Third Coast Percussion Recommended Soundboard

When: Fri., Jan. 11, 7:30 p.m. 2013

For this performance Chicago’s excellent Third Coast Percussion has designed a program of four modern pieces that focus on metal percussion. The group spent much of 2012 playing the music of John Cage—their fine CD The Works for Percussion 2 was the 45th release in Mode Records’ ongoing Complete John Cage Edition—and this concert opens with Cage’s First Construction (1939), a rousing collage of gamelanlike melody, low-end piano hammering, and explosive crashes. James Tenney’s Koan: Having Never Written a Note for Percussion (1971) is as minimal and focused as the Cage work is frenetic: its 17 minutes consist of a single slowly intensifying and receding drone on a lone tam-tam. David Lang’s high-energy Anvil Chorus (1991) is also for a soloist, but it spends most of its seven minutes breathlessly shifting gears. The highlight of the concert promises to be the Chicago premiere of Métal by French composer Philippe Manoury, its stop-start rhythms performed on a set of custom-built tuned aluminum keyboards called Sixxen, originally devised by Iannis Xenakis for his piece Pleiades; the six keyboards will surround the audience, and each is by design slightly out of tune with all the others, creating kaleidoscopic layers of clanging, competing resonances. —Peter Margasak

Price: $15, $10 students and seniors

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