New Music New College (NMNC) encourages its audiences to challenge music’s sonic boundaries. It leads us to question how performance, composition and collaboration affect the way we experience music. We asked NMNC director and New College of Florida provost, Stephen Miles, how new listeners should approach contemporary music:

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(No photography credit available.)

"First, remember that all music was new at some point. Some of the music that is now firmly canonical was considered strange and perplexing when it first appeared. Second, the experience of music is not just aural, it's also visual and social. Watching a performer present a work of new music, and collaborating in the performance through close listening with others, can be a riveting experience.Third, draw on your experience of taking in new art, theater, dance, film, fiction and poetry. Think of music as a bit like architecture: you can look at a building, but in order to experience it, you have to move through it, explore it, and gradually put the information together – and then move through it some more. Start with your experience and go from there."

The upcoming season, which kicks off this Saturday, Sept. 13, presents contemporary music in many forms and styles. Here’s a preview.

No Holds Barred: Blair McMillen

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Photography by Bob London

Pianist Blair McMillen’s performance will feature, among other pieces, Book II of George Crumb’s Makrokosmos, composed in reference to Bartok’s Mikrokosmos, exploring the full range of the piano, using amplification and innovative techniques (including placing objects on the piano strings).

Concert: Saturday, Sept. 13, 8 p.m., Sainer Pavilion ($15 or free with subscription)

Pre-concert talk: 7:30 p.m.

Artist conversation: Thursday, Sept. 11, 5 p.m., Sainer Pavilion (free)

 

Darkness and Light: The New College Chorus

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Photography by Chip Litherland

Under the direction of Virginia Bray, the New College Chorus will perform Ola Gjeilo’s Dark Night of the Soul. Accompanied by a small instrumental ensemble, the dynamic music will illustrate the shifting relationship between voice and instrument. Also on the program: Meredith Monk’s Return to Earth and R. Murray Schafer’s Epitaph for Moonlight.

Performance: Saturday, Nov. 15, 8 p.m., Sainer Pavilion ($15 or free with subscription)

Pre-concert talk: 7:30 p.m.

Artist conversation: Thursday, Nov. 13, 5 p.m., Sainer Pavilion (free)

 

Memoria, Pamela Z

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Photography by Kimberly Young

Composer-vocalist Pamela Z returns to NMNC after five years to present the original work Memoria. The performer-cum-virtual ensemble blurs the distinctions between past and present by creating a fluid space with spoken and sung word, video and gesture.

Concert: Saturday, Jan. 17, 8 p.m., Club Sudakoff ($15 or free with subscription)

Pre-concert talk: 7:30 p.m.

Artist conversation: Thursday, Jan. 15, 5 p.m. Club Sudakoff (free)

 

Inside In C

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Photography by Mike McNaughton

Musicians from New College, State College of Florida and the community take part in Terry Riley’s minimalist masterpiece In C. The DIY score consists of short melodic figures that performers work through at their own pace while synchronized to a common rhythmic pulse, ensuring that every performance is unique while maintaining the work’s identity and coherence.

Concert: Saturday, March 14, 8 p.m., PepsiCo Arcade ($15 or free with subscription)

Pre-concert talk: 7:30 p.m.

Artist conversation: Thursday, March 12, 5 p.m., Sainer Pavilion (free)

 

The Sacred and the Profane: Ekmeles

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Photography by Tear-n Tan

Ekmeles’ eight virtuosi members close out the season performing compositions by Aaron Cassidy and Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf, expanding vocal music to include all manner of sounds—sung, spoken, cried, whispered, as well as the music of Ben Johnston and Giacinto Scelsi. Their range and coherence allow the group to perform works of extraordinary difficulty and complexity.

Concert: Saturday, April 25, 8 p.m. Sainer Pavilion ($15 or free with subscription)

Pre-concert talk: 7:30 p.m.

Artist conversation: Thursday, April 23, 5 p.m., Sainer Pavilion (free)

 

Special Events

The Sarasota Brass Quintet: Music by New College Student Composers

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(No photography credit available.)

New College students collaborate with the Sarasota Brass Quintet, one of the chamber groups of the Sarasota Orchestra, to bring workshop-stage compositions to final completion.

Concert: Sunday, April 19, 4 p.m., Sainer Pavilion (free)

 

NEWCLOrk: The New College Laptop Orchestra

New College students of visiting assistant professor Mark Dancigers’s Electronic Music class present their final projects in a free concert.

Concert: Thursday, May 14, 7:30 p.m., Sainer Pavilion (free)

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