Abraham Brody & Contemporaneous
6:30pm doors • 7pm show
Singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Abraham Brody has been compared to modern classical avant-garde composers such as ANOHNI, Laurie Anderson, and Anna von Hausswolff, and has also been dubbed “Lithuania’s male Björk” for his ability to innovate. Named one of WNYC New Sounds “Top Artists of 2017” and hailed by Broadway World as “epic”, he mixes crushing atmospheric classical sections, dazzling electronics, and synthesizers on top of imaginative, passion-soaked vocal layering and spiritual compositions akin to composers such as Ólafur Arnalds or Icelandic collective amiina.
Here he joins forces with the young and exciting ensemble Contemporaneous, already praised by The New Yorker as “ferocious”, performing arrangements of new music from his forthcoming album Crossings, which was recorded at Bedroom Community in Iceland.
Lithuanian-American singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Abraham Brody‘s performance in the Opening Night of National Sawdust’s third season was praised by The New Yorker as “thrilling and transformative”. The Independent called him “’a vibrant performer with plenty of virtuosity”, and WNYC New Sounds listed him as a “Top 10 Artist of 2017”. He has collaborated with a host of notable musicians and composers to date, including Marina Abramović and Iva Bittová.
He creates deeply multi-layered compositions using his mesmerising voice, electronics, synthesizers, and classical instruments, often influenced by folk music from diverse regions and the work of such artists as Antony and the Johnsons and Laurie Anderson.
He has been a National Sawdust 2017–18 Artist-in-Residence and has recently performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, the Reykjavik Arts Festival, the Sziget Festival in Budapest, Southbank Centre in London, Classical:NEXT in Rotterdam, Prague Philharmonic Hall, and was artist-in-residence at London’s Barbican Centre. He debuts at the London Jazz Festival in November around the release of his new album Crossings. In 2018, he was awarded a prestigious grant from the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture to tour his piece Ancestors internationally with Lithuanian ensemble Trys Keturiose, performing at National Sawdust in April of 2018.
Contemporaneous is an ensemble of 22 musicians whose mission is to bring to life the music of now. Recently recognized for a “ferocious, focused performance” (The New York Times) and for their “captivating and whole-hearted commitment” (I Care If You Listen), Contemporaneous performs and promotes the most exciting work of living composers through innovative concerts, commissions, recordings, and educational programs.
Based in New York City and active throughout the United States, Contemporaneous has performed for a wide range of presenters, including Lincoln Center, Park Avenue Armory, PROTOTYPE Festival, Merkin Concert Hall, MATA Festival, St Ann’s Warehouse, and Bang on a Can. The ensemble has worked with a wide range of artists, including David Byrne, Donnacha Dennehy, Yotam Haber, Dawn Upshaw, and Julia Wolfe.
Contemporaneous has premiered more than 120 works, many of them large–scale pieces by emerging composers. Through their commissions and readiness to play challenging music, the ensemble encourages composers to take risks and defy constraints. Contemporaneous‘s debut album, Stream of Stars — Music of Dylan Mattingly (Innova Recordings), has been featured on radio programs around the world, including WNYC’s “New Sounds” and WRTI’s “Now is the Time.”