by Maggie Molloy
This week’s striking music calendar has Stravinsky, “Saci,” “Suck City,” and more!
Inverted Space Presents Stockhausen’s “Stimmung”
The word stimmung is German for “tuning”—but it applies to much more than just pitch. While it may be used to describe the tuning of instruments or voices, it can also be used to describe the tuning of a group of people, or the inward tuning of one’s soul.
“Stimmung” is also the title of German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen’s 70-minute sonic meditation for six amplified voices. This week, vocalists from the Inverted Space Ensemble will perform “Stimmung” as part of their “Long Piece Fest” (the name is pretty self-explanatory).
The piece was among the first major Western works to use vocal overtones as a key element of composition—in fact, the entire piece is based on the overtones of a low B-flat. The work was inspired by Stockhausen’s visit to the Mayan ruins in Mexico, and it features a recounting of ancient gods along with some of his own poetry.
The performance is this Thursday, May 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Chapel Performance Space at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford.
Universal Language Project Presents “The Soldier’s Tale” and “Saci”
Russian composer Igor Stravinsky is best known for his three major ballets: “The Firebird,” “Petrushka,” and “The Rite of Spring”—but his smaller-scale theatrical works are just as striking. This weekend, the Universal Language Project is presenting Stravinsky’s “The Soldier’s Tale,” an hour-long dramatic work based on a Russian folk tale.
The music is scored for very unique instrumentation: a septet of violin, double bass, clarinet, bassoon, cornet, trombone, and percussion. The story is told by four characters: the soldier, the devil, the narrator, and the princess (who is portrayed by a silent dancer). The libretto recounts the tale of a soldier who trades his fiddle to the devil for wealth, only to realize that his greed has led him to unimaginable loss.
The program will also feature a performance of Brazilian composer and pianist Jovino Santos Neto’s “Saci,” a theatrical work scored for seven musicians, narrator, and dance. The work tells the story of Saci, a mythological (and often mischievous) character of Brazilian folklore who is a combination of different cultural strains, including Native Brazilian tribes, African slaves, and Portuguese colonizers.
Performances are this Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16 at 8 p.m. at Velocity Dance Center on Capitol Hill.
Concert Imaginaire Presents “Another Day in Suck City”
What do Edgar Allan Poe, orangutans, and cyber-ant goddesses have in common? They’re all part of Concert Imaginaire’s upcoming music performance, “Another Day in Suck City.”
Don’t let the name fool you—“Another Day in Suck City” is anything but your typical music performance. Concert Imaginaire will be performing musical settings of poetry by Emily Dickinson and Edgar Allan Poe, a dance for an orangutan, the premiere of “Just a Kiss Away” (a 5-minute opera about love and war), and so much more.
Concert Imaginaire is comprised of music director and guitarist David Hahn, violinist Ruthie Dornfeld, keyboardist Jay Kenney, and percussionist Becca Baggenstoss. This performance will also feature guest vocalists Katie Weld, Sid Law, and Gabriel Tachell, along with video accompaniment created by Leo Mayberry.
The performance is this Saturday, May 16 at 8 p.m. at the Chapel Performance Space at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford.