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Bard College–Based Student Music Ensemble Launches New Album “Stream of Stars”

Contemporaneous Releases Debut Album on Innova Recordings Label Featuring Original Compositions Written by Dylan Mattingly ’14

Jennifer Wai-Lan Huang
CAPTION INFO: This month, Contemporaneous launches its debut album, Stream of Stars, featuring original compositions written by Bard College Conservatory of Music student Dylan Mattingly ’14. Co-artistic directors Mattingly and Bloom founded the Bard Coll  Image Credit: David Adam Nagy
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—This month, Contemporaneous launches its debut album, Stream of Stars, featuring original compositions written by Bard College Conservatory of Music student Dylan Mattingly ’14. Recorded in the Blum recording studio at Bard College and in the Sonsoff Theater at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, Stream of Stars is being released on Innova Recordings, the Saint Paul, Minnesota–based label of the American Composers Forum. Nearly all of the performers on Stream of Stars are Bard College Conservatory of Music students. David Bloom ’13, who is studying conducting and composition in Bard’s Music Program, conducts two of the pieces on the disc. Mattingly, who studies composition and classics in the Conservatory, wrote all the music on Stream of Stars specifically for the Bard College–based new classical music ensemble Contemporaneous. Called “New York’s hip, new, student-run new music ensemble” by composer Ryan Chase, Contemporaneous is an ensemble of talented and enthusiastic young artists dedicated to performing the most exciting music of its generation that describes our world and captures our existence. Co-artistic directors Mattingly and Bloom founded the group at Bard College in 2010.

Stream of Stars opens with “Atlas of Somewhere on the Way to Howland Island,” an epic and beautiful poem for chamber orchestra that is an emotional depiction of Amelia Earhart’s final journey. One can hear Earhart’s journey in the music: her engine revving, crossing the endless blue, a stop in Tahiti, an elegy at the tragic end to the flight. The finale, though, features an incredible build to an overwhelmingly jubilant climax that sends Amelia’s spirit out into the stars. “Six Night Sunrise (Music of Barges and Metallic Stars),” for violin and piano, is a sonic picture of a single, intimate moment shared between the Pacific and the stars (and the listener). The last work on the album is “Lighthouse (Refugee Music by a Pacific Expatriate),” a down-to-earth yet intricately sophisticated ode to the Pacific Ocean in a unique and riveting joyride for amplified string quintet.

The music blog Prufrock’s Dilemma writes of the album, “Mattingly’s music is the air Contemporaneous breathes. Every note, every phrase, every shift in mood and meaning is fully felt and communicated. The performances on this fine CD bring Mattingly’s visionary magic to vivid life, and the pinnacle of that achievement is in Atlas.”

In order to create this album, Contemporaneous led a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $6,459 from 100 backers. The group writes, “The entire process of making this album—from composition to performance to production—is the result of countless hours of dedicated work by a group of ambitious and talented young artists who have volunteered their time and talents over the past two years out of love for this music. Of the three works on this album, two were deemed ‘impossible to perform,’ but the impeccable and beautiful performances contained in this album are a testament to our dedication and our deep conviction in this journey: bringing to life music that carries a special power that should reach as many people as possible.”

For more information or to order the album, please visit You can contact Contemporaneous at, and Innova Recordings at

Upcoming performances by Contemporaneous include:

Lukáš Oljeník's Tibi et Igni
Guitarist Colin Davin joins Contemporaneous for a performance of this gorgeous concerto
Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 8:00 pm
Olin Hall, Bard College

TO DOWNLOAD high-resolution photos, please go to:


A native of Berkeley, California, Dylan Mattingly (born 1991) has worked with John Adams, Kyle Gann, Joan Tower, and George Tsontakis. Among the performers who have played his music are Symphony Parnassus, Del Sol Quartet, Da Capo Chamber Players, Sarah Cahill, Soovin Kim, Mary Rowell, Geoffrey Burleson, and Other Minds. Upcoming premieres include new works for the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra and Berkeley Symphony. Recently, he was a finalist in Orpheus Chamber Orchestra’s “Project 440,” a crowdsourcing commissioning project sponsored by WQXR. Blogger Susan Scheid writes, “by my lights, Dylan Mattingly, young as he is, has, with Atlas [the first work on this album], earned his place in the pantheon of contemporary American composers.”

Founded in 2010 at Bard College, Contemporaneous, a New York-based ensemble of young musicians, is dedicated to performing the most exciting music of this generation, music that describes our world and captures the spirit of the present moment. Hailing from four continents, the 40+ members of Contemporaneous promote new music among a wide range of audiences. Contemporaneous performs cutting-edge music throughout the Hudson Valley and in New York City. Notable past performances have taken place at Merkin Concert Hall, Galapagos Art Space, Roulette, The Cell Theater, Baryshnikov Arts Center and The Stone. In over 35 events, we have performed 21 world premieres and numerous regional premieres by composers from around the globe and have been featured as guest artist at the Tribeca New Music Festival, Dumbo Arts Festival, and Roulette's Xperimental Love Festival. Contemporaneous is a self-sustaining, independent, not-for-profit organization incorporated in the state of New York.

The Bard College Conservatory of Music opened in 2005, continuing Bard’s spirit of innovation in arts and education. All Conservatory students are enrolled in a unique five-year, dual-degree program leading to a bachelor of music and a bachelor of arts in a field other than music. In this way promising young musicians pursue all of their interests at one institution, taught by expert professionals in each field.

The integrated five-year program combines the benefits of an intensive world-class musical education with the advantages of a broad exposure to the liberal arts and sciences. The Conservatory offers unparalleled musical opportunities for its stu- dents, including a concerto competition, chamber music concerts at Bard and else- where, and performance in the annual Bard Music Festival. Visiting performers and composers present master classes and concerts at the Conservatory, for the entire Bard community. The curriculum for the B.A. degree is the same as for any Bard undergraduate, including the Language and Thinking Program, First-Year Seminar, Citizen Science, fulfillment of distribution requirements, Moderation, and a Senior Project. Conservatory students have access to the resources of the Bard Music Program (see page 51), including faculty, libraries, courses of instruction, and facilities. The Conservatory accepts applications from students of composition and the fol- lowing instruments: piano, violin, viola, cello, bass, harp, percussion, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, and tuba.

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This event was last updated on 05-09-2012