Are you ready to take a cerebral and aural journey with YBG Festival? This Saturday’s performers, Ensemble Mik Nawooj, are the bleeding edge, cutting across music genres as you know them.
Drop your preconceived notions of orchestral music being stiff, of hip-hop music being crass, of cross-genre music being mediocre mash-ups. EMN’s brand of chamber hip-hop carefully weaves rap lyrics between strings and woodwinds and operatic singing. It is pretty glorious and feels like a dramatic movie soundtrack, or maybe I only think that because I watched this (warning: violent) video:
(Did you watch all the way to 4:35 for the grand celestial entrance?)
The upcoming Ensemble Mik Nawooj concert at the YBG Festival is one that you should pay attention to for several reasons.
- EMN’s music opens up dialog on what is new music and the terms we use to categorize music.
- Leader/composer JooWan Kim is a classically trained music scholar whose background definitely shows through in his music. Hearing him speak you can tell he must have a million ideas running through his mind despite his calm demeanor.
- You most likely have never heard 2 MCs rap on stage with an opera singer.
- This Bay Area group is gaining notice among critics, from The New Yorker to MTV to NPR.
- Local arts orgs have recognized EMN’s talent and potential. Red Poppy Art House has snapped them up for Artist-in-Residency, and JooWan is currently working on original pieces that the YBCA is commissioning.
- Rumor has it that Wu-Tang songs will be played. A chamber group does Wu-Tang?!
- EMN is worth paying to see. This concert is a chance to hear EMN live and for FREE.
Share your thoughts on EMN or hybrid music or hip-hopera in the comments.
JooWan Kim from Ensemble Mik Nawooj will be interviewed on “Hard Knock Radio” on
KPFA 94.1fm this Friday, May 30 at 4pm.