Sunday, July 22, 2007

After Now Takes Flight at the Red Room

After Now: Nothing you've heard before. Inaugural concert. July 21 @ the Red Room, Baltimore, MD

An evening of composed music at a venue normally associated with improvisation made for a perfect end to a day spent viewing improvised music in a venue normally associated with college lectures.

Columns in the Air by Mark A. Lackey

Kristin Bacchiocchi-Stewart, flute
Gina Kim, flute
Mindy Heinsohn, flute
JeeYoung Rachel Choe, alto flute
Mark lackey, electronics

The flute quartet sounded great as the repeating patterns in the different flute parts made for a beautiful aural image. I found the intrusions of the electronic sounds puzzling as the abstract sheen of the flutes would become polluted with the concrete qualities of overlaid sound effects. As the electronic timbres eventually gravitated away from voices and recognizable real-world sounds and began to reflect more of the abstract beauty of the flute music it began to make more sense.

Homeward by Andrew Cole

Brian Sacawa, soprano saxophone
Cory Kasprzyk, alto saxophone
Chris Blossom, tenor saxophone
Rose Hammer, baritone saxophone

The opening movement of this work was particularly good. The final movement featured some soft multiphonic harmonies from the baritone and tenor parts as the soprano wove a melodic line over the top. I would like to hear this one again.

spastic i droNe by Mark A. Lackey

Courtney Orlando, violin

While I enjoyed the wealth of extended technique and ideas contained within this excellent work for solo violin I sometimes wished that some of the textures had been elongated a bit more to spend more time taking them in. The restless quality of this music didn't allow one to focus on any particular sound or idea for long.

Degredations IV-b by C.R. Kasprzyk

Jamie Schneider, oboe
Sally Sarles, viola
Mindy Heinsohn, flute
Bonnie Obel, cello

This was by far the most timbrally striking work of the evening. Accompanied by an electronic track, this piece dripped a steady string of sonic beads of polyphonic textures featuring the sounds of the players breathing and whispering as part of the overall sounding image.

Even Horizon by Samuel Burt

Brian Sacawa, alto saxophone

It's odd that this day was filled with so much solo alto saxophone music. After Jackie Blake's solo set just a few hours earlier this was a completely different approach and sound for this instrument and Sacawa continues to impress me with his interpretive energy.

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