On Saturday night, the 2012 Ecstatic Music Festival kicked off at New York City’s Kaufman Center with a performance by Jherek Bischoff and the Wordless Music Orchestra. Those familiar with the Pacific Northwest art-rock scene will likely know Bischoff from his tenure in bands like Xiu Xiu, the Parenthetical Girls and the Dead Science, as well as the orchestral arrangements he has written for countless other acts. Bischoff’s performance on Saturday served as a preview for his forthcoming album Composed, which finds the composer collaborating with an all-star roster of guest singers. Fittingly, then, Saturday’s show featured many of these same folks performing alongside Bischoff and the 25-piece Wordless Music Orchestra, including David Byrne, Craig Wedren (Shudder to Think), Mirah, Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Zac Pennington (Parenthetical Girls), Sam Mickens (the Dead Science), Carla Bozulich (The Geraldine Fibbers, Evangelista), Charlie Looker (Extra Life) and Jen Goma (A Sunny Day in Glasgow). Bischoff was beaming the entire night (“This is the smiley-est orchestra I’ve ever seen!” he declared at one point), clearly as pleased as anyone in the room to see so many talented musicians working in service of his vision.
Check out Hive’s gallery of this all-star lineup in action: