When: Sun., Feb. 14, 8:30 p.m. 2016
Classical musicians need material to play, and composers need players. Fortunately for Wet Ink four of their seven core members contribute material to a repertoire that already includes music by Mathias Spahlinger, George Lewis, and Anthony Braxton. The collective intensely engage with challenging pieces—digging in rather than just playing from sheet music and moving on—and they adjust their size to the music’s needs. Wet Ink swelled to a dozen members for a recent performance of Braxton’s work, but for this current midwest tour they number just three—pianist Eric Wubbels, violinist Josh Modney, and electronic musician Sam Pluta. They’ll play two extended pieces, both composed by group members. Wubbels’s “The Children of Fire Come Looking for Fire” is as violent as a thunderstorm, with amplified string-scrapes slamming into a hail of woody prepared-piano notes, while Pluta’s “Hydra” contains even more dramatic changes, its swarming blasts of electronic noise overwhelming intricate acoustic passages.