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Contemporaneous: Songs at Night

Tuesday, February 27, 20248:00 pm

Songs at Night is an intimate evening of musical transfiguration, centered around the world premiere of a large-scale new song cycle by composer Lila Meretzky drawing on the poems of Yiddish-language poet Anna Margolin. The main work on the concert is a world premiere of a commissioned expanded version of Lila Meretzky’s Four Songs at Night. Performed by Contemporaneous. The work will also feature singers Lucy Dhegrae and Milena Gligić.

The program will also feature Shelley Washington’s A Kind of Lung and Dylan Mattingly’s The History of Life in Reverse. Washington’s A Kind of Lung can simply be described as an expression of an experience that we all share – breathing together – and was written for a diverse ensemble of instruments.

Mattingly’s “A History of Life in Reverse” is a standalone scene drawn from the upcoming project History of Life, an evening of music and story that imagines the Homeric oral tradition that created the Odyssey as though it had been passed down continuously from parents to children for the last 2700 years, evolving throughout and informed by human history, picking up new stories and sounds with every new generation. The full work is planned to premiere in 2025 and is being created in collaboration between Mattingly and writer/classicist Thomas Bartscherer.

A livestream will be available free of charge at 8pm on the day of the performance and archived for future viewing. Watch below or on YouTube.


Contemporaneous is an ensemble of 23 musicians whose mission is to bring to life the music of now. Recognized for a “ferocious, focused performance” (The New York Times) and for its “captivating and whole-hearted commitment” (I Care If You Listen), Contemporaneous performs and promotes the most exciting work of living composers through innovative concerts, commissions, recordings, and educational programs. Based in New York City and active throughout the United States, Contemporaneous has been presented by such institutions as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Park Avenue Armory, PROTOTYPE Festival, Merkin Concert Hall, MATA Festival, St. Ann’s Warehouse, and Bang on a Can and has worked with such artists as David Byrne, Donnacha Dennehy, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Dawn Upshaw, and Julia Wolfe.
Contemporaneous has premiered more than 150 works, and with its newly-launched program Contemporaneous IMAGINATION, the ensemble champions large-scale works, curated from an open call for artists to submit ideas for projects that take risks and defy constraints. The ensemble has recently released the first season of its new podcast Imagination Radio, which explores the significance of creativity and music in our lives through dialogues with composers, scientists, a cartographer, and a BASE jumper. Contemporaneous has recorded for the New Amsterdam, Cantaloupe, Innova, Roven, and Navona labels.
Contemporaneous also leads participatory programs for public school students in the communities where the ensemble performs. These workshops are designed to instill a passion for new music and to convey the power of careful listening and meaningful expression through music. The ensemble has held residencies at such institutions as City University of New York, the University of New Orleans, Williams College, Colgate University, and Bard College, where the group was founded in 2010. Contemporaneous is a federally tax-exempt not-for-profit organization, supported by a dedicated community of listeners.
Lila Meretzky is a composer, educator, and visual artist born and raised in New York City. She works primarily in chamber, vocal, electronic, and electroacoustic mediums, as well as in music for dance, film, and installation. Her work is often concerned with (the warping of) memory and language, and subjective experiences of time. Lila’s music has been programmed and commissioned by leading ensembles and institutions, including Contemporaneous, TAK Ensemble, the MATA Festival, Sandbox Percussion, Unheard-of//Ensemble, icarus Quartet, and percussionist Ji Hye Jung. Lila is a current composer-in-residence with the Cincinnati-based new music collective New Downbeat. She has created music for the dance companies New Dialect, X-Contemporary Dance, and the Nashville Ballet. Her film work includes scoring the 2022 documentary A Climate of Anxiety. As a critic, her writings have been published on the arts blog ArtsNash and she has been featured on the radio at WXNA Nashville. As an educator, she is on the faculty of the Walden School in Dublin, New Hampshire, and previously taught at the Yale School of Music’s Music in Schools Initiative, and W.O. Smith Music School in Nashville, Tennessee. She has also taught music technology and composition in the Yale College Department of Music. Lila has attended such festivals as the Next Festival of Emerging Artists, Cortona Sessions for New Music, and Bang on a Can Summer Festival. At Bang on a Can, her works were performed as part of the first LOUD Weekend at Mass MoCA in July 2021. Her other pursuits include performing with the choral ensemble C4, and making noise on her laptop and accordion.
Paper collage is her primary visual medium, and her work has been featured in Off Latch Press’ inaugural Off Latch Zine.
Lila is a graduate of the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, where she co-founded a new music concert series called A Humming Under My Feet. She also holds Master of Music and Master of Musical Arts degrees in composition from the Yale School of Music.

This program is made possible with the support of the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul, the New York State Legislature, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Cultural Development Fund, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the Alice M. Ditson Fund at Columbia University, the Amphion Foundation, the Pacific Harmony Foundation, and New Music USA.

