Fritz Lang's Metropolis: Screening and Live Score with Metropolis Ensemble and Ricardo Romaneiro
7pm doors • 8pm show
Grammy-nominated chamber orchestra Metropolis Ensemble makes its National Sawdust debut with a special screening of iconic silent film Metropolis (1927), featuring a live original score by composer and electronic artist Ricardo Romaneiro.
The German expressionist science-fiction classic directed by Fritz Lang, Metropolis is set in a futuristic urban dystopia in which wealthy industrialists and business magnates reign from high-rise towers, while underground-dwelling workers operate the great machines that power the city. The film is now viewed as an accusative warning about the “profound impact technological progress has…as a subjugating and corrupting” influence over human society (Lane Roth, Film Quarterly). Metropolis performs Romaneiro’s score in conjunction with an electro-acoustic jazz trio featuring saxophone prodigy Immanuel Wilkins, clarinetist Narek Arutyunian, and foley percussionist Keita Ogawa.
Romaneiro and sound designer Leo Leite use Meyer Sound’s Constellation and Spacemap audio systems, newly installed at National Sawdust, to immerse audience members in the exaggerated mise-en-scène of Metropolis, from futuristic cityscapes to an enormous Gothic cathedral, reproducing Lang’s pioneering visual innovations in sound.
Metropolis Ensemble is a dynamically evolving 21st Century Orchestra. Dedicated to creating a future for classical music that is of and for the time we live in, Metropolis Ensemble’s driving force is its founder, Grammy-nominated conductor Andrew Cyr (“a prominent influence in the world of newly emerging music”, Washington Post). Described by the New York Times as a “vibrant collective,” Metropolis Ensemble exists to support ascending contemporary classical performers and composers, often engaging them with other bleeding-edge cultural innovators and artists through its unique collaborative process.
Frequently collaborating with artists who defy classification, such as Questlove, Justin Vernon, Wye Oak, Emily Wells, Ragnar Kjartansson, and the collective 37d03d “PEOPLE,” Metropolis has been presented by Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors and American Songbook series, BAM’s Next Wave Festival, the Met, Hollywood Bowl, Creative Time, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, the Wordless Music Series, Celebrate Brooklyn!, the New Victory Theatre, (le) Poisson Rouge, Ecstatic Music, the Phillips Collection, and The Tonight Show. Metropolis Ensemble has won national and international recognition for its seven studio recordings, including winning Canada’s prestigious Juno Award for Best Classical Composition in 2013. In 2010, Metropolis Ensemble received its first Classical Grammy Award Nomination, and in 2014, producer David Frost received a Classical Producer of the Year Grammy Award for work that included Metropolis Ensemble’s album of Brooklyn-based composer Timo Andres, recorded at Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall and released on Nonesuch Records. Last season, Metropolis Ensemble released two new studio albums, on Nonesuch Records (with New Amsterdam Records) and on Thesis/Instinct, featuring the music of William Brittelle (with Wye Oak and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus) and Emily Wells. In 2019, Metropolis performed at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! in Prospect Park and made its debuts at Sounds from A Safe Harbour (Cork, Ireland), EAUX CLAIRE HIVER and the Pablo Center, and Brooklyn’s new Public Records.
This season, in addition to a vibrant season of 25+ anticipated concerts and collaborations at 1 Rivington, Metropolis Ensemble was recently on tour in Ireland as part of the indie festival Sounds from a Safe Harbour in September and in residence in October at Mass MoCA developing a new opera by Christopher Cerrone (with Stephanie Fleischmann, librettist and Mary Birnbaum, director). In November, Metropolis Ensemble will be in residence at the festival EAUX CLAIRES HIVER in Eau Claire, WI, creating new arrangements from Prince’s unpublished archive of songs with composer William Brittelle as part of the collective 37d03d. In December, Metropolis Ensemble’s chamber orchestra will make its debut at Kaufman’s Ecstatic Music Festival, joining the all-female quartet LADAMA in accompanying Guatemalan-born singer-songwriter Gaby Moreno (composer of theme music to Parks and Recreation and multiple Latin Grammy artist), on her collaborative project with Nonesuch with American musician, songwriter, arranger, and producer Van Dyke Parks. In January, Metropolis will return to (le) Poisson Rouge for a concert of new commissions from South American composers and in April, the ensemble will perform in a dynamic collaboration with Arcade Fire’s symphonic music project, Bell Orchestre.
Equally dedicated to making a difference in our local community, Metropolis Ensemble also runs an ambitious education program teaching music composition and creativity to over 400 middle-school children across four NYC boroughs in collaboration with the Young Composers and Improvisers Workshop and Kaufman Music Center’s ComposerCraft. Metropolis Ensemble is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2006.
Composer and electronic artist Ricardo Romaneiro was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, and moved to the US at an early age. A graduate of The Juilliard School, Romaneiro writes music that synthesizes his major influences and passions: classical and electronic music. The New York Times described his work as “a blissful and compelling mix of Minimalist-derived rhythmic ecstasy and nightclub beats”. His music has been featured, performed, and commissioned by an eclectic range of institutions, festivals, and projects, such as the Museum of Modern Art’s Summergarden Series, BAM, the New Juilliard Ensemble, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolis Ensemble, Wordless Music, Ensemble LPR, the Nu Deco Ensemble, the House of Creatives Festival, the Electric Paradise Festival, ECCE, the American Composers Orchestra, Quintet of the Americas, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Colorado Ballet at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, and the Sacramento Ballet. His work has been featured in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Vice/Creators Project, Esquire Magazine, Brooklyn Magazine, Untapped Cities, Vogue, and Edible Manhattan. A recipient of the ASCAP Rudy Perez Songwriting Scholarship, he earned a bachelor’s degree in composition from the Manhattan School of Music and a masters degree in composition from The Juilliard School. www.romaneiro.com