Landscape Music 2022 Concert Series Celebrates Olmsted Parks

Lungs of the City: Olmsted’s Parks in Music

A Concert Series of New Chamber Music
Celebrating Public Parks & Commemorating Frederick Law Olmsted’s Birth

Featuring World Premieres by

Thumbnail image of Oliver Caplan
Oliver Caplan
Thumbnail image of Nell Shaw Cohen
Nell Shaw Cohen
Thumbnail image of Michael-Thomas Foumai
Michael-Thomas Foumai
Thumbnail image of Libby Meyer
Libby Meyer
Thumbnail image of Ayumi Okada
Ayumi Okada
Thumbnail image of Justin Ralls
Justin Ralls
Thumbnail image of Christina Rusnak
Christina Rusnak
Thumbnail image of Ryan Suleiman
Ryan Suleiman

Curated & Commissioned by

Landscape Music Logo

Music in the American Wild logo with bear

Juventas New Music Ensemble magenta logo
Michigan Technological University black and yellow logo

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Lungs of the City: Olmsted’s Parks in Music is a program of new chamber music commemorating the 2022 bicentennial of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted. Olmsted, the 19th century American landscape architect who laid the groundwork for today’s public parks, famously envisioned Central Park as “the lungs of the city.” This unique concert program explores that sentiment through musical investigations of Olmsted’s living legacy of vital urban landscapes across the United States.

In a cross-regional collaboration amongst a consortium of ensembles and presenters, the concerts will take place in several cities in the Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest U.S. during the Spring, Summer, and Fall of 2022. The first concert, presented by Juventas New Music Ensemble, will take place on March 26, 2022, and will be performed in the Boston area and broadcast live on YouTube. Several additional concert dates and locations will be announced soon.

The all-World Premiere program will feature works for flute, clarinet, horn, percussion, violin, viola, and cello, by composers Oliver Caplan, Nell Shaw Cohen, Michael-Thomas Foumai, Libby Meyer, Ayumi Okada, Justin Ralls, Christina Rusnak, and Ryan Suleiman. These accomplished and musically diverse composers, hailing from New York to Hawaiʻi, are members of Landscape Music: a network of composers and performers whose music engages with landscape, nature, and place.

Lungs of the City: Olmsted’s Parks in Music is co-curated and co-commissioned by Landscape Music in partnership with American Wild Ensemble (also a member of Landscape Music), a chamber ensemble which celebrates the people, places, and stories that shape American history and culture through the commission and performance of new music; Juventas New Music Ensemble, a Boston-based contemporary chamber group with a special focus on emerging voices; and Michigan Technological University Department of Visual and Performing Arts, which presents concerts of new music with notable guest performers. All three performance partners will be giving concerts of this program on their 2022 seasons.

1868 Vaux & Olmstead Map of Central Park, New York City

1868 Vaux & Olmsted Map of Central Park, New York City

Eight musical responses to notable designs by Olmsted and his sons’ firm, Olmsted Brothers, will bring audiences on an imaginative journey across the country. Locations to be highlighted tentatively include New York City’s Central Park, Prospect Park, and Fort Tryon Park; Boston’s Emerald Necklace and Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site; Atlanta’s Olmsted Linear Park; Detroit’s Bell Isle Park; Portland’s Forest Park; and Seattle’s Cal Anderson Park.

Each work of music will conceptually engage with these parks through the lens of Landscape Architecture & Design, Parks & Public Spaces, Public Health, Ecology & Sustainability, and/or Equity & Inclusion—core themes that are closely connected to Olmsted’s legacy and remain deeply relevant today.

For more information about Lungs of the City: Olmsted’s Parks in Music, please visit LandscapeMusic.com/Olmsted or contact Nell Shaw Cohen, Director of Landscape Music, at nell@landscapemusic.org.

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Concerts

Juventas New Music Ensemble
Saturday, March 26, 2022 at 8:00 pm EDT
Multicultural Arts Center
41 Second Street, East Cambridge, MA
In-Person & Live YouTube Broadcast
Get Tickets

Additional concerts by American Wild Ensemble and Michigan Technological University to be announced!

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Olmsted 200 Celebrating Parks for All PeopleLandscape Music is proud to be a Celebration Partner of Olmsted 200.

April 26, 2022, marks the 200th birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted, author, journalist, public official, city planner and father of American landscape architecture. Olmsted and his successor firms designed thousands of landscape projects across the country, transforming American life and culture. Olmsted’s vision of public parks for all people and his belief that parks strengthen communities and promote public well-being are now more important than ever.