Contemporaneous: Songs at Night

Tuesday, February 27, 20248:00 pm

Songs at Night is an intimate evening of musical transfiguration, centered around the world premiere of a large-scale new song cycle by composer Lila Meretzky drawing on the poems of Yiddish-language poet Anna Margolin. The main work on the concert is a world premiere of a commissioned expanded version of Lila Meretzky’s Four Songs at Night. Performed by Contemporaneous. The work will also feature singers Lucy Dhegrae and Milena Gligić.

The program will also feature Shelley Washington’s A Kind of Lung and Dylan Mattingly’s The History of Life in Reverse. Washington’s A Kind of Lung can simply be described as an expression of an experience that we all share – breathing together – and was written for a diverse ensemble of instruments.

Mattingly’s “A History of Life in Reverse” is a standalone scene drawn from the upcoming project History of Life, an evening of music and story that imagines the Homeric oral tradition that created the Odyssey as though it had been passed down continuously from parents to children for the last 2700 years, evolving throughout and informed by human history, picking up new stories and sounds with every new generation. The full work is planned to premiere in 2025 and is being created in collaboration between Mattingly and writer/classicist Thomas Bartscherer.

A livestream will be available free of charge at 8pm on the day of the performance and archived for future viewing. Watch below or on YouTube.


Contemporaneous is an ensemble of 23 musicians whose mission is to bring to life the music of now. Recognized for a “ferocious, focused performance” (The New York Times) and for its “captivating and whole-hearted commitment” (I Care If You Listen), Contemporaneous performs and promotes the most exciting work of living composers through innovative concerts, commissions, recordings, and educational programs. Based in New York City and active throughout the United States, Contemporaneous has been presented by such institutions as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Park Avenue Armory, PROTOTYPE Festival, Merkin Concert Hall, MATA Festival, St. Ann’s Warehouse, and Bang on a Can and has worked with such artists as David Byrne, Donnacha Dennehy, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Dawn Upshaw, and Julia Wolfe.
Contemporaneous has premiered more than 150 works, and with its newly-launched program Contemporaneous IMAGINATION, the ensemble champions large-scale works, curated from an open call for artists to submit ideas for projects that take risks and defy constraints. The ensemble has recently released the first season of its new podcast Imagination Radio, which explores the significance of creativity and music in our lives through dialogues with composers, scientists, a cartographer, and a BASE jumper. Contemporaneous has recorded for the New Amsterdam, Cantaloupe, Innova, Roven, and Navona labels.
Contemporaneous also leads participatory programs for public school students in the communities where the ensemble performs. These workshops are designed to instill a passion for new music and to convey the power of careful listening and meaningful expression through music. The ensemble has held residencies at such institutions as City University of New York, the University of New Orleans, Williams College, Colgate University, and Bard College, where the group was founded in 2010. Contemporaneous is a federally tax-exempt not-for-profit organization, supported by a dedicated community of listeners.
Lila Meretzky is a composer, educator, and visual artist born and raised in New York City. She works primarily in chamber, vocal, electronic, and electroacoustic mediums, as well as in music for dance, film, and installation. Her work is often concerned with (the warping of) memory and language, and subjective experiences of time. Lila’s music has been programmed and commissioned by leading ensembles and institutions, including Contemporaneous, TAK Ensemble, the MATA Festival, Sandbox Percussion, Unheard-of//Ensemble, icarus Quartet, and percussionist Ji Hye Jung. Lila is a current composer-in-residence with the Cincinnati-based new music collective New Downbeat. She has created music for the dance companies New Dialect, X-Contemporary Dance, and the Nashville Ballet. Her film work includes scoring the 2022 documentary A Climate of Anxiety. As a critic, her writings have been published on the arts blog ArtsNash and she has been featured on the radio at WXNA Nashville. As an educator, she is on the faculty of the Walden School in Dublin, New Hampshire, and previously taught at the Yale School of Music’s Music in Schools Initiative, and W.O. Smith Music School in Nashville, Tennessee. She has also taught music technology and composition in the Yale College Department of Music. Lila has attended such festivals as the Next Festival of Emerging Artists, Cortona Sessions for New Music, and Bang on a Can Summer Festival. At Bang on a Can, her works were performed as part of the first LOUD Weekend at Mass MoCA in July 2021. Her other pursuits include performing with the choral ensemble C4, and making noise on her laptop and accordion.
Paper collage is her primary visual medium, and her work has been featured in Off Latch Press’ inaugural Off Latch Zine.
Lila is a graduate of the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, where she co-founded a new music concert series called A Humming Under My Feet. She also holds Master of Music and Master of Musical Arts degrees in composition from the Yale School of Music.

This program is made possible with the support of the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul, the New York State Legislature, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Cultural Development Fund, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the Alice M. Ditson Fund at Columbia University, the Amphion Foundation, the Pacific Harmony Foundation, and New Music USA.