Author Archives: Matthew Guerrieri

Boston: SICPP’s Love and Geometry

A cynocephalus, from the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493).

On paper, the June 17 concert presented by the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice, part of the institute’s annual week of new music training, festivities, and shenanigans, made some piece-to-piece local connections but seemed more miscellaneous on a global scale. In performance, though, a theme kept peeking around the edges.

Boston: Bromp Treb Busts the Matrix

Bromp Treb (Neil Young Cloaca) at Café Fixe, June 10, 2014. Photo by Susanna Bolle.

Neil Young Cloaca is an irrepressible showman. Bromp Treb is an opportunity for him to apply that carnival-barker enthusiasm to a table full of mismatched gear. Cloaca circled the table, triggering highly distorted samples while playing up theatrical befuddlement, as if he was trying to decipher a recalcitrant machine—or defuse an eccentric bomb.

Boston: Caroline Shaw’s Common Cause

"Your Second or Permanent Teeth" (anatomical diagram)

It is a remarkably elevated art that is so incapable of settling down, constantly inspiring its practitioners to use the output of one set of rules as the input for a completely different set of rules. Musical style is a moving target. It certainly must be.

Sounds Heard: Meredith Monk—Piano Songs

Meredith Monk: Piano Songs album cover

Meredith Monk: Piano Songs, a new compilation performed by Ursula Oppens and Bruce Brubaker, features music that finds expressive possibilities in the act of moderating between extremes. Old and new, traditional and experimental, memory and transformation–within all those competing forces, Monk’s music seems to hover at a point of balance.

Boston: Practice Sessions

Robert Spano led the Boston Symphony and Jonathan Biss in the world premiere of a new Bernard Rands piece on 4.3.14 (Stu Rosner)3

Keeril Makan’s Letting Time Circle Through Us and Bernard Rands’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (with pianist Jonathan Biss) premiered in Boston.

New England’s Prospect: Beyond the Sea

Matthew Ritchie's Monstrance/Remonstrance

Matthew Ritchie, currently in the midst of an 18-month stint as the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston’s artist-in-residence, presented his collaborative piece Monstrance/Remonstrance with an impressive group of collaborators including Shara Worden, Bryce Dessner, Evan Ziporyn, and David Sheppard.

New England’s Prospect: The Gift of Sound and Vision

Robert A. A. Lowe

Multimedia is a provocative tool to combat conformity, but hardly a foolproof one. Filmmaker/sound artist Ben Russell and musician Robert A. A. Lowe (a.k.a. Lichens) presented a joint show at Cambridge’s Middlesex Lounge, and that tension in the multimedia concept proved to be a running theme.

New England’s Prospect: Three World Premieres in Wildly Disparate Styles

BMOP Intermission

Boston Modern Orchestra Project never seems to run out of juice. It fills a need. It mounts concerts that manage to be both one-stop shopping for the merely curious and essential for professionals. The “modern” in the name has always been as much stylistic as calendrical, but its concert at Jordan Hall on January 17 was aggressively new: three world premieres in wildly disparate styles.