Sunday, February 18, 2007

Five Things about eighth blackbird

Spectacular concert last night at the Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center with eighth blackbird.

1. eighth blackbird continues to astound and amaze me with their killer ensemble playing and perfect balances in complex music. Saturday night was no exception, with a program to complement their latest cd, strange imaginary animals.

2. Especially striking in both quality and soundscape was Gordon Fitzell's violence, a work from 2001 - which Lisa Kaplan mentioned was one of the group's favorites - it certainly showed!

3. Recently recorded Indigenous Instruments by Steven Mackey was definitely a hit - coming right after intermission and followed a remix by Dennis DeSantis, which Mathew Duvall explained before he left the stage would be played at the end of intermission, and the dance floor would be open. Unfortunately, the beautiful Erin Palmer of the Kimmel Center staff didn't cut a rug with me - maybe next time Erin?

4. It was nice hearing Derek Bermel's Coming Together live, but a bit surprising since Michael Maccaferri started off stage right next to my seat, and had the house lights up on the left side of the hall. I'm scheduled to interview Derek in March, so it was great hearing and seeing his music in the hands of 8th bb. The piece was intense at times (although Michael's suggestion of the Peanuts' grownup sound "wah wahhh" was effective and humorous) and so when Michael said Nicholas' cello had literally exploded that afternoon in rehearsal and he was playing on a borrowed cello (thanks to Network for New Music's cellist), it didn't surprise me somehow! (I'm sure the weather hasn't really helped out things either.)

5. There were quite a few young musicians at the concert - which was great to see, although it wasn't a full house by any means. WRTI recorded it and will be broadcast next Sunday, you can hear it online here. The talkback was fun and entertaining as well.

You can read 8th bb's own blog here. And recall their Pierrot Lunaire in Gettysburg here and here.

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