Ben Neill @ Manitoga

manitoga700Quarry pool, the house at the upper left. Photo by Françoise Chadabe.

Annual cocktail & artist residency performance with composer Ben Neill featuring the premiere of Neill’s Manitoga for brass quintet and electronics, featuring trumpets sculpted into the forms of letters by artist Carol Szymanski.

When & where
Saturday, July 26, 2014, 5—7pm
584 Route 9D
Garrison, New York State

Cocktails and light fare were served.

manitogabenneill700Photo Meredith Heuer

Ben Neill‘s Manitoga began with players widely dispersed in the woodland garden. They gradually moved closer to the Quarry Pool and waterfall, playing sculptor Carol Szymanski‘s brass horns. Through his electronic mutantrumpet, Neill engaged in musical dialogues with them, shaping the acoustic and electronic textures in real time.

manitogamusicians700Ben Neill, Richard Clymer, James O'Connor, Peter Zummo, Theo Metz, John Charles Thomas Photo Meredith Heuer

Neill's Manitoga drew upon sources 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, Ben Neill's work reflects the experience of hearing Taps played from across the river at West Point and the rhythmic and melodic processes of insects and birds in the Hudson Highlands.

Battle Calls

Bird Calls





manitogaaudience700The audience
Photo Meredith Heuer

Composer and trumpeter, Ben Neill has been called “a creative composer and genius performer” by Time Out London. Neill’s music blends influences from electronica, jazz and minimalism. His music theater work Persephone was presented at the 2010 BAM Next Wave Festival, and he has performed extensively in a variety of international settings. Neill has recorded nine CDs and has been featured on numerous compilations. The composition Manitoga by Ben Neill is supported by the New York State Council on the Arts Individual Artists Program.

A masterful synthesis of architecture, landscape and the decorative arts, Manitoga uniquely conveys Russel Wright’s enduring ideas on good design and harmony with nature. Tours, events, and programs continue to celebrate this most important design legacy and the poetry of daily living.

One of the few 20th century modern homes open to the public in New York State, Manitoga is a National Historic Landmark, an affiliate member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and a World Monuments Watch Site.