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The longest-running New & Nonpop music program on the web.

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MATA Festival starts Tonight!

The 2011 incarnation of the MATA Festival starts tonight with a salon at Tyler Rollins Fine Art in Chelsea (details here). Free to festival pass holders – and $50 for single tickets (aren’t you glad you signed up for the festival pass?) – the evening will include discussions with composer Aaron Jay Kernis, Brooklyn Philharmonic director Alan Pierson and three of the festival’s commissioned composers. Metropolis Ensemble will be on hand to provide musical excerpts and there’s a wine and cheese reception.

Salons are fun and all, but the meat and potatoes music-making of MATA begins in earnest tomorrow night at LPR (details here), with a concert titled “Multinational Conglomerate: New Music from Around the World.” ACME, L’Arsenale, Hu Jianbing and Bao Jian perform pieces by Christopher Adler (from the exotic environs of San Diego), Alex Freeman (Minnesota?), Gudmundur Gunnarsson, Mauricio Pauly, and others. In case you’re as confused about the geographic profile of this event as I was, the works by Americans are inspired by music from elsewhere. Chris’ piece uses Chinese mouth organ, Alex’s explores his abiding interest in Finnish music, etc.

MATA continues through 5/12, and we’ll have more coverage here. Outside NYC? Don’t feel left out. Q2 is broadcasting the 5/11 concert live (including a real-time webchat) and recording the shows on 5/10 and 5/12 for future presentations.