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Easy Not Easy enlists a diverse cast of composers to offer pieces that require no rehearsal

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Chicago musician Matt Mehlan (Skeletons) has occasionally organized a project he calls Easy Not Easy, which is his response to an endeavor by experimental composer and musician David Behrman that focuses on “deceptively simple scores,” compositions that offer performers significant leeway and input. Mehlan’s effort began in New York in 2010 and enlists a number of composers from different disciplines to provide what he calls “easy pieces” that require no rehearsal—a response to the time and resources scored music generally demands. Both the composers and performers reflect a diverse array of backgrounds, and ideally the project works to tear down the institutional walls that typically separate the classical, experimental, rock, and jazz communities. For the latest installment of the project Nicolas Collins, Michael Zerang, Dave Rempis, Whitney Johnson, Doug Kaplan, Alejandro Acierto, Jenna Lyle, Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, Sherae Rimpsey, and David Hall submitted pieces, while Rempis, Johnson, Kaplan, Acierto, Lyle, Mehlan, Rob Frye, and Brian Sulpizio will interpret and perform them. In a time when our country has been divided, any effort or project designed to bring people together is worthy—and when the participants are as dynamic as this cast, it’s hard to resist joining in.   v

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