Field Reports

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.

Chicago: The ancient future-music of Sam Scranton

scranton_detrivitore3

Sam Scranton’s Detritivore is an evening-length ensemble work that is both theatrical and restrained, simultaneously epic and intimate, and was so absorbing that I could not write about it without participating in the reverberations of the piece itself.

Houston: River Oaks Chamber Orchestra

River Oaks Chamber Orchestra

Based in Houston and drawing on some of the finest players in town and from around the nation, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra is gearing up for their tenth season. Founder Alecia Lawyer talks with Andrew Sigler about how this perception-challenging ensemble got started and where it’s headed.

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.

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