American Contemporary Music Ensemble; National Sawdust Residency: ACME Writer’s Workshop, December 14-20, 2015

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American Contemporary Music Ensemble

National Sawdust Residency: ACME Writer’s Workshop

December 14-20, 2015

Public Performance: Sunday, December 20, 2015 at 6pm
National Sawdust | 80 N. 6th St., Brooklyn, NY
Tickets: $25 at

ACME online:

New York, NY – ACME, the American Contemporary Music Ensemble, a National Sawdust Group-in-Residence, will have its first residency in the space from December 14-20, 2015. The week will culminate with an open-to-the public concert at 6pm on Sunday, December 20, 2015. ACME has been performing and interpreting new music for over 10 years, and at National Sawdust will begin exploring the world of creating original music as well. A number of musicians in ACME also identify as composers, and an equal number identify as primarily performers. During their National Sawdust residency, ACME members will work together in making new music – individually and collaboratively, those who compose for public performance, those who compose privately, and those who have never composed. On December 20, they will present their new works and works-in-progress – a mix of composition and improvisation incorporating percussion, electric guitar, bass, and electronics – to the public for the first time. Players include Timo Andres, piano/keys; Chris Thompson, electronics/percussion; Yuki Numata Resnick, violin; ACME artistic director Clarice Jensen, cello/bass; Aaron Roche, guitar/electronics/synths; and Grey Mcmurray, guitar. The group returns for another residency at National Sawdust from April 19-23, 2016.

ACME opened its season with a concert featuring the world premiere of 5×5, a suite of five movements commissioned by Five Boroughs Music Festival, comprising musical contributions by each of five composer-performers in ACME – Caroline Shaw, Timo Andres, Caleb Burhans, Ben Russell and ACME artistic director Clarice Jensen. ACME’s 2015-2016 season also includes performances presented by BAM; the Sacrum Profanum Festival in Krakow, Poland; Washington Performing Arts in DC; Dartmouth’s Hopkins Center; the Krannert Center, MASS MoCA, and Walker Art Center. In September, ACME made its European debut at the Sacrum Profanum festival in Poland, performing Jóhann Jóhannsson’s Drone Mass with celebrated vocal ensemble Theatre of Voices led by Paul Hillier. In October, ACME performed with Theo Bleckmann at National Sawdust’s Opening Gala. In November, the group performed at BAM in VisionIntoArt’s production Epiphany featuring music by Paola Prestini, Netsayi, and Sarah Kirkland Snider. In February, ACME joins forces with Roomful of Teeth to present a concert of music by Caroline Shaw at Washington Performing Arts in DC. In February, March, and April, ACME joins performances of Paola Prestini’s Aging Magician at MASS MoCA, the Kranner Center, and Walker Art Center. In May, ACME is in residence at Dartmouth College’s The Hop, where it will workshop and premiere a new piece commissioned for the group from composer Tristan Perich developed in partnership with Dartmouth’s mathematics department.

ACME is dedicated to the outstanding performance of masterworks from the 20th and 21st centuries, primarily the work of American composers. The ensemble presents fresh work by living composers alongside the classics of the contemporary. ACME’s dedication to new music extends across genres, and has earned them a reputation among both classical and rock crowds. NPR calls them contemporary music dynamos,” and The New York Times describes ACME’s performances as “vital,” “brilliant,” and “electrifying.” Time Out New York reports, “[Artistic Director Clarice] Jensen has earned a sterling reputation for her fresh, inclusive mix of minimalists, maximalists, eclectics and newcomers.” ACME was honored by ASCAP during its 10th anniversary season in 2015 for the “virtuosity, passion, and commitment with which it performs and champions American composers.”

ACME has performed at leading international venues including Carnegie Hall, BAM, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Kitchen, (Le) Poisson Rouge, Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Symphony Space, The Morgan Library, The Stone, Joyce Theater, Montclair’s Peak Performances, UCLA’s Royce Hall, Stanford Live, Constellation Chicago, Chicago’s Millennium Park, Jordan Hall in Boston, Harvard’s Sanders Theatre, The Library of Congress in DC, Virginia Tech, Newman Center at the University of Denver, Flynn Center, Duke Performances, South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center, Dartmouth’s Hopkins Center, The Satellite in Los Angeles, Triple Door in Seattle, Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis, Melbourne Recital Hall in Australia, and at festivals including All Tomorrow’s Parties in England and Big Ears in Knoxville, TN.

