Local Composers and Vocal Wonders: New Music for June

by Maggie Molloy

Seattle Symphony’s [untitled] series takes place in the lobby of Benaroya Hall.

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! 

Keep an eye out for our flyer in concert programs and coffee shops around town. Feel free to download, print, and distribute it yourself! 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.”

June-2019-New-Music-Flyer


Wayward Music Series
Concerts of contemporary composition, free improvisation, electroacoustic music, and sonic experiments. This month: soaring voices, shamanic rituals, and music from beyond the margins.
Various days, 7:30/8pm, Good Shepherd Chapel | $5-$15

Kin of the Moon: Wander and Wail
Taiko drums and Chinese tea ceremonies are among the inspirations behind two innovative new compositions by Leanna Keith. Kin of the Moon performs them both alongside Kaley Lane Eaton’s new work, which features ultra-soprano Emily Thorner in an exploration of the voice as a conduit for expressing ancestral trauma. Learn more in our interview with the composers.
Sat, 6/1, 8pm, Good Shepherd Chapel | $5-$15

Seattle Girls Choir: Unsung Voices
Women composers across history are celebrated in this concert ranging from the hymns of Hildegard von Bingen to the art songs of Clara Schumann. Plus: hear music from contemporary Pacific Northwest composers like Joan Szymko, Karen P. Thomas, Jessica French, and Carol Sams.
Sat, 6/1, 8pm, Chapel of St. Ignatius at Seattle University | $5-$15

Seattle Symphony: Gabrielli & Clarke
Two recently uncovered chamber works by Rebecca Clarke (only made available to the public in the last decade) are highlighted on this program alongside mesmerizing works by Domenico Gabrielli, Einojuhani Rautavaara, and more.
Sun, 6/2, 5pm, Octave 9 | $35

Seattle Symphony: [untitled] 3
The elegant art songs of Schubert and Schumann are reimagined with the rawness of early 20th century cabaret in Reinbert de Leeuw’s pastiche song cycle Im wunderschönen Monat Mai. Sarah Ioannides conducts this riveting melodrama starring soprano Maria Männistö.
Fri, 6/7, 10pm, Benaroya Hall | $16

Seattle Modern Orchestra: Britten War Requiem
Benjamin Britten’s harrowing War Requiem is brought to life in this concert collaboration between the Seattle Modern Orchestra and the UW Symphony Orchestra and Choirs. Members of the Seattle Girls’ Choir, Seattle Chamber Singers, and guest soloists also perform.
Fri, 6/7, 7:30pm, Meany Hall | $10-$15

Seattle Peace Chorus: ‘Canto General’
Chilean poet Pablo Neruda’s epic hymn to South America, Canto General, is set to music by Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis and brought to life by the Seattle Peace Chorus, accompanied by flutes, plucked strings, and a wide array of percussion.
Sat, 6/8, 7:30pm, Town Hall Seattle | $20-$27

Northwest Chamber Chorus: ‘Lux Aeterna’
A Pacific Northwest native, Morten Lauridsen’s choral works are often inspired by the radiant natural landscapes of our region. His Lux Aeterna explores another type of light: it was written in honor of his late mother, who first introduced him to music.
Sat, 6/8, 7:30pm, University Congregational United Church of Christ | $20
Sun, 6/9, 2pm, University Congregational United Church of Christ | $20

Seattle Symphony: Bolcom, Jolley, Poteat, & Hausmann
Seattle’s innovative new music scene is showcased in this concert featuring Seattle Symphony musicians performing music of local composers. Immersive new works by Angelique Poteat and  Jérémy Jolley explore the possibilities of timbre while William Bolcom’s Afternoon Cakewalk harkens back to an earlier musical time.
Tues, 6/11, 7:30pm, Octave 9 | $20

Ancora Choir: In Her Own Words
Celebrating the legacy of writers and thinkers ranging from Emily Dickinson to Anne Frank and Susan B. Anthony, this choral concert serves not only to raise women’s voices but also to share their visions for a world of peace, equality, and justice.
Sat, 6/15, 4pm, Green Lake Church of Seventh Day Adventists | $5-$20

Seattle Modern Orchestra: ‘Mouthpieces’
The line between human voice and man-made instrument starts to blur in Erin Gee’s ongoing collection Mouthpieces. Instruments mirror, mimic, and expand upon her extended vocal sounds to form a kind of “super-mouth” that moves far beyond the physical limitations of a single voice.
Sat, 6/15, 8pm, Good Shepherd Chapel | $10-$25

Town Music: Bach to Bates
From the hallowed music of J.S. Bach to the modern electronic masterworks of Mason Bates, Town Music ends its season with an exploration of what connects old and new classical music.
Fri, 6/21, 7:30pm, Town Hall Seattle | $20

Sound of Late: Let the Light Enter
The intersections of poetry and music are explored in this concert of rarely-performed chamber works by Eve Beglarian, Tina Davidson, Shawn E. Okpebholo, Evan Williams, and Anthony R. Green.
Sat, 6/29, 8pm, Good Shepherd Chapel | $5-$15

Wandering, Wailing, and World Premiering with Kin of the Moon

by Dacia Clay

Ultra-soprano Emily Thorner performs this weekend with Kin of the Moon.

