Knoxville's Big Ears Festival is a music celebration like none other, bringing contemporary classical, folk, rock, r&b, and much more to East Tennessee, captivating audiences both local and from abroad. In this feature, Garrett McQueen speaks with some of this year's artists, and explores conversations surrounding the tradition of music from Appalachia, how the tradition of string quartets inform new music, and the intersection of music and activism.
Nief-Norf, an internationally acclaimed contemporary music ensemble based here in Knoxville, will once again present a couple of performances at the Big Ears Festival, which takes place in various venues throughout downtown Knoxville March 22-25.
The music of legendary and influential American composer, Julia Wolfe, has been described by the Wall Street Journal as: "long inhabiting a terrain of its own, a place where classical forms are recharged by the repetitive patters of minimalism and the driving energy of rock."
She, along with composers Michael Gordon and David Lang, formed the Bang on a Can organization in 1987, which will be in residence at this year's Big Ears Festival, which takes place in various venues throughout downtown Knoxville, March 22-25.