Music on the Hudson: After The Storm x Contemporaneous
On July 21, 2021 (Rain Date July 23) Contemporaneous will present the live performance program “After the Storm,” in collaboration with Hudson River Park Trust at Pier 64 in Manhattan, featuring a newly commissioned work by composer Yaz Lancaster, newly-commissioned arrangements of music by fingerstyle guitarist Yasmin Williams, and Alex Weiser’s “and all the days were purple,” which was a finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Music. This outdoor show will feature extraordinary new music in a beautiful location for a live audience against the backdrop of the setting sun.
Yaz Lancaster is a composer and multimedia artist based in NYC. Their new work, commissioned by Contemporaneous for this performance, is being created in collaboration with Latinx poet Bailey Cohen, and draws connections between Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the groundbreaking work of South American artists who brought the language of abstraction to 20th Century American art and modernization, and the complicated cultural reckoning of American (and global) history.
Yasmin Williams is an acoustic fingerstyle guitarist who has invented her own way of playing, which NPR Music says “transcends the standard idea of what a guitarist should do,” and whose most recent album reached #1 on iTunes’ Folk Music chart. Working in collaboration with Williams, three astounding composers — Ian Gottlieb, Zachary Ritter, and Lucy Yao — have created brand new arrangements of her songs to be performed by Contemporaneous with Williams as soloist on guitar and kora.
Alex Weiser’s “And All The Days Were Purple “sets Yiddish and English poems to music, and chronicles the human impulse to seek out the divine while reflecting on the longing, beauty and tumult of life.” Weiser’s work is sung in both Yiddish and English and draws on his own Jewish history and musical traditions.
“After The Storm” is an offering of both the transcendent and testimonial powers of musical experience, weaving together a throughline of wild artistic imagination as we come together again to focus on the power of community and imagination.