Archive for the ‘Concert’ Category

28
Oct

Sonic Topographies / Vancouver New Music Festival 2014

Vancouver New MusicVancouver New Music Festival celebrated its 2014 edition from October 16 to October 19 with the theme Sonic Topographies, bringing together the works of composers and sound artists alike into a common discourse on the nature of music, sound, and sustainability. True to these topics of interest, the third night of the festival on Saturday, October 18 featured a diverse and inquisitive range of works by Leslie García, John Luther Adams, Hildegard Westerkamp, and Annea Lockwood.

John Luther Adams

John Luther Adams

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22
Oct

Met Opera premiere of John Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer

Aubrey Allicock (Mamoud), Paulo Szot (Captain), and Sean Panikkar (Molqi) in The Death of Klinghoffer. Photo credit: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Aubrey Allicock (Mamoud), Paulo Szot (Captain), and Sean Panikkar (Molqi) in The Death of Klinghoffer. Photo credit: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Monday, October 20 marked the opening of the Metropolitan Opera’s highly anticipated production of The Death of Klinghoffer, with a score by John Adams and a libretto by Alice Goodman. The Met’s production has been dripping with controversy and allegations that the opera is anti-Semitic, which led to the cancellation of the international simulcast of the opera. Whether you agree or disagree with these claims, there is no denying that the Met’s production was stunning.

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14
Oct

Avant Media presents Cage’s “Song Books (1970)”

wildproject-logoOn September 5, 2014, John Cage, the preeminent composer of ‘chance music,’ who brought the tenets of Zen Buddhism to Western musique concrete would have turned 102 years old.  While 2012 erected monuments in performance to Cage’s centennial year, pop-up performances focused on the composers birthday have been and continue to be a fun occasion to explore and recontextualize Cage’s unique brand of avant-garde, all while celebrating his life and unsurpassed influence on experimental music.  This year, Avant Media stepped up to the plate with a sixty-minute presentation of Cage’s popular Song Books (1970) at New York City’s Wild Project, performed by a cast of fourteen composers, performers, curators and designers (and one dog) previously featured in past Avant Music Festivals.  According to Avant Media’s website, the mantle being carried had been unofficially passed on from new music champion Gwen Deely, who had organized a yearly Cage birthday concert at St. Mark’s Church through 2012.

Avant Media presents Cage's Song Books (1970)

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25
Sep

Kettle Corn Hosts Sandbox Percussion

kettle-corn-new-music-logoThe first thing that strikes you when attending a Kettle Corn Concert is the atmosphere.  The popcorn is sweet; the beer and wine, free.  The DiMenna Center in New York is a beautiful, intimate and yet informal venue.  It’s layout—there’s no ‘backstage’ and the ‘stage’ itself isn’t raised—encourages audience members and musicians to mingle together. The simple act of coming into the space and preparing to hear the music is relaxed and enjoyable.

Sandbox Percussion Quartet - Photo by Noah Stern Weber

Sandbox Percussion Quartet performing Thomas Kotcheff’s Part and Parcel – Photo by Noah Stern Weber

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21
Aug

No punches pulled in Size Zero Opera’s Women Box in London

tete-a-tete opera logoOpera’s tough. You can’t just stand there and sing. The minimum requirement for an opera singer is the ability to both sing and act—and that’s plenty, for most. The number of opera singers who would also be prepared to undergo an intensive training program with an ex-pro boxer, solely in order to be able to box on stage—while singing, obviously—is surely low.

Step forward, Laura J. Bowler. Training is the Opposite, a new short opera by Jennifer Walshe, asks considerably more of its solo mezzo-soprano than most other pieces would dare. Bowler has been in training—proper boxing training—with Cathy “The Bitch” Brown, a former world number three boxer, in preparation: the work essentially consists of her doing a boxing training routine, and singing, accompanied by a string quartet. To be fair to Walshe, she hasn’t asked Bowler to do anything beyond what she’d do herself: she took boxing lessons, too.

Laura J. Bowler - Photo by Claire Shovelton

Laura J. Bowler – Photo by Claire Shovelton

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