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VIA Records Announces Three Major Releases This Winter, Jeffrey Zeigler as New Director

VIA Records – the in-house record label of National Sawdust – is pleased to announce that Avery Fisher Prize-winning cellist Jeffrey Zeigler has been appointed as its new Director, and three major projects will be released under his guidance in the next few months. The label celebrates the upcoming release of Ian Rosenbaum’s Memory Palace, which includes music by Christopher Cerrone and Paola Prestini and features special guest Brooklyn Rider, and holds a release event at National Sawdust on November 21. Next up is Sxip Shirey’s A Bottle of Whiskey and a Handful of Bees, released January 13, with a preview event at NS on January 9; and New Vintage Baroque and Oracle Hysterical’s The Passionate Pilgrim arrives on February 10, with an NS preview event on January 21.

Ian Rosenbaum – called by Atlanta Music Critic “one of the nation’s great percussionists” – joined the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two program in 2012 as only the second percussionist in the program’s history. The Chicago Tribune has said that he “play[s] with unfailing virtuosity, whatever the music,” and the New York Times has praised his “precisely attuned” performances. He characterizes his solo album, Memory Palace, as “a kind of paean to places and people that have deeply affected me.” Brooklyn Rider joins Rosenbaum on the album for Prestini’s composition G-Force, marking the quartet’s first recording with the group’s new cellist Michael Nicolas. Also featured on the album is Gina Izzo of RighteousGIRLS, joining Rosenbaum in a new work by Timo Andres, as well as the music of Tawnie Olson, David Crowell and Christopher Cerrone.

Sxip Shirey is a composer, producer and performer based in New York City. As the Wall Street Journal explained: “The multifaceted New York-based musician is renowned for his kaleidoscopic array of gewgaws and gadgets repurposed for performances by a one-man gonzo orchestra.” Shirey has toured internationally with the theater/circus arts production “LIMBO,” has been a featured performer at TED, wrote the music for the short film Statuesque written and directed by Neil Gaiman and staring Bill Nighy, and led the band at Madonna’s birthday party in the Hamptons. He also teaches at the Norwegian Theater Academy in Fredrickstad, Norway, which he considers “the Black Mountain College of NOW.” Shirey’s new album A Bottle of Whiskey and a Handful of Bees, features guest appearances by Xavier and Rhiannon Giddens. Click here to see the just-released video for the track “Penny Red.” Shirey calls his new release “an album of sharp adulthood, of screaming yearning alongside realistic expectations.” He continues:

“This ex-love may appear in the midst of a party you’re already at, with no warning. This one may wail your name, but never understand you. This life may not be the one you planned. Love may be glorious and lonely at once. Eventually, all a person can do is stamp the floor and shake the ceiling.”

The Passionate Pilgrim is a song cycle co-written by composer collective Oracle Hysterical (Elliot Cole, Brad & Doug Balliett, and Majel Connery). As a collaboration with the adventurous period ensemble New Vintage Baroque, founded by oboist Lindsay McIntosh, The Passionate Pilgrim brings an all-but-forgotten poem cycle back to life. Once believed to have been penned by Shakespeare, the poems were stripped of this stature when their Shakespearean parentage was revealed as a hoax. Here, finally, the orphaned cycle enjoys new pride of place, reimagined as modern song combining the “serpentine [and] exquisite arrangements” (Chicago Reader) of Oracle Hysterical with the “buoyant pulse and appealing energy” (New York Times) of New Vintage Baroque. Click here to view a video of the recording session for Doug Balliett’s “Beauty Is” from The Passionate Pilgrim. 

Jeffrey Zeigler, former cellist for the Kronos Quartet, has been associated with National Sawdust and VIA Records in a multitude of ways since both institutions were founded. His debut solo album, Something of Life, was released by VIA Records in collaboration with Innova Recordings in 2014; he performed in Julian Crouch and Saskia Lane’s tabletop puppetry piece Birdheart in October 2015, when National Sawdust celebrated its grand opening; and he has curated and participated in a variety of performances at the venue ever since. Zeigler is also an integral part of the VIA-commissioned and produced “eco-documentary” project The Colorado, directed by Murat Eyuboglu with music by Prestini, William Brittelle, Glenn Kotche, Shara Nova, and Pulitzer Prize-winner John Luther Adams. The film makes its West Coast premiere – with live scoring by Zeigler, vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth, and Glenn Kotche – next April at Stanford University’s Bing Theater. Additionally, next spring Zeigler performs the New York City premiere of Prestini’s Labyrinth at National Sawdust, after a preview of the piece earlier this month at the Eastman School of Music.

As Zeigler says of his new appointment:

“I was thrilled and honored when the VisionIntoArt and National Sawdust teams asked me to lead VIA Records. Being a curator at National Sawdust, I got to see first-hand the amazing artistic opportunities that are possible with a truly artist-led organization, and it is that ethos that I hope to bring to VIA Records. These three upcoming releases are a great representation of what I would like to see happen with this label. Ian, Sxip and New Vintage Baroque each have a unique voice in the new music ecosystem and I’m grateful they each agreed to collaborate with us.”

VIA Records

Ian Rosenbaum: Memory Palace

Nov 21: National Sawdust event

Jan 6: Physical and digital release

Track list:
Timo Andres: Crashing Through Fences
David Crowell: Celestial Sphere
Paola Prestini: G-Force
Tawnie Olson: Meadowlark

  1. All nature neglects
  2. Lets a curl entangle

III. Tall elegance turns
Christopher Cerrone: Memory Palace

  1. Harriman
  2. Power Lines

III. Foxhurst

  1. L.I.E.
  2. Claremont

Sxip Shirey: A Bottle of Whiskey and a Handful of Bees

Jan 9: National Sawdust event

Jan 13: Physical and digital release

Track list:

Over the City
Penny Red (Internationale)
Woman of Constant Sorrow (feat. Rhiannon Giddens)
I Gotta Man (feat. Xavier)
Latency (Jetlag)
Grandpa Charlie
Cinnamon Stick (feat. Xavier)
This is How You Break into My House to Find Me
So Stay
Fat Robot
Just Drive By Firefly (feat. Rhiannon Giddens)
I Don’t See Her Walking In (feat. Xavier)
The Land Whale Choir Sinks The Albert Hall
Bach, Stevie Wonder and Janelle Monae (feat. Rhiannon Giddens)
The Last Walk Through The City

New Vintage Baroque: The Passionate Pilgrim (with Oracle Hysterical)

Jan 21: National Sawdust event

Feb 10: Physical and digital release


© 21C Media Group, November 2016

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