Composer Judd Greenstein recently came by the WQXR studios to explain the impetus behind Merkin Concert Hall's first ever Ecstatic Music Festival: an ambitious, 14-concert festival he's created as an experimental model for fostering collaboration among artists of different musical fields. In addition, Greenstein took us on a focused, guided tour through the opening seven-hour marathon (audio above) and the four intriguing January concert pairings (below).
It's rare to find a festival that, over an extended period, captures the spirit of a musical movement and yet still finds room for spontaneity and surprise within that world. Though drawing a festival roster from artists with commonalities of approach, experimentation and playfulness, Greenstein has still found pairings whose collaborative musical outcome is anyone's guess!
Listen to Greenstein-furnished intros to the seven-hour, free Ecstatic Music Festival marathon on January 17 as well as to intros to each distinct, January indie-classical pairing. Check back at the top of February and March for subsequent concert intros.
The Chiara String Quartet, Nico Muhly and Valgeir Sigurðsson (January 19)
So Percussion and Dan Deacon (January 20)
Craig Wedren, Jefferson Friedman and ACME (January 22)
Alarm Will Sound and Face the Music (January 30)