What Ne(x)t

Just back from a brief but thoroughly enjoyable concert by Ne(x)tworks, a new music ensemble that deserves more attention.


Ne(x)tworks was founded in 2003 by avant-garde vocalist Joan LaBarbara, violinist Cornelius Duffalo, and composer Kenji Bunch. The ensemble favors eclectic avant-garde works, and this evening’s program brought together works that mix traditions of jazz improvisation, minimalism, live electronics and computer music, and the Chicago “creative music” movement. Especially impressive were a performance of an untitled graphic score from 1957 by Edgard Varèse conducted by Miguel Frasconi, Leroy Jenkins’s Space Minds, New Worlds, Survival of America with a guest appearance by the amazing Anthony Coleman, one of the best piano improvisers in New York, ande Christopher McIntyre’s Sites/Nonsites for ensemble and computer-modified sounds, including the voice of Joan LaBarbara. The last work is part of a larger work in progress, inspired by the art of Robert Smithson.

The ensemble performed to a small audience at the Greenwich House Music School’s upstairs small performance space, whose acoustics suit this music well. New music fans would be wise to catch their February concert and snag up their fresh-off-the-presses CD.

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