VIDEO PREMIERE: ‘In the Mornin’ by The Westerlies

by Maggie Molloy

From jazzy tunes to folk and blues, the Westerlies can reimagine just about any style of music for brass quartet. In our latest Second Inversion in-studio session, they performed their own rendition Charles Ives’ “In the Mornin’,” a setting of the traditional spiritual “Give Me Jesus.”

Ives first heard the bittersweet melody in 1929, sung unaccompanied by Mary Evelyn Stiles, and was inspired to arrange the song for voice and piano. The Westerlies took Ives’ tune one step further, rearranging the music for the warm, brassy tones of two trumpets and two trombones.

“As Ives lent his own harmonic sensibility to the original melody, we took some harmonic liberties of our own in this arrangement,” they said. In keeping with the spirit of the music, they also added moments of improvisation, including a radiant trumpet solo by Chloe Rowlands.

We’re thrilled to premiere our video of the Westerlies performing their rendition of “In the Mornin’.”

Want more music from the Westerlies? Click here for another video from this session.

Cellist Seth Parker Woods: New Sounds, New Formats, New Faces

by Dave Beck

Performing on an instrument made of ice, introducing a high-tech concert hall, and taking musical inspiration from the worlds of dance and martial arts are all in a day’s work for cellist Seth Parker Woods.

He’s the first ever Seattle Symphony Artist in Residence at the new Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center in Benaroya Hall. A dedicated advocate of new music, Seth is also passionate about creating new opportunities for fellow African-American and Latinx musicians, woefully underrepresented in the world of “classical” music. Learn more in his interview with Classical KING FM’s Dave Beck on the Seattle Symphony Spotlight.

Seth Parker Woods performs a program titled That Which is Fundamental at Octave 9 on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 7:30pm. He will be collaborating with percussionist Bonnie Whiting.

Cellos, Carols, and Holiday Cheer: New Music for December

by Maggie Molloy

Second Inversion and the Live Music Project create a monthly calendar featuring contemporary classical, cross-genre, and experimental performances in Seattle, the Eastside, Tacoma, and places in between! 

If you’d like to be included on this list, please submit your event to the Live Music Project at least six weeks prior to the event and tag it with “new music.”


Wayward Music Series
Concerts of contemporary composition, free improvisation, electroacoustic music, and sonic experiments. Coming up: aural rituals, sonic thresholds, and dark ambient music.
Various days, 7:30/8pm, Good Shepherd Chapel | $5-$15

Cornish Presents: Scores of Sound
Fill up on new and experimental music in this three-day festival of student performances and premieres from Cornish College of the Arts.
12/4-12/6, 10am-10pm, Various locations | Free

Seattle Modern Opera Company: ‘Suor Angelica’
This modern-day adaptation of Puccini’s heart-wrenching one act opera reimagines the title nun as a teenager whose spiritual and social strength is put to the ultimate test at her Catholic boarding school.
Thurs-Fri, 12/5-12/6, 8pm, University Heights Center | $22

The Westerlies Holiday Bash
The Seattle-bred, New York-based brass quartet returns home for the holidays to present a concert of festive brass music and original arrangements. All proceeds from this special fundraiser support the ensemble’s ongoing commitment to access, education, and community outreach.
Thurs, 12/5, 7pm, The Knife Room | $30-$100

Phil Kline’s ‘Unsilent Night’
In this contemporary twist on holiday caroling, audience members each download one of four tracks of music which, when played together, comprise Phil Kline’s ethereal Unsilent Night. Participants meet up with boomboxes and speakers and each hit “play” at the same time—then walk through the streets of Capitol Hill creating an ambient, aleatoric sound sculpture.
Fri, 12/6, 6:30pm, Kerry Hall | Free

Portland Cello Project: Purple Reign
Prince reigns supreme in Portland Cello Project’s latest concert program. Joined by musicians who have collaborated with Prince in the past, Portland Cello Project celebrates the pop icon’s inimitable musical voice and extraordinary artistic legacy.
Fri, 12/6, 7:30pm, Nordstrom Recital Hall | $40-$50

Portland Cello Project.

Inverted Space Ensemble
An introspective evening of works for solo voice with accompaniment ranging from piano to the adapted instruments of Harry Partch. Pianist Brendan Kinsella shares a program of original music alongside works by Frederic Rzewski and Luke Fitzpatrick, while Fitzpatrick and Charles Corey perform a selection of Partch’s microtonal musings.
Fri, 12/6, 8pm, Good Shepherd Chapel | $5-$15

UW Composition Studio
There’s a whole lot of cutting-edge music coming out of the University of Washington, and this concert spans the gamut: hear new and unconventional sounds from students, faculty, alumni, and guests of the UW Composition program.
Sat, 12/7, 7:30pm, UW Brechemin Auditorium | Free

Ladies Musical Club: The Inspiring Words of Emily Dickinson
The immortal poetry of Emily Dickinson gives rise to many different musical interpretations by 20th and 21st century composers. Included in this program are settings by Aaron Copland, John Duke, Lori Laitman, Craig Urquhart, and more.
Mon, 12/9, 7:30pm, University House | Free

Cellist Seth Parker Woods.

Seth Parker Woods: That Which is Fundamental
The simplicity, complexity, and musicality of language inspired this program of works for cello, recorded voice, and everyday objects. Cellist Seth Parker Woods and percussionist Bonnie Whiting explore the fascinating textures and unexpected sounds of Julius Eastman, Anton Lukoszevieze, Tonia Ko, Vinko Globokar, and more.
Wed, 12/11, 7:30pm, Octave 9 | $35

Leanna Keith and Rachel Nesvig perform in High Right Now. Photo by Kelly O.

