The Mighty CCi House Band

takes to the street in a Make Music NY event         

SONYC: String Orchestra of New York City performs "Children at War - 1988" at ComposerCollaborative's Music for a Change, part of the city-wide Make Music New York festival.


21 June 2008 from 6:30 to 9:30 pm

Where:   Cornelia Street, NYC (between Bleecker and West 4th Streets, off 6th Ave)                                                             
When:    Saturday, June 21 at 6:30 pm
:       By subway – 1, 9 train to Sheridan Square or A, C, E, F, V train to West 4th Street


ComposersCollaborative inc (CCi) presents works by politically aware composers:
Carlo Altomare, Laura Andel, Louis Andriessen, Kitty Brazelton, Jed Distler, Joshua Fried, Patrick Grant, Daron Hagen, Lisa Karrer, David T. Little, Marc Mellits, Frederic Rzewski, David Simons, and Sarah Kirkland Snider.


Last year, Make Music New York and ComposersCollaborative were catalysts for bringing together The Mighty CCi House Band to perform Terry Riley’s minimalist manifesto, In C, on Cornelia Street. Out of this happening comes a curatorial gang, with wide reach across the NY musical community, who’ve masterminded Music for a Change 2008: Carlo Altomare (artistic director, Theaterlab), Célia Cooke (producer, CCi), Jed Distler (artistic director, CCi), David Lovett (designer), Patrick Grant (composer, sTRANGEmUSIC Inc.) and Stephanie Griffin (violist, Momenta Quartet, SONYC, Argento Chamber Ensemble).


Works will be performed by The Mighty CCi House Band, comprising of a core group of musicians often heard on CCi’s Serial Underground, Composers Collaborative inc’s monthly series at The Cornelia Street Cafe, plus their new music championing colleagues. Guest participants include such new music luminaries as Kathleen Supové, Jenny Lin, Miguel Frasconi, Chris McIntyre, Kevin James, Ann Milosavljevic, Miranda Sielaff, Motoko Shimizu, Stephanie Griffin, Robyn Siwula, plus ensembles Newspeak, Squeezebox, SONYC string orchestra, Spin -17, among others.


A set by Newspeak kicks off the music making on the street. The evening unfolds with musical responses to 9-11, human rights issues, class and money system abuses, and the 1989 Romanian revolution. Then The Mighty CCi House Band concludes with attitude in Louis Andriessen’s Workers Union.


6:30 pm    Newspeak:

                 This Is What You’re Like (premiere), sweet light crude, Coming Together (Rzewski)

                 Funeral for the Money Tower (1975) (excerpt) by Carlo Altomare,

                 written for The Dismantling of the Money Tower by The Living Theatre

7:30 pm   String Quartet No. 2, Mvt. III (1989) by Marc Mellits

                 The Gold Standard: composer/pianist Jed Distler plays excerpt of his piano theater work with Ed Schmidt (2006)

                 Children at War - 1988 for string orchestra by Patrick Grant

                 The Palcontent Polka (1982) by David Simons

                 The Fountain (text: James Russell Lowell), New England Arming  (text: Rev. Robert Lowell) by Kitty Brazelton (2008)

                 The Dawn of Civilization (excerpt) by Lisa Karrer

8:30 pm   In the Midst by Laura Andel

                 The Mighty CCi House Band performs Workers Union (1975) by Louis Andriessen


ComposersCollaborative inc. is the agitator behind Serial Underground, “the subversive nightclub series” (Time Out NY) presenting multidisciplinary collaborations between composers, playwrights, directors, filmmakers and artists of every stripe. Allan Kozinn (New York Times) contextualizes CCi’s monthly performances in the basement of the Cornelia Street Cafe – “... part of the ecology of urban night life.”

Make Music New York
is a citywide summer solstice event based on France's
Fete de la Musique. The festival is an international phenomenon, taking place on the same day in more than 300 cities in 108 countries, including Germany, Italy, Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Australia, Vietnam, Congo, Cameroon, Togo, Columbia, Chile, Mongolia, and Japan – and New York.




About the Curators


Carlo Altomare is a theatre artist and composer. He is the artistic director of Theaterlab on W14th St. He is an expert in Meyerhold's Biomechanics, which he has taught extensively in Europe and at his studio. He worked with The Living Theater from 1973-1980 creating roles and composing the musical scores for all the productions of that period. In 1982 he founded The Alchemical Theatre in New York and toured Europe with that company performing the world premiere of "There Is No More Firmament" by Antonin Artaud, which he directed. He also wrote and directed "Pure War/The Madness of the Day," based on the writings of Paul Virilio and Maurice Blanchot.  His recent production, "Appearance - A Suspense in Being", reflects his current research into the art of acting. –


