Rebekah Heller & Michael Nicolas | Uptown Underground | Classical | Chicago Reader

Rebekah Heller & Michael Nicolas All Ages Free Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Sat., Jan. 23, 4 p.m. 2016

The latest concert in the impressive free series OpenICE—presented by the International Contemporary Ensemble—explores music for bassoon and cello, in both solo and duo formats. Performed by Rebekah Heller and Michael Nicolas, the program includes a pair of world premieres—one by Edgar Guzmán and another from David Fulmer—but it’s the older works that embrace an exploratory vibe. Particularly bracing is “In Nacht und Eis,” a 2006 piece by Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth, where the grains the performers produce form electrifying pulsations—the guttural gestures further abraded by a ring modulator—as the jagged lines of both instruments dance together. The other pieces on the program come from the Japan-born, London-based composer—and longtime ICE collaborator—Dai Fujikura. The solo bassoon piece “Following” was inspired by watching a river twist and turn from overhead, while the bassoon-cello duo “The Voice” wends through shuddering lows and almost delicate, fluttering highs, with each line obliquely pushing and pulling on its counterpart.

Peter Margasak


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