The New Music Collective has been around since 2005.
In that time we've presented dozens of concerts of contemporary music ranging from Steve Reich, Lou Harrison, Morton Feldman, and John Cage to Luigi Nono, Larry Polansky, Alvin Lucier, Jo Kondo, and Louie Andriessen. We've also played music by lesser known young contemporary composers like Ted Hearne, Nathan Koci, Mark So, Kyle Hilbrand, Christopher Cerrone, and Jacob Cooper as well as commissioned over 15 new works (world premieres!) for everything from duos to septets from local, regional, and national composers like KCM Walker, Nick Jenkins, Lisa Coons, Ted Hearne, Sean Friar, and Michael Pisaro.
In addition to performing these pieces (and rehearsing them) we have also invited nationally acclaimed musicians to perform for Charleston, including Ensemble Pamplemousse, Red Light New Music, ZAHA, Nomos String Trio. We've also not limited ourselves to "contemporary concert music" hosting ensembles such as The Claudia Quintet, Gutbucket, Tatsuya Nakatani and Eugene Chadbourne, Kenosha Kid, Meridien Percussion Trio, and Keefe Jackson's Fast Citizens.
Also, we have reached out to collaborate with artists in different fields. We've collaborated with an improvisational dancer from France named Aurore Gruel, a dance troupe in Columbia, SC, Pure Theatre to write music for the production of a Sarah Ruhl play, Geoff Cormier and the Halsey Institute to write music for a Shadow Puppet show,
We have put on at least 7 concerts a year every year for the last 7 years (as many as 13 concerts in 2009). It is therefore a little difficult to take the quote "Before [Magnetic South], Spoleto was really the only chance we got to hear contemporary music." I greatly respect Drs. Hart and Vassilandonakis for what they are doing and I don't mean to diminish their achievements and goals by any means. They are definitely gaining a popularity that has evaded the New Music Collective thus far. But I submit that it is not the only contemporary music that has been happening and the real big difference is not that it is contemporary, but that it is institutionally backed. The College and the CSO are a great pair for their marketability, at least, and I'm glad the music can transcend that. It's just unfortunate that history is being written with a relatively quick pen and ignoring some of the year round presentations of contemporary music that have been happening outside of Spoleto.
I blame myself for not being able to get the word out more. Hopefully the Magnetic South Series can continue create the dialogues about contemporary music that we started to back in 2005.
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