Bedroom Community

News

16 April 2012

Nico, Sufjan & Bryce Compose Planetarium

Nico Muhly has teamed up with Sufjan Stevens and Bryce Dessner of The National to compose a song cycle about the solar system.

The trio presented a workshop performance of the piece - Planetarium - at the Dessner-curated MusicNOW! festival in Cincinnati followed by an official premiere in Eindhoven. The piece comprises of at least 11 movements; The Earth / Venus / Mercury / Saturn / The Moon / Pluto / The Sun / Uranus / Jupiter / Neptune.

Following the performances of the piece on the recently finished mini tour, some fan videos started to circulate on the internet.We've gathered some of them below - check it out.

To read more about Planetarium, check out Nico's blog.

Picture:©Dennis Stempher

What the press says

The EP is a lilting, sometimes arch set of modern classical composition – by no means intimidating to neophytes, and encoded with delightful little motifs.

Breaking down as a cycle of five efficiently short pieces, the results are captivating and continue to strengthen the case for Nico Muhly as one of the world’s consistently brilliant young composers.

Boomkat (May 25th 2012) Read all reviews

Brubaker alternates between lovely ivory lines and frantic, freeform eighty-eights pounding, while Sirota tends to supply sublimely droning string swells in the background.

Exclaim! (May 25th 2012) Read all reviews

Drones & Piano is an expressive, enchanting, moving skein.

Lucy Jones — The Telegraph (May 28th 2012) Read all reviews

...it’s real appeal is in savouring how Muhly creatively uses consonance and dissonance with his chosen drone.

Don’t assume this five-song collection sounds like your aunt singing Duran Duran whilst lugging a Dyson across the living room… the bedrock of these pieces becomes highly charged; stuck within a confined space they so desperately want to break free of.

For a large part of this quarter of an hour, Brubaker pokes the keys of his piano in an obsessive and compulsive way, and gives a strength and intensity to the story that at times abstracts any particular genesis or conception of the project, as if everything came to life on its own and full of meaning much beyond the constitution and starting point of the scores.

Playground Mag (June 22nd 2012) ★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

...it is both playful and studied, something incredibly hard to achieve. Well worth a closer look.

Boomkat (August 7th 2012) Read all reviews

These are drones with an intellect.

Robinson Meyer — The Atlantic (August 20th 2012) Read all reviews

The sharp bites of fingers crashing against the piano’s keys put against high pitched whirrs of the violin take you on a incredible journey through suspense and terror.

Francesca Davison — Dummy (August 30th 2012) Read all reviews

Nico Muhly has an intriguing creative mind; [Drones & Violin is] an interesting work and yet another addition to his diverse back catalogue.

The 405 (September 5th 2012) ★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

Muhly’s versatility has been commented on plenty at this point, and this series finale is yet more ammunition.

Boomkat (September 6th 2012) Read all reviews

Muhly challenges his compositional skills rather brilliantly and creates three intensely captivating series of compositions.

Bruno Lasnier — The Milk Factory (September 6th 2012) ★★★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

What is noteworthy here is the way songcraft repeatedly emerges from tension. Muhly’s explorations never fail to find something worthwhile.

Tobias Carroll — Dusted (October 5th 2012) Read all reviews

A compelling trio of EPs.

eMusic (November 12th 2012) Read all reviews

Drones is a necessary acquisition for anyone interested in Muhly’s work outside pop.

AllMusic (November 19th 2012) ★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

...Nico Muhly’s pieces feel like a series of archly posed questions. In their formal inventiveness, love of blank space, and haiku-like neatness, they arouse the part of your brain that suspects it’s being outsmarted…To feel your intellect being playfully, patiently tested, as if he is circling your mind and kicking its tires, can be a wonderfully maddening experience.

Jayson Greene — Pitchfork (November 29th 2012) ★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

“...the best thing I’ve ever heard of Muhly’s…”

Steve Hicken — Burning Ambulance (December 4th 2012) Read all reviews

One of the most impressive aspects of these pieces is the variety of relationships that unfold between the “solo” instruments and the drones…beautifully despondent.

