LIVE CONCERT SPOTLIGHT: May 14-16

by Maggie Molloy

This week’s striking music calendar has Stravinsky, “Saci,” “Suck City,” and more!

Inverted Space Presents Stockhausen’s “Stimmung”

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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”

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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”

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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.

CONCERT SPOTLIGHT: May 7-11

by Maggie Molloy 

Add some color to your May with a jaunt down “Abbey Road,” a trip to a microtonal music instrumentarium, and many more multihued music events!

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Machinations Musical, Divers & Sundry

Music and machine unite this week at a diverse and sundry performance featuring the electroacoustic works of students and graduates from the University of Washington.

“Machinations Musical, Divers & Sundry” will feature original works by composers who are currently studying (or have previously studied) at UW’s School of Music or Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS). The wide-ranging program has everything from 19-tone equal temperament electric guitars to violin-horn duos to computer-realized surround sound to kinetic sculpture—all performed by the composers themselves.

The performance is this Thursday, May 7 at 8 p.m. at the Chapel Performance Space at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford.

Seattle Composers’ Salon

owcharuk-38-600x400Jazz up your Friday night with a trip to the Seattle Composers’ Salon, featuring a selection of Seattle’s smoothest, snazziest jazz cats.

The bi-monthly Salon presents new music in a casual setting, offering composers, performers, and audience members a space to experiment and discuss contemporary works. This evening’s performance features composer, jazz pianist, and accordionist Michael Owcharuk, jazz drummer Matthew James Briggs, and composers Jessi Harvey and Ian McKnight.

The performance is this Friday, May 8 at 8 p.m. at the Chapel Performance Space at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford.

Prism: Pärt and MacMillan

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“I could compare my music to white light which contains all colors,” said Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. “Only a prism can divide the colors and make them appear; this prism could be the spirit of the listener.”

In honor of Pärt’s 80th birthday, Seattle Pro Musica is performing a concert full of the influential composer’s colorful choral works. Known for his sacred and classical music, Pärt is inspired by elements of minimalism as well as his own mystical experiences with chant music.

The concert will also feature the melodic, modern works of James MacMillan, the multihued harmonies of Brian Edward Galante, and a world premiere of a new commission by John Muehleisen.

Performances are this Friday, May 8 and Saturday, May 9 at 8 p.m. at St. James Cathedral in Seattle.

Seattle Rock Orchestra Performs the Beatles’ “Let It Be” & “Abbey Road”

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This weekend, Seattle Rock Orchestra is taking fans down a “Long and Winding Road” through the Beatles’ discography. The performance is the fourth entry in their chronological exploration of the band’s catalogue of classics, arriving at their final studio recordings: “Let it Be” and “Abbey Road.”

“Come Together” for this beautiful evening of beloved Beatles tunes which will take you “Across the Universe,” to an “Octopus’s Garden,” all the way along “Abbey Road’s” famous 16-minute medley, and through countless other rock ‘n’ roll classics. The performance will feature guest vocalists Zach Davidson (of Vendetta Red), Tamara Power-Drutis, Matt and Mike Gervais (of Mikey & Matty), and Miranda Zickler (of Wild Rabbit).

Performances are this Saturday, May 9 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 10 at 2 p.m. at the Moore Theatre.

Music of Today: Harry Partch Instruments Presentation

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Harry Partch was a composer, music theorist, and instrument maker interested in much more than just your typical 12 intervals to the octave. He was one of the first 20th century composers in the West to work with microtonal scales, building his own custom-made instruments in different tunings in order to perform his compositions.

And now, you can see (and hear) these instruments in all their microtonal magnificence at the University of Washington. Next week Charles Corey, director of the Harry Partch Institute at UW, will be giving a public demonstration of instruments from the collection. The Harry Partch Instrumentarium is currently in residence at the UW School of Music.

The presentation is this Monday, May 11 at 7:30 p.m. at UW’s Meany Hall.

LIVE CONCERT SPOTLIGHT: April 2-5

by Maggie Molloy

This week’s concert calendar has everything from Crumb’s “Makrokosmos” to Club Shostakovich!

Daria Binkowski Performs “L’Opera per Flauto”

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Flutist Daria Binkowski knows a thing or two about breath control. As a celebrated musician with performance experience spanning from classical to modern, she has performed and taught around the world. And this week, she is tackling a truly breathtaking musical feat: a 75-minute piece for solo flute.

