We hope this finds you and your loved ones safe and well. Here at Ars Nova, we are keeping our social distance, but our mission is as focused and collaborative as ever. Yes, we are still working hard to keep bringing you the life-changing and spirit-lifting music we love so much, and we are finding new ways to do it.
- Live-streaming Philadelphia musicians
We recently had the opportunity to participate in the “Quarantine Concerts” series, presented by Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago. We chose to put on an evening of Philadelphia-based (or -connected) artists, highlighting the incredible creativity of ANW’s native city: Joshua Abrams, Jupiter Blue, Brian Marsella, Matt Hollenberg, Uri Caine, and Monnette Sudler. We had some technical challenges, but overall the evening was a great success: nearly 3,000 visitors stopped by for at least one of the sessions! We were able to share great music AND get musicians paid.
- Commissioning new music from local artists
We’re working with other local organizations to find opportunities to commission new music from local artists—like an audio “jazz walking-tour” of horticultural and historic points of interest. Another way we are getting those musicians paid…
And speaking of commissions: We’ve engaged a couple of our favorite musicians to write some original music for a new podcast we’re working on. This is going to be a central project for us moving forward: a way to talk about why improvisation matters, and to tap into the genius of so many of the amazing musicians we bring to Philadelphia, beyond the 90 minutes or so we can put them on stage. Imagine: Makaya McCraven and Jeff Parker talking about what makes Chicago improvisors so identifiable; or Nels Cline and Yuka Honda talking about having a “musical marriage.”
- Muhal Richard Abrams’s Soundpath
We’re closing in on releasing that recording of Muhal Richard Abrams’s Soundpath that we laid down during October Revolution 2018, featuring Bobby Zankel and an all-star Warriors of the Wonderful Sound.
- Releases from the archives
Another way we’re contemplating getting some income streams for musicians: releasing some of the recordings from our archives of 20 years’ worth of amazing concerts, and paying the musicians who performed. (If you’re feeling particularly motivated, get in touch with us about becoming an Executive Producer on one or more of these releases…)
There’s even more being cooked up, and we are constantly looking for new ways to connect with you, our audiences, through music. We hope you’ll help us continue to do it.
Making a donation to Ars Nova Workshop today is easy (PayPal).
We can’t wait until we get to see you in person again, but until then: We promise to keep bringing you the greatest music (and the greatest American invention).