Free Speech Zone Tour

This week NOW Ensemble and Newspeak begin their politically-charged new music tour, Free Speech Zone. NOW Ensemble formed as a means of facilitating communication and shared music-making between composers and performers. It features work by ensemble members and emerging artists. Newspeak has a similar bent, while also focusing on the fusion of art music and political thought. Their rock-influenced work is both notated and improvised by an eclectic group of performer-composers.

By no accident this series of concerts begins just after Election Day and continues through to the middle of the month. The idea for the tour began after last year’s election when roommates Judd Greenstein and David Little returned home from Pennsylvania, trying to get people out to vote. Through the tour, they hope to bring people around politics and make politics a more present idea in peoples minds. Originally the tour was geared at bringing politics to artists, but as the idea developed the task turned toward bringing art to politically-minded people.

One hope of the tour is that people will associate this music with new generations of political activists. As organizer, Judd Greenstein notes, “To some extent it’s hip-hop, but there’s an opportunity for many different types of music, and for the creators to say, ‘Yes, my music belongs under this umbrella.’ The intent is the same; a similar social conscience.”

So the bottom line is: go out and vote today, be politically charged and go see Free Speech Zone this week. The set will include premieres by Missy Mazzoli and John Halle, who set a text by Sam Smith, editor of a magazine called Progressive Review.

Tour Dates:
November 9th(9:30PM) – The Knitting Factory (New York)
November 11th(7PM) – Galapagos Art Space (Brooklyn)
November 12th(8:30PM) – Firehouse 12 (New Haven)
November 13th (3PM) – Killian Hall @ MIT (Cambridge, MA)

You can read more and hear excerpts at

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