Through events, education, and advocacy at the local and national levels, Olmsted 200 aims to keep Olmsted’s legacy alive by renewing public and policy commitments to the preservation and maintenance of our historic parks and places.

The National Association for Olmsted Parks is the managing partner of the Bicentennial. To learn more, visit the Olmsted 200 website for in-person and virtual event information, blog posts written by diverse thought leaders, teaching materials, and so much more. Subscribe to the Olmsted 200 newsletter for updates and inspiration, and follow Olmsted 200 on social media.

Free Event & New Music Video for Earth Day!

Since the start of 2020, Landscape Music’s composers have been commemorating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with projects engaging environmental themes at the forefront of our global consciousness.

Our activities culminate this week with the 51st Earth Day! In this post, explore our:

  • Free online event this Wednesday (4/21)
  • Music video release
  • Round-up of featured Earth Year projects
  • Spotlights on the newest members of our network

Free Event This Wednesday, 4/21

U.S. Forest Service & VCAF present Earth Year Visions of the Wild Film and Arts Festival
Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 5:00pm PDT
Learn more and register now

Composers from Landscape Music and musicians from Citywater, Sacramento’s premier new music ensemble, present their work in a free online event with the Visions of the Wild Film and Arts Festival, presented by the U.S. Forest Service and Vallejo Community Arts Foundation.

The audience will hear the World Premiere performances of two brand new works for flute and cello by Juhi Bansal and Daniel Morel, celebrating diverse locales from the biosphere reserves of the Azores to the apple orchards of Missouri. Composers Nell Shaw Cohen, Derek Keller, and Ryan Suleiman will introduce excerpts from their works, which respond to Andy Goldsworthy’s land art; the Sacramento watershed; and the devastation of the 2017 Sonoma wildfires, respectively.

This live presentation will conclude with an audience Q&A. Join us!


New Music Video by Anne Vanschothorst

Windmill

JUST RELEASED! Video “more birds more happiness” highlights sustainable energy through the beauty of wind power. New music for harp and soundscapes by Landscape Music composer Anne Vanschothorst are paired with film & photography of wind turbines in Zeeland, Netherlands.

“Between nature and music there is a mysterious, irreplaceable and eternal mystical connection. Besides conducting a symphony of sounds, nature gives, just like music, a source of inspiration and a place to be oneself.” Read more & watch the video!


More Earth Year Projects from Our Artists

In YouTube series Reflections on Music and NatureRyan Suleiman interviews composers, performers, and musical curators about the role of the natural world in their work in these troubled times.

 

Christina Rusnak‘s two new works for chamber ensemble, Dune and Water and Stone, are inspired by her time in Mojave National Preserve and Death Valley National Park.

 

Michael Futreal‘s short film Sentinels features animated photography scored with new music, evoking overlooked elements of a landscape that take on an animistic, mythic character.

 

Blueprints for Hope is a new work for concert band by Katherine Bergman in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, commissioned and premiered by a consortium of seven ensembles.

 


Spotlight on New Members


Music in the American Wild album coverAmerican Wild Ensemble
 (Springfield, MO)

Founded through a national touring initiative celebrating the National Park Service centennial, American Wild Ensemble encourages audiences to explore their environments through a different lens.

“American Wild Ensemble celebrates the people, places, and stories that shape American history and culture.” Visit American Wild Ensemble’s profile.

 

Portrait of Michael-Thomas Foumai

Michael-Thomas Foumai (Honolulu, HI)

Many of Foumai’s “vibrant and cinematic” works are inspired by his Hawaiʻi home.

“It is vital for me to create and to use music to tell the stories of our time, of what was, is and may come in the ever changing landscape of our blue island earth.” Visit Foumai’s profile.

 

Thumbnail image of Randy GibsonRandy J. Gibson (Philadelphia, PA)

Gibson’s “Tacony Creek Suite” is a monumental reflection of the beauty and travails of an under-appreciated green space in Philadelphia.

“My compositions are all duality in nature.” Visit Gibson’s profile.

 

Portrait of Ayumi Okada on city streetAyumi Okada (New York, NY)

Rich with melodic interest and storytelling, Okada’s music captures her impressions of scenery in New York City and Kyoto, Japan.

“Drawing a landscape with music is one of my biggest inspirations in composing.” Visit Okada’s profile.

