American Composers Orchestra coLABoratory: Judith Shatin’s Black Moon A Groundbreaking R & D Lab for New Music, Workshop FREE & Open to the Public Saturday, March 5, 2016 at 2pm

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American Composers Orchestra
coLABoratory: Judith Shatin’s Black Moon
A Groundbreaking R & D Lab for New Music

Workshop FREE & Open to the Public
Saturday, March 5, 2016 at 2pm
The DiMenna Center for Classical Music (450 W 37th St. | NYC)
Reservations are recommended and can be made online at

New York, NY –On Saturday, March 5, 2016 at 2pm, American Composers Orchestra (ACO) presents the next installment of coLABoratory, the world’s first and only Research and Development lab for experimental new music, at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music (450 W 37th St). At coLABoratory: Judith Shatin’s Black Moon, composer Judith Shatin will be joined by Music Director George Manahan and members of ACO will begin the process of developing and workshopping a new piece for conductor-controlled electronics and orchestra. In the new piece, Shatin will be utilizing Kinect, a motion-sensing input device commonly used in Xbox video-gaming systems. In the new piece, the composer uses the Kinect to analyze the conductor’s motions, then send the data to a computer that is programmed to generate electronic sounds that respond to the conductor and musicians in real time. Shatin’s work-to-date with this technology will be demonstrated through a musical sketch entitled Red Moon with the conductor and a quintet of players from ACO. This laboratory-workshop reveals the developmental process the composer is undertaking with ACO in preparation for the world premiere of Black Moon by ACO on October 28, 2016 at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall. Another of Shatin’s musical works, For The Birds for amplified cello and electronics with birdsong, will also be performed. The lab-workshop begins at 2pm, followed by a hands-on demonstration for audience members, allowing those in attendance to interact with the Kinect and computer-controlled electronics. Watch Judith test the Kinect for her earlier piece Being In Time.

coLABoratory is a high tech incubator where composers bring fantastic new ideas to ACO that are workshopped, refined and developed into new works over the course of a season, before they are premiered by ACO at Carnegie Hall. coLABoratory is unusual in that it does away with the expectations often associated with orchestral premieres that can squelch composers’ creative impulses – limited rehearsal time, restrictive instrumental possibilities, pre-conceived programmatic or thematic ideas for concerts – and most importantly, the overwhelming pressure on composers to do something “safe.” coLABoratory alters the orchestral landscape by treating the creation of a new work as an interactive and collaborative process, rather than just the delivery of a musical “product.”

Participants in past installments of ACO’s coLABoratory include a concerto for junked car and orchestra (Sean Friar’s Clunker Concerto); collaborations with lighting designers (Laura Schwendinger’s Shadings); new levels of orchestral improvisation (Henry Threadgill’s No Gates, No White Trenches, Butterfly Effect); hybrid orchestration of laptop computers and acoustic instruments (Dan Trueman’s silicon/carbon (an anti-Concerto Grosso)); sound paintings for voice, electronics and unorthodox spatial arrangements of the orchestra (Joan La Barbara’s In solitude this fear is lived); multimedia work with live computer illustration, electronics and orchestra (Anna Clyne’s TENDER HOOKS); an acoustic exploration of “frozen point” of orchestral sound (Du Yun’s Slow Portraits); what happens when a composer becomes a filmmaker (Troy Herion’s New York City Symphony); an investigation of latency through musicians playing via videoconferencing (Raymond J. Lustig’s Latency Canons); the addition of non-orchestral instruments (Judith Sainte Croix’s Vision V); and the creation of new instruments from obsolete analog technology (Dan Visconti’s Glitchscape). All particpants have been selected from a national search for their willingness to experiment and stretch their own musical sensibilities, and their ability to test the limits of the orchestra. coLABoratory grew out of ACO’s ongoing mission to commission and perform new music that expands the range of possibilities for – and challenges conventional notions about – orchestral music.

About Judith Shatan

Judith Shatin is a composer and sound artist whose musical practice engages our social, cultural, and physical environments. She draws on expanded instrumental palettes and a cornucopia of the sounding world, from machines in a deep coal mine, to the calls of animals, the shuttle of a wooden loom, a lawnmower racing up a lawn, the ripping of tape. Timbral exploration and dynamic narrative design are fundamental to her compositional design, while collaboration with musicians, artists and community groups are central to her musical life.

Shatin’s music has been commissioned by organizations including the Barlow and Fromm Foundations, the McKim Fund of the Library of Congress, the Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Arts Partners Program, Music-at-LaGesse Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Virginia State Arts Council. It has been featured at festivals including Aspen, BAM Next Wave, Grand Teton, Havana in Spring, Moscow Autumn, Network for New Music, Seal Bay, Ukraine, Soundways (St. Petersburg) and West Cork, while orchestras that have presented her music include the Chesapeake, Denver, Houston, Illinois, Knoxville, National, Minnesota and Richmond Symphonies. Shatin has held residencies at Bellagio (Italy), Brahmshaus (Germany), Stiftung Dr. Robert und Lina Thyll-Dürr, Casa Zia Lina (Italy), La Cité des Arts (France), Mishkan Omanim (Israel) and in the US at MacDowell, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Yaddo.

