On the heels of their 2012 Grammy Award for the recording of Steve Mackey's Lonely Motel: Music from Slide, new music ensemble eighth blackbird returns to Texas Performing Arts for ten days of residency activities, bookended by two completely different concert programs. This sextet combines the finesse of a string quartet with the energy of a rock band, delivering provocative and mind-changing performances.
Since its founding in 1996, eighth blackbird has actively commissioned and recorded new works from such eminent composers as Steve Reich, George Perle, and Frederic Rzewski. Recent commissions include Jennifer Higdon's On a Wire and Steve Mackey's Slide, and future collaborators include Amy Beth Kirsten, Brett Dean, Aaron Jay Kernis, John Luther Adams, and Mayke Nas. Profiled in The New York Times and NPR's All Things Considered, eighth blackbird has also been featured on CBS' Sunday Morning. The group is in residence at the University of Richmond in Virginia and the University of Chicago.
SHIFTED DURING FLIGHT
Tonight, January 28, 2013, 8:00 pm
Nico Muhly: Doublespeak (2012)
Philip Glass: Knee Play 2 (1975)
Tom Johnson: Counting Duets (1982)
Aaron Jay Kernis: Pieces of Winter Sky (2012)
Derek Bermel: Tied Shifts (2003)
György Ligeti: Études (1985/arr. 2012)
Andy Akiho: erase (2011)
eighth blackbird is a two-time Grammy-winning ensemble renowned for its classical chops and theatrical abandon. Here it throws caution to the wind with an all-out, over caffeinated, off-kilter jam session. Derek Bermel dives in head-first with his wild Balkan romp, "Tied Shifts." Two wunderkinds vie for attention: Andy Akiho with a full-tilt, groove-based sonic boom; Nico Muhly paying colorful homage to his mentor, Philip Glass. Pulitzer-winnning composer Aaron Kernis's major new work for eighth blackbird shimmers elusively in a gauzy haze, while new arrangements of Ligeti's solo piano "Études" gleefully revel in the ensemble's unhinged virtuosity.
Arnold Schoenberg's Pierrot lunaire
Lucy Shelton, soprano
Kristin Clotfelter, dancer
Mark DeChiazza, production concept and direction
Monday, February 4, 2013, 8:00 pm