 

Jessi HarveyJessi Harvey (Saint Paul, MN)

Harvey’s music, “full of surprises and consistently attention holding,” integrates creation with social and environmental causes.

“My music draws back to my childhood in the mountains of Montana.” Visit Harvey’s profile.

 

Portrait of Takuma Itoh at pianoTakuma Itoh (Honolulu, HI)

Itoh’s “brashly youthful and fresh” works raise awareness of Hawai‘i’s many endangered bird species.

“What I find most meaningful in my work is connecting with people.” Visit Itoh’s profile.

 

View our full list of 32 members (and growing!).

Visions of the Wild Festival Presents Earth Year with Landscape Music & Citywater, April 21, 2021

U.S. Forest Service & VCAF present Earth Year Visions of the Wild Film and Arts Festival

Composers from Landscape Music, an international composers’ collective, and musicians from Citywater, Sacramento’s premier new music ensemble, present their work in a free online event with the Visions of Film and Arts Wild Festival on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 5:00pm PDT. Register for this free event at visionsofthewild.org.

São Miguel Island, the Azores.

São Miguel Island, the Azores. Photo by Guillermo Varela. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

The audience will hear the World Premiere performances of two brand new works for flute and cello, commissioned by Landscape Music exclusively for Visions of the Wild. Composed by Juhi Bansal and Daniel Morel, these pieces will celebrate diverse locales from the biosphere reserves of the Azores to the apple orchards of Missouri. The premieres will be recorded and presented by Cathie Apple, flute, and Timothy Stanley, cello, of Citywater.

Additionally, composers Nell Shaw Cohen, Derek Keller, and Ryan Suleiman will introduce excerpts from works that take inspiration from places in and around the Bay Area. They’ll discuss their musical responses to Andy Goldsworthy’s land art in the Presidio of San Francisco (Cohen’s Transforming Forest); the beauty, complexity, and fragility of the Sacramento watershed (Keller’s NorCal Water Music); and the devastation of the 2017 Sonoma wildfires (Suleiman’s Burning).

The presentation will conclude with a live audience Q&A. Continue reading

Landscape Music Announces “Earth Year 2020” Initiative

Landscape Music Earth Year 2020 logo
The composers of Landscape Music commemorate Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary with activities taking place during the year 2020 through Earth Day 2021. This initiative is a catalyst for new works, performances, music videos, and community events showcasing new music that reflects environmental themes at the forefront of our global consciousness.

These projects highlight work by members of Landscape Music: a stylistically diverse, international collective of composers and composer-performers whose music engages with landscape, nature, and place. Learn more at LandscapeMusic.org.

Earth Day is commemorated annually on April 22. The first Earth Day in 1970 is credited with launching the modern environmental movement and is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event. Learn more at Earth Day Network.

Earth Year 2020 builds on Landscape Music’s 2018 collaborative initiative, Landscape Music: Rivers & Trails, which commemorated the 50th​ Anniversaries of the National Trails System and Wild & Scenic Rivers acts. That project catalyzed 12 new works of chamber music and a nationwide series of concerts engaging 35 musicians in five different regions across the U.S.

An overview of Earth Year 2020 projects is provided below. Details and additional projects will be announced throughout the year at LandscapeMusic.org, and on our Facebook and Twitter pages. To be notified of major announcements, including the release of free streaming music and video, please join our mailing list.

Inquiries about Landscape Music and Earth Year 2020 may be directed to Nell Shaw Cohen, Director, nell@landscapemusic.org.


Featured Projects


U.S. Forest Service & VCAF present Earth Year Visions of the Wild Film and Arts Festival

ONLINE EVENT:
Earth Year with Landscape Music & Citywater

Headshot of Nell Shaw Cohen

Project by Nell Shaw Cohen

Composers from Landscape Music and musicians from Citywater, Sacramento’s premier new music ensemble, present their work in a free online event with the Visions of the Wild Film and Arts Festival, a partnership of the U.S. Forest Service and Vallejo Community Arts Foundation. As part of the festival’s 38°N series, this program consists of works with a geographical impetus along the 38th parallel.

The audience will hear the World Premiere performances of two brand new works for flute and cello, commissioned by Landscape Music exclusively for Visions of the Wild. Composed by Juhi Bansal and Daniel Morel, these pieces will celebrate diverse locales from the biosphere reserves of the Azores to the apple orchards of Missouri. Additionally, Nell Shaw Cohen, Derek Keller, and Ryan Suleiman will introduce excerpts from their works that take inspiration from places in and around the Bay Area. Read the event announcement for more information about the program.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 5:00pm PDT. Register for this free event at visionsofthewild.org.

