CONCERT REVIEW: Brooklyn Rider and Gabriel Kahane at the Tractor Tavern

by Christophe Chagnard

2016-02-02 09.03.04

Last night, I went to the Second Inversion’s presentation of Gabriel Kahane and Brooklyn Rider in concert. It was a stunning display of boundless creativity, artistic commitment, freedom and virtuosity that was deeply inspiring. Kahane’s singular melodic style is captivating, always taking unexpected turns, colored by sophisticated and beautiful harmonies. Just when you think that you have grasped his musical intentions, he takes you to a whole different sonic universe. In the end, you feel that you have been on a fantastic journey with a purpose that reveals itself once you’ve arrived. His voice is always soulful and completely committed to the true meaning of each word. I don’t use the word lightly but those were the creations of a natural and honest musical genius. His sense of pitch was astounding and “Ambassador Hotel” is a perfect song in my book.

Brooklyn Rider, with Johnny Gandelsman and Colin Jacobsen on violin, Nicholas Cords on viola and Eric Jacobsen on cello, was a wonder of refinement, precision, with a huge expressive range and more colors than I have ever heard from a string quartet. The quality and care of each attack, the complete mastery of the many “sound-effects,” the vibrato matching, the rhythmic drive and transcendence of the bar lines, the intelligence of the rubato were all in full display. It was obvious that their understanding of Kahane’s compositions was very personal, like the expression of a deep friendship. The drama and poetry in Schubert’s “Rosamunde” quartet provided a delightful anachronism but it’s in Kahane’s own Quartet that Brooklyn Rider displayed the full range of its musical might. The symbiosis between Kahane’s relentless creative assault and the quartet’s sheer virtuosity and passion was a wonder to behold and the highlight of the concert. The Tractor Tavern was packed with many young and fewer old, and a great assortment of personalities from professional colleagues to fans. It was exactly the sort of musical evening that we need a lot more of and a tribute to Second Inversion’s leading role and impact. It was one of those rare treats when great art unfolds before us as the unapologetic and intelligent reflection of our time.

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Stay tuned for a couple of in-studio videos of music by Gabriel Kahane, filmed yesterday afternoon in our studios!

GIVEAWAY: Gabriel Kahane and Brooklyn Rider Tickets + Signed CD

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Enter to win a pair of tickets to see Gabriel Kahane and Brooklyn Rider at The Tractor Tavern on Monday, February 1 at 8pm AND a signed copy of The Fiction Issue!

How?

  1. Leave a comment below. Fill in the blank: New Music is ___________.
  2. Like/Comment/Share our Facebook post
  3. Retweet this (and follow us, while you’re at it!)

Each action counts as a separate entry. Deadline is Friday, 1/29, 5pm PT.

SECOND INVERSION PRESENTS: Gabriel Kahane & Brooklyn Rider at the Tractor Tavern

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Join Second Inversion and KING FM at The Tractor Tavern on Monday, February 1 at 8pm for a concert with Gabriel Kahane and Brooklyn Rider!

This show is in celebration of their new collaborative album, The Fiction Issue (also featuring Shara Worden) and will feature Kahane’s song cycle for string quartet and voice, Come On All You Ghosts. They will also perform works from The Brooklyn Rider Almanac, The Ambassador (both have been featured as Second Inversion Albums of the Week!), and Schubert’s Rosamunde, a Brooklyn Rider favorite.

Get your tickets, RSVP to the Facebook event, and invite your friends!

Not in Seattle?  Check the tour schedules for both Gabriel Kahane and Brooklyn Rider to find out where they’ll be, together and separate, in city near you.

And to whet your appetite,  a special preview of The Fiction Issueavailable February 5:

Second Inversion’s Top 5 Videos of 2015

2015 was all about the videos here at Second Inversion! We hosted 22 recording sessions and produced a total of 44 videos! We connected with musicians from Seattle, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Montreal, Los Angeles, Austin, Paris, Denmark, Malaysia, Colombia, and Indonesia! You can peruse them all on our video page, but here are the top 5…

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#5: Third Coast Percussion and Joshua Roman at Town Hall, Seattle

#4: Christopher O’Riley and Matt Haimovitz at the Tractor Tavern

#3: yMusic in our studios

#2: Friction Quartet in our studios

#1: Ashley Bathgate (Bang on a Can All-Stars) in our studios

Stay tuned for videos in 2016 of local musicians playing Steve Reich, SO Percussion, Gabriel Kahane w/ Brooklyn Rider, and more!

NEW VIDEOS: Matt Haimovitz and Christopher O’Riley at the Tractor Tavern

In case you missed these on Facebook and Twitter, be sure to check out these videos with Matt Haimovitz and Christopher O’Riley from the iconic Tractor Tavern in the heart of Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood.

(Yes, that is a styrofoam cup in Matt’s cello)

(Beethoven in a Bar… why not?!)

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.