Three world premieres make up the concert program for Kin of the Moon’s next performance this Saturday at the Good Shepherd Chapel.

Kaley Lane Eaton’s FUNERAL SENTENCES FOR DAMAGED CELLS, written for and performed by ultra-soprano Emily Thorner, explores the voice as a conduit for expressing transgenerational trauma. It’s paired with two new works by Leanna Keith inspired by taiko drumming and Chinese tea ceremonies, respectively.

In this audio interview, Kaley and Leanna talk about their new premieres, about how Kin of the Moon came to be, and—most importantly—about crows.

Audio production by Dacia Clay. Audio engineer: Nikhil Sarma.


Kin of the Moon and Emily Thorner perform this Saturday, June 1 at 8pm at the Good Shepherd Chapel. For more information, click here.

From Octave 9 to Outer Space: Derek Bermel’s Adventures at the Seattle Symphony

by Maggie Molloy

As Composer-in-Residence with the Seattle Symphony this year, Derek Bermel kept pretty busy. Putting together multimedia performances in the brand new Octave 9 space, collaborating with local veterans through the Compass Housing Alliance, and nurturing the voices of young composers were just a few of his weekly activities.

He also wrote an immersive new piece about the Mars rover Curiosity, was featured as part of a 24-hour contemporary music marathon, and found an innovative new way to fit the full Seattle Symphony Orchestra within the intimate walls of Octave 9.

Learn about all this and more in our interview with the composer below.


Music in this interview is from Derek Bermel’s Hot Zone, performed by Alarm Will Sound. This interview originally aired on Classical KING FM’s Seattle Symphony Spotlight. Audio editing by Dave Beck.

Of Zealotry and Choral Music: Canticles from The Crossing

by Dacia Clay

Conductor Donald Nally. Photo by Becky Oehlers.

Donald Nally and his new music choir The Crossing recently won a Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance for their recording of the Zealot Canticles by composer Lansing McLoskey.

It’s clear that The Crossing has tapped into something: this is their second Grammy win (their first was for The Fifth Century by Gavin Bryars). It might have something to do with the timely message McLoskey’s piece conveys about zealotry in all of its forms and about how we talk to and about each other in a time of political divisiveness.

Zealot Canticles is based on Nigerian Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka’s Twelve Canticles for the Zealot, a set of poems that looks at fanaticism. In this interview, Nally talks about Soyinka’s work, why Lansing McLoskey was uniquely suited to write this piece, and about the music itself.

Audio production by Nikhil Sarma.


The Crossing’s new album Zealot Canticles is out now on Innova Recordings. Click here for more information.

Witches, Myths, and Microtones: The Music of Harry Partch

by Maggie Molloy

Over the past five years Harry Partch’s orchestra of handmade instruments has become a staple in the Seattle spring concert calendar—among experimental music lovers, at least.

Partch was one of the first 20th century composers to work extensively with microtonal scales, creating dozens of incredible instruments specifically for the performance of his works. Those instruments have been in residence at the University of Washington since 2014, where, under the direction of Charles Corey, students and community members practice and perform on them each spring.

The Chromelodeon
The Gourd Tree
The Bamboo Marimba II
Charles Corey, Director of the Harry Partch Instrumentarium
The Diamond Marimba
The Surrogate Kithara
The Spoils of War
The Chromelodeon

This year, Corey and his crew of Partch enthusiasts are playing two of Partch’s most ambitious and rarely-performed works: Daphne of the Dunes and The Bewitched. Catch both in concert this week at Meany Hall:

Daphne of the Dunes
The ancient Greek myth of Daphne and Apollo is reimagined through the primal rhythms and eerie microtones of Partch’s handmade instruments. His sprawling Daphne of the Dunes (originally composed as a film score) is performed alongside microtonal art songs of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Tues, 4/9, 7:30pm, Meany Studio Theater | $10

The Bewitched
Music, theatre, and ritual merge in Partch’s radical dance satire The Bewitched. Written as a reaction against the rigidity of modern civilization, the piece explores how we might ultimately find a sense of rebirth through a discovering our ancient past. The Bewitched showcases Partch’s most ambitious writing for the female voice, the piece unfolding across 12 scenes with the instruments dominating the set.
Sat, 4/13, 7:30pm, Meany Studio Theater | $10

Interested in learning more? Click here for our photo tour of the Harry Partch Instrumentarium.