Monday, February 15, 2010

Denver: rare new music concert features Andy Akiho, Lukas Ligeti's Burkina Electric, Evan Ziporyn, Michael Harrison, Sö Percussion

This weekend, Denver area audiences will have a rare opportunity to hear some leading-edge "downtown" new music. And the venue is not some funky alternative space, but rather the distinguished Newman Center at University of Denver.You can get tix at Ticketmaster.

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The Mile High Voltage Festival features artists of the Cantaloupe Music Label who show the evolving notions of what can be offered as classical music. Performers surprise with new instruments, video as an integral part of music, and boundary-crossing composition. As part of the audience, you may eat, drink and surf the net while you view the concert through live simulcast in our Cantaloupe Café, where signature food and drink will be offered, or you may choose to enjoy the concert in June Swaner Gates Concert Hall as part of a new culture of listeners, a freer, more interactive audience, or do a bit of both. There are 2 concerts on Fri-Sat Feb. 19-20, including:

Andy Akiho - award winning young composer and steel pan performer. Recently featured on PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer.

Burkina Electