Coming Together / Attica

Newspeak’s relationship with the music of Frederic Rzewski goes back to our beginnings.  In 2008 we celebrated Frederic’s 70th Birthday with a special concert at the Brooklyn Lyceum, where we gave the US premiere of The Price of Oil, Part 2, and we’ve performed his Coming Together many times over the years.

We’re very excited to now present a new chapter in this ongoing relationship, with the New York premiere of Coming Together/Attica, an immersive, site-specific dance work by Rebecca Lazier, with music performed by Newspeak.

Coming Together/Attica explores incarceration, isolation, and the important pursuit of human rights within the American prison system, using texts written by Sam Melville and Richard X. Clark–both inmates at Attica prison during the 1971 uprising.  With Rebecca Lazier’s gripping choreography, this is an intense evening at the theater, featuring many of the best dancers from around the city, including, Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener (formerly of Merce Cunningham Dance Company); Asli Bulbul, recently from Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company; Jennifer Lafferty, who is featured in the work of Beth Gill and Yasuko Yokoshi; Pierre Guilbault; and Christopher Ralph.  Newspeak will present its unique and bombastic interpretation of the score live in an innovative staging, with lighting design by Bessie winner Davison Scandrett.

There are SIX PERFORMANCES of this work over three days:

  • June 13 at 7:00 and 9:00
  • June 14 at 7:30 and 9:30
  • June 15 at 7:30 and 9:30

Each performance at The Invisible Dog in Brooklyn lasts 50 minutes. Tickets are available HERE.

MAP Fund Supports The Three Christs!


We’re excited to announce that the MAP fund has lent its support to our project with Corey Dargel, The Three Christs.  The Three Christs is a 90-minute music-theater piece inspired by true stories of people who believe they are Jesus Christ.  It takes a sideways look at the concept of fundamental beliefs.  It distorts and transforms real-life case studies of psychiatric patients with Messianic delusions by incorporating Christian gay-rehabilitation therapy sessions, visions of the Virgin Mary, and a psychologist who, it turns out, may be as delusional as his patients.  The piece is scored for four singers (including Dargel) and Newspeak, with a book by playwright Honor Molloy and stage direction by Emma Griffin.

Fromm Commission for Ruby Fulton

We’re thrilled to announce that the Fromm Music Foundation has awarded a commission to our good friend Ruby Fulton to write a new piece for us!

We’ll be premiering the piece during the 2012-13 season, so be sure to keep an eye out for it.  The work will be a part of our ever-growing RIOT Project, which will also includes works by Randall Woolf, Bob Ostertag, Frederic Rzewski, David T. Little and more, which re-examines the role of riots in the evolution of American culture.

Here’s what Ruby has to say about the project:

I’m really excited to be writing a piece for Newspeak. I heard them play a few months ago in Baltimore and it was love at first note. The piece I’ll be writing is a part of Newspeak’s RIOT project, in which several composers from various cities around the U.S. are exploring the history of riots taking place in their city. I thought it’d be interesting to look further back than the Civil Rights riots, and when I started reading, I found out about a massive bank riot that happened in Baltimore in 1835. The story of little guys fighting back against the rich few is strangely relevant to today’s political/economic downward spiral. I’m really looking forward to digging through documents at the Maryland Historical Society and the public library to see what I can piece together for a text.

We can’t wait to sink our teeth into it, Ruby!

WNYC/WQXR’s STAR Initiative

Newspeak is proud to have been chosen as a participant in WNYC/WQXR’s STAR Initiative program. The  Salute The ARts Initiative is a free program that profiles 36 small cultural non-profit organizations in the New York Metropolitan area over a 12-month period, through on-air promotional announcements and free website support.  We will be featured throughout the month of January.

We’re big fans of WNYC and WQXR, and are proud to be featured often on both John Schaefer’s New Sounds show, and on Q2 Music, WQXR’s innovative web station.  We’re excited to be further involved with WNYC/WQXR through this project.


Thank You!

