International Contemporary Ensemble | Museum of Contemporary Art | Experimental | Chicago Reader

International Contemporary Ensemble Soundboard Recommended

When: Wed., Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m. 2011

The International Contemporary Ensemble is calling this typically dynamic program, loaded with rarely performed pieces, Chance Encounters—and the encounter that inspired the name was John Cage and Morton Feldman's 1950 meeting at a New York Philharmonic concert, where they'd gone to hear Anton Webern's Symphony op. 21. They'd each decided to leave after it was played, so that the experience would be unsullied by the Rachmaninoff that was next, and they ran into each other serendipitously on their way out; the friendship they developed exerted a huge influence on 20th-century music, especially in New York. ICE's program consists of more than just music from the 50s, but every composer on it is connected to Cage or Feldman somehow, from Webern (1934's Concerto for Nine Instruments) to Iannis Xenakis (1984's huge, ominously writhing masterpiece Thallein). Feldman himself is represented by the gorgeously austere Routine Investigations, a 1976 work for oboe, trumpet, piano, viola, cello, and double bass that he constructed by shuffling and rearranging shards of a few simple sonorities; Cage is represented by a rarely performed 1951 piece for 12 radios called Imaginary Landscape No. 4, which signaled his retreat from composerly control, and by an ICE arrangement of several of his time- and duration-oriented pieces that's entitled 8'10". Rounding out the bill is Double X, a 1979 composition for four pairs of matching instruments by Pauline Oliveros, a Cage disciple and something of a mentor to ICE. Percussionist Steven Schick will be the ensemble's guest conductor for the evening. —Peter Margasak

Price: $10-$28

Add a review


Select a star to rate.