The Village Trip 2022 features an expanded classical and new music program under the direction of William Anderson, distinguished guitarist, composer and teacher. William joined team TVT last year with a proposal for a handful of concerts that grew organically as we planned our complicated post-Covid return. Among the Village composers we celebrated were Harold Meltzer and David Del Tredici, both of whose music will be featured again this year. Pianist Marc Peloquin is returning to honor Del Tredici at 85, and Meltzer’s songs will be heard on the “Village Voices” program.
It has long been said that Greenwich Village is a state of mind, a place with no boundaries. Certainly, there are no boundaries among the arts – high and low. Everything has happily coexisted and cross-fertilized, which is why the Village is the forge where so much of 20th century culture was hammered out.
William – no observer of boundaries as a guitarist, playing classical and electric, as well as banjo and mandolin – sees the Village as an artistic meeting place that not only encourages a holistic approach to music and the arts but demands it. At TVT21, we celebrated two great iconoclasts in a joint program at the Bitter End – Frank Zappa and Edgard Varese. It’s one of the more surprising resonances between American psychedelia and French Symbolisme and Modernisme.
This year, an event featuring Hilliard Greene and the Jazz Expressions will share a program with the Momenta String Quartet celebrating the friendship of Charlie Parker and German Jewish refugee Stefan Wolpe. Bebop and Wolpe‘s work each have an energy that is akin to that of abstract expressionist art. Wolpe made a point of befriending the abstract expressionist artists – probably as he hung out at the Cedar Tavern. The Tavern was a locus for artists, writers and musicians, among them David Amram, Artist Emeritus of The Village Trip, who has spent a lifetime crossing boundaries.
"Working with The Village Trip and David Amram has widened my perspective in a most healthy way. We see a broad purview in Cutting Edge Concerts’ program ‘Glass Houses,’ celebrating Phillip Glass, highlighting the remarkable gesture Glass made to the bad old modernist Charles Wuorinen – his ‘In Memory of Charles Wuorinen.’ The space that Glass pried open poses a challenge for composers who make it their business to integrate.”
This year, Composers Concordance, Cygnus, The League/ISCM, Cutting Edge Concerts, and Marsyas Productions are collaborating to form an extensive offering of Greenwich Village composers and musicians. Performers and composers from the US, Spain, Italy, Austria will be participating.
And The Village Trip will soon go international, with events abroad. Poet Masha Kaléko, who lived on Minetta Street in Greenwich Village, fled Poland for Germany, only to be forced out later by the Nazis. In November, The Village Trip’s Kaléko Project will travel to Gdansk, Poland for the Nove Fale Festival, and to Germany and Passau’s Museum of Modern Art. Gamel Woolsey, poet and novelist, lived on Patchin Place in the 1920s, but spent much of her life in Spain, marrying Anglo-Irish author Gerald Brenan and settling in Churriana, near Malaga. Woolsey, much of whose work remains unpublished, will be remembered through a concert at the Gerald Brenan House in Churriana in April 2023.
CLASSICAL AND NEW MUSIC Events at The Village Trip 2022
Celebrate the Jack Kerouac centenary with the world premiere of David Amram’s Ah, Let’s Go Back to the Village, a chamber music composition commissioned by The Village Trip and based on text from Kerouac’s book Lonesome Traveler. Tilted Axes – twenty electric guitars – kick off this unique guitar extravaganza. There follows a program of South American guitar music, and twenty classical guitarists wrap up, joining David Amram, who will jam on his score for the Robert Frank film Pull My Daisy.
Musically as important as Beethoven,
Yet not regarded as such at all
So wrote Jack Kerouac in the 240th chorus of Mexico City Blues, speaking of Charlie “Bird” Parker, whom he regarded as the perfect musician. But Jack’s love of jazz did not diminish his great love for classical music and his knowledge of it. His innate musicianship, of course explains the music of his prose, and his ability to improvise words to music, as he did with his old friend David Amram. The program will include works by J.S. Bach, Claude Debussy, Erik Satie, and Amram performed by a group of distinguished musicians: pianist Yoshiko Kline, saxophonist Ken Radnofsky, and violist Consuelo Sherba.
Apologies, but we have had to postpone this event due to Covid.
In the New York Times, Paul Griffiths described Cygnus as an "enterprising and supple group featuring guitars, strings and woodwinds in pairs….” Composer Allison Loggins-Hull’s latest work, 7th Ave. S. calls for an electric guitar, bridging into the psychedelic sound-world of Greenwich Village, and telling her Village Stories in three movements.
Renowned soprano Leah Brzyski will join Cygnus for the premiere of Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon’s Gypsum, setting of poems by Diedre Huckaby.
Carman Moore riffs on “Cygnus” in Swans Across the Milky Way.
Pianist Marc Peloquin performs music of the great American composer and long-time resident of the West Village, David Del Tredici, as part of his 85th birthday celebration. Also included on the program will be works by composers affiliated with Del Tredici, including Robert Helps and Dennis Tobenski.
Greenwich Village has been home to some of America’s greatest creative minds – poets, composers, innovators, iconoclasts, and free-thinkers. Sopranos Sharon Harms and Adriana Valdes join pianists Joan Forsyth, Cathy Kautsky, Gavin Cappon and the Village Guitar Orchestra to perform songs by Henry Cowell, John Cage, Edna St Vincent Millay, Djuna Barnes, Robert Frost, Margaret Bonds, James Baldwin, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Tania Leon and Willa Cather. Exciting new settings by composers William Anderson, Nehemiah Luckett, Jonathon Dawe, Kitty Brazelton and Gavin Cappon enliven the program.