Dark Sounds at the Guggenheim


Featuring Beirut, Andrew Bird and Ian Schneller, and The Cinematic Orchestra



Dark Sounds


July 15, 2010: BEIRUT




Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue, New York


$25 members, $30 nonmembers
Limited capacity. Advance online ticket sales only at guggenheim.org/darksounds.
Beirut tickets go on sale June 24 for members and June 25 for nonmembers.
Dark Sounds membership packages are available.

Download a PDF of this press release.

(NEW YORK, NY – June 24, 2010) –– On July 15 the Guggenheim will launch Dark Sounds, a three-part series of live music performances accompanying the exhibition Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance, currently on view at the museum through September 6. Produced by Sam Brumbaugh, Special Events Consultant, and Bronwyn Keenan, Associate Director of Special Events, the series takes its thematic cue from the conceptual threads that weave through Haunted, aiming to evoke the exhibition’s elements of melancholy, ghostliness, the uncanny, and our collective and individual obsession with accessing the past. The series title is borrowed from the writings of Montague Rhodes James (1862–1936), who is often described as the father of the modern ghost story.

Dark Sounds kicks off with the richly modernized Balkan gypsy folk of Beirut on Thursday, July 15; followed by Andrew Bird & Ian Schneller’s Sonic Arboretum, a site-specific performance involving violin, looped passages, and a landscape of horn speakers on Thursday, August 5; and then by the deeply melodic, electronic, and jazz-improvised sound of The Cinematic Orchestra on Friday, September 3.

The Dark Sounds series is made possible in part by Dr. Martens.

Doors open at 8 pm and guests are encouraged to view the museum exhibitionsHaunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance and the Deutsche Bank Series at the Guggenheim Julie Mehretu: Grey Area before the performances, which start at 10 pm in the museum’s famed Frank Lloyd Wright–designed rotunda.

Priced at $25 for members and $30 for nonmembers, tickets are limited and available through advance online ticket sales only at guggenheim.org/darksounds. Beirut tickets will go on sale June 24 for members and June 25 for nonmembers.

Dark Sounds membership package
The museum offers a Dark Sounds membership package, which includes tickets to all three events plus all the benefits of Guggenheim membership for one year, including free, unlimited admission to the museum; invitations to parties and private viewings; and savings at the Guggenheim Store, the Wright, Cafe 3, and on all public programs. The Dark Sounds membership package is available for $125 for one person or $250 for two people and can be purchased by phone at 212 423 3535 or by e-mail at membership@guggenheim.org.

Multi-instrumentalist Zach Condon is behind the critically acclaimed American band Beirut, which he formed in Albuquerque in 2006, recruiting friends for the recording of the debut album Gulag Orkestar. Inspired by Condon’s European travels,Gulag Orkestar is deeply influenced by Balkan folk and gypsy music, and features an eclectic array of instruments such as trumpets, ukuleles, glockenspiels, mandolins, violins, and cellos. The album was almost entirely recorded in Condon’s bedroom. For Beirut’s second full-length album, The Flying Club Cup (2007), Condon drew from the Gallic tradition of Chanson Française to produce an LP that revisits and reinterprets the wistful genre through a unique blend of rich vocals and layered accordions, horns, violins, piano, brass, and bass. Beirut also produced a full-length double EP, March of the Zapotec/Holland (2009), and three additional EPs. Known for its memorable live shows, Beirut performs with a varying number of members, ranging from 6 to 10.

Andrew Bird and Ian Schneller
Andrew Bird is a Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist and lyricist known for his experimental forays into pop music that incorporate elements of gypsy jazz, classical, folk, and country blues traditions. Bird has released nine albums since 1996. In a live setting, passages of violin, guitar, voice, and glockenspiel are looped and layered, crafting melodic hooks and rhythms from spontaneous stabs and strums. For Dark Sounds, Bird will collaborate with sculptor, inventor, and luthier Ian Schneller of Specimen Products to present Andrew Bird & Ian Schneller’s Sonic Arboretum, an audiovisual landscape featuring audio sculptures scattered around the rotunda floor that project sound skyward. Schneller has been designing and building his own line of custom guitars, tube amplifiers, and audio horn speakers for more than 25 years. With a master’s degree in sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, his creations are sonic, kinetic, structural investigations that blend modern and vintage aesthetics and technology. Alone, the sculptures vaguely resemble a union of Victrola speakers and plant life, while Sonic Arboretum’s cumulative effect evokes a symphonic field of poppies, a prairie of sound, a forest floor of hornlings––all parts of one “ecosystem.”

The Cinematic Orchestra
For Jason Swinscoe, founder of the Cinematic Orchestra, working life began at Ninja Tune, the London-based independent record label. By day, Swinscoe distributed records while by night he developed a unique sound that would eventually evolve into the Cinematic Orchestra. Swinscoe introduced other likeminded musicians to the act and soon after, a string of albums emerged. Following their 1999 debut album Motion they have released Every Day (2002), Man With A Camera (2003), and Ma Fleur (2007), as well as the soundtrack The Crimson Wing for DisneyNature (2009), Live at the Royal Albert Hall (2008), Remixes 1998–2000 (2000), and Late Night Tales, a compilation (2010). The Cinematic Orchestra’s diverse, imaginative, jazz-improvised, electronic approach was praised by Uncut magazine as “every hard-boiled, neon-lit Hollywood thriller you’ve ever seen.”

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods, through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. Currently the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation owns and operates the Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue in New York and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection on the Grand Canal in Venice, and also provides programming and management for two other museums in Europe that bear its name: the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin. The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, a museum of modern and contemporary art designed by architect Frank Gehry, is scheduled to open in 2013.

June 24, 2010

Claire Laporte, Publicist
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
212 423 3840

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