contemporary music.” The Los Angeles Times raves, “[The] place isn’t merely cool…the venue is a downright musical marvel.” Le Poisson Rouge Co-Founder David Handler brings this same ethos to Ensemble LPR, of which he is Founding Executive & Artistic Director.