by Maggie Molloy

This week’s concert calendar expands beyond music and into poetry, mythology, philosophy, and more!


Friction Quartet and Christian Pincock

Only a small fraction of classical musicians play with the ferocity and force of the San Francisco-based Friction Quartet. The group is committed to expanding the string quartet repertoire and audience for adventurous new music through collaborations with composers and artists of all disciplines.

This weekend, you can see them perform a works by local Seattle composers, including world premiere performances of Roger Briggs’ “Friction,” Tom Baker’s“Invisible Cities,” Nathan Campbell’s “Treescape” and a new work by John Teske.  The program also features John Adams’ dynamic and dramatic String Quartet No. 1.

Trombonist and composer Christian Pincock will open the performance, combining digital music and a DIY aesthetic to present solo works scored for trombone and computer—all while using homemade controllers and software for live control of sound processing.

The performance is this Friday, June 5 at 8 p.m. at the Chapel Performance Space at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford.

Kate Soper and Seattle Modern Orchestra Present “Sound Me Out”

SOPER-photo-by-Richard-BurbridgeThe story of Orpheus and Eurydice is an ancient Greek legend—Orpheus, with a voice so beautiful he could charm all living things, descends into Hades in a fruitless attempt to bring his dead bride Eurydice back to life. And while the myth has been recreated again and again in opera and music for centuries, this weekend you have the chance to experience a not-so-classical setting of this classic tale.

For its season finale, Seattle Modern Orchestra is presenting two works for soprano and ensemble by American composer and vocalist Kate Soper, including a world premiere of a new ensemble version of her piece “now is forever: I. Orpheus and Eurydice.” Through a combination of music, drama, rhetoric, and fearless expressivity, the piece explores a discrete moment in the story when Orpheus and Eurydice first meet.

Soper and Seattle Modern Orchestra will also perform the Seattle premiere of her passionate and poignant piece “Door” for soprano, flute, saxophone, electric guitar, and accordion. The program also features two more Seattle premieres: Italian composer Fausto Romitelli’s philosophical “Blood on the floor, Painting 1986” and Georg Friedrich Haas’s virtuosic “Monodie” for 18 instruments.

The performance is this Saturday, June 6 at 8 p.m. at the Chapel Performance Space at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford. A pre-concert presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m.

EKSTASIA: Pursuing Ecstasy and the Search for the Divine


“In Heaven a spirit doth dwell, whose heart-strings are a lute” wrote Edgar Allan Poe in an 1831 poem. That spirit is Israfel, the Muslim archangel of song. But you don’t have to leave Seattle to hear his heavenly music—next weekend the Esoterics are uniting with Skyros String Quartet to present vivid choral settings of “Israfel” and other divine poems.

The Esoterics and Skyros will be performing composer Tarik O’Regan’s “The Ecstasies Above,” an unearthly setting of Poe’s “Israfel” filled with daring modal harmonies and driving rhythms. They will also present Charlie Leftridge’s poignant “Of Seasons I Have Sung.” The a cappella portion of the program includes Aaron Jay Kernis’ ethereal “Ecstatic Meditations” and Eric Banks’ evocative “I am Among Them.”

Performances are Friday, June 5 at 8 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Seattle, Saturday, June 6 at 2 p.m. at First Christian Church in Portland, and Sunday, June 7 at 3 p.m. at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in West Seattle.