One day in 2014, CJ Camerieri received an unusual text message. “Hey- you don’t know me, but my name is Ben and I really like yMusic. Next time you have a free day in LA, I’d love to take you out to lunch to talk about working together.” As luck would have it, CJ was in LA at that very moment, and the two quickly met up to start plotting a project. After sessions in LA, New York and Nashville, the group had finished “So There,” an album comprising Ben’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra along with 8 songs featuring yMusic. All the songs were co-arranged by CJ and Rob the album art was created by our very own Alex Sopp!
In 2014, yMusic was approached to do a collaborative show for the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival. We reached out to a variety of friends, and for some reason, no one was available to perform with us. In a true stroke of genius, programmer Bill Bragin proposed contacting Jose Gonzalez, who had previously performed on the festival. We were intrigued, and after a few emails and phone calls, we had ourselves a gig! Lincoln Center commissioned 10 arrangements for the concert, written by Rob Moose, and we performed for 7000 people!
In 2011, David Longstreth, singer and composer for critically-acclaimed indie rock collective Dirty Projectors, approached yMusic about joining the band in the studio for some overdub sessions. After many ideas and saxophones were thrown around, yMusic recorded with David in December. The results can be heard on four tracks of the band’s latest album, Swing Lo Magellan, as well as the About To Die EP. yMusic will opened for and performed with Dirty Projectors in January, 2013, at Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House.
My Brightest Diamond
Shara Worden is one of today’s most inspiring singers and sought-after collaborators. She also happens to be the first bandleader Rob ever worked with, beginning in his junior year of college back in 2003. The two met on Craigslist after he read an ad titled “Britten, Buckley, Boulez, Bjork” and hit send as quickly as possible. When Shara was commissioned by the Lincoln Center American Songbook to write an entirely new set of songs, she chose to write for yMusic’s chamber-focused sound. The resulting songs make up All Things Will Unwind, her third album, released in 2011 by Asthmatic Kitty.
When yMusic was brainstorming about collaborators for its debut record, the name Son Lux kept coming up. Active as a composer, electronic musician, singer-songwriter and remix artist, he was exactly the kind of musician with whom we aspired to work. The result of our initial contact was Beautiful Mechanical, the title track of our debut album. Later, when chosen by NPR’s All Songs Considered to create and document an album in a single month, Son Lux called on all the members of yMusic, in various configurations, to contribute notes and improvisations. Through skillful manipulation, Son Lux created We Are Rising, using yMusic as an endlessly malleable sonic weapon.
For the Union Dead
Gabriel Kahane has always been close friend to yMusic, and various of the ensemble members had collaborated with him before the ensemble crystallized. In fact, Kahane was one of the first people to be informed of the existence of yMusic and decided the group’s instrumentation would suit his plans for a commission from the Verbier Festival. The resulting nine-movement song cycle For The Union Dead features yMusic with the composer on vocals, piano and banjo. The piece was partially premiered in 2008 at Ars Nova and received its first full performance at (le) Poisson Rouge in 2009. It was reprised the following year at the Lincoln Center American Songbook series.