by Mike Telin
Cleveland Chamber Symphony launches its sixth NEOSonicFest on Friday, March 29 at 9:00 pm at Mahall’s in Lakewood with a concert in partnership with Fresh Perspectives. Uno Lady (Christa Ebert), a one-woman choir, will create electronic loops, harpist Stephan Haluska will present his own electro-acoustical compositions, and Buck McDaniel and Jacob Kirkwood will present a concert version of their live electro-acoustic score written for Cleveland Public Theatre’s Fire on the Water, a meditation on the 50th anniversary of the burning of the Cuyahoga River. The evening will also feature “signature cocktails” available for purchase. Tickets go for $7.
In a recent conference call, Fresh Perspective’s Devin Hinzo said that when they were looking for a venue to present McDaniel’s and Kirkwood’s piece, they immediately thought of Mahall’s. “They support local and emerging musicians as well as music that doesn’t fit any particular genre, so it seemed like a natural fit.”
McDaniel, Cleveland Public Theater’s Kulas Composer Fellow for the 2018-19 season, explained that CPT’s production of Fire on the Water is a collection of plays or meditations on the burning of the River, and his incidental score linked them together. “For Friday’s event I’ve made a concert version of that music. It’s a slightly more abstract version about the river, but it’s also about urbanization in Cleveland and municipal pride.”
McDaniel said that musically the piece is set up as a concerto grosso between live instruments (Devin Hinzo, oboe, Ariel Karaś, violin, and Mell Csicsila, percussion) and recorded versions of those instruments.
“Jacob Kirkwood is an electronic musician and producer. The way that we work is that I’ll write a piece in a traditional fashion, then we go into the studio and he will come up with inventive ways to expand on it. So he’s as much a part of the creative process as I am.”
In addition to Fire on the Water, the evening will also include McDaniel’s and Kirkwood’s Difference and Repetition for piano, percussion, and electronics, which began its life as a dance score for one of CPT’s Pandamonium events.
Hinzo and McDaniel noted that both Uno Lady and Stephan Haluska are prime examples of non-genre artists. “Christa’s not a rock musician, but she’s not a classical musician either,” McDaniel said. “I’ve been a big fan of hers for a while. Stephan performs free improvisations with electronics and extended techniques. They’re long-form explorations that I like to describe as La Monte Young, but four hours shorter.”
About those signature cocktails? “A fun fact about me is that when I was in New York, I was part of a James Beard Award-winning bar team,” Hinzo said. “I was doing that on top of going to school full-time. And since we’re billing Friday’s event as a late-night lounge experience, we thought it would make a great addition.” (Anyone of age who pays admission to the event is eligible for a discount on the cocktails.)
“It will be cool to get the Mahall’s audience engaged in the festival,” Hinzo said. “Hopefully they’ll want to check out all of the events.”
Published on ClevelandClassical.com March 26, 2019.
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