by Mike Telin
Conversations between two like-minded people over coffee can often inspire great ideas. Such was the case a year and a half ago when saxophonist Noa Even and cellist Sophie Benn got together to discuss ways to promote new music in Cleveland. The result of that meeting was a new addition to the area’s music scene — the Cleveland Uncommon Sound Project.
On Thursday, January 18 at the Bop Stop, CUSP will host “Toasty Tunes,” a winter fundraiser to support the organization’s Re:Sound New Music Festival, to be held from June 7-10 of this year. The doors will open at 7:00 pm for a meet-and-greet with the evening’s performers and the CUSP team. Performances by saxophone duo Ogni Suono (Noa Even and Phil Pierick) and saxophonist/composer Nick Zoulek will begin at 7:30 pm. Attendees can learn more about CUSP and Re:Sound during a conversation with the founders moderated by me, Mike Telin. Click here for tickets and event information. The evening will conclude with a late-night improv jam session at 10:00 pm. Bring your own instruments and join in — that session is free but donations will be appreciated.
Noa Even said during a recent telephone conversation that the timing of that meeting over coffee was fortuitous. “When we spoke, Sophie had just gone to a new music festival and was thinking about how to start one, and I had already decided that I wanted to organize a festival in Cleveland.”
Soon after, Even and Benn invited drummer Stephen Klunk and Bop Stop manager Gabe Pollack to join the team. “Stephen is my Patchwork duo partner and he’s interested in the artistic side of programming new music,” Even said. “Gabe is interested in that too, as well as promoting music. He also knows how to run events, so he seemed like a good logistical person to have onboard.”
Although the final roster of performers for this summer’s Re:Sound festival has not been announced, it will include just under 30 soloists and chamber ensembles. “Our call for proposals yielded a little over 100 applications. Most came from the region — Detroit, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Toronto — but we also had some from both coasts as well as Texas, Florida, and Idaho and some from Europe, so we were pretty excited about that.”
Even said that the applicants included soloists and existing chamber music ensembles ranging from duos to sextets, as well as composer/performers and experimental artists, adding that a number of them used technology in a variety of ways in their submissions.
Among the festival venues will be the Bop Stop, SPACES, and The Magalen, a converted furniture store in Slavic Village. “We’re not using any concert halls,” Even said. “We’re billing the festival as a ‘hang out’ kind of experience where you can grab a drink, have coffee, listen to music, and see what artists are doing these days.”
In addition to concerts, Re:Sound will also feature after-hours jam sessions. And depending on the final artist selections, organizers hope to include panel discussions or informal Q&As. “We’re hopeful that there’s enough diversity in the programming of the festival to attract different types of people.”
Published on ClevelandClassical.com January 11, 2018.
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