Listen: Star-Studded Opening of Williamsburg's National Sawdust

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Thursday, October 01, 2015

Nico Muhly at National Sawdust opening night on October 1, 2015 Nico Muhly at National Sawdust opening night on October 1, 2015 (David Andrako)

On Thursday, Oct. 1 at 7:30 pm, Q2 Music presented a live webcast of the much-anticipated opening night show of National Sawdust, a century-old sawdust factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn that has been transformed into a 13,000-square-foot venue for classical and contemporary music. WNYC's John Schaefer hosted.

The sold-out opening night concert featured music by National Sawdust creative and executive director Paola Prestini, Nico Muhly, Theo Bleckmann, Tanya Tagaq, Bryce Dessner, Glenn Kotche and Chris Thile.

Founded in 2010 by Kevin Dolan and originally called Original Music Workshop, the venue (at North 6th St. and Wythe Ave.) aims to create an artist-led "place for exploration and discovery [...] where emerging and established artists can share their music with serious music fans and casual listeners alike." Prestini writes on the venue's website that she aspires to "to give other composers and artists the kinds of opportunities that would have helped me when I was in my 20s."

After a multimillion-dollar renovation which saw lead architects Bureau V join with the acoustical firm Arup, National Sawdust is poised to take flight. (Q2 Music was there to stream the venue's Sept. 13, 2012 construction-site concert.)

The first month of programming features multi-night Terry Riley and John Zorn festivals, along with presentations by Beth Morrison Projects, string quartet Brooklyn Rider, jazz vocalist Alicia Hall Moran, American Composers Orchestra's SONiC Festival, and many more. 

Complete Program:

Paola Prestini: Excerpt from Limpopo Songs
   Steve Gosling, piano

Chris Thile: Daughter of Eve
J.S. Bach: Siciliana from Violin Sonata No.1 in G minor, BWV 1001
Thile: Here and Heaven
Bach: Presto from Violin Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001
Traditional: Rabbit on a Log
Thile: Song on a Mandolin
   Chris Thile, mandolin

Paola Prestini: Yoani: "Olivia"
   Eve Gigliotti, vocals; Gyan Riley, guitar; Jeffrey Zeigler, cello

Nico Muhly: Étude No. 3; Drones and Viola (movement 4); Skip Town; Patterns
   Nico Muhly, piano; Nadia Sirota, viola

Philip Glass and Foday Musa Susao: The Orchard from The Screens
   Philip Glass, piano; Jeffrey Zeigler, cello
Foday Musa Suso: Spring Waterfall
   Philip Glass, piano; Foday Musa Suso, kora; Jeffrey Zeigler, cello
Foday Musa Suso: Badinya
   Foday Musa Suso, kora and vocals

G.F. Handel / Theo Bleckmann: "Lascia Ch'Io Pianga"
   Theo Bleckmann, vocals; American Contemporary Music Ensemble; Jacob Cooper, laptop

Glenn Kotche: Stagger On; Projections of (What) Might?
   Glenn Kotche, percussion; Dave Rife, electronics

Tanya Tagaq: Animism improvisation
   Tanya Tagaq, vocals; Jeffrey Zeigler, cellist; Glenn Kotche, percussion; Nels Cline, guitar

Q2 Music is proud to serve as an official radio partner of Williamsburg's National Sawdust.

Engineers: Edward Haber (technical director), George Wellington (music mix), Kristin Mueller (broadcast mxi), Bill Moss (set-up day only)


Philip Glass, Nico Muhly, Paola Prestini, Nadia Sirota and Jeffrey Zeigler

Hosted by:

John Schaefer

Produced by:

Aaron Dalton

Comments [2]

Peter from Chicago

Experienced transmission problems on all devices...was there a problem with the live feed?

Oct. 02 2015 04:25 PM
joan from sarasota

Wish there were a link to add to calendar or to your guest list so we'd get a pop up reminder before the performance. Thanks

Sep. 30 2015 06:40 PM

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