Today, yMusic — “one of the groups that has really helped to shape the future of classical music,” according to NPR — share “The Wolf,” the latest preview of their new album YMUSIC coming out May 5 via StorySound Records. “The Wolf” revels in gesture and texture, as uncanny timbres build the ominous tension, ever ascending.
Says the group about “The Wolf”: “What is the loudest mood yMusic is capable of creating? We found the screaming trumpet/clarinet/piccolo texture, and worked in all directions from there. This is one of the most cathartic pieces to perform — we really get to go all out.”
Watch the visualizer for "The Wolf", directed by Steven Mertens, here.
Over nine pieces, YMUSIC delivers moments of sublime mystery and complicated resolution. All of the album’s songs were created together, sometimes at in-person jam sessions, but more often virtually over the course of the pandemic. Each song is a relatively concise statement that explores disparate compositional territory, like a collection of short stories linked more by theme than by setting. Traces of the DNA of past collaborators are evident, but the album’s gracefully unfolding melodies and obtuse rhythmic propulsion is all yMusic’s own.
YMUSIC’s lead single “Zebras” has already attracted praise from The New York Times, who call it “a minimalistic but eventful romp” that “makes the most of its three-and-a-half minutes."
Watch the video for “Zebras,” directed by Jeremy Robins, here.
—Alex Sopp (flutes / voice) is an “exquisite” (NY Times) musician who has appeared as a multi-disciplinary performer and singer in Tony-winning theater director John Tiffany’s production of “The Ambassador,” a staged song cycle written by Gabriel Kahane
—Hideaki Aomori (clarinets) is an exceptional woodwind musician who has collaborated with everyone from jazz star Ambrose Akinmusire to the Philip Glass Ensemble, and even ripped a tenor sax for the Oscar-nominated film If Beale Street Could Talk.
—CJ Camerieri (trumpet / French horn) won two GRAMMYs as a member of Bon Iver’s band and has collaborated with indie stars like The National, Sufjan Stevens, Yo La Tengo, and Belle & Sebastian.
—Rob Moose (violin) is a GRAMMY-winning conductor and arranger for the likes of Taylor Swift, Bon Iver, and Phoebe Bridgers. He’s conducted orchestras in performance for Anohni and Sufjan Stevens, and has performed with Jay-Z, Savion Glover, Gwen Stefani, Josh Groban, Sara Bareilles, and Vampire Weekend.
—Nadia Sirota (viola) won a 2015 Peabody Award for her podcast Meet The Composer and is known for bringing her “tenaciously good ear and her ability to throw herself bodily into the landscapes that composers bring to her” (Pitchfork) to her performances alongside the likes of Nico Muhly, Daniel Bjarnason, Grizzly Bear, and Joanna Newsom. From 2018-2022 she served as the New York Philharmonic’s Creative Partner.
—Gabriel Cabezas (cello) was the 2016 recipient of the Sphinx Medal of Excellence, a career grant awarded to extraordinary classical Black and Latinx musicians. His 2021 album Lost Coast — a performance of climate change-inspired music composed by Gabriella Smith — was named one of NPR Music’s “Favorite Albums Of 2021” and a “Classical Album to Hear Right Now” by The New York Times. It will be premiered with the LA Philharmonic in May 2023.
Since forming in New York in 2008, yMusic has distinguished itself as a thoroughly modern chamber group, defying orthodoxy and mounting acclaimed collaborations with the likes of Paul Simon, Ben Folds, John Legend, and Dirty Projectors. The group’s virtuosic execution and unique configuration have attracted the attention of high profile collaborators and inspired original works by some of today’s foremost composers, including Andrew Norman, Caroline Shaw, Nico Muhly, Son Lux, Missy Mazzoli, Marcos Balter, Judd Greenstein, and Gabriella Smith. They have performed around the world in venues of all sizes, including the Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall, the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, and Madison Square Garden.
Keep an eye out for yMusic tour dates to be announced soon.