Make Music New York: Swelter

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 - 10:39 am


With the combined efforts of MATA, Super Critical Mass, TILT Brass, and Make Music New York, Swelter was a wonderful event in NY’s iconic Central Park. With nearly 30 brass players surrounding audience members on rowboats, this spatial composition by Julian Day, Luke Jaaniste, and Janet McKay took place twice on June 21, 2011 during the city-wide music festival Make Music New York.

We received some wonderful press coverage by the New York Times (including a huge photo on the front of the Arts Section featuring MATA’s Operations Manager Nathan Koci), and National Public Radio.

From the NY Times:

“The performance was as much an urban happening as an outdoor concert, and though the weather was steamy, an eager audience in rowboats did not seem to mind.”

In addition, check out some video and photos from the day below!

Photo by Stephen Taylor     Photo by Stephen Taylor     Photo by Stephen Taylor     Photo by Stephen Taylor     Photo by Stephen Taylor     Photo by Stephen Taylor     Photo by Stephen Taylor

Photo by Stephen Taylor     Photo by Stephen Taylor     Photo by Stephen Taylor     Photo by Stephen Taylor     Swelter's Composers Julian Day, Janey McKay, and Luke Jaaniste, along with MATA AD Yotam Haber at the far left.     A nearly complete group shot of TILT Brass, the featured performing ensemble of Swelter!     Photo by Sarah Baird Knight

Photo by Philip Tsai


Some information on the forces that made SWELTER happen!

TILT Brass is a Brooklyn-based experimental music organization dedicated to expanding the world of contemporary brass performance by producing innovative concert programs and recording projects, and by commissioning new works for its two ensembles, TILT Creative Brass Band (CBB) and TILT SIXtet. Since forming in 2003, TILT Brass has presented the work of over 50 composers, including group members and local colleagues, as well as established masters. TILT’s repertoire engages its audience with musical experiences ranging from sonorous soundscapes to the raucous strains of a street band, from freely improvised explorations to the precision and clarity of fully notated chamber music (often combining the latter two within a single work).

SUPER CRITICAL MASS (SCM) is a large-scale performance/installation project that explores spatialised masses of musicians playing identical instruments within public places. There is no conductor, scores or music stands — instead performers execute simple ‘algorithms’ for sounds and often movement that build up complex, evolving textures. The simplicity of means allows for performers of various backgrounds and ages to participate whilst creating complex interactions. The results are immersive and often meditative performance-installations, articulating both instrument and architecture, within which audiences freely move about or simply sit back and take it in. SCM is thus a unique take on the traditional orchestra, community arts, sound installation and public arts projects.

MATA ( is a non-profit organization that has, for the past fourteen years, been dedicated to commissioning and presenting works by young composers from around the world. MATA’s directors are motivated by a desire to create community among young musicians, especially those whose work defies definition and doesn’t fit into existing institutions. By providing young composers with a professional performance of their work, access to first-rate performers and valuable connections to colleagues, MATA nurtures their entry into American musical life.