Saturday, Aug 19, 2023

Lighthouse Works Presents: The Knights, On Wings of Song


Join us at the Ordnance on Saturday, August 19, 2023 at 6 pm for a performance of On Wings of Song, by the Knights.

In recent years, the twin pandemics of coronavirus and systemic racism have forced us to confront some of nature and humanity's destructive power, but it has also been an opportunity to slow down and notice natural beauty in many different forms, particularly in the guise of birds and other winged creatures. Birds are the original virtuoso musicians, sending out coded signals through their songs intended to affect a change in behavior of the listener (and perhaps, at times, just for "pleasure"). Recent studies have suggested that hearing "enjoyable music" lights up the same mesolimbic reward pathway for both human beings and birds. Music across cultures has often been inspired by either literal birdsong or the spiritual experience of uplift through sound and birds often symbolically represent guides to freedom. The program features songs and dances from a diverse group of composers and musical genres, much of which either directly or indirectly takes its cue from birds, butterflies and other natural emblems of flight and the yearning for freedom.

The concert program will include selections from the following works:
American Traditional arr. C. Jacobsen: Little Birdie
Lili Boulanger: Nocturne
Antonín Dvorák arr. C. Jacobsen: Songs My Mother Taught Me
João Gilberto arr. C. Jacobsen: Undiu
C. Jacobsen/Aghaei: Ascending Bird
Colin Jacobsen: Mirror for a Prince
Komitas arr. S. Aslamazyan: Song of the Little Partridge
Paco De Lucía arr. C. Jacobsen: Zyryab
Jessie Montgomery: Source Code
Tommy Potts arr. C. Jacobsen: The Butterfly
Maurice Ravel: Introduction and Allegro (10’)
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Lark Ascending
Heitor Villa-Lobos: Song of the Black Swan
Antonio Vivaldi: Il Gardellino

The ensemble for this project includes nine musicians: flute, clarinet, two violins, viola, cello, bass, harp, and percussion



The Knights are a collective of adventurous musicians dedicated to transforming the orchestral experience and eliminating barriers between audiences and music. Driven by an open-minded spirit of camaraderie and exploration, they inspire listeners with vibrant programs that encompass their roots in the classical tradition and passion for artistic discovery. The orchestra has toured and recorded with renowned soloists including Yo Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, Béla Fleck, and Gil Shaham, and has appeared across the world’s most prestigious stages, including those at Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, Ravinia, The Kennedy Center, and the Vienna Musikverein.

The Knights evolved from late night chamber music reading parties with friends at the home of violinist Colin Jacobsen and cellist Eric Jacobsen. The Jacobsen brothers, who are also founding members of the string quartet Brooklyn Rider, serve as artistic directors of The Knights, with Eric Jacobsen as conductor. Since incorporating in 2007, the orchestra has toured consistently across the United States and Europe. The Knights seek to share music with a broad general public regardless of background, and the group designs programs to appeal to both loyal followers and new listeners alike. The Knights perform in traditional concert halls as well as in parks, plazas, and bars, and create unusual and adventurous partnerships across disciplines. Counted among recent highlights are fully staged performances of Bernstein's Candide at both Tanglewood and Ravinia; the release of a recording of the Brahms and Beethoven Violin Concertos with Gil Shaham; and a full 2021 summer season in a reawakened New York City, with performances at Central Parks’ Naumburg Bandshell, Bryant Park, Governors Island, and Green-Wood Cemetery. The orchestra seeks out and prioritizes collaborative partnerships with artists often underrepresented in classical music. Recent seasons have included performances with Brooklyn based Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra, with African musicians as part of William Kentridge’s The Head and the Load, and with a diverse group of contemporary composers and performers including Vijay Iyer, Kinan Azmeh, Angélica Negrón, and Jessie Montgomery, among others.