Paul Muldoon's "Against the Grain" featuring Jennifer Egan, Kevin Young, and Matmos
Presented in association with London Review of Books
6:30pm doors • 7:30pm show
NationalSawdust+ presents the first installment of Paul Muldoon‘s Against the Grain, featuring literary luminaries Jennifer Egan and Kevin Young and the pioneering electronic duo Matmos. Egan’s novels include Manhattan Beach and A Visit from the Goon Squad. Young, who serves as director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, has authored more than thirteen books of poetry and prose, most recently Brown and Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News.
This new literary-music series, presented in association with London Review of Books, features pairings of cutting-edge poets, prose fiction writers, multi-media practitioners, mirth-merchants, political commentators, and musical performers — all of them dedicated to making art that is equal to the contrariness and complexity of our moment. Each edition of the Against the Grain, curated by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet, will includes a collaborative work and a one-on-one conversation on a provocative topic.
NationalSawdust+ is a lively performance and conversation series in which luminaries from across disciplines share their passion for music and explore ideas, making surprising connections. Curated by Elena Park, the series taps artists and thinkers from theater, film and visual art, literature, science and beyond, to create insightful programs that reflect their own interests. Whether through live performances, conversations, or readings, each program has its own alchemy, engaging the audience in new and unexpected ways. Often topical, and always imaginative, NationalSawdust+ is an ideal space for those with curiosity, adventure, and vision.
Young’s nonfiction book, Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News (Graywolf Press, November 14, 2017), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in Nonfiction, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, was longlisted for the National Book Award, and named a New York Times Notable Book.
Named University Distinguished Professor at Emory University, Young was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016.
Currently based in Baltimore, the duo formed in San Francisco in the mid 1990s, and self-released their debut album in 1997. Marrying the conceptual tactics and noisy textures of object-based musique concrete to a rhythmic matrix rooted in electronic pop music, the two quickly became known for their highly unusual sound sources whose raw materials are manipulated into surprisingly accessible forms, and often supplemented by traditional musical instruments played by them and their large circle of friends and collaborators. The result is a model of electronic composition as a relational network that connects sources and outcomes together; information about the process of creation activates the listening experience, providing the listener with entry points into sometimes densely allusive, baroque recordings.Since their debut, Matmos have released over nine albums. In 2001 they were asked to collaborate with the Icelandic singer Bjork on her “Vespertine” album, and subsequently embarked on two world tours as part of her band. In addition to musical collaborations with Antony/Anohni, So Percussion, Terry Riley, The Kronos Quartet, David Tibet, the Rachel’s, Lesser, Wobbly, Zeena Parkins, and the Princeton Laptop Orchestra, Matmos have also collaborated with a wide range of artists across disciplines, from visual arts to theatre to film.