Monsters and witches and werewolves, oh my! The spooky season is upon us—and nothing sets the scene for All Hallows’ Eve quite like some ghostly music.
Let us provide the soundtrack for your Halloween haunts. On this Saturday’s episode of Second Inversion, we’re exploring the music of ghosts, goblins, and things that go BUMP in the night. Listen along as we visit a musical Frankenstein, spend a night at the Bates Motel, dance with an army of skeletons, and step inside a composer’s nightmare.
In times of chaos and uncertainty, music can help us find solace, comfort, and clarity.
On this week’s episode of Second Inversion, we’re exploring quiet and introspective sounds from our own backyard and around the globe. From gong vibrations to moonlit meditations, we’ll hear music that invites us to slow down, center ourselves, and just listen deeply.
The human voice may be the original musical instrument, but in the 21st century composers are taking it to new heights—literally.
On this week’s episode of Second Inversion, we’ll hear new and novel approaches to vocal music, including music that loops, layers, and transforms the human voice—plus artists who speak volumes without ever using words.
Since its idealistic beginnings in 1987, the Bang on a Can Marathon has attained something of a legendary status among fans and creators of contemporary classical music. With early performances featuring well-loved figures like John Cage, Steve Reich, and Pauline Oliveros alongside music by up-and-coming composers, the yearly marathon has continued to be a welcoming and community-oriented festival that breaks down the barriers between composers, performers, audience, and genre.
Given the circumstances this year, Bang on a Can is livestreaming the yearly marathon this Sunday with over six hours packed with adventurous music of all shapes and sizes. Returning this year is the ever-popular minimalism of Steve Reich and Philip Glass, as well as John Adam’s cinematic China Gates performed by Bang on a Can All-Star pianist Vicky Chow. Also coming your way are performances by genre-defying performers like jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer and flautist, vocalist, and composer Nathalie Joachim, whose recent album Fanm d’Ayiti explores music from the women of Haiti.
It’s hard to sum up just how much innovative music is on offer this Sunday, with musicians from around the world and from a wide variety of musical traditions coming together in one back-to-back celebration of sonic experimentation and community. As it’s always done, the Bang on a Can Marathon continues to show that supporting the artists and audiences of new music is a mission that doesn’t stop at the doors of the concert hall.
You can stream the full marathon right here on Sunday, May 3 from 12-6pm PT, 3-9pm ET.
For more details on the Bang on a Can Marathon, including the full performance lineup, click here.
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: acoustic portraits, immersive winds, sonic geometry, and “unofficial music.” Various days, 7:30/8pm, Good Shepherd Chapel | $5-$15
Emerald City Music: ‘In the Dark’ Get lost in the dark as Emerald City Music performs the spine-tingling music of Georg Friedrich Haas in total pitch-black darkness. The hour-long string quartet, titled “In iij Noct,” features the four musicians stationed in the four corners of the venue, surrounding the audience and immersing them in Haas’s haunting aleatoric score. Fri, 11/1, 8pm & 10:30pm, 415 Westlake | $45 Sat, 11/2, 7:30pm, Washington Center for the Performing Arts (Olympia) | $28-$43
Seattle Modern Orchestra: Norwegian Odyssé The mystic sounds of Norway come alive in this concert featuring five U.S. premieres by Norwegian composers, including Rebecka Sofia Ahvenniemi’s chilling The child who became invisible for soprano, percussion, and electronics and Knut Vaage’s epic Odyssé for sinfonietta. Sun, 11/3, 1:30pm, National Nordic Museum | $10-$30
Music of Remembrance: Passage While a political prisoner at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in the 1940s, Aleksander Kulisiewicz dared to write poetry and music right under the noses of his Nazi captors. Hear composer Paul Schoenfield’s Pulitzer-nominated setting of Kulisiewicz’s biting poetry, plus world premieres by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Shinji Eshima. Sun, 11/3, 4pm, Nordstrom Recital Hall | $30-$55
