Red Bull Music Festival New York returns in May for a sixth installment of diverse programing of original events, world premieres, and talks with icons and innovators. On May 9th, New York City-based modern composer and sound artist Tristan Perich will give the world premiere of Drift Multiply, a musical composition for 50 violins and 50 loudspeakers, performed within the incomparable setting of the historic Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. Experimental composer/vocalist Lesley Flanigan will also perform, presenting a new work for sub tones and voice. Tickets are on sale via nyc.redbullmusicfestival.com.
Perich, who is known for his work combining the sounds of custom-built 1-bit electronics with acoustic classical instrumentation, will present Drift Multiply, his largest and most ambitious work yet. Scored as 100 individual lines of music that blend violins and speakers into a cascading tapestry of tone, harmony and noise, Drift Multiply is a vivid synthesis of person and machine. Perich’s interest in 1-bit sound, the lowest possible digital representation of audio, is part aesthetic and part conceptual. “I try to create work that draws people into a musical experience, but eventually transforms into thinking about nature of sound, the laws of physics, of mathematics, computation,” stated Perich.
Almost ten years in the making, Drift Multiply is the culmination of his work exploring the relationship between acoustic and electronic sound, human and machine, tone and noise, and will be presented under the musical direction of Doug Perkins.
Also on the program is Lesley Flanigan’s new work for sub tones and voice. Flanigan, who views sound-making as a sculptural process, will fill the cathedral with pure low-frequency tones from electronic oscillators, which she meticulously fashions into a slow-moving harmony combined with pitches from her own voice. Within the reverberant space of Saint John the Divine, the work Perich and Flanigan-who are married and together founded the record label Physical Editions-will dance around the exciting dividing line between the electronic and the physical.
Celebrating the 125th anniversary of the laying of its cornerstone, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine is a key component of the presentation. In addition to its stunning beauty and impeccable acoustics, the space is known for its history of inclusivity in the city. The Cathedral has long been dedicated to uplifting the voices of New York’s diverse communities, and has frequently presented thought-provoking contemporary art and music in its sacred space. Over the years, the Cathedral has hosted avant-garde performances by artists like Diamanda Galas and John Zorn, in addition to celebrating the arts through the Great Music in a Great Space (GMGS) concert series each year.
Experimental performances take on a new significance in the Cathedral. Works presented in this monumental space, with its uniquely New York blend of antique and modern, are in dialogue with the Cathedral itself, its transformative spirituality adding new dimensions to the music rising to its vaulted ceilings.