“Contemporary music dynamos,” the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), with Golden Globe-winning and Oscar-nominated composer Johann Johannsson and Grammy-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth, give the world premiere of Johann’s Drone Mass in the Met’s magnificent Temple of Dendur, as part of the Met Museum Presents series. The work is commissioned by ACME in celebration of the group’s 10th anniversary. Johann’s Chaconne for solo violin opens the concert, in its world premiere performance by Yuki Numata Resnick.
Drone Mass is a contemporary oratorio which fuses the sounds of string quartet, electronics and vocals, and is inspired by texts from the Nag Hammadi library, sometimes referred to as the Coptic Gospel of the Egyptians. By manipulating the resonances of acoustic instruments with digital processing, Johann creates music that integrates acoustic and electronic sounds into something unique and new. “My ideal is music where the electronic and the acoustic sounds blend seamlessly,” he said.
Johann is a Berlin-based composer originally from Iceland who has had commissions from Bang on a Can, Theatre of Voices and the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra and recently composed a score for the film The Miners’ Hymns by the New York-based experimental filmmaker Bill Morrison. Johann was recently awarded a Golden Globe and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Film Score for The Theory of Everything.
The New York Times describes ACME’s performances as “vital,” “brilliant,” and “electrifying.” TimeOut NY reports, “[Artistic Director Clarice] Jensen has earned a sterling reputation for her fresh, inclusive mix of minimalists, maximalists, eclectics and newcomers.”
Roomful of Teeth is a vocal project dedicated to mining the expressive potential of the human voice. The project’s self-titled debut album, called “sensually stunning” by The New York Times, topped the classical charts on iTunes and Amazon and broke into the top 10 on the Billboard charts.
Tickets start at $40; bring the kids for $1.
Presented by The Metropolitan Museum of Art