The Boston Globe (December 22nd 2012) Read all reviews

“...the latest from this brilliant, boundary-pushing composer [...] is post-minimal virtuosity, sometimes rollicking in nods to the likes of Rzewski, sometimes static sculpture, sometimes rock-and-roll. It’s, vitally, never timid.”

Create Digital Music (December 26th 2012) Read all reviews

A hugely rewarding album that’s surely set to be one of the finest modern classical releases of 2010.

Boomkat (September 21st 2010) Read all reviews

..it’s the sheer variety of the invention, and the soundworld created for it, that holds the attention…

Guardian (September 30th 2010) ★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

Muhly is definitely a composer to watch out for.

All Music (October 21st 2010) ★★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

Throughout, Muhly realizes some magical effects

Pitchfork — Pitchfork (December 8th 2010) ★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

"Weird, and intermittently wonderful."

Andy Gill — The Independent (May 13th 2008) ★★★★★★ Read all reviews

"As accomplished as Muhly’s debut was, I wasn’t quite ready for him to unfurl the full length of his ambition in the way he does on Mothertongue."
"Here, Muhly brings classic instrumentation, electronics and voices together into a piece of work which is at the forefront of contemporary classical music. Truly magnificent."

themilkman — The Milk Factory (June 3rd 2008) ★★★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

"the three extended sound collages here are radically different in conception but are lent unified coherence by the central role of the various singers, all deployed at the extremes of human vocal expression."

Nigel Williamson — Uncut (June 17th 2008) ★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

 In a transfixing exploration of the sung voice’s possibilities, he draws on Icelandic myth, English folklore, 17th-century church politics and royal superstition. It is never less than fascinating.  

Dan Cairns — The Sunday Times (July 22nd 2008) ★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

"Muhly always wants to be perceived, and here, we witness the junkyard of his memory being spun into something at once utterly ordinary and utterly strange."

Pitchfork Media (August 19th 2008) Read all reviews

"It makes a change to come across an album of contemporary music that's not merely a document of a "performance" but a piece of creative recording in its own right."
"POSTMODERNISM’S TRIUMPH"

Atli Bollason — Morgunblaðið (October 17th 2006) ★★★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

"This is a dazzling album...a brilliant stylistic uniqueness."

Touching Extremes — Touching Extremes (April 2nd 2010) Read all reviews

"a highly evocative and beautiful album..."

FdW — Vital Weekly (April 2nd 2010) Read all reviews

"The combination of Muhly's formidable modern classical chamber compositions and Valgeir Sigurðsson's greatly textured and varied production makes for some pretty remarkable listening.... If you’re after one of those records no one’s heard off but that everyone will want to own once given an airing - this is the real deal. Gorgeous."

Boomkat — Boomkat (April 2nd 2010) Read all reviews

"A NEW ORTHODOXY - composer nico muhly speaks fluently"

Will Welch — The Fader Magazine (April 2nd 2010) Read all reviews

Categories

Latest Releases

Theatrics
Released on 29 September 2014
CD, Digital
Order now

A U R O R A
Released on 26 May 2014
LP, CD, Digital
Order now

Over Light Earth
Released on 30 September 2013
LP, CD, Digital
Order now

Forthcoming Releases

V A R I A N T
Released on 8 December 2014
LP, Digital
Order now

Mailing List

If you would like to receive news from Bedroom Community, please enter your e-mail address in the box below and press OK.

        

Upcoming events

Nov 29

Shield Patterns W/ Puzzle Muteson
Islington Mill
London (United Kingdom)

Feb 20

Union Chapel - w/ Oneohtrix Point Never and Nico Muhly
with James McVinnie
Union Chapel
London (United Kingdom)

Apr 10

James McVinnie - Cathedral Church of the Reedemer, Calgary, Canada
Cathedral Church of the Reedemer
Calgary (Canada)

Apr 12

Music from the 2011 Royal Wedding
with James McVinnie
All Saints Anglican Church
Edmonton (Canada)

On the web

Listen in Pop-out player