An international contemporary ensemble will perform at the TIME:SPANS festival in August

International Contemporary Ensemble will present the works of composer and new ICEensemble Artistic Director George Lewis at the 2022 TIME:SPANS Festival at Mary Flagler Cary Hall at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music on Saturday, August 20, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. The programme, the Ensemble’s first under the direction of George Lewis, includes the world premiere of Melodies for Miles by Lewis with his Thistledown and Creative Construction SetTM. Other works on the program include Black as a Hack for Cyborgification by Jessie Cox, Cult of Electromagnetic Connectivity by Nicole Mitchell and Delta Blues by Wadada Leo Smith.

Melodies for Miles is dedicated to George Lewis’ college roommate Miles Hoffman, who introduced Lewis to the Western classical violin tradition, including musicians like Jascha Heifetz and Zino Francescatti. This then led to an introduction to the music of Alvin Singleton, where Lewis discovered the existence of the Afrodiasporic classical composer when he first heard an orchestral work by Singleton in 1970. Lewis and Singleton have remained friends ever since. .

“The musical material of Melodies for Miles,” Lewis said, “does not represent that time in our lives. Rather, each time the work is played, its purpose is to reconnect the three of us in the real time of listen.”

Melodies for Miles is followed by two additional works by Lewis. Thistledown is inspired by the novel Eon (1985) by Greg Bear, in which a team sent to investigate the sudden appearance of a huge asteroid in Earth’s skies discover that the asteroid is actually a spaceship built by the man from his own future. Creative Construction SetTM honors the “Creative Construction Company”, an early ensemble from the experimental collective of African-American singer-songwriters, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. The work, intended for an ensemble of eight or more musicians, asks performers to use a set of instruction cards to create and explore sound environments.

Jessie Cox’s Black as a Hack for Cyborgification is envisioned as a cosmic neural network, sound being telecommunicated from planet to planet in different ways and at different speeds. As the music emerges, sound from small devices on stage moves the listener faster than the speed of light into another space.

Nicole Mitchell’s Cult of Electromagnetic Connectivity imagines the electromagnetic radiation of digital technology igniting a frantic dance within unseen creatures that begin to redesign our physical reality for better or worse.

Wadada Leo Smith’s Delta Blues depicts his experience of seeing the sunrise as it ascends and overlooks the plains of the delta, the rays of the sun “seem to come from beneath the earth”. The “sound field created by the performers is considered symbolic of the energetic force released by the morning sunrise”.

“Science fiction, Afrofuturism, energy and the environment intertwine with personal storytelling and posthuman possibilities in this exciting collection of works,” said George Lewis. “This concert shows how heterogeneity, a primary characteristic of contemporary Afrodiasporic music, is expressed in sound and musical method.”

TIME:SPANS is primarily dedicated to showcasing 21st century music. The festival is produced and presented by The Earle Brown Music Foundation (EBMF). The artistic director of TIME:SPANS is Thomas Fichter. The name TIME:SPANS is taken from the title of an orchestral piece by American composer Earle Brown. To learn more, please visit®id=&

Concert information

International Contemporary Ensemble
Saturday August 20, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.
Mary Flagler Cary Hall at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music | 450 West 37th Street | New York, NY
Tickets: $20
Ticket link:®id=& set-2/

Please note: Proof of vaccination will be required to attend all TIME:SPANS concerts at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music. All participants must present CDC, WHO, Excelsior Pass or similar official document showing vaccination and booster status, along with matching photo ID, to a TIME:SPANS representative upon entering the building.

Masks must be worn at all times inside the building. Masks must be worn properly covering the nose and mouth inside the building. TIME:SPANS can supply KN95s.

George Lewis – Melodies for Miles (2022)
Jessie Cox – Black as a Hack for Cyborgification (2020)
Nicole Mitchell – Cult of Electromagnetic Connectivity (2021)
George Lewis – Thistledown (2012)
Wadada Leo Smith – Delta Blues (2021)
George Lewis – Creative Construction SetTM (2015)

Gabriela Diaz, violin
Josh Modney, violin
eddy kwon, violin and voice
Chris Gross, cello
Michel Nicolas, cello
Nicole Mitchell, flute
Isabel Lepanto Gleicher, flute
Joshua Rubin, clarinet
Rebekah Heller, bassoon
Ross Karre, percussion
Lévy Lorenzo, percussion
Lesley Mok, percussion
Dan Lippel, guitar
Jacob Greenberg, piano
Fay Victor, voice

About the International Contemporary Ensemble

Committed to cultivating a more curious and engaged society through music, the Ensemble Contemporain International – as a curator and performer at the highest level – amplifies the creators whose work propels and challenges the way music is made and lived. The 39 members of the Ensemble present themselves as soloists, chamber musicians, commissioners and collaborators of the greatest musical artists of our time. Works by emerging composers have anchored the Ensemble’s programming since its founding in 2001, and the group’s recordings and digital platforms shine a light on the many voices that weave together the music’s present.

Described as “America’s most important new music group” (The New Yorker), the Ensemble has become a major force in new music over the past 20 years, having created more than 1,000 works and having been a vehicle for the workshop and performance of thousands of works by student composers across the United States. The Ensemble’s composer-collaborators – many of whom were unknown at the time of their first collaboration with the Ensemble – fundamentally shaped its creative philosophy and went on to have highly visible and influential careers, including MacArthur Fellow Tyshawn Sorey; longtime Ensemble collaborator, founding member and 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner Du Yun; and Ensemble founder, 2012 MacArthur Scholar and first-ever flautist to win Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Prize, Claire Chase.

A recipient of the American Music Center’s Trailblazer Award and the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, the International Contemporary Ensemble was also named Musical America’s Ensemble of the Year in 2014. The group was Artist-in-Residence at Lincoln Center’s Mainly Mozart Festival (2008-2020), Ojai Music Festival (2015-17) and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2010-2015). In addition, the Ensemble has presented and performed at festivals in the United States such as Big Ears Festival and Opera Omaha’s ONE Festival, as well as abroad, including GMEM-Centre National de Création Musicale (CNCM) in Marseille, Vértice at Cultura UNAM, Warsaw Autumn, International Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt, and Cité de la Musique in Paris. Other performance stages include the armory on Park Avenue, the ice floes of Greenland’s Diskotek Sessions, warehouses in Brooklyn, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and boats on the Amazon River.

The International Contemporary Ensemble advances music technology and digital communications as a tool of empowerment for artists of all backgrounds. Figure provides high-quality video documentation for collaborating artists and provides access to an in-depth archive of composer workshops and performances. The Ensemble regularly engages new listeners through free concerts and interactive, educational programming with primary funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

School activities include a partnership with the New School’s College of Performing Arts (CoPA), as well as an intensive summer program, called Overall evolution, where the themes of equity, diversity and inclusion create new bridges and pathways for the future of sound creative practices. Yamaha Artist Services New York is the Ensemble’s exclusive piano supplier. Read more on and watch over 350 videos of live performances and documentaries on

Photo credit: William Matczynski, Amanda E Friedman, Tadashi Lewis, Gaya Feldheim Schorr

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