A festival of collaborations among musicians and artists of diverse genres from Memphis and beyond, bringing to life unique performances and workshops in the award-winning Crosstown Concourse.
Performances by: Amy Lavere & Will Sexton with musicians of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, IMAKEMADBEATS, ~Nois Saxophone Quartet, Artistik Approach, Troika String Trio, Blueshift Ensemble and ICEBERG New Music, if … else, Crosstown Winds, Vibes & Waves crew, among many others.
Sound Scavenger Hunt
Mindful Listening Workshop
The Polyrhythmic Body: A Movement Excursion for Non-dancers Who Love Music
“I Am Sure My Music Has a Taste of Codfish in It”: Thoughts on the Relationship Between Food and Music
Suggestions on How to Listen to Contemporary Classical Music
Ticket prices (purchase on Eventbrite below):
Friday – $10
Saturday – $20 (all events are free until 5:45 pm)
Festival Pass – $25
(present your mobile ticket at Farm Burger for 10% off your purchase)
Friday, August 17 – $10
Composer Spotlight: John Cage
Events sponsored by Sonosphere
Crosstown Concourse – East Atrium
Mindful Listening Workshop
This workshop explores different ways of hearing the world around us. Participants are led through a series of Pauline Oliveros-inspired sound and meditation activities designed to emphasize active and creative listening strategies. The individual exercises help attune participants to the sounds in our lives — especially those we might not have noticed before — while the group discussion following each exercise helps develop a richer vocabulary for describing them. Led by ICEBERG composer Drake Andersen.
Presentation: John Cage’s Life and Work
A short presentation given by ICEBERG New Music and Sonosphere about John Cage, giving background on the composer’s life, the use of chance operations in his compositions, and the influence of Zen Buddhism on the composer and his art.
The Music of John Cage
Performed by members of Blueshift Ensemble, ~Nois Saxophone Quartet, and ICEBERG New Music. Program will feature a variety of works by John Cage including Imaginary Landscape No. 4 (for 12 radios) and several of Cage’s “plant-based” compositions, in which performers play on amplified cacti and other plants. Plants provided by Memphis Botanic Garden.
Saturday, August 18 – $20 (all events after 5:45 pm require a ticket; events before 5:45 pm are FREE)
Crosstown Concourse East Atrium/Theater Stair/Listening Room
Welcome & Introduction
12:15-1 pm – East Atrium
Troika String Trio
The Troika String Trio will perform Beethoven’s ‘String Trio,’ Op. 3, No. 1, Schubert’s ‘Serenade’ from “Schwanengesang” (arranged for trio), and an special arrangement of Coldplay’s ‘Viva La Vida.’ Featuring Memphis Symphony Orchestra musicians Jessie Munson (violin), Beth Luscombe (viola), and Mark Wallace (cello).
1-2:30 pm – Theater Stair
Workshop: Sound Scavenger Hunt
A sound scavenger hunt is an activity that helps to build awareness of the sounds all around us. Participants are divided into teams and roam Crosstown Concourse, searching for the sounds on their checklist. Sounds are classified according to properties, such as “high, short, loud” or “low, short, soft.” Participants capture the sounds using portable audio recorders (provided). After the scavenger hunt, the teams regroup to compare, discuss, and play their sounds.
2-2:30 pm – Central Atrium
Experimental performer/listeners if…else seek the edges of sonic space. They enter their creations curiously and invite others into a shared space of discovery. Audience members are invited to be a part of the performance by playing small photo-oscillators with flashlights. Featuring flutists Philip Snyder and Jenny Davis.
2:30-3:30 pm – Central Atrium
Workshop: The Polyrhythmic Body: A Movement Excursion for Non-dancers Who Love Music
Lead by Sarah Ledbetter, the workshop focuses on how we can use our bodies to experience musical elements such as rhythm, polyrhythm, and call and response. No dance or musical experience necessary to participate in this workshop.
3-3:40 pm – East Atrium
A Memphis-based woodwind trio (flute, clarinet, and bassoon), Crosstown Winds is a prize-winning ensemble of the 2018 Coltman Chamber Music Competition Collegiate Division.
