The 2016 People's Commissioning Fund

We are delighted to welcome the 2016 Peoples Commissioning Fund composers: René Lussier, Caroline Shaw, Gabriella Smith, and Zhang Shouwang who each have written a new work for our Field Recordings project.

Their new works will be premiered on the February 6th PCF performance at Merkin Hall - part of the 2016 Ecstatic Music Festival. The performance will also include music by Julia Wolfe: Reeling (from Field Recordings) and Breaker Boys (from Anthracite Fields), for which we'll be joined by Julian Wachner and the Choir of Trinity Wall St. We will also pay tribute to Ornette Coleman by performing the piece he wrote for the All-Stars in 2005, Haven't Been Where I Left.

About the new PCF works:

René Lussier’s Nocturne, is inspired by an intimate observation. Lussier says, “In the last 30 years, I have often transcribed and transposed spoken language into music. I did the same with chickens, various tools, motors, etc. Everyday life sounds inspire me for new frame works, new directions. This time, the music is generated by my sweetheart sleeping. The rhythm and drama of her breathing, the melodies of her snoring.” Lussier, a native of Quebec, Canada, is a composer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist is known to New York audiences for his years of collaboration in the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet.


2013 Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw’s new piece has an unexpected inspiration as well. Shaw says, “I’m working with Library of Congress recordings from the 1970s, of quilters from North Carolina and Virginia talking about quilting. I love the way they speak about design and craft, about technique and imagination.”

Gabriella Smith says about her new piece Panitao:  “Last January, while working on a small, family farm in Southern Chile, I recorded a dawn chorus one morning.  For this piece, I decided to write imaginary bird songs for the instruments to play along with this Chilean dawn."

Zhang Shouwang, frontman for the popular Beijing rock band Carsick Cars, and the experimental group White, has been one of the driving forces behind China’s underground music scene for the last decade.  Incarnations of Shouwang’s “White Project” have ranged from the guitar sextet White Ensemble, a rock duo called White 2J, an electronic duo called White+, and more.  Collaborators include the likes of legendary New Yorkers Sonic Youth and German avant-noise pioneers Einstürzende Neubauten.