eighth blackbird

18 02 2007

Last night, I caught a performance of eighth blackbird, the classical music sextet that focuses on contemporary and avant garde music. Of the pieces on the program at the Kimmel Center, I particularly enjoyed:

  • Gordon Fitzell’s violence, a piece requiring the sextet to get all sorts of percussive, though not necessarily loud, sounds out of their instruments by unusual means (e.g., plucking piano strings, tapping violin strings, exaggerated breathing into the wind instruments, etc.);
  • Derek Bermel’s Coming Together, a piece for cello and clarinet, that blackbird’s clarinetist aptly described as bend-y (in a similar, but less evocative, vein, the Kimmel Center’s program said the “short duo consist[ed] entirely of glissandi”); and
  • Joseph Schwantner’s Rhiannon’s Blackbirds, which ended the evening in a whirlwind of fast sounds.

My concert-going friend, whose taste in music is more conservative than mine, seemed a little, well, distressed by eighth blackbird. I thought the performance was awfully cool, of course. Afterward, I’d hoped to get some funky cheese and exotic beer from one of my favorite local hangouts, but my friend was definitely not up to waiting for a table. So I had make due with fish and chips and some not-so-exotic beer. After a couple of hours of shrill, unexpected noises, I suppose it was too much to hope that my friend would put with a pile of stinky cheese, too.

After last night, I’m sure my friend better understands why I’m still single…. I’m obviously a weirdo. Hee.

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