3:45-4:10 pm – East Atrium, mural wall
Vibes & Waves Crew
Memphis Jookers Alex Hall, James Sullivan, and Jadyn Nathan will perform with cellist Joshua Keller.
4:15-5 pm – East Atrium
Presentation: “I Am Sure My Music Has a Taste of Codfish in It”: Thoughts on the Relationship Between Food and Music
In this talk, we explore different ways in which food and music have interacted together throughout the ages, as we are reminded of the depths to which these two aspects of human experience have shaped our culture and society. As we look at some of the favorite recipes and odd eating habits of famous composers, we may also tumble deeper into the rabbit hole, gaining glimpses into the very nature of perception, art, and what this has to do with our lives. Presented by ICEBERG Composer Victor Baez
5-5:45 pm: BREAK (all events after this break require a ticket)
5:45-6:30 pm – East Atrium
~Nois Saxophone Quartet
~Nois is a Chicago-based saxophone quartet devoted to the creation and performance of new music. Founded in 2016 by graduate students at Northwestern University, ~Nois has quickly emerged as one of the premier young ensembles dedicated to contemporary performance. ~Nois has been a prize winner at major chamber music competitions including the Second Prize in the Open Division of the 2018 M-Prize International Chamber Arts Competition, the Silver Medal at the 2017 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, Second Prize at the 2018 North American Saxophone Alliance National Quartet Competition, and First Prize at the 2016 Chicago Woodwind Ensemble Competition.
6:30-7:00 pm – East Atrium
Presentation: “Suggestions on How to Listen to Contemporary Classical Music”
From the presenter: “As a living composer, I know that contemporary music is not for everyone. And for many, it’s a question of not knowing where to start. So sit back and relax as we talk about and explore ways to listen to contemporary music in a way that won’t overwhelm you or leave you feeling foolish.” This talk will be a perfect introduction to Blueshift’s concert of ICEBERG composers at the Continuum Music Festival. Presented by ICEBERG Composer Derek Cooper
7-7:45 pm – Listening Room
Blueshift Ensemble performs works by ICEBERG New Music
Collaboration between Memphis-based Blueshift Ensemble and NYC-based composer collective ICEBERG New Music. Featuring works by Will Healy, Victor Baez, Drake Andersen, Yu-Chun Chien, and Max Grafe.
7:45-8:30 pm – East Atrium
Artistik Approach is a multi-talented duo whose a cappella-based music incorporates elements of various musical style and genres. Members Eso Tolson, from East St. Louis and Siphne Aaye, from New Orleans, combine singing, beatboxing, and rapping to create a fresh and creative sound. Their abilities have given them the opportunity to perform with musical acts rooted in a variety of genres including spoken word, jazz, hip-hop, rock, r&b, dub-step, reggae, and soul.
8:20-9:10 pm – Listening Room
Amy Lavere and Will Sexton with members of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra
A burgeoning star, Amy LaVere is becoming renowned worldwide for her songwriting, bass playing, and vocals. This performance features a special collaboration between Amy and Will with an orchestra featuring musicians of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra with arrangements by Sam Shoup. Amy sings with a sweet, haunting voice that can turn on a dime from innocent to lusty (“Norah Jones with an added Cyndi Lauper element” — Mojo Magazine; “Spookiness suits her” — New York Times). Whether playing as a duo with her husband Will Sexton or with retro-country sensation Motel Mirrors, she’s an inventive, thoughtful singer-songwriter who has crowds throughout the US and Europe smitten.
9:20-10 pm – Listening Room
There are few producers in hip hop that have as much combined skill and mystery attached to their name as IMAKEMADBEATS. The enigmatic, faceless man behind the boards has built his reputation on an obsessive dedication to his craft; a mad scientist-like approach to tweaking samples, drums, and live instruments; and a signature sound that’s put listeners in the emergency room with severely broken necks. Last year IMAKEMADBEATS released his latest project, Better Left Unsaid, under the imprint he founded in 2015, Unapologetic. The label houses innovative and daring artists such as Cameron Bethany, AWFM, Kid Maestro, and more.