The MusicNOW: 10 Years compilation is set for digital release just prior to the 10th edition of this eclectic music festival of the same name founded in 2006 by Bryce Dessner of The National. MusicNOW Festival set out with a mission to present the best in contemporary music, offer artists an opportunity to take risks, commission new work and attempt innovative collaborations.
The first track “Trials, Troubles, Tribulations” gets at the spirit of the compilation and the event. It is an American bluegrass gospel song written by Estil C. Ball. Here it is performed by Sounds of the South, a project featuring Justin Vernon (Bon Iver, Volcano Choir), Sharon Van Etten, Megafaun, Matthew E. White, and Fight the Big Bull. The project, organized by Megafaun, initially appeared at Duke Performances in North Carolina and MusicNOW in Cincinnati, Ohio, and subsequently traveled to Australia's Vivid LIVE at the Sydney Opera House. The 16 track live album also highlights festival-only surprises like Fleet Foxes' leader Robin Pecknold playing the traditional song “Silver Dagger” for the first time, the debut performance of Grizzly Bear’s “While You Wait for the Others”, the premiere of Sufjan Stevens’ “The Owl & The Tanager”, as well as collaborations featuring Owen Pallett, Justin Vernon, Sharon van Etten, Tinariwen and Dirty Projectors.
“Many of my most significant memories as a musician have taken place in Cincinnati during the MusicNOW Festival over the last 10 years, “ says founder Bryce Dessner. “When we started, we were driven to create an intimate music festival that was as much a creative refuge for the artists as it is for the audience to partake in intimate and rare performances. We have celebrated works in progress and new commissions, new collaborations and detailed music of all kinds regardless of genre or popularity. “
Dessner is widely known as the guitarist for The National. Those a little more in the know are aware of Bryce’s work in performance projects (such as The Long Count) and classical composition (including his work with Brassland label artists Clogs). MusicNOW was founded as a way for Bryce to explore all facets of his artistic interests and has served as a collaborative laboratory that provides a friendly and supportive audience for internationally renowned artists. Through the years, Dessner has guided MusicNOW to become the premiere event for blurring the imagined lines that divide musical genres.
This year’s MusicNOW festival will take place on March 11-15. For the full schedule and more details visit www.musicnowfestival.org