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October IMPACT Sessions

Laura Schwendinger Joe Deninzon

Laura Schwendinger
photo by Joanna Eldredge Morrissey 
Tuesday, October 5

Joe Deninzon
photo by Adam Brett Schnee

Thursday, October 7
All IMPACT events are FREE
Watch HERE
Composers Now launched IMPACT in December 2020. Each installment in this series offers a composer the opportunity to reflect on one's creativity, influences, pathways, and responsibility as a living artist in our ever-changing world. Designed for the virtual space, every session shares a composer's essential thoughts directly with you, the audience, in the safety and comfort of your own place.
These commentaries, interwoven with performance videos and other materials, articulate a creator's IMPACT.

Sweet Land Named 'Best New Opera'

Sweet Land

The Music Critics Association of North America announced that its 2021 Award for Best New Opera goes to composers Du Yun and Raven Chacon and librettists Aja Couchois Duncan and Douglas Kearney for Sweet Land.

The site-specific premiere of Sweet Land was a surreal travelogue through the Los Angeles State Historic Park.
Separating the audience into two experiences of erasure and survival, Sweet Land explored the ingrained assumptions surrounding America's origins by inventing a new, experimental myth of Hosts and Arrivals.  As the natural landscape and the undeniable remnants of industrialization stood in silence, the land itself was a central character-stark relief to the fantastical world of an imaginary place called "Sweet Land."

The MCANA's annual award for Best New Opera honors musical and theatrical excellence in a fully staged opera that received its world premiere in North America during the preceding calendar year.  It is one of the few awards that simultaneously recognizes both composer and librettist.

Matana Roberts: Distinguished Guest Composer
At the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition

Matana Roberts

The University of Chicago's Center for Contemporary Composition (CCCC) appoints Chicago-born artist Matana Roberts to serve as this year's Distinguished Guest Composer. As part of the residency, the CCCC has commissioned an original musical composition that will become a new 45-minute chapter in Roberts's COIN COIN series project, a multi-chapter work that combines conceptual scoring, storytelling and historical narrative, performative theatre, and a deeply considered channeling of personal ancestry and the 'universal' experience of Africans in America. Roberts will participate in composition activities on campus and take the CCCC's programming outside of the concert hall with a variety of university and community activities. 

Matana Roberts, currently based in NYC, is one of the leading lights of contemporary experimental music, combining their widely recognized gifts as an alto saxophone player and improviser with an intensely engaged re-definition of Jazz traditions. Roberts has been called "a major talent" (The Wire) and "the spokeswoman for a new, politically conscious and refractory Jazz scene" (Jazzthetik). A self-taught mixed media composer, Roberts earned two degrees in performance from a smattering of American institutions but received their primary training from free arts programs in the American Public School System.

For more information about the Distinguished Guest Composer residency and upcoming events featuring Matana Roberts, visit the CCCC website HERE.