The piece is Salvatore Sciarrino’s influential “L’Opera per Flauto.” One of the foundations of contemporary flute repertoire, the work is a virtuosic and strikingly intimate exploration into silence and sound. Binkowski’s performance is part of Inverted Space Ensemble’s “Long Piece Fest,” a music festival highlighting contemporary pieces which are, well, really long.

The performance is this Thursday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the Chapel Performance Space at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford.

Pianist Mayumi Tayake Performs Crumb and Pärt

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Avant-garde composer George Crumb takes contemporary piano repertoire to a new level—a new decibel level, that is. His innovative four-volume series “Makrokosmos” is written for amplified piano.

Known for his hauntingly beautiful soundscapes, his exploration of unusual timbres, and his use of alternative forms of musical notation, Crumb is a fascinating composer with a truly unique musical language. This weekend, you can hear Volume II of his ethereal “Makrokosmos” in all its amplified glory, performed by Seattle-based pianist Mayumi Tayake (who, by the way, wrote her doctoral dissertation on “The Performance Guide to Makrokosmos Volume II”—needless to say, she knows what she’s doing). A video presentation of Crumb’s composition sketches and influences will be presented before the performance.

Tayake will also perform Arvo Pärt’s “Spiegel im Spiegel,” (Mirror inside the Mirror) with violinist Sharyn Peterson, accompanied by projected visuals.

The performance is this Saturday, April 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the Chapel Performance Space at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford.

Club Shostakovich XIII at the Royal Room

cs13-poster-screenshot1Russia’s rich musical tradition has given rise to some of the most imaginative and innovative composers of the 19th and 20th centuries. And so, this weekend Seattle’s Royal Room is hosting a special performance in celebration of Shostakovich and several other Russian showstoppers.

Club Shostakovich XIII will feature the fearless music of Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, Arensky, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich. Breathing life into these beautiful works are the Girsky Quartet, violinist Blayne Barnes, violist Heather Bentley, cellist Douglas Davis, and soprano Jennifer Krikawa.

The performance is this Sunday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Royal Room.

LIVE CONCERT SPOTLIGHT: January 29-February 2

by Maggie Molloy

This week’s spectacular music calendar has everything from Schnittke to Stockhausen to saxophone quartets and more!

University of Washington’s Modern Music Ensemble Winter Concert

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As millennials, the students of UW’s Modern Music Ensemble (Inverted Space) know a thing or two about new music. This Thursday, they are presenting a winter concert featuring a wide spectrum of works by contemporary composers.

The colorful program starts off with George Crumb’s “Dream Sequence (Images II),” an ethereal sound tapestry written for violin, cello, piano, percussion, and an off-stage glass harmonica. The students will also perform Alfred Schnittke’s poignant and powerful Piano Quintet, which was written in memory of his mother. Karlheinz Stockhausen’s serial “Kreuzspiel” and Jacob Sundstrom’s “no comment from the Grey Room” round out the program.

The performance is this Thursday, Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse Theater at University of Washington.

Ivan Arteaga’s Neijing Ensemble

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What could be better than the sweet and sensual sound of a solo saxophone? Four saxophones at once. This weekend, Seattle saxophonist Ivan Arteaga’s Neijing Ensemble is presenting a series of new improvisational pieces for saxophone quartet.

The ensemble began as something of a saxophone jam circle, which inspired Arteaga to begin creating gestural and improvisational pieces for the group. The quartet has since expanded their repertoire to include a wide range of musical influences. This performance features an arrangement of an Alban Berg string quartet as well as arrangements of American folk songs by Arteaga, Levi Gillis, and Luciano Berio. Three acoustic bassists will join the ensemble to perform two original compositions by Arteaga.

The performance is this Friday, Jan. 30 at 8 p.m. at the Chapel Performance Space at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford.

Byrd Ensemble Presents “In Memoriam: Hallock and Tavener”

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Most Seattleites are familiar with the Sunday night Compline at St. Mark’s Cathedral—but are they familiar with the composer who started it all?

Peter Hallock was a composer and liturgist who founded the Compline Choir at St. Mark’s Cathedral, where he served as organist and choirmaster for 40 years. This weekend, Seattle’s own Byrd Ensemble will pay tribute to the late Hallock by performing several of his best choral works—and what better place to sing them  than in St. Mark’s Cathedral? The concert will also honor John Tavener, another late, great composer of religious works.

The performance is this Saturday, Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Mark’s Cathedral.

Matt Haimovitz and Christopher O’Riley Present “Beethoven, PERIOD.”

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Forget the conventional concert-going experience of strict seating, formal attire, and refined performance etiquette. Next week cellist Matt Haimovitz and pianist Christopher O’Riley are bringing the sophistication of Beethoven to a whole new concert setting—Seattle’s own Tractor Tavern.