Composer and pianist Jed Distler’s recent works include The Gold Standard (an evening length piano theater collaboration with playwright Ed Schmidt and director Arnold Barkus), Loose Changes (commissioned by Quattro Mani), and Another Beautiful Fresh Flower (commissioned for pianist Jenny Lin).  ComposerCollaborative’s co-founder and Artistic Director, Jed has created and programmed such innovative festivals as Solo Flights, Non Sequitur, and the long running Serial Underground at New York’s landmark Cornelia Street Café. Called “an altogether extraordinary pianist” by the Newark Star-Ledger, Jed’s new music performances lately have taken him across the country and back, along with a festival recital tour in Italy. His music can be found on the Bridge, CRI/New World, Point, Decca, Naxos, ASV and Nonesuch labels. –


Patrick Grant is a composer, performer and producer of music and audio for concert, theater and visual media. He has created music for theatrical visionaries Gerald Thomas (Brazil), the Robert Wilson/Byrd Hoffman Foundation, and the Living Theatre. He has been commissioned to create musical events by Deitch Projects, Kehinde Wiley Studio, Roberts & Tilton Gallery (LA), the CUNY Graduate Center Science & the Arts performance series, the Columbus Museum of Art and the Modern Museum of Fort Worth. His music for the Margaret Jenkins Dance San Francisco was nominated for best score by the Isadora Duncan Dance Awards in 2004. He creates scores for video & film, most recently for The Life & Teachings of Swami Satchidananda. His production company sTRANGEmUSIC has produced three seasons of the One-Two-Three-GO! concert series since 2001 and, along with his ensemble the Patrick Grant Group, celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. –


Acclaimed by the New York Times for her “virtuoso flair,” violist Stephanie Griffin has performed internationally as a soloist and a chamber musician. Her greatest commitment over the last ten years is to the music of the Indonesian composer Tony Prabowo, with whom she has collaborated on numerous projects in Indonesia and America. In addition to her activities with the Argento Chamber Ensemble, she works closely with a wide variety of composers as a soloist and with other premiere new music ensembles such as Continuum and Parnassus. She is a member of the Momenta Quartet, the mixed chamber ensemble Transfiguration, the conductorless String Orchestra of New York City (SONYC) and the Riverside Symphony and serves as principal violist of the Princeton Symphony. An active improviser, she has worked with traditional Indonesian musicians and free jazz legend Butch Morris and performs regularly with Carl Maguire’s avant-jazz band Floriculture. Ms. Griffin has recorded for Aeon, Koch, Arte Nova, Centaur, Harmolodic and Siam Records, and recently released a double CD set of the music of Tony Prabowo on an independent Indonesian label. She holds a doctorate from The Juilliard School, where she studied with Samuel Rhodes. –



About the Program and the Composers

Updates on the program and participating musicians will be posted to the “events” page on the CCi website at


WORKERS UNION (1975) by Louis Andriessen (for any loud-sounding group of instruments)

Workers Union was originally written for the orchestra De Volharding (Perseverance), in which I myself figured as a pianist at that time. This piece is a combination of individual freedom and severe discipline: its rhythm is exactly fixed; the pitch, on the other hand, is indicated only approximately, on a single-lined stave. It is difficult to play in an ensemble and to remain in step, the sort of thing like organizing and carrying on political action. – Louis Andriessen (1990)

NEWSPEAK is an eight-piece amplified ensemble working under the artistic direction of composer David T. Little.  Ironically named after George Orwell’s thought-limiting language in 1984, Newspeak reclaims and redefines the very notion of political music and its place in our modern world. Since 2004, they have commissioned more than twenty works, each engaging differently with the problem of the political in music, and primarily from American composers. For more information, visit


Their MMNY set begins with Little's love song to oil, sweet light crude, followed by the world premiere of Sarah Kirkland Snider's This is What Your Like, which updates the ancient tale of Penelope for the modern day. They conclude with the seminal work of proto-minimal political music, Frederic Rzewski's Coming Together, infused with Newspeak's trademark rock music sensibilities.


COMING TOGETHER by Frederic Rzewski

In September 1971 inmates of the state prison at Attica in the state of New York, unable to endure further the intolerable conditions existing there, mutinied and succeeded in capturing a part of the institution, as well as a number of guards, whom they held as hostages. Foremost among their demands during the ensuing negotiations was the recognition of their right to be treated as human beings. After several days of inconclusive bargaining, Governor Rockefeller ordered state troopers in to retake the prison by force, justifying his action on the grounds that the lives of the hostages were in danger. In the slaughter that followed, forty-three persons lost their lives, including several of the hostages. One of these was Sam Melville, a political prisoner already known for his leadership in the Columbia riots and one of the leaders in the mutiny at Attica. According to some accounts, Sam was only slightly wounded in the assault. The exact case of his death remains a mystery.


