Chicago Concert Season #2 TONIGHT: “Dark Rooms” @ Constellation
As the first real snow of the Chicago winter falls, we at TCP are making our last minute preparations for the second concert of our self-presented Chicago Season…TONIGHT! "Dark Rooms" at Constellation will be an evening of extreme sensory stimuli, with music by America’s most innovative and omnivorous young composers. Click HERE for the link to concert information.
Preparing for a Chicago Season concert requires a special process for us. We determine every aspect of the event: the repertoire, the venue, the concert theme, etc. This is our chance to explore new works, new directions for the group, and new ways of presenting a concert. The whole series of events begins months ahead of time during a meeting in which all four of us pitch each other ideas for pieces, concert themes, and possible collaborators and then continues throughout the year as we workshop the music together and a cohesive flow to the event starts taking shape.
We’re particularly proud of the concerts that we develop for our dedicated audience here on our home turf of Chicago, and past programs have included an evening of metallic instruments at the University of Chicago and exploration of pulsars and other stars of the night sky at the Adler Panetarium. Our last Chicago Concert Season program entitled "Infinitesimal Machinery" was also at Constellation and featured music that explored sounds produced by miniscule objects and muted gestures amplified past the point of normal observance. Here’s a pic of us performing on flowerpots taken by our friend Diedre Huckabay during the concert:
Tonight’s concert, ”Dark Rooms”, takes the audience on a journey through several different vignettes and musical miniatures that sometimes meld into each other through smooth transitions and at other points create stark juxtapositions of style and mood. The experience could be described as walking through several rooms of a musical mansion, with each chamber filled with a unique experience for the wanderer to enjoy. We’re particularly excited to be presenting a program of music entirely by living composers, including a World Premiere by our compatriot Chris Fisher-Lochhead
Dark Rooms by Guggenheim fellow Marcos Balter is one of our earliest commissions and will be providing the skeleton for the program. We’ve separated the multiple movements out throughout the evening and adding some, if we do say so ourselves, prit-tee sweeeeet spatial, lighting, and sensory elements to encapsulate the each of this short musical moments. Here’s Marcos and Rob working on getting just the right sound of a rubbed marimba bar:
Other works on the program include: Pixelated by Daniel Wohl, a NYC-based composer whose group Transit we’re lucky enough to share a concert with at Le Poisson Rouge on January 29; Taxidermy by Pulitzer winner Caroline Shaw which explores how “the detail of the pattern is movement” through flowerpots, keyboards, and audience participation; Thaw by Sleeping Giant composer Ted Hearne, which we’re excited to have just released on Chicago’s very own new music label Parlour Tapes+; On Tenterhooks, a World Premiere of a hyper-complex and hyper-cool work for bottles, metal bars, and other junk by Chicago’s very own Chris Fisher-Lochhead; and the grooving finale Dark Full Ride by Bang-on-a-Can founder Julia Wolfe.
Since all of these composers are active RIGHT NOW, we had the luxury of having them visit our studio, Skype into rehearsals, and exchange e-mails in order to gain insight into the vision they each had for their music. This program represents one of the things that is a goal for TCP: championing the music of today and building a repertoire of percussion music for tomorrow.
Also, and maybe most importantly, it’s always fun to just hang out with our friends and play their music for a hometown crowd!
OK, off to drive a truck through the snow to Constellation. See you there at 8:00 PM for doors and a pre-concert talk by the always eloquent Rob Dillon at 8:30.