In a pit stop on the way to the group’s first tour, yMusic will be accompanying friend and musician Gabriel Kahane. A self-proclaimed “classical chamber music ensemble,” yMusic first formed in 2008 when multi-instrumental musicians Rob Moose, CJ Camerieri, Alex Sopp, Hideaki Aomori and Nadia Sirota joined forces. According to violinist and guitarist Rob Moose, the group came together with the intention of being “an auxiliary” to other artists.
Gabriel Kahane and yMusic
Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and Friday at 8 p.m.
Arthur Miller Theater
Moose, 30, explained, “We thought we had a nice balance of style backgrounds and wanted to show other sides of what our instruments could do.”
The ensemble reached its current personnel in 2010 when cellist Clarice Jenson — who, according to Moose, seemed to be “destined to be in the group” — joined the band.
Though all members attended traditional conservatories, yMusic has strayed from its classical roots. Most recently, the group performed with indie rock band Dirty Projectors and will do so again on Jan. 21 in Sydney.
The group has also worked with musicians Shara Worden, Son Lux and of course, Gabriel Kahane.
Moose first met Kahane in 2007 through a mutual friend when Kahane was playing solo and looking to work with other musicians.
Kahane himself is a singer, songwriter, pianist, guitarist and composer and has performed with Sufjan Stevens and Rufus Wainwright. His most recent album Where are the Arms achieved critical acclaim from The New York Times, which said the album “conveys emotional intelligence.”
Kahane has since written the composition “For the Union Dead” exclusively for the sextet. Based on the similarly titled book of poems by Robert Lowell, the 35-minute piece consists of nine movements and was one of the first pieces ever written for yMusic.
Moose called it “one of the most underperformed pieces” and said they plan on playing part of the composition for their performance at the Arthur Miller Theatre on Thursday and Friday night.
Moose and the rest of yMusic will also play selections from the ensemble’s debut album Beautiful Mechanical, while Kahane will perform songs from Where are the Arms with accompaniment from the ensemble, as well as a solo set he called “piano karaoke.”
Following the Ann Arbor performance, yMusic will move on to Minneapolis and Cincinnati and then on to a mini-tour in Sydney, Australia while Kahane will continue his U.S. tour in cities including Evanston, New York and Washington, D.C.
Despite the two parting ways, Moose insisted that this wouldn’t be the end of yMusic’s collaboration with Kahane.
“We are constantly evolving and are creating better and better outputs and it’s really exciting to do that with a friend and peer. We are really looking forward to continue to work with him,” Moose explained.
He called Kahane “one of the most talented people (he has) ever worked with.”
After the group’s Sydney tour, yMusic will return to the studio in March to work on a new album to be released in fall 2013.
Kahane’s U.S. tour will end in late April with his performance at Carnegie Hall with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.