Snarky Puppy, Third Coast Percussion | Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Snarky Puppy, Third Coast Percussion Member Picks Free All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Recommended Image

When: Thu., June 25, 6:30 p.m. 2015

Influential minimalist composer Terry Riley turns 80 on June 24, and today Third Coast Percussion celebrates that milestone with a performance of his best-known work, In C (1964). A masterpiece scored for any combination of instruments, the work’s composed of 53 discrete phrases each performer must play in sequence before the performance can conclude, though parts can be repeated for as long as a player deems fit. The latter is just one way In C gives individual players creative latitude, but the music really excels when the musicians work together—part of its enduring power is that it’s a piece designed with a sense of community. There’s a bright-eyed optimism conveyed by the deceptively simple C-major patterns; the key itself contributes to the work’s driving energy and the triumphant feel of the conclusion. The C-major setting also makes the piece exceedingly versatile, and over the decades musicians from all over the stylistic map have taken it on. Last year conductor André de Ridder directed a dazzling version in Bamako featuring ringers Brian Eno, Damon Albarn, and Nick Zinner along with local musicians, who make exquisite sense of the work on traditional instruments, providing the pulse of the performance. (It’s available on the stunning In C in Mali from Transgressive.) Tonight’s performance, organized by Third Coast, features 80 players drawn from local groups including Ensemble Dal Niente, Spektral Quartet, Mocrep, Mucca Pazza, and Fifth House Ensemble, among others. And on August 9 as a part of my Frequency Series at Constellation, I’ll present the third annual performance of an In C organized by Cooper Crain of Cave and Bitchin Bajas, featuring an assortment of local underground rock and jazz musicians. —Peter Margasak

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