A Contemporary Music Festival Thinks Beyond the Concert Hall


Every August, it can seem like New York’s cultural scene goes on vacation, leaving behind an eerie quiet. Then, with a clang, comes the Time Spans festival.

At this contemporary music showcase — presented Aug. 10-28 this year by the Earle Brown Music Foundation Charitable Trust, named for the experimental composer who championed the work of others — virtually every show offers not just pieces from this century, but also premieres.

Few festivals present such a concentration of daring groups, like the JACK Quartet, appearing this year in collaboration with Ircam, the French electronic music institute; the Bozzini Quartet; Talea Ensemble; and Yarn/Wire. (New this year: NIKEL, a saxophone, electric guitar, percussion and piano quartet from Israel.)

And within the sprawling, expanded program are two mini festivals: one celebrating contemporary music in Canada and another called “After Experimental Music,” organized by Benjamin Piekut, a professor at Cornell University, with Thomas Fichter, the festival’s executive and artistic director.

“A lot of thinking went into what defines the concert experience in itself,” Mr. Fichter said in an interview. So this year, Time Spans will go beyond its primary venue, the DiMenna Center for Classical Music in Manhattan, to the outdoors and the Goethe-Institut New York. Here are edited excerpts from the conversation.


Sahred From Source link Arts