Yusun Kim, pictured left, and Hye Rim Choi return to the UO’s Thelma Schnitzer Hall on April 5 with the Taihei Ensemble
New Sounds, New Ways to Hear Them
Creativity leads at the UO
by Brett Campbell
Like musicians, musical institutions need to frequently reinvent themselves. Even though it boasts one of the nation’s finest concert halls, the UO music school is commendably trying to find new and less formal ways of bringing music to new audiences than the typical classical music concert. During the four-hour happening called [m], commencing at 6 pm on Saturday, May 1, listeners can wander among three venues at the school — Aasen-Hull Hall, Thelma Schnitzer Hall and the new courtyard (or room 178 if the rains descend) and encounter everything from a Sigur Ros remix to a “human sound sculpture,” funked up and electronically enhanced wind ensemble pieces, Balkan music, various student chamber music ensembles, the debut of the Oregon Urban Assault Ensemble and two improv sessions, one accompanying a short film, led by the mighty new music ensemble Beta Collide. New music in new combinations and new ways of hearing it — I wish every music institution were so creative!
Of course, the UO does have plenty of traditional concerts at Beall. On April 29, faculty pianist Alexandre Dossin joins the Oregon Wind Quintet in an intriguing program of music by Albert Rouseel, Giulio Briccialdi, Gamal Abedel-Rahim and Francis Poulenc’s lively Sextet. On Sunday afternoon, May 2, the always compelling World Music Series hosts zither masters Yusun Kim and Hye Rim Choi in the rarely heard (outside its homeland) traditional music of Korea. They return to the school’s Thelma Schnitzer Hall on April 5, with the UO’s Taihei Ensemble, for another free concert of contemporary Korean music, plus original works by UO composers. Those piquant sounds, new or old, are seldom heard in the West, so these appearances constitute a rare and welcome world music opportunity. On the evening of May 2, you can hear contemporary works for flute including original student works for flute and electronics in the school’s Thelma Schnitzer Hall. May 4 finds highly regarded New York jazz bros. Mark (drums) and Alan Ferber (trombone) with the Oregon Jazz Ensemble at Beall. The San Francisco-born brothers have played with jazz legends such as Lee Konitz and Kenny Wheeler, as well as with younger lights like Charlie Hunter, Don Byron, Diana Krall, Fred Hersch and even popsters like Nancy Sinatra and Kelly Clarkson. On May 7, Washington, D.C. based alto saxophonist Noah Getz plays a world premiere (with Molly Barth) by Nathan Lincoln-DeCusatis and other contemporary and 20th century music for the instrument at Beall. And another guest artist, cellist Ronald Feldman, plays music by J.S. Bach, Beethoven (both composers’ cello sonatas are among their finest works) and UO composers at Beall on May 10. Quite an impressive profusion of new sounds by the local young composers at the UO this month, and there’s still more at the free Oregon Composers
Forum concert on May 11.
The UO isn’t the only place to hear progressive new sounds. On Sunday, May 2, Harmony Roadhouse Music Studios brings master percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani in solo and collective improvised music with local jazz great Hashem Assadullahi on sax, trumpeter Andrew Rowan and William Marsh on electric guitar. For jazz-style improv, check out pianist/singer Bill Beach’s Brasil Beat CD release at Granary Pizza on April 30, with Mark Schneider on bass and Jason Palmer on drums. Of course, the month’s big jazz show is Pat Metheny, but another popular jazz guitarist, John Pizzarelli, is back at the Shedd on April 28. The smooth-talking and playing crooner has become better known as a singer, genial radio host and classic pop revivalist in recent years, making the transition from jazz specialist to all-round entertainer. And on May 12, The Shedd has still another award-winning acoustic guitar master, the Italian-born, San Francisco-based Peppino D‘Agostino, whose latest album covers Italian folk, pop, classical and film score music by composers from Rossini to Ennio Morricone.
For older sounds, try the LCC faculty concert on April 29, featuring Barbara Myrick, piano; Yvonne Hsueh, violin; David Straka, cello; and Larry Clabby, piano, in music by Brahms, Mozart, Milhaud and Liszt. Or, on May 9 at the Hult Center’s Soreng Theater, try the Oregon Mozart Players’ program of music by Mendelssohn, Bach (the second orchestral suite, featuring a flute solo part that may have actually be originally composed for oboe) and long time Oregon coast resident Ernest Bloch. OMP violinist Robin Erickson is also playing a benefit concert for Haitian and Peruvian music scholarships on May 11 at LCC; he’ll join the Eugene Community Orchestra in music by Aaron Copland, local composer MIke Curtis, Mendelssohn’s great Violin Concert in e minor and more. Another benefit on April 30 has Kudana Marimba playing fizzy Zimbabwean dance tunes to help Save the Pets.