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New Amsterdam Records to release William Brittelle and ACME’s Loving the Chambered Nautilus out Digitally June 5th, Physically June 26th

New Amsterdam Records to release William Brittelle and ACME’s Loving the Chambered Nautilus out Digitally June 5th, Physically June 26th

Full Live Premiere at NYC’s The Kitchen May 11th & 12th

Composer/performer William Brittelle’s third album, Loving the Chambered Nautilus, is a new series of retro-futuristic, electro-acoustic chamber pieces composed by Brittelle and performed by acclaimed violist Nadia Sirota, cellist Clarice Jensen and members of the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), one of new music’s finest professional chamber ensembles. It will be released June 26th on New Amsterdam Records, of which Brittelle is also a co-founder and co-director, and be premiered in full by the ensemble at The Kitchen in New York City on May 11th & 12th. By merging the energy and sonic language of pop drum and synth programming with classical forms and instrumentation, Nautilus offers a propulsive and visceral re-imagination of chamber music for the 21st century.

Unlike its predecessors, Brittelle’s art rock epics Television Landscape (2010) and Mohair Time Warp (2008), Nautilus focuses on chamber virtuosity and intimacy. Guitars and vocals (aside from the closing title track) are conspicuously absent; instead Brittelle brings ACME’s crystalline precision and infectious energy to the forefront against a backdrop of his programmed electro landscapes, with many of the pieces written specifically with Jensen and Sirota in mind. The result is a vivid sound-world that spans a wide emotional range. The album title is a reference to the Chambered Nautilus, a fascinating marine creature inhabiting a complex and beautiful shell that is uniquely comprised of both organic and inorganic material, with the line between animal and shell often blurred to the point of becoming indiscriminate. This fluid duality in effect mirrors the relationship between strings and electronics in Nautilus, with both elements coexisting to the point of becoming one.

The electronic components of Nautilus mainly focus on vintage synthesizer sounds and rudimentary drum machines, while the string playing is most often buoyant and propulsive with interspersing moments of tenderness and calm. The album opens with the three-movement “Future Shock” string quartet series, which immediately introduces the intoxicating musicianship of the ACME players. Entwining string and electronic melodies are driven by perfectly placed moments of fervent tremolo, propulsive polyrhythms, and heady synth beats that result in powerful emotional charges (in particular, watch out for 2’50” on the first movement). “Acid Rain on the Mirrordome” follows, creating a sense of catharsis that anyone who’s been put into a trance by The Cure’s “Plainsong” will enjoy; the feeling continues later in the affecting slow burn of “Loon Birds in Meshed Crystal”, featured in the video below. The title track closes the album with a smooth weave of flute, harp, banjo, electric guitar and retro electronics, concluding with ACME violinist Caleb Burhans repeating the phrase “I do not hate” in succession, gesturing to Brittelle’s effortless embrace of seemingly contrasting spirits: the grace, intimacy, and intricacy of the classical chamber tradition, and synthetic pop music.

Loving the Chambered Nautilus Tracklisting:

1. Future Shock for String Quartet, Mvmt. I
2. Future Shock for String Quartet, Mvmt. 2
3. Future Shock for String Quartet, Mvmt. 3
4. Acid Rain on the Mirrordome
5. Future Shock for Cello
6. Loon Birds in Meshed Crystal
7. Loving the Chambered Nautilus

William Brittelle and ACME
Loving the Chambered Nautilus Premiere and Record Release Show
also featuring the premiere of a new work for ACME by Mick Barr
May 11th & 12th, 8PM
at The Kitchen (512 West 19th Street)
Tickets $12

ACME players for the Nautilus performance in NYC are Caleb Burhans (violin, banjo, and voice), Clarice Jensen (cello), Eric Lamb (flute), Megan Levin (harp), Ben Russell (violin), and Nadia Sirota (viola). William Brittelle will perform electronics and LoVid will conduct video projection.

“Loon Birds in Meshed Crystal” video from William Brittelle & ACME’s forthcoming album, Loving the Chambered Nautilus. Video by LoVid.

More about composer William Brittelle: William Brittelle is a Brooklyn-based composer of pop-influenced electro-acoustic art music. His primary musical mentors include Mike Longo, longtime pianist/arranger for Dizzy Gillespie; Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Del Tredici; and punk guitarist Richard Lloyd of Television. Brittelle’s work is characterized by the melding of complex thematic ideas, rhythms, and formal structure with the visceral power and surface appeal of pop/rock music. That duality is represented by Television Landscape, his fully-composed, post-apocalyptic art rock concept album scored for orchestra, rock band, synths, and children’s choir. Dubbed “irresistible” by The New York Times and “a glorious reclamation of lush sounds crusty critics have vilified for years” by Time Out New York, Television Landscape drew substantial praise from both rock and classical critics, leading the Los Angeles Times to muse, “You might wonder if Jane’s Addiction had discovered the soul of Debussy.” eMusic called the album “expansive, anthemic, all-encompassing, shot through with raw emotion” and named it to its ”Albums of the Year” list. The Awl, Alarm Press (“Album of the Week”), New Jersey Star Ledger, Classical TV, The Big City, the All Music Guide, and taste-maker rock blogs Pop Matters and My Old Kentucky Blog are among the other publications that levied praised on the album. Prior to Television Landscape‘s release, Brittelle received a 2006 emerging composer grant from the American Composers Forum with funds provided by the Jerome Foundation for the creation of Mohair Time Warp, a full-length art-music concept album featuring live musicians and lip-synched vocals. The collage-based, hyper-stylized album was named “CD of the Week” by WNYC’s Soundcheck and dubbed “completely electrifying” by Time Out New York upon its release by New Amsterdam Records in 2008. Brittelle has been the subject of features in The New York Times (Sunday Arts & Leisure), the Los Angeles Times, Time Out NY, and NPR’s All Things Considered.

More about ACME: Led by artistic director and cellist Clarice Jensen, American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) is dedicated to the outstanding performance of masterworks from the 20th and 21st centuries, primarily the work of American composers. The ensemble presents cutting-edge contemporary literature by living composers alongside the “classics” of the contemporary. Known for their work with the Wordless Music Series as well as indie music icons such as Grizzly Bear, ACME’s dedication to new music extends across genres, and has earned them a reputation among both classical and rock crowds. Time Out New York calls them “one of New York’s brightest new music indie-bands.” ACME has performed at (Le) Poisson Rouge, Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Kitchen, the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, Stanford Lively Arts in California, and the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Vermont, among others. ACME’s instrumentation is flexible, and includes some of New York’s most sought-after, engaging musicians. Since its first New York concert season in 2004, the ensemble has performed works by John Adams, Louis Andriessen, Caleb Burhans, John Cage, Elliott Carter, George Crumb, Jacob Druckman, Jefferson Friedman, Philip Glass, Charles Ives, Donald Martino, Olivier Messiaen, Nico Muhly, Michael Nyman, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Frederic Rzewski, Arnold Schoenberg, Ryan Streber, Toru Takemitsu, Kevin Volans, Charles Wuorinen, Iannis Xenakis, Chen Yi, and more.

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