Educated at Douglass College (AB, Phi Beta Kappa; studied with Robert Moevs), The Juilliard School (MM, Abraham Ellstein Prize; studied with Hall Overton, Otto Luening and Milton Babbitt) and Princeton University (MFA, PhD; studied with Milton Babbitt and JK Randall), Judith Shatin is William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor and Founding Director of the Virginia Center for Computer Music at the University of Virginia. She has been honored with four Composer Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as awards from the American Music Center, Meet the Composer, the New Jersey State Arts Council and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. A two-year retrospective of her music, and the commission for her evening-length folk oratorio, COAL, was sponsored by the Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Arts Partners Program. Shatin’s music is published by Arsis Press, C.F. Peters, Colla Voce, Hal Leonard, E.C. Schirmer, G.Schirmer and Wendigo Music. It can be heard on the Centaur, Innova, Neuma, New World, Ravello and Sonora labels, and is featured in Women of Influence in Contemporary Music, Nine American Composers (Scarecrow Press). Long an advocate for her fellow composers, Shatin has served on the boards of the American Composers Alliance, the League/ISCM, and the International Alliance for Women in Music (IAWM) and as President of American Women Composers Inc.; she currently serves on the National Council of the Atlantic Center for the Arts. In demand as a master teacher, she has been BMI composer-in-residence at Vanderbilt University, Master Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and Senior Composer at the Wellesley Composers Conference, among many others.

About ACO

Now in its 38th season, American Composers Orchestra is the only orchestra in the world dedicated to the creation, performance, preservation, and promulgation of music by American composers. ACO makes the creation of new opportunities for American composers and new American orchestral music its central purpose. Through concerts at Carnegie Hall and other venues, recordings, internet and radio broadcasts, educational programs, New Music Readings, and commissions, ACO identifies today’s brightest emerging composers, champions prominent established composers as well as those lesser-known, and increases regional, national, and international awareness of the infinite variety of American orchestral music, reflecting geographic, stylistic, and temporal diversity. ACO also serves as an incubator of ideas, research, and talent, as a catalyst for growth and change among orchestras, and as an advocate for American composers and their music.

To date, ACO has performed music by more than 700 American composers, including nearly 300 world premieres and newly commissioned works. Among the orchestra’s innovative programs have been SONiC: Sounds of a New Century, a nine-day citywide festival in New York of music by more than 100 composers age 40 and under; Sonidos de las Américas, six annual festivals devoted to Latin American composers and their music; Coming to America, a program immersing audiences in the ongoing evolution of American music through the work of immigrant composers; Orchestra Tech, a long-term initiative to integrate new digital technologies in the symphony orchestra; Improvise!, a festival devoted to the exploration of improvisation and the orchestra; coLABoratory: Playing It UNsafe, a new laboratory for the research and development of experimental new works for orchestra; and Orchestra Underground, ACO’s entrepreneurial cutting-edge orchestral ensemble that embraces new technology, eclectic instruments, influences, and spatial orientation of the orchestra, new experiments in the concert format, and multimedia and multi-disciplinary collaborations.

Composer development has been at the core of ACO’s mission since it’s founding. In addition to its annual Underwood New Music Readings and Commission, ACO also provides a range of additional educational and professional development activities, including composer residencies and fellowships. In 2008, ACO launched EarShot, a multi-institutional network that assists orchestras around the country in mounting new music readings. Recent and upcoming Earshot programs have included the Detroit, Berkeley, La Jolla, Nashville, Memphis, Colorado, San Diego Symphonies, the New York Philharmonic, New York Youth Symphony, and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. For more information visit The Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute, launched in 2010 and continuing in 2015, supports jazz artists who desire to write for the symphony.

Among the honors ACO has received are special awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and from BMI recognizing the orchestra’s outstanding contribution to American music. ASCAP has awarded its annual prize for adventurous programming to ACO 36 times, singling out ACO as “the orchestra that has done the most for American music in the United States.” ACO received the inaugural MetLife Award for Excellence in Community Engagement, and a proclamation from the New York City Council. ACO recordings are available on ARGO, CRI, ECM, Point, Phoenix USA, MusicMasters, Nonesuch, Tzadik, New World Records, and iTunes. ACO’s digital albums include Playing It UNsafe (March 2011), Emerging Composers Series: Vol. 1 (February 2012), Orchestra Underground: X10D (June 2012), and Orchestra Underground: Tech & Techno (July 2014). ACO has also released Orchestra Underground: A-V, a groundbreaking album of multimedia works available for free streaming at More information about American Composers Orchestra is available online at


Support for American Composers Orchestra is provided by The Herb Alpert Foundation, The Amphion Foundation, Inc., ASCAP & the ASCAP Foundation, Bank of America, The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, BMI & the BMI Foundation, The Edward T. Cone Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Charles E. Culpeper Fund, The Joe and Hellen Darion Foundation, The Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Fromm Music Foundation, The Howard Gilman Foundation Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, Guggenheim Partners, Jephson Educational Trusts, Jerome Foundation, The J.M. Kaplan Fund, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, League of American Orchestras, MetLife Governance Grant, Metropolitan, Valuation Services, New Music USA, The Netherland-American Foundation, The New York Community Trust, Peer Music Classical, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Emma A. Sheafer Charitable Trust, Sidley Austin Foundation, Virgil Thomson Foundation, Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy, and World Wide Land Transfer, Inc. ACO programs are also made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. ACO is a member of the League of American Orchestras and EarShot, the National Orchestral Composition Discovery Network.

american composers orchestra
Derek Bermel, Artistic Director | George Manahan, Music Director
Dennis Russell Davies, Conductor Laureate | Robert Beaser, Artistic Advisor Laureate
244 West 54th Street, Suite 805
New York, NY 10019-5515
Phone: 212.977.8495 | Fax: 212.977.8995 | Web:


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