Visiting Artist Jacob Collier Premieres Newly Arranged Works at MIT’s Annual Sounding Series, Features works performed using new interactive technology developed at MIT

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Visiting Artist Jacob Collier Premieres Newly Arranged Works at MIT’s Annual Sounding Series Imagination Off The Charts features works from debut album “In My Room,” performed using new interactive technology developed at MIT. Concert: Jacob Collier at MIT -- Imagination Off The Charts Saturday, December 10, 2016 / 8:00pm Kresge Auditorium, MIT 48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA Tickets: $5 at mitmta.eventbrite.com

Jacob Collier, courtesy of the artist

Jacob Collier, courtesy of the artist

22-year- old ground-breaking British musician Jacob Collier is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, arranger, composer, producer, music-video creator (with 7.5 million views on YouTube) and a unique creative force with limitless potential.

Visiting Artist Jacob Collier Premieres Newly Arranged Works at MIT’s Annual Sounding Series
Imagination Off The Charts features works from debut album “In My Room,” performed using new interactive technology developed at MIT

Concert: Jacob Collier at MIT -- Imagination Off The Charts
Saturday, December 10, 2016 / 8:00pm
Kresge Auditorium, MIT
48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA
Tickets: $5 at mitmta.eventbrite.com

Cambridge, MA, November 17, 2016 — Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announces today the world premieres of newly arranged works by multi-instrumentalist, singer and producer Jacob Collier. The public performance on December 10 is part of MIT’s annual Sounding Series, and marks a culminating moment in Collier’s Visiting Artist residency — his first ever college residency — hosted by MIT’s Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) and MIT’s Music and Theater Arts Section (MTA). At the public performance, Collier will for the first time perform with a newly created experimental improvisation system developed in collaboration with PhD student Ben Bloomberg at MIT’s Media Lab, which supports multi-instrumental and electro-accoustic formats of music making on a live stage. The performance features original and adapted interdisciplinary pieces crafted in collaboration with MIT’s extensive creative community comprising 100 students from the Festival Jazz Ensemble, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and Choir, and more broadly with outside cultural institutions, including the Berklee College of Music, Boston Arts Academy, New England Conservatory, and the University of New Hampshire.

Hailed by The Guardian as “Jazz’s New Messiah,” 22-year- old ground-breaking British musician Jacob Collier is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, arranger, composer, producer, music-video creator (with 7.5 million views on YouTube) and a unique creative force with limitless potential. With musical interests ranging from the Renaissance to the present—and everything in between—Collier’s work defies easy categorization. His music combines elements of jazz, a cappella, world, contemporary classical, pop, gospel, R&B and soul. He is well known for his viral YouTube videos, which have turned numerous legendary artists into fans, including Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, David Crosby, Jamie Cullum, Take 6 and Quincy Jones—now his manager/mentor.

Performing a number of compositions from Collier’s 2016 debut recording “In My Room,” the MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble (FJE), Collier and others will premiere arrangements of “Down the Line,” “Saviour,” (created by Jamshied Sharifi) and “Hajanga,” arranged for big band and orchestra by Collier himself. The concert also includes performances by Collier in a cappella, small combo and solo settings.

The concert will feature a newly created experimental improvisation system developed by Bloomberg and collaborators, allowing Collier to communicate with members of the FJE in real time, sending fragments of musical notation, articulation and other directions to mobile devices of the musicians. This concert will be the first time Bloomberg and Collier explore how such a system may be used to generate spontaneous large-scale arrangements, with the goal of allowing both the performers and Collier to be more emotionally connected to each other and the audience.

In 2014, Collier began working with MIT’s Ben Bloomberg (a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab) who helped transform Collier’s video productions into live one-man-show performances. Subsequently, Bloomberg designed and created a custom unique Vocal Harmonizer, which has provided Collier a vehicle to simultaneously combine his vocal and keyboard talents live.

In addition to the December 10 concert, Collier will present a public lecture/demonstration on Wednesday, December 7, 5pm-6pm “The Creative Process of Jacob Collier,” held in Lecture Hall 6-120 on the MIT campus in which Collier will describe his process for creating his highly popular music videos.

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This concert is part of the 2016-17 MIT Sounding Series, presented by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) and MIT Music and Theater Arts.

About Jacob Collier
Jacob Collier is recognized as one of the world’s most distinctive, inventive and prodigious young musicians. Based in London, UK, Jacob has been inspired by many sounds – his music combines elements of Jazz, A cappella, Groove, Folk, Trip-hop, Classical music, Brazilian music, Gospel, Soul and Improvisation (to name a few), which culminate to create the world of "Jacob Collier." Collier grew up in a family of musicians and has honed his musical ideas from a very young age. He has embraced the world of the Internet to share his distinct form of creativity, becoming best known for creating his trademark multi-faceted YouTube videos from his music room at home, wherein he sings all the parts, plays all the instruments, and visualizes every component with a mosaic of screens. Since his first YouTube upload in December 2011, Jacob’s online social channels have garnered over 150,000 international followers and more than 7.5 million YouTube views. Most recently, Jacob released his debut album, “In My Room”, worldwide on July 1st, 2016. The album went to #1 on iTunes Jazz in 23 countries. It also debuted at #1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Album chart. The album was well received critically with NPR premiering it on their First Look program a week before its release, and spouting praise “Jacob’s warmly humanistic debut In My Room securely positions him as this year’s wunderkind-to-watch.” As well as Billboard simply stating, “Jacob Collier is Blowing Minds.” Jacob is set to tour the USA in September of this year, and second leg in Europe in November. http://www.jacobcollier.co.uk/

