Welcome to the project page for Making Tellus: Sketches of a Cosmogram for the Anthropocene. Bass Andrew Munn and composer Nina C. Young are collaborating on an evening-length, multidisciplinary meta-cantata that explores the timeline of Earth’s rapidly changing geology.
Imagine collecting an ice-core sample from a glacier. This cross-section of ice contains thousands of years of information – material that can be used to create a climactic record and tell the story of Earth. In Making Tellus we are harvesting a metaphorical core-sample whose cross-section narrates the scientific, literary, and socioeconomic conversations that have led to the awareness of our new geologic era – the Anthropocene. We invite you to join in and follow our process of discovery and creation.
Meet composer Nina C. Young:
New York-based composer Nina C. Young (b.1984) writes music characterized by an acute sensitivity to tone color, manifested in aural images of vibrant, arresting immediacy. Her experience in the electronic studio informs her acoustic work, which takes as its given not melody and harmony, but sound itself.
Young’s music has garnered international acclaim through performances by the American Composers Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Orkest de ereprijs, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, American Academy of Conducting at Aspen Orchestra, Argento Chamber Ensemble, Either/Or, JACK Quartet, Sixtrum, Yarn/Wire. Young received a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Salvatore Martirano Memorial Award, Aspen Music Festival’s Jacob Druckman Prize, and honors from BMI, The International Alliance for Women in Music, and ASCAP/SEAMUS. Her orchestral work Remnants received the Audience Choice Award at the ACO’s 2013 Underwood New Music Readings. Young has held fellowship residencies at the Aspen Music Festival, The Atlantic Music Festival, the Bennington Chamber Music Conference, the Nouvel Ensemble Modern’s 2014 FORUM, and the Tanglewood Music Center.
A graduate of McGill and MIT, Nina is currently pursuing her DMA in composition at Columbia University under the supervision of Georg Friedrich Haas, Fred Lerdahl, George Lewis, and Brad Garton. She worked as a research assistant at the MIT Media Lab and CIRMMT (Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology). She is an active participant at the Columbia Computer Music Center where she teaches electronic music.
Meet bass vocalist Andrew Robert Munn:
Andrew Robert Munn, bass, explores contemporary society and its tangled roots through performance of canonical and contemporary works. He performs with a powerful and sensitive vocalism motivated by character and textual meaning.
Andrew currently studies in Bard College’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program, under the direction of soprano Dawn Upshaw. His teacher is baritone Sanford Sylvan. He joined the Aspen Music Festival and School’s Opera Theater Center in 2006 and 2014, and will return in 2015 to sing the role of Beethoven in the world stage premier of Steven Stucky and Jeremy Denk’s opera The Classical Style. He was heard as the bass soloist in Mozart’s Requiem under the baton of Ádám Fischer in 2014. Andrew collaborated with composer Nate May to create Dust in the Bottomland a musical monodrama on themes of life in contemporary Appalachia. This piece was deeply informed by his work in movement for environmental and social justice.
From 2009 to 2014, Andrew lived in southern West Virginia, working with communities to end mountaintop removal coal mining and to place local environmental issues in the context of climate change and globalized capitalism through community organizing, grassroots movement building, and political advocacy. His work on land reform, economic transition in coal-dependent areas, and civil disobedience has been published and analyzed in The Journal of Appalachian Studies and Applied Anthropology; books published by Punctum, AK, and Atlantic Monthly Presses; and featured in documentaries The Last Mountain and Battle for Blair Mountain on CNN.
He is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he studied with tenor George Shirley and studied environmental science and humanities as a non-degree student in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment where he was a 2008 Graham Sustainability Institute Scholar.