Donate to RODA!

Two ways to donate

1. Make a one-time donation to Roda

2. Become a Contemporaneous VISIONARY by donating monthly

On May 18, 2019, Contemporaneous will.

Please join us in supporting the creation of this stunning work.

What is Roda?

In this groundbreaking collaboration between Contemporaneous and berimbau sextet Projeto Arcomusical, disparate traditions of string instruments collide in an explosion of radical new music that draws from diverse traditions of ancient string instruments. The program builds a musical atlas of the ubiquitous and eclectic history of music for strings, from the kora to the harp to the cello to the berimbau.

In world premiere works written for Contemporaneous and Arcomusical, visionary composers Elliot Cole and Ian Gottlieb reimagine the sound of the berimbau (the one-string Afro-Brazilian percussion instrument known for its use in capoeira) to stretch its expressive possibilities in a new context. Cole’s piece Roda takes its title and its physical energy from the circular formation that audiences form around capoeira martial art performers. Gottlieb draws on his longtime study of Brazilian music and his time in São Paulo for his new work for both ensembles.

New arrangements map the mold-shattering string playing of revered Gabian kora player Alhaji Bai Konte and psychedelic folk singer/harpist Joanna Newsom onto the whole of Contemporaneous. Roda gives us the chance to imagine the past and future of our world, bound together across time and space by strings across a resonator.


Alhaji Bai Konte (1920-1983): Alla L’aa Ke (1973, arr. 2019)
— world premiere arrangement (6’) [listen here]

Elliot Cole (b. 1984): Roda (2017, rev. 2019)
— world premiere, chamber concerto version (20’)

Ian Gottlieb (b. 1990): New work (2019)
— world premiere, Contemporaneous commission (25’) [work sample]

Joanna Newsom (b. 1982): Cosmia (2006, arr. 2019)
— world premiere arrangement (13’) [listen here]

Why support Roda?

  • Our incredible team of 27 artists ______ () to come together in New York in May. With so much music to bring together, the rehearsal process will require every ounce of the extraordinary dedication of these magnificent musicians. Your support will be magnified on a colossal scale to compensate these artists for their unique commitment to their craft and this project.

  • Clocking in at 4 hours (and 753 pages) of music, the score of Stranger Love’s first act took almost three years of relentless work and dedication from composer Dylan Mattingly and librettist Thomas Bartscherer. We need your support to provide a commission for this monumental achievement and the effort it required.

  • In order to share this joyous experience with as many people as possible, we would like to document our performances with high quality video and audio recordings. Please help us fund the work of our world-class videographers so that you can experience Stranger Love for years to come!

Please find a list of exciting gifts along the right-hand column of this page available for donations of varying levels. We are so grateful for your contribution to this project and are deeply honored to have you as a part of this journey. We hope that you’ll find Stranger Love to be as meaningful and life-affirming as we do, and can’t wait to share this experience with you in January.

From all of us at Contemporaneous, thank you!

When and where is Roda?

Our performance of the first act of Stranger Love will be co-presented by the inimitable Brooklyn venue Roulette and PROTOTYPE Festival, called “New York’s most dependably interesting source of new music theater” (The New York Times). Join us for a veritable happening!

Saturday, May 18, 2019 | 7:00 pm
Littlefield | 635 Sackett Street | Brooklyn, NY

Who is Contemporaneous?

Contemporaneous is an ensemble of 21 musicians whose mission is to bring to life the music of now. Recently recognized for a “ferocious, focused performance” (The New York Times) and for its “passionate drive...setting an extremely high bar for other ensembles to live up to” (I Care If You Listen), Contemporaneous performs and promotes the most exciting work of living composers through innovative concerts, commissions, recordings, and educational programs. Contemporaneous has premiered more than 100 works, many of them large-scale pieces by emerging composers. Through its commissions and readiness to play challenging music, the ensemble encourages composers to take risks and defy constraints.

Contemporaneous is a federally tax-exempt not-for-profit organization, supported by a dedicated community of listeners.

The mission of Contemporaneous is:

  • to provide composers with the opportunity to take risks and to challenge themselves and their audiences, without regard for conventional constraints on creative imagination;

  • to present the most exciting music of our time through innovative performances and recordings; and

  • to bring educational and outreach programs to communities in need, especially those that would not otherwise have access to new music.

Contemporaneous IMAGINATION

Stranger Love is the first Contemporaneous production from a new initiative called Contemporaneous IMAGINATION, which seeks to foster a culture of radical creative openness for composers and musical artists. Contemporaneous IMAGINATION asks composers to share their wildest creative dreams, and then commissions, develops, produces, and presents the most meaningful of these works, with a commitment to select projects entirely based on their artistic merit and the effect they will have on the community, without regard for conventional restraints which often discourage the creation of work of such imagination and scale.