It’s been an amazing year for Newspeak. We recorded and released our critically acclaimed debut CD, sweet light crude-complete with an amazing video by Satan’s Pearl Horses–and embarked on our first concert tour since 2005 to support it. We held a residency at Princeton University, where we premiered six new works, and subsequently recorded two of them. We commissioned a new opera from Corey Dargel with the generous support from Meet The Composer’s Commissioing Music/USA program, and continued to serve the musical and non-musical communities, by co-presenting the second annual New Music Bake Sale and performing a benefit for the Brooklyn Young Mothers’ Collective.

We made great strides in 2010, but none of this would have been possible without you!

2011 promises to be just as great, as we kick things off in mid-February with a show as part of the Tune In Festival at the amazing Park Avenue Armory. We’ll share the stage with the Grammy award-winning ensemble eighth blackbird, and then only a week later, we join with the Grammy-nominated Secret Society, led by composer Darcy James Argue for a special New Sounds Live event as part of the Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Hall. In June, we’ll travel to New Haven, to perform and record Newspeak founder David T. Little’s opera Soldier Songs at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, complete with expert panels discussing the effects of PTSD on returning veterans.

But again, we can’t do it without you!

You can help ensure that Newspeak can continue to grow by making a year-end, fully tax-deductible contribution! Donations (in any amount!) can be made online via Paypal, or via check, written to “Newspeak New Music Ensemble” and sent to our address below.  We depend on the financial support of people like to you help keep Newspeak running year after year, and this year is no different.

As ever, we greatly appreciate your support, and wish you all the best for a happy new year!

PS – Don’t forget to vote for sweet light crude as your favorite new disc of 2010!

Announcing: sweet light crude

Newspeak is proud to announce the release of our first CD: sweet light crude

Listen here:

Band website templateQuantcast

Recorded at Clinton Studios in March, and mixed through the summer by Lawson White, sweet light crude brings stories of hope, loss, inaction and rage.  Through six compositions, commissioned from some of the most exciting young composers writing today, Newspeak shows its unique ability to reach the transcendental highs of a great rock band while maintaining the lyricism, dexterity, and nuanced intricacy of classical chamber music.

The disc begins with Oscar Bettison’s furious B&E (with aggravated assault)–a mixed-meter revolution–which is followed by Stefan Weisman’s understated, enigmatic and passive I Would Prefer Not To.  Passivity turns to obsession in David T. Little’s dark and crooked love song to oil, sweet light crude,  which is followed by a glimmer of hope in Missy Mazzoli’s In Spite of All This; the quiet before the storm.  That storm comes in Pat Muchmore’s apocalyptic, Reznor-infused Brennschuß, which roars upon the listener with Pynchon-esque imagery, and guest vocals from Morean of the German black metal band Dark Fortress.   When the storm clears, we’re left with a dust bowl, and the sounds of the howling wind. Thus begins Caleb Burhans’ Requiem for a General Motors in Janesville, WI, which brings the album to its cathartic conclusion.

Although each composition holds its own ground–and exists in its own universe of ideas, colors and sound–each tells its own important part of our story.

sweet light crude will be officially released on New Amsterdam Records on November 16, 2010.  It will be distributed on Naxos of America, and available everywhere.

Announcing: The Three Christs

Newspeak is very pleased to officially announce a new project with composer/singer Corey Dargel, who will write a new opera for us entitled The Three Christs. Being created in collaboration with the San Francisco-based novelist Andrew Sean Greer (author of The Story of a Marriage), the opera tells the story of three psychiatric patients who each suffers from the same delusion — the belief that he or she is Jesus Christ — and the psychologist who tries to cure them of their delusions.

Corey Dargel, photo by Luke Batten and Jonathan Sadler of New Catalogue

The Three Christs received Meet The Composer’s prestigious Commissioning Music/USA award and will be directed by Emma Griffin, whom many of you know from Corey’s Removable Parts and Thirteen Near-Death Experiences. Newspeak, Dargel, Greer, and Griffin are developing The Three Christs with the support of New York Theatre Workshop, and NYTW will present an hour-long, invitation-only reading of excerpts from this exciting new project in their intimate, 65-seat 4th Street Theatre in the East Village on September 13th.

The full premiere will take place during Newspeak’s 2012-2013 season.