High Right Now
Drift into deeper consciousness during this evening of hypnotic minimalist music. Dreamed up by marimbist Erin Jorgensen, the sonic ritual brings together an all-star lineup of local musicians to perform the immersive musings of Brian Lawlor and Benjamin Marx.
Wed, 12/11, 8pm, Good Shepherd Chapel | $20

Emerald City Music: Jason Vieaux & Kristin Lee
From the sultry tango of Astor Piazzolla to the musical mosaics of Vivian Fung, this concert explores globe-spanning duets for violin and classical guitar. Grammy-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux and Emerald City Music Artistic Director Kristin Lee team up to explore this rich and underrated repertory.
Fri, 12/13, 8pm, 415 Westlake | $45
Sat, 12/14, 7:30pm, Olympia Ballroom | $23-$43

The Esoterics: Humility
Giving voice to verses from the Bible, a Mohawk prayer, a speech by Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, and wide-ranging poetry, this expansive program explores the moments that bring us down to earth and fill us with empathy, wonder, and respect. Works by Gabriela Lena Frank, Stacy Garrop, Augusta Read Thomas, and more examine different forms of humility.
Fri, 12/13, 8pm, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church (Laurelhurst) | $15-$22
Sat, 12/14, 8pm, Holy Rosary Catholic Church (West Seattle) | $15-$22
Sun, 12/15, 7pm, Christ Episcopal Church (Tacoma) | $15-$22

Neal Kosaly-Meyer: ‘Finnegans Wake’
Though most would consider James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake a work of literature, pianist Neal Kosaly-Meyer hears music in the words. He’s dedicating 17 years to learning and performing (by memory) this sprawling work—one chapter per year. This year is Chapter 6, performed as always with props, costumes, sound and lighting design, and acute musical detail.
Sat, 12/14, 7:30pm, Good Shepherd Chapel | $5-$15

Seattle Pro Musica: Solstice
During the darkest part of the year, Seattle Pro Musica celebrates warmth and light with a program of joyous winter choral music from around the globe. R. Murray Schafer’s evocative Snowforms features a beautiful graphic score that sets Inuit words for different types of snow, while Morten Lauridsen’s O nata lux finds solace in eternal light. Plus: music of Seattle Pro Musica Artistic Director Karen P. Thomas and other Northwest composers.
Sat, 12/14, 3pm & 7:30pm, Bastyr University Chapel | $21-$38
Sat, 12/21, 3pm & 7:30pm, Seattle First Baptist Church | $21-$38

Opera on Tap: Annual Holiday Show
Grab your best ugly Christmas sweater for this annual holiday extravaganza as local singers belt out opera classics and carols alike.
Tues, 12/17, 7:30pm, Blue Moon Tavern | $5

Seattle New Music Happy Hour: Dec. 4 on Capitol Hill

We’re hosting New Music Happy Hour in a new neighborhood! Join us for casual drinks and conversation at Hillside Bar on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Dec. 4 from 5-7pm.

Hosted in collaboration with Live Music Project, our monthly happy hours are open to all curious listeners, casual music-makers, and professional musicians alike. Bring a friend, make a friend, and discover connections with music lovers from all over Seattle!

Click here to RSVP and invite your friends. Plus, sign up for alerts for future happy hour dates and day-before reminders so you’ll never miss a beer—er, beat.

NW Focus Stories: Tales from Seattle’s Classical Music Luminaries

In addition to being a performer and commissioner of new music, Bonnie Whiting is the Chair of Percussion at the University of Washington School of Music.

Not all classical music unfolds onstage. Behind the scenes, there is an entire ecosystem of artists, audiences, administrators, educators, and innovators who bring classical music to life in the Pacific Northwest.

Second Inversion is thrilled to be a part of KING FM’s Northwest Focus Stories, a new show airing select Friday evenings at 8pm on KING FM. Join host Dacia Clay and your favorite KING FM announcers as we highlight the vibrant classical music community of the Pacific Northwest through in-depth interviews and audio stories built around people who create, curate, or contribute to classical music in a meaningful way.

Our first episode, which aired on October 18, highlights women leaders in Seattle’s music community, with special guests ranging from experimental percussionist Bonnie Whiting to Seattle Opera General Director Christina Scheppelmann, arts advocate Leslie Chihuly, music historian Melinda Bargreen, KING FM CEO Brenda Barnes, and Seattle Rock Orchestra Music Director Kim Roy.

Listen to the episode on-demand below:

Host and Executive Producer: Dacia Clay; segment producers and interviewers: Dacia Clay, Maggie Molloy, Nikhil Sarma, Marta Zekan, Mike Brooks, Dave Beck; audio engineering: Mike Brooks and Nikhil Sarma; theme music: “a storm of our own making,” by Daniel Webbon.

Music in Bonnie Whiting Segment:

Annea Lockwood: Amazonia Dreaming
Bonnie Whiting, percussion (recorded in studio)

James MacMillan: Veni, Veni Emmanuel (RCA Red Seal Records)
Evelyn Glennie, percussion; Scottish Chamber Orchestra

John Cage: 51’15.657” for a Speaking Percussionist (Mode Records)
Bonnie Whiting, voice and percussion

Yiheng Yvonne Wu: Violent Tender
UW Percussion Studio (recorded by Gary Louie; mixed by Mason Lynass)

Additional music performed by Bonnie Whiting in her studio and recorded by Nikhil Sarma.