Sunday, October 27, 2013

Recording: Thin Edge New Music Collective

Artist: Thin Edge New Music Collective

Works: Stagger and Sway [excerpt] (composer: Kyle Brenders) / 4 Postcards [Movement 4] (composer: Allison Cameron)

Recorded at Gallery 345, October 25, 2013.

Thin Edge New Music Collective - Stagger and Sway [excerpt]

Thin Edge New Music Collective - 4 Postcards [Movement 4]

Full review to follow. Part of the nouvelle vague of the local New Music scene, Thin Edge was founded by Cheryl Duvall and Ilana Waniuk to give them an avenue to perform exciting new music and create a space for their peers' compositions to be heard. Entitled "6 Degrees of Separation", this season-launching show teased out connection between a variety of composers, with pieces here from Peter Hatch, Louis Andreissen and John Zorn.

Here we have a couple quick glimpses from the local composers, including a new piece from Kyle Brenders. True to its title, the opening, more percussive part had some of the staggering that often appears when you see Brenders playing, but this stretch shows that unwinding into a calmer swaying sensation. Meanwhile, I'm more used to encountering Allison Cameron's work as an improviser, where her "small amplified objects" tend to buzz and resonate in unexpected ways — making the elegant miniatures of her concise set of musical postcards (interspersed between the other pieces throughout the night) a delightful surprise. This final one even received some dramatic staging from the performers, with the musicians flanked by a pair of readers, who begun the piece by lighting candles and picking up their books to read — then marking its conclusion by blowing out their candles when they had finished their page.

Like most of the younger New Music groups, Thin Edge is fairly web-savvy, so I'm sure these field recordings will soon be supplanted by some more polished videos that will make their way to their site. Their next gig, entitled "Unusual Spectrum III", will be at the lovely Array Space on November 21 and promises "an eclectic evening of contemporary chamber music". Sounds well-suited for anyone who wants to engage with composed music in a casual, intimate and affordable setting.

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