Don’t expect the whirr of wood-shredding machines here. Named after the factory that once inhabited this century-old building, from the outside National Sawdust’s brick facade is relatively unchanged, but venture inside and you’ll find crystalline interiors, double-height black tiling, acoustically rated surrounds and a showstopper chamber hall.
A cutting-edge, artist-led, non-profit new music venue in Williamsburg, NS provides an incubating space for emerging composers and musicians to experiment, rehearse, record, and showcase new work. Performances are aimed at serious music fans and casual listeners, spanning the New York Philharmonic, percussion festivals, classical trios and jazz for kids. Some pieces are familiar, others are box-fresh. Curators, groups and artists in residence introduce audiences to diverse music, including local and global contemporary talents.
Look out for NS+ Talks, hour-long conversations pairing interesting artists and thinkers, and NS+ Concerts curated by leading directors and writers, such as Richard Eyre and Julie Taymor, who share their musical passions.
Feeling pecky after all those tunes? NS’s website helpfully lists rated local eateries and bars, that is until their in-house restaurant Rider – named after the riders musicians request at gigs – opens later this year. It will offer innovative, soulful dishes, including veg-driven mains and share plates, with day-long dining in the week, and brunch and dinner at weekends. Classic cocktails should prove a far cry from the spit-and-sawdust pubs of yore.
80 N 6th St / Brooklyn / +1 646 779 8455 / nationalsawdust.org
Photos © Jill Steinberg & David Andrako