Con Vivo Music returns to JC Fridays to present “Art Politic”, a concert of modern chamber music composed in response to sociopolitical issues, including the Attica Prison rebellion, murder rates in Chicago, the Iraq War, a letter by J.S. Bach to his city council, and what it means to be an American. The concert will be performed by a unique 8-person ensemble of voice, violin, cello, saxophone, guitar, bass, keyboard, and percussion.
Staged in the Council Chambers of Jersey City’s City Hall, this concert will feature Frederic Rzewski’s Coming Together, a minimalist beat-driven composition that sets text from a letter by Sam Melville in May of 1971. Melville was a prisoner at the Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York. His letter talks of “the inevitable direction of [his] life”, hinting at things to come. In September of 1971, the Attica Prison rebellion took place, where 1,0000 prisoners took control of the prison, held staff hostage, and demanded better living conditions and political rights. After four days of negotiation (with some demands met), the state police took control of the prison, resulting in at least 43 deaths, including that of Sam Melville.
CVM will also premiere Kevin Clark’s Census Americans, a new piece inspired by Coming Together. Census Americans has an ever-changing text, gathered live during the performance from the twitter bot Census Americans, which tweets descriptions of real Americans every hour using U.S. Census Bureau data. The musical material draws on protest songs written by labor activist Joe Hill, and the structure of Rzewski’s Coming Together. This combination of descriptions of modern Americans and protest song reminds us that a key part of what it means to be American is to constantly strive for positive change.
Art Politic – JC Fridays
Friday, September 8, 2017 @ 7:30pm
City Hall – Council Chambers – 280 Grove St, Jersey City, NJ
FREE, all ages welcome
Reception to follow the concert
Part of Art House Productions’ JC Fridays
Dominick Argento – Johann Sebastian Bach from the song cycle Letters from Composers
Tom Flaherty – A Heckuva Job
Kevin Clark – Census Americans
Drew Baker – Age of the Deceased (Six Months in Chicago)
Frederic Rzewski – Coming Together and Attica
Chris Whittaker (conductor), Robert Maril (baritone voice), Dan Lippel (guitar), Joe Bergen (percussion), Evan Runyon (electric bass), Zach Herchen (saxophone), Kevin Cummines (keyboard), Delaney Stöckli (violin), Meaghan Burke (cello)
CVM works to ensure that our concerts are accessible to all. The venues we use are wheelchair accessible with restroom accessibility. If you require a special accommodation, are a wheelchair user attending our venue for the first time, or have specific questions contact us at least two weeks prior to your visit.
Con Vivo Music’s 2017 Season is sponsored by SILVERMAN.
This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of The National Endowment for the Arts, administered by the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, Thomas A. Degise, County Executive, and the Board of Chosen Freeholders.