A beloved addition to the NYC festival circuit, the multi-dimension and ultra-collaborative Ecstatic Music Festival kicks off this Friday. Q2 Music is its proud digital partner, and this week on Hammered!, to get into the mood, we not only survey music from the festival's composers, musicians and ensembles, but more generally embrace all things ecstatic.
Quite the mixed bag on Monday's show, a trait emblematic of the festival's diverse offerings: two live performances from previous Ecstatic shows, one by composer / pianist Timothy Andres, the other by Bang On A Can All-Star Vicky Chow, who performs a piano and electronics work by Daniel Wohl, who you can hear in February in his collaboration with the TRANSIT Ensemble. You'll also hear music from festival curator, and composer extraordinaire, Judd Greenstein.
Rounding out the hour we have another featured ensemble, the JACK Quartet (who joins forces in this year's festival with Steven Mackey and Rinde Eckert). The quartet is joined in this recording by pianist Aki Takahashi in the extraordinary piano quintet of Iannis Xenakis called Akea.
Much other "ecstatic" music will be heard throughout the week, including festival-inspired offerings like performances from Simone Dinnerstein and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), but also more generally ecstatic music of Olivier Messiaen, Nathan Davis and Alexander Scriabin.
On Friday, however, we divert from our regularly scheduled programming to feature two birthday boys: Witold Lutoslawski, who would have been 100 years old on Friday, January 25; and Henri Dutilleaux, who turns 97 on Tuesday, January 22.
Happy birthday to two giants of the contemporary music world.