Following their collaboration on “Shuffle.Play.Listen,” an album exploring the evolution of music post-iPod, Haimovitz and O’Riley are now returning to the very beginnings of the cello and piano genre. In support of their new album, “Beethoven, PERIOD.,” the two will be performing Beethoven’s Sonatas and Variations on period instruments of the early 19th century. The repertoire provides unique insight into Beethoven’s life and work, and the informal setting allows for a contemporary spin on your favorite classics.

The performance is this Monday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. at the Tractor Tavern in Ballard.

NEW CONCERT RECORDING: Seattle Modern Orchestra’s “Electro-Colors”

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[photo credit: Amy Bowen]

Second Inversion is pleased to present the audio from Seattle Modern Orchestra’s 2014-15 season opener, Electro-Colors, featuring the US premiere of Huck Hodge’s Alêtheia!

Participating Musicians:

Paul Taub, flute
Daria Binkowski, flute
Angelique Poteat, clarinet
Rachel Yoder, clarinet
Melanie Voytovich, percussion
Becca Baggenstoss, percussion
Bonnie Birch, accordion
Cristina Valdes, piano
Mayumi Tayake, piano
Eric Rynes, violin I
Kimberly Harrenstein, violin II
Rose Bellini, cello
Mary Riles, cello

Be sure to check our live concert archive for more live performances, and stay tuned for more upcoming Seattle Modern Orchestra performances!

LIVE CONCERT SPOTLIGHT: October 17-18

by Maggie Molloy

Looking to expand your musical horizons? Here are some exciting and experimental Seattle music events taking place this weekend.

Inverted Space Featuring UW Student Compositions

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Young 20-somethings are often at the forefront of new music ventures, constantly pushing the boundaries of familiar music genres and creating new ways of experimenting with sound. Seattle’s vibrant young musician scene is no exception. This Friday, music students from the University of Washington are presenting a colorful concert full of contemporary musical compositions written by their peers.

Inverted Space, UW’s contemporary music ensemble, will be performing small ensemble works written by fellow UW music students. The compositions include a solo work for violin and electronics, a duo for saxophone and cello, and many other unique musical compositions with imaginative instrumentation.

The concert is part of Nonsequitur’s Wayward Music Series, and will take place in the gorgeous Chapel Performance Space at the historic Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford.​ The concert is this Friday, Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m.

 

Seattle Symphony’s [untitled] Season Opener

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(photo credit: Brandon Patoc)

This Friday, the Seattle Symphony is taking their music outside of Benaroya Hall and into…the lobby.

That’s right; Seattle Symphony is opening their 2014-2015 [untitled] series with a late-night concert presented in Benaroya Hall’s beautiful Samuel and Althea Stroum Grand Lobby. The performance will feature compositions by the influential 20th century Hungarian composer György Ligeti as well as contemporary composers Djuro Zivkovic and Andrew Norman.

Symphony musicians will perform Gyorgy Ligeti’s String Quartet No. 1, “Métamorphoses nocturnes.” One of his more daring early works, the quartet is written in one continuous movement which can be divided into 17 contrasting sections. The concert program also features Serbian-Swedish composer and violinist Djuro Zivkovic’s “On the Guarding of the Heart” as well as American composer Andrew Norman’s “Try.”

If you’d like to hear some insightful interviews with Andrew Norman, Djuro Zivkovic, and Mikhail Schmidt, one of the violinists, check out this great feature from Seattle Symphony!

The performance will take place in Benaroya Hall’s grand lobby this Friday, Oct. 17 at 10 p.m.  Be sure to stop by the KING FM table and say hi to Second Inversion’s Maggie Stapleton!

 

William O. Smith’s Jazz Clarinet

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This Saturday night, William O. Smith is jazzing up classical clarinet music with a performance of his own imaginative compositions and creative improvisations. The classically-trained jazz clarinetist has devoted much of his career to studying and cataloguing an impressive range of extended clarinet techniques, all of which have informed his own original compositions.

Smith will be joined by trombonist Stuart Dempster and clarinetist Jesse Canterbury. The captivating program includes a piece written for clarinet and improvising computer, a piece written for clarinet and computer-transformed sounds, as well as artful improvisations in duo and trio combinations.

The event, which is co-presented by the Earshot Jazz Festival and Nonsequitur, will take place at the Good Shepherd Center’s Chapel Performance Space in Wallingford this Saturday, Oct. 18 at 8 p.m.