ACME’s instrumentation is flexible, and includes some of New York’s most sought-after, engaging musicians. Core ACME members include violinists Caleb Burhans, Ben Russell, Caroline Shaw (winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music), Yuki Numata Resnick, and Laura Lutzke; violists Nadia Sirota and Caitlin Lynch; cellist and artistic director Clarice Jensen; flutist Andrew Rehrig; pianist Timo Andres; and percussionist Chris Thompson.

World premieres given by ACME include Ingram Marshall’s Psalmbook, Jóhann Jóhannsson’s Drone Mass, Caroline Shaw’s Ritornello, Phil Kline’s Out Cold, William Brittelle’s Loving the Chambered Nautilus, Jefferson Friedman’s On In Love, Timo Andres’ Senior and Thrive on Routine, and Caleb Burhans’ Jahrzeit, and many more.

ACME has recorded for New World, New Amsterdam, and Butterscotch Records. Its recording of Max Richter’s 8-hour piece, Sleep, was released by Deutsche Grammophon in fall 2015. In fall 2016, ACME’s recording with thereminist Carolina Eyck will be released on Butterscotch Records. ACME’s recording of ACMED, which the group commissioned from Mick Barr in 2012, will also be released this season. ACME’s discography includes Joseph Byrd: NYC 1960-63, the first commercial recording of the music of rediscovered American Fluxus composer Joseph Byrd, on New World Records. For New Amsterdam Records, ACME recorded William Brittelle’s electro-acoustic chamber work Loving the Chambered Nautilus and Jefferson Friedman’s On In Love with vocalist Craig Wedren.

ACME’s many previous collaborators have included The Richard Alston Dance Company, Wayne McGregor’s Random Dance, Gibney Dance, Satellite Ballet, actress Barbara Sukowa, filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, Grizzly Bear, Low, Matmos, Micachu & The Shapes, Jeff Mangum, A Winged Victory for the Sullen, Roomful of Teeth, Lionheart, and Theo Bleckmann. Since its first New York concert season in 2004, the ensemble has performed works by John Adams, John Luther Adams, Louis Andriessen, Gavin Bryars, Caleb Burhans, John Cage, Elliott Carter, George Crumb, Jacob Druckman, Jefferson Friedman, Philip Glass, Charles Ives, Donald Martino, Olivier Messiaen, Nico Muhly, Michael Nyman, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Frederic Rzewski, Joseph Byrd, Mick Barr, Arnold Schoenberg, Caroline Shaw, William Brittelle, Hauschka, Craig Wedren, Ingram Marshall, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Max Richter, Timo Andres, Lisa Bielawa, and Dustin O’Halloran, Toru Takemitsu, Kevin Volans, Charles Wuorinen, Iannis Xenakis, Phil Kline, Chen Yi, and more.

ACME was founded by cellist Clarice Jensen, conductor Donato Cabrera, and publicist/manager Christina Jensen, and has received support from The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, New Music USA’s Cary New Music Performance Fund, and the Greenwall Foundation.

About National Sawdust: Located in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the non-profit National Sawdust is a dynamic home for artists and new music of all kinds. It is a place for exploration and discovery—where emerging and established artists can share their music with serious music fans and casual listeners alike. In a city teeming with venues, National Sawdust is a singular space founded with an expansive vision: to provide composers and musicians across genres with a setting in which they can flourish, and a place where they are given unprecedented support and critical resources essential to create, and then share, their work. A diversity of world-class artists, arts organizations, and institutions are collaborating with National Sawdust’s Creative and Executive Director, the composer Paola Prestini, as curators.

In addition to hosting rehearsals, performances, recordings and broadcasts in state-of-the art facilities, National Sawdust commissions new works and arranges workshops and residencies. It aims to be a resource not only for the community of musicians, but also for audiences in search of remarkable musical experiences at accessible ticket prices. For the local community, National Sawdust creates progressive public programs and educational initiatives. Other offerings include talks, publications and mentorship programs for composers and musicians, and for related fields.

Designed by Brooklyn’s Bureau V, National Sawdust is constructed within the existing shell of a century-old sawdust factory, preserving the authenticity of Williamsburg’s industrial past while providing a refined and intimate setting for the exploration of new music. At the venue’s core is a flexible chamber hall, acoustically designed by renowned engineering firm Arup to provide the highest-quality experience of both unamplified and amplified music.

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