For Immediate Release
16 November 2017
Contact: Jodi Joseph
Director of Communications
POLIÇA and s t a r g a z e
Pop music disassembled
NORTH ADAMS, MASSACHUSETTS — s t a r g a z e, Berlin’s new music mavericks, joins forces with the brooding pop of Poliça to create a new evening-length work Music for the Long Emergency, commissioned by and premiered with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music Series and now further developed by curatorial collective Infinite Palette. Pitchfork describes Poliça as “digitized Norah Jones atop Radiohead at its most polyrhythmic.” Fold in one of Europe’s hottest ensembles for a sense of this boundary-breaking collaboration. A new work for the ensemble by Daniel Wohl will open the show at MASS MoCA on Thursday, February 15, at 8pm.
Emerging from a collaboration between producer Ryan Olson, the mastermind behind the neo-soul collective Gayngs, and vocalist Channy Leaneagh, formerly of folk-rock duo Roma di Luna, the Minneapolis-based synth-pop group Poliça (stylized POLIÇA) formed with the aim of “escaping to a different reality,” says Leaneagh (Rolling Stone). Its debut album Give You the Ghost, written in just two heady weeks, is a doorway to another world of hypnotic crystalline loops and fluidly funky basslines. To complete this psychedelic outfit, the duo tapped Chris Bierden (bass), Drew Christopherson (drums), and Ben Ivascu (drums) to join Leaneagh in the studio and on stage. Less than six months after its live debut, and days after its first album release in February 2012, Poliça was receiving star-studded praise, most notably from Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, who told Rolling Stone, “They’re the best band I’ve ever heard.”
When Poliça released its highly anticipated follow-up album a year later, the acclaimed Berlin-based conductor André de Ridder was in the midst of founding Stargaze (stylized s t a r g a z e), a network of multi-talented and classically trained European musicians. In addition to operating as an orchestral collective since 2013, Stargaze is also a group of curators initiating and commissioning collaborations and projects in the field of contemporary pop, electronic, and classical music. The ensemble, known for its lush work in tandem with explorative artists and groups — such as Julia Holter, Nils Frahm, and These New Puritans — now collides with Poliça, creating an 11-person, ear-expanding supergroup.
An initial meeting in Berlin in February 2016 led to a year-and-a-half collaboration that culminated in the evening-length work Music for the Long Emergency. Originally premiering to a sold-out audience at The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music Series in November 2016, the album has subsequently been recorded at Justin Vernon’s Eau Claire, WI, studio, April Base, and is set to be released this coming February. The first single, “How is this Happening,” was written by Leaneagh the day after the 2016 U.S. presidential election and released just last week, exactly one year later. A lamenting “maudlin sunrise” (NPR), undulating with a “weeping sweep of strings and deeply pained chorus of French horn,” is a mouthwatering glimpse at what is to come from this transatlantic partnership.
Poliça and Stargaze kick off their East Coast tour with a residency and showing at MASS MoCA on Thursday, February 15, at 8pm. Co-commissioned by Symphony Space and Cross-linx, new music for the collective by Los Angeles-based “rising star composer” (Time Out New York) Daniel Wohl opens the evening.
Lickety Split, MASS MoCA’s in-house café, serves up fresh salads, homemade soup, and lip-smacking pub fare. The MASS MoCA bar is always well-stocked with local beer from Bright Ideas Brewing and Berkshire Mountain Distillery spirits. Concert tickets are $10 for students, $18 in advance, $25 day of, and $35 preferred. Tickets for all events are available through the MASS MoCA box office located on Marshall Street in North Adams, open 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 x1 during box office hours or purchased online at http://massmoca.org. All events are held rain or shine.
This performance is sponsored by The Porches Inn at MASS MoCA.
High-resolution images of MASS MoCA’s spring 2018 events are available through this link.
About MASS MoCA
MASS MoCA is one of the world’s liveliest (and largest) centers for making, displaying, and enjoying today’s most important art, music, dance, theater, film, and video. MASS MoCA nearly doubled its gallery space in spring 2017, with artist partnerships that include Laurie Anderson, the Louise Bourgeois Trust, Jenny Holzer, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and James Turrell.
Gallery admission is $20 for adults, $18 for veterans and seniors, $12 for students, $8 for children 6 to 16, and free for children 5 and under. Members are admitted free year-round. The Hall Art Foundation’s Anselm Kiefer exhibition is seasonal and currently on view through November 26. For additional information, call 413.662.2111 x1 or visit massmoca.org.
11am to 5pm, closed Tuesdays