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MATA: 21st Festival of New Music

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MATA returns for its 21st annual Festival of New Music, the latest installment of “the city’s leading showcase for fresh international talent” (The New Yorker). Curated from the submissions of more than 1100 early career composers from across the globe, MATA provides an unparalleled glimpse at what composers and musicians are exploring today. 

From April 11-13, MATA’s signature Mainstage series returns to The Kitchen with 12 works never before heard on New York stages. MATA Director Todd Tarantino explains, “Our three Mainstage concerts can be understood as a cohesive whole, a triptych that memorializes the past, reflects on the present, and actively seeks to engage a different, if not better, tomorrow.” MATA’s intrepid Friends of MATA ensemble returns to bring these programs to life, joined by guests Conrado Tao, the Bennardo-Larson Duo, Paul Pinto, Charlotte Mundy, and Lucy Fitz Gibbon.

Following its milestone 20th anniversary celebration, MATA 21 takes an inward turn: “This year’s MATA Festival leans small to focus on the individual and their relations with others,” Tarantino explains. “Composers aren’t immune from our stormy present. They too are caught up in the challenges of our times, whether understanding the role of the individual in an increasingly mechanized and virtual reality, to questioning the dogmas of the past, to actively seeking connections with each other.”

“Everything was of our time. Everything was of now” –I Care if You Listen

April 11–13, 8pm. 

Tickets $25 General / $20 Members

To learn more about the benefits of becoming a member, please click here.

Thursday, April 11: Past Perfect   The 21st annual MATA Festival opens with a triptych of intimate works that use dis- and re-embodied voices to reflect how our choices define us. Cellist John Popham joins the Bennardo-Larson Duo to animate haunting works by Julie Herndon (You Can Only) and Matt Evans (Still Life 1a+1b) framing Dutch composer Thomas Bensdorp's revealing personal drama Family Plot for video and automated music boxes. This cathartic evening demonstrates that even in the face of absence, individual voices maintain their power.

Friday, April 12: irl   The Friends of MATA are joined by guest vocalists Lucy Fitz Gibbon and Charlotte Mundy for an eclectic program that examines the complexity of communication in today’s world. Composers, filmmakers and performers from Iceland to Turkey to Brazil come together explore the ways in which intent can be misunderstood, systems can fail, and how human communication can seem impossible. With performances by composer-performers Ali Can Puskulcu and Daniel Corral, and the American premiere of Maja Hannisdal and Tone Kittelsen’s short film The Nordic Escape with music by Krístin Thora Haroldsdottír, irl takes the challenges of communication head-on to understand how we may truly connect in the social media age.

Saturday, April 13: Future Perfect   Join MATA on an intrepid journey from our present to the post-human future. The Friends of MATA are joined by pianist Conrad Tao, performing Remy Siu’s Foxconn Frequency no. 2, a multimedia theater work that questions perfection, pedagogy, and factory culture, and – wrapped in aluminum foil – vocalist Paul Pinto, in works that make the future come alive in all of its sensory overload. The conclusion of MATA’s Festival main stage events at The Kitchen, Future Perfect visits a world of androids, bots, and zombies where yesterday’s science fiction is tomorrow’s reality.

The Kitchen's presentation of MATA's 21st Festival of New Music is made possible with endowment support from Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust; annual grants from The Amphion Foundation, Inc., The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Howard Gilman Foundation, and The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation; and in part by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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