Manitoga to Premiere Ben Neill’s Manitoga on July 26

Ben Neill

Composition for brass quintet and electronics begins at 5 p.m.

Ben Neill is a noted composer and performer and the inventor of the mutantrumpet, a hybrid electro-acoustic instrument. As a recipient of a 2014 New York State Council on the Arts Individual Artists grant, Neill will premiere Manitoga, for brass quintet and electronics from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 26, on the grounds of the composition’s namesake. This event is free to Manitoga members, $25 to the general public and $10 for children 15 and under. Reservations can be made on brownpapertickets.com.

Ben Neill

Ben Neill

As envisioned by Neill, the composition will begin with players widely dispersed in Manitoga’s woodland garden, beyond view of the audience. The music will materialize from the sonic landscape as the players gradually move closer to the Quarry pool and waterfall. The musicians will be playing sculptor Carol Szymanski’s elegant brass “phonemophones,” bugles in the form of letters. Through his electronic mutantrumpet, Neill will engage in musical dialogues with them, both acoustically and digitally shaping the acoustic and electronic textures in real time.

Manitoga, the composition, will draw upon influences as varied as the Native American spiritual connection to nature, the region’s Revolutionary War history of battle cries and bugle calls, and Mahler’s use of the horn call as a pastorale. A Hudson Valley resident, Neill also draws upon the experience of hearing Taps played from across the river at West Point and his fascination with the rhythmic and melodic processes of insects and birds in the Hudson Highlands.

This commission is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.


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