Eighth Blackbird in a Week-long Residency

The Department of Music is thrilled to host the MacArthur Award and four-time GRAMMY Award-winning sextet, Eighth Blackbird, in a week-long residency at Princeton Sound Kitchen, February 20-26, 2018.  

Over the course of two decades, the Chicago-based ensemble has commissioned and premiered hundreds of works by composers such as David Lang, Steven Mackey, Missy Mazzoli, and Steve Reich. Eighth Blackbird’s mission of moving music forward through innovative performance, advocating for new music by living composers, and creating a legacy of guiding an emerging generation of musicians, extends beyond recording and touring to curation and education. The residency will consist of various workshops and performances of new works by Princeton University graduate and faculty composers, most of which are free and all of which are open to the public.

The residency launches on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at 8PM in Taplin Auditorium (Fine Hall) in a free multimedia performance, featuring the ensemble’s founding member and co-Artistic Director, Nick Photinos, performing works for solo cello plus electronics and video from his debut solo album Petits Artéfacts. The album includes works by Princeton University graduate composers Florent Ghys and Pascal Le Boeuf, as well as Institute for Advanced Study Artist-in-Residence, David Lang. No tickets are required for this concert.

Three performances of Olagón: A Cantata in Doublespeak — a new evening-length work by faculty composer Dan Trueman and Lewis Center for the Arts Pulitzer prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon, that updates an Irish legend through Celtic folk, indie pop, and contemporary-classical hues — are at the heart of the residency. Olagón will be presented at the Wallace Theater in the new Lewis Arts complex Thursday-Saturday, February 22-24, 2018 at 8PM. Performed by Eighth Blackbird together with Trueman and Princeton University Global Scholar singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, the work depicts the legendary Irish tale, Táin Bó Cúailnge, as a story of hardship in contemporary, post-recession Ireland while honoring traditional music of Ireland and America. Muldoon’s text—written in both English and Irish—is sung in the sean-nós style by Ó Lionáird. The album, released this past November, was named one of five Classical Albums of the Year by the Boston Globe. Tickets are $15 General/$5 Students.

On Friday, February 23, 2018 at 4:30PM, Olagón’s author Muldoon will read selections from his other works, including Selected Poems 1968-2014, Sadie and the Sadists, and Lamentations. This event, at the Lewis Arts complex’s Wallace Theater, is free and open to all.

The residency will culminate back at Taplin Auditorium (Fine Hall) on Monday, February 26, 2018 at 8PM when Eighth Blackbird performs new works by Princeton University graduate composers Alyssa Weinberg, Jenny Beck, Annika Socolofsky, Pascal Le Boeuf, Chris Douthitt, Yuri Boguinia, and Jason Treuting of Sō Percussion, the Department of Music’s Edward T. Cone Ensemble-in-Residence. No tickets are required for this concert.

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