Ethereal Christmas carols and a sensational clarinetist are just two of the events on this week’s captivating music calendar.
Joshua Roman with the Seattle Symphony
Cellist Joshua Roman first stole Seattle’s heart when he became the youngest principal player in Seattle Symphony history at age 22. Though he left the position after two years to pursue a remarkably diverse solo career, he still visits Seattle frequently to perform and to serve as the artistic director of the Town Hall TownMusic series.
In his latest musical venture, Roman is heading back to Benaroya Hall to perform the world premiere of symphonic composer Mason Bates’ Cello Concerto. The piece, which was written for Roman, combines melodic lyricism with elements of modernism and jazz. The concerto has a distinctly American character, and its pulsing rhythms are suggestive of Bates’ experiments in electronic music.
The concert will also feature Prokofiev’s Suite from “Lieutenant Kijé” and selections from Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty.”
The performances are at Benaroya Hall this Thursday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 12 at 12 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. A pre-concert talk will be presented one hour prior to each performance.
The clarinet has the largest pitch range of all common woodwind instruments—and Seattle clarinetist and composer Sean Osborn is proving that it might also be one of the most musically versatile.
Osborn is a critically acclaimed clarinetist whose music combines extended clarinet techniques with rock music energy for a sound that incorporates post-minimalism, New Age, Celtic, folk, and many other musical styles. This Wednesday, he is presenting four new works of chamber music for unusual instrumentation, including a sextet for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion as well as three new pieces for violin, clarinet, cello, and piano. He will also perform one solo clarinet work.
The performance is this Wednesday, Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Chapel Performance Space at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford.
If you’re sick of classic Christmas carols, perhaps Phil Kline’s “Unsilent Night” might be a little more your style. This contemporary twist on holiday caroling is celebrated annually around the globe. But don’t worry, there’s no singing involved—all you have to do is download an app.
Kline’s “Unsilent Night” is an electronic composition written specifically for outdoor performance in December. Participants each download one of four tracks of music which, when played together, comprise Kline’s ethereal “Unsilent Night.”
Countless participants meet up with boomboxes, speakers, or any other type of portable amplifiers and each hit “play” at the same time. Then they walk through the city streets creating an ambient, aleatoric sound sculpture that is unlike any Christmas carol you have ever heard.
The interweaving of electronic recordings creates an experimental soundscape full of shimmering bells and time-stretched hymnal melodies, capturing the magic and enchantment of the holiday spirit without any of the corny Christmas classics.
Seattle’s rendition of Phil Kline’s “Unsilent Night” will take place this Saturday, Dec. 13. The procession begins at 5 p.m. at On the Boards’ Merrill Wright Mainstage Theater Lobby in Lower Queen Anne.
People. Make. Awesome. (Music + Moving Image)
Why limit yourself to just music when you can combine it with other artistic disciplines? Earlier this season we saw the Frank Agency and Nonsquitur present a series of artistic pairings rooted in music and sound, then music and dance as part of their three-part series “People. Make. Awesome.” Now, for the series’ final installment they are exploring the possibilities of music and moving image.
The featured artists are experimental animator and performance artist Stefan Gruber, composer and videographer Leo Mayberry, video editor and multimedia artist Melissa Parson, composer and trumpeter Samantha Boshnack, guitarist Jason Goessl, and multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Jessica Lurie. With so many diverse artists in one place, it’s sure to be an awe-inspiring performance.
“People. Make. Awesome.” will take place this Thursday, Dec. 11 at 8 p.m. in the Chapel Performance Space at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford.
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