 

Windmill

MUSIC VIDEO:
more birds more happiness

A music video highlighting sustainable energy through the beauty of wind power. New music for harp and soundscapes by Anne Vanschothorst are paired with film & photography of wind turbines in Zeeland, Netherlands.

“Between nature and music there is a mysterious, irreplaceable and eternal mystical connection. Besides conducting a symphony of sounds, nature gives, just like music, a source of inspiration and a place to be oneself.”
Read more and watch the video!

 

 

Dead tree branch with title "Sentinels"

MUSIC VIDEO:
Sentinels

Michael Futreal

Project by Michael Futreal

A short film with animated photography, scored with new music evoking the secret, quiet majesty of the Earth’s “sentinels”: overlooked elements of a landscape that take on an animistic, mythic character. In Michael Futreal’s Sentinels, these watchers watch us—and urge us to consider our obligations to other living beings in this world.

Watch “Sentinels” now!

 

 

Painting by Sakurako KanemitsuPainting by Sakurako Kanemitsu (detail)

INTERVIEW SERIES:
Reflections on Music and Nature

Ryan Suleiman

Project by Ryan Suleiman

In this online interview series, Ryan Suleiman speaks with composers, performers, and musical curators about the role of the natural world in their work and the role of artists in our troubled times.

Subscribe to Ryan’s YouTube channel for new episodes released weekly on Thursdays. Follow the Facebook page for updates.

 

 

CONSORTIUM:
Blueprints for Hope

A new work for concert band by Katherine Bergman in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, commissioned and premiered by a consortium of seven different ensembles. Activist victories are easily forgotten, but their stories can be looked upon as blueprints for the next wave of change and the next generation of activists.

Perusal score freely available; performance score and parts available for purchase. More information.

 

California desert

COMPOSER RESIDENCY:
The California Desert

Christina Rusnak

Project by Christina Rusnak

Christina’s two new works for chamber ensemble, Dune and Water and Stone, are inspired by her time in Mojave National Preserve and Death Valley National Park. These works draw attention to the critical need to protect desert landscapes as the planet warms.

Her residency at the Visby International Centre for Composers (Visby, Sweden) will give rise to new work exploring connections in environmental values between Scandinavia and the Pacific Northwest of the United States. (Postponed due to COVID-19.)

 

Spy Pond
CONCERT:
Site-Specific Performance at Spy Pond

Linda Chase

Project by Linda Chase

A site-specific, concert-length piece by Linda Chase at Spy Pond in Massachusetts. In a call to climate action, instrumentalists and vocalists at the pond’s shore, and in four canoes floating across the water, will create an immersive musical experience. Protestors carrying signs will be integrated into the performance, while the community will be invited to participate by creating poetry and soundmaps in response.

(Postponed due to COVID-19.)

 


Details and additional projects will be announced on an ongoing basis at LandscapeMusic.org, and on our Facebook and Twitter. To be notified of major announcements, including the release of free streaming music and video, please join our mailing list. Inquiries about Landscape Music and Earth Year 2020 may be directed to Nell Shaw Cohen, Director, nell@landscapemusic.org.

Landscape Music: Rivers & Trails Concert Video on YouTube

New Year, new YouTube channel! We are pleased to announce a new online home for videos of our concerts, interviews, and all things LandscapeMusic.org and Landscape Music Composers Network.

We’re kicking things off with a full-length concert video featuring Citywater, Sacramento’s premier chamber ensemble for new music, as part of Landscape Music: Rivers & Trails: our Fall 2018 concert series, which featured five different chamber ensembles around the country in programs of World Premieres that celebrated the 50th anniversaries of the U.S. Wild & Scenic Rivers and the National Trails System.

Citywater’s Landscape Music: Rivers & Trails program was presented by Visions of the Wild, an environmental arts festival, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and Vallejo Community Arts Foundation, with support from the National Park Service. The concert was given at the Empress Theatre in Vallejo, CA on September 23, 2018.

Watch the full concert below, or visit our playlist to see individual videos of World Premiere pieces by Landscape Music composers Nell Shaw Cohen, Linda Chase, Ryan Suleiman, Ben Cosgrove, Christina Rusnak, Rachel Panitch, and Libby Meyer.