Seattle Symphony: Kate Soper in Recital The line between live and pre-recorded sound begins to blur in Kate Soper’s immersive recital of original works for voice and electronics. Joined by sound artist Sam Pluta, Soper mines the expressive potential of the human voice. Sun, 11/3, 6pm, Octave 9 | $25
Gamelan Pacifica: Vocal Music of Central Java Drums, metallophones, and a wide array of tuned gongs are among the instruments you’ll see onstage during a traditional Javanese gamelan performance. Since 1980, Gamelan Pacifica has been performing traditional and contemporary gamelan music with dance, theater, and puppetry. For this performance, they’re joined by Javanese artists Ki Midiyanto and Heni Savitri. Sun, 11/3, 7pm, PONCHO Concert Hall | $5-$20
Seattle Symphony: Chick Corea Plays ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ Twenty-two-time Grammy-winning jazz pianist Chick Corea teams up with the Seattle Symphony for Gershwin’s iconic Rhapsody in Blue, plus a performance of his own original Piano Concerto No. 1. Wed, 11/6, 7:30pm, Benaroya Hall | $62-$82
Meany Center: Danish String Quartet Completed in the year before his death, Shostakovich’s final string quartet is an introspective meditation on mortality. The Danish String Quartet performs this moving work alongside music of Bach and Beethoven. Thurs, 11/7, 7:30pm, Meany Theater | $41-$49
Cappella Romana: Kastalsky Requiem As Europe descended into the chaos of World War I, Alexander Kastalsky began composing his haunting Requiem to commemorate the allied soldiers who had fallen. Epic in scale and scope, the work receives its Northwest premiere under the baton of guest conductor Steven Fox. Fri, 11/8, 7:30pm, St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church | $32-$52
Seattle Symphony: Angelique Poteat Cello Concerto Seattle-based clarinetist and composer Angelique Poteat turns her attention to the cello in a new concerto which receives its premiere by Efe Baltacıgil and the Seattle Symphony. 11/14-11/16, Various times, Benaroya Hall | $24-$134
Seattle Opera: The Falling & The Rising Interviews with active-duty soldiers and veterans formed the basis of this new chamber opera by composer Zach Redler and librettist Jerre Dye. Tracing a soldier’s journey through a battle explosion and a medically-induced coma, the opera seeks to shine a light on often untold stories of service and sacrifice. 11/15-11/24, Various times, Seattle Opera Center | $35-$45
Harry Partch Ensemble: Final UW Concerts Two chances remain to hear the inimitable handmade instruments of Harry Partch before the collection’s residency at UW concludes. On Thursday, director Charles Corey and his cast of local musicians perform Partch’s sprawling And On The Seventh Day Petals Fell In Petaluma, selections from his haunting Eleven Intrusions, and more. On Friday, the Partch Ensemble teams up with UW Percussion for another program of ear-expanding works. Thurs, 11/21, 7:30pm, Meany Hall Studio Theater | $10 Fri, 11/22, 7:30pm, Meany Studio Theatre | $10
Seattle Symphony: ‘The Rite of Spring’ It’s a piece that needs no introduction: Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring has been the stuff of classical music legend ever since its riot-inducing premiere in 1913. This earthshaking ballet about the pagan sacrifice of a virgin dancing herself to death is expertly paired with Scriabin’s The Poem of Ecstasy. Thurs, 11/21, 7:30pm, Benaroya Hall | $24-$134 Sat, 11/23, 8pm, Benaroya Hall | $24-$134
Gabriel Kahane: ‘Book of Travelers’ A train ride across the country provided ample time and inspiration for composer and multi-instrumentalist Gabriel Kahane to craft a musical diary of America. He performs selections from his Book of Travelers alongside wide-ranging songs from his other albums. Sat, 11/23, 8pm, Meany Theater | $31-$39
Paco Díez: Music from Northern Spain Born into a family of farm workers in the heart of Castille, singer and multi-instrumentalist Paco Díez grew up steeped in the folk music, traditions, and histories of his homeland. Widely considered one of the most important champions of Judeo-Spanish music today, Díez is joined by his students in a performance of Sephardic and Castilian folk music. Tues, 11/26, 7:30pm, UW Brechemin Auditorium | Free