About The MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble
Founded in 1963 by Boston jazz icon Herb Pomeroy and led since 1999 by Dr. Frederick Harris, Jr, the MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble (FJE), is comprised of outstanding MIT undergraduate and graduate students studying a wide range of disciplines. FJE has released five professional recordings including its major jazz label debut release on Sunnyside in 2015, Infinite Winds (a joint CD with MITWE). The CD which features FJE performing the world premiere recording of Chick Corea’s From Forever (composed for FJE), received a five-star review from Down Beat and was chosen by the magazine as one of its “Best Albums of 2015 Five-Star Masterpieces”—the first such recognition of its kind for a collegiate ensemble. The Boston Globe called the recording “one of the most compelling of 2015.” The FJE has a long history of performing original music by MIT students and composers from around the world.

About Ben Bloomberg
Since starting MIT in 2007, Ben Bloomberg has worked for Professor Tod Machover at the Media Lab, touring internationally to design and support technology for Opera of the Future productions. He specializes in the design and implementation of advanced surround sound and audio systems for large venues, but he has created many kinds of live performance systems ranging from musical instruments to architectural lighting. Ben started running sound at age nine and has since engineered hundreds of shows in venues all over the world—his designs have been praised (with their associated performances) by critics for the the London Times, Chicago Tribune and Wall Street Journal. In his time on the road, he’s crossed paths with many artists, engineers and designers—from Björk to Ariana Grande, people seem to seek him out when there’s a challenge that hasn’t been seen before, requiring novel and highly customized solutions. At the lab and beyond, Ben works with colleagues to build systems which push the limits of performance and expression. Their goal is create technology which brings the performers closer to the audience instead of diminishing them in the presence of large screens or sets.

About the MIT Sounding Series
The 2016-17 MIT Sounding Series is produced by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) Visiting Artists Program and MIT Music and Theater Arts. Curated by Evan Ziporyn, Faculty Director of CAST, this season of Sounding integrates the avant-garde sounds of ancient instruments and traditional practices with cutting-edge composition and technology to present various visions of a new, evolving music that defies genre. sounding.mit.edu

About MIT Music and Theater Arts
The Music and Theater Arts Section of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences annually affords over half of MIT undergraduates — over 2,000 students per year — the opportunity to experience the unique language and process of the performing arts. Faculty and teaching staff, informed by their ongoing professional activities, help students understand art’s demand for rigor and discipline and its non-quantitative standards of excellence and beauty. mta.mit.edu

About the Center for Art, Science & Technology
A major cross-school initiative, the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) creates new opportunities for art, science and technology to thrive as interrelated, mutually informing modes of exploration, knowledge and discovery. CAST’s multidisciplinary platform presents performing and visual arts programs, supports research projects for artists working with science and engineering labs, and sponsors symposia, classes, workshops, design studios, lectures and publications. The Center is funded in part by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Evan Ziporyn is the Faculty Director and Leila W. Kinney is the Executive Director.

Since its inception in 2012, CAST has been the catalyst for more than 35 artist residencies and collaborative projects with MIT faculty and students—20 cross-disciplinary courses and workshops, four concert series and numerous multimedia projects, lectures and symposia. The visiting artists program is a cornerstone of CAST’s activities, which encourages cross-fertilization among disciplines and intensive interaction with MIT’s faculty and students. arts.mit.edu/cast

About the Arts at MIT
Over 70 percent of incoming freshmen have prior training in the arts, and nearly 50 percent of all MIT undergraduates enroll in arts courses each year. The arts strengthen MIT’s commitment to the aesthetic, human and social dimensions of research and innovation. Artistic knowledge and creation exemplify MIT’s motto—mens et manus, mind and hand. The arts are essential to MIT’s mission to build a better society and meet the challenges of the 21st century. arts.mit.edu

Upcoming MIT Sounding Concerts
Details at sounding.mit.edu

January 5, 2017 / 8pm
Nik Bärtsch and MOBILE
MIT Killian Hall, 14W / 160 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA

February 23, 2017 / 8pm
duoJalal
MIT Killian Hall, 14W / 160 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA

March 3, 2017 / 8pm
Maya Beiser
MIT Kresge Auditorium, W16 / 48 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA

March 16, 2017 / 8pm
John Harbison with the MIT Symphony Orchestra
MIT Kresge Auditorium, W16 / 48 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA

April 22, 2017 / 8pm
AUDIBLE, CAST Symposium Concert featuring Maya Beiser
MIT Kresge Auditorium, W16 / 48 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA

April 28, 2017 / 8pm
Luciana Souza, with a composition by Guillermo Klein, performed with the MIT Wind Ensemble
MIT Kresge Auditorium, W16 / 48 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA

Media Contacts
Leah Talatinian | Arts at MIT | +1.617.253.5351 | leaht(at)mit.edu
Stephanie Yeo | Resnicow and Associates | +1.212.671.5161 | syeo(at)resnicow.com

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Leah Talatinian
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