(Written for The Dismantling of the Money Tower by The Living Theatre in 1975)
The Dismantling of the Money Tower was done on a 35-foot tower, constructed at a street intersection, which showed the class system and how the money system worked as a hierarchical power structure. There was a 3-foot neon dollar sign on the top of it. It was performed more or less as a Sprechstimme opera. The score was largely musique concrete with some exceptions. One of those exceptions was the Funeral piece in which the whole clockwork movement of the Tower stops and the funeral of a fallen worker is performed. The Funeral For The Money Tower is that piece. I performed all the parts on an EMS briefcase synthesizer. This will be the premier of it being played on the instruments it was intended for: basically strings, and a trumpet trio, with some simple percussion in the coda: tambourine and Kalimba.


STRING QUARTET NO. 2: Mvt. III (December, 1989) by Marc Mellits

The third movement is a direct response to the Romanian Revolution of Christmas, 1989. I spend time in Romania each year and have developed a love affair for it’s people, culture, food, wine, and way of life.  I once met a man who fought vigorously in the bloody and tragic revolution. We talked all night long as he told me the story of the people who risked their lives and died so that their country could be free.  I learned first hand of the ultimately tragic but victorious event that changed Romania forever, and composed this music as a direct response.  The central melody is based on a communist patriotic song written for Nicolae Ceaucescu, that I warped and changed to find the beauty within the ugly. String Quartet No. 2 was commissioned by and is dedicated to the Kronos Quartet.


CHILDREN AT WAR - 1988 for string orchestra by Patrick Grant

Premiered at The New Theater, this is a Cold War piece written for Protean Forms Collective’s Spring ‘88 New Works Festival. It was the last summer of Reagan’s Presidency, New Wave was old, nuclear holocaust television dramas were the entertainment, and the events that led up to the Tompkins Square Park Riots were brewing. Musically, the piece uses that age-old pentatonic (Eastern) taunt used by children in many cultures (c-A-d-c-A) as a sonic commentary on the inherent childishness of violence. This is placed in various formations and textures against minimalist rhythms and harmonies (Western) prevalent in New York City in the late 80s.


DAWN OF CIVILIZATION - text by Olive Schreiner; music by Lisa Karrer

(excerpt from "The Simurgh", an opera-in-progress)                  

Lisa Karrer works internationally as a composer, director, vocalist and performance artist; she is also an accomplished stilt dancer. In 2000 she and co-composer David Simons recorded and released their chamber opera "The Birth of George" under Harvestworks TELLUS Label.  In '03 Lisa premiered her multi-arts Wayang Opera "Woman's Song: The Story of Roro Mendut", at the Kitchen in co-production with World Music Institute. Lisa recently presented the workshop premiere of "Schismism: Fractured America", her new multi-arts solo project, at The Flea Theater in NYC; she will premiere the next part, "Schismism: Natural Law" in an extended run at the Living Theatre in October '08. Lisa is currently mastering several new recordings of her work for Gamelan Son of Lion's upcoming CD, to be released on Innova Records.


THE PALCONTENT POLKA (1982) by David Simons

Written for a puppet theater production of UBU REX by by the French "Pataphysical" playwright Alfred Jarry, the work was first performed in 1982 at a German Polka Festival in the Catskills, but also later on with a group called Iota Jot Yod. For the Make Music NY festival, Lisa Karrer and Sheila Shonbrun wil be singing, with Denman Maroney on piano and Simons on drums.


Simons is a composer and performer specializing in percussion, Theremin, electronics, and World Music.  Recordings of his works include the CDs "Prismatic Hearing" (Tzadik); the opera "The Birth of George" (Tellus/Harvestworks) w/Lisa Karrer ; "Kebyar Leyak" and "Cool it Wayang" for Gamelan Son of Lion, and on albums by God is My Co-Pilot, Stockhausen, Shelley Hirsch, Henry Brant, Music for Homemade Instruments, and many others. David’s music for theater and dance has taken him to Zagreb and Tallinn, Seoul and Yogyakarta, Munich and Berlin, Guantanamo, Honolulu, and Bali. He has been awarded a Rockefeller Bellagio residency,  NYFA fellowships, and commissions from American Composers Forum, Mary Flagler Cary, Meet the Composer. Simons' composition "Odentity" for Newband and the Harry Partch instruments was premiered in 2007. David's string quartet "CIPHER" will be presented by the Downtown Ensemble  June 25 at Greenwich House Music School. For more, visit   

HAITIAN CADAVERS (1997) by Jed Distler, texts by Thomas Lux

Is a song cycle commissioned by Music Under Construction,written for Kitty Brazelton’s singular vocal stylings, premiered by her with the composer at the piano. Excerpts presented for MMNY 2008 deal with the horrors of political repression and medical exploitation.


The fountain (2008) (text: James Russell Lowell),

New England Arming (2008)  (text: Rev. Robert Lowell) (2008) by Kitty Brazelton

These are two songs that set texts by two movers and shakers in the New England abolitionist movement. The Reverend Robert Lowell was the composer’s great-great-great-grandfather.