Taking Off with Lisa Bielawa

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This week on The New Canon, composer Lisa Bielawa and conductor Eric Jacobsen join us for a chat about the upcoming world premiere of Bielawa's Tempelhof Etude. Join the conversation in the window below or via Twitter with the hashtag #q2new. Can't wait? Leave your questions in the comments below and we'll address them at the top of the chat.

To most people, going to the airport is about as appealing as getting a root canal or waiting in line at the DMV (I say this with the full conviction of having spent the three days prior to my destination wedding last December stranded in JFK thanks to snow). But lately, some amazing artists have been doing their best to put a positive spin on the places we go to get to other places.

Alain de Botton spent seven days living at Heathrow for his swift and sweet book A Week at the Airport, and on June 20, winsome composer Lisa Bielawa teams up with top-flight ensemble the Knights for the world premiere of Tempelhof Etude, a portion of Bielawa's large-scale work designed for 600 performers on the tarmac of Berlin's retired airport, Tempelhof Broadcast. We have to wait until next September (and jet over to Germany) for the main event, but this free concert at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park is going to be a great sneak-peek.

In honor of that, we're chatting it up with Bielawa and Knights conductor Eric Jacobsen, just a few hours before we get a first listen of Bielawa's new work, talking about compositions that occupy way more than musical spheres. We also hear from their recent collaboration, Chance Encounter, plus several other fresh tracks from Lisa on BMOP Sound and a brand new work recorded by Bruce Levingston.

Lisa Bielawa - Elegy-Portrait