by Daniel Hathaway & Mike Telin
“Expect the unexpected,” eighth blackbird’s spokesman/flutist Tim Munro told our readers in the first of these previews, but he didn’t mean that patrons should go in uninformed. Today, Tim delves into the background of two of the pieces on the ensemble’s program next Tuesday, April 29 at 7:30 in Waetjen Auditorium at Cleveland State University.
The concert will begin with Bryce Dessner’s Murder Ballades, inspired by violent stories preserved in American folk music. The piece was written for and premiered by eighth blackbird in 2013 in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, where Dessner is a composer-in-residence at the Muziekgebouw.
Tim Munro: “We met Bryce six or seven years ago when he came to some of our concerts and we were quite taken with his music. He’s kind of a wildly famous rock star (he’s a member of the band The Nationals) as well as a classically trained musician (he has a master’s degree from Yale, where he studied classical guitar, flute and composition). He has an incredibly unique compositional voice that we were excited to take advantage of. And he was quite taken with this dark, dingy, strange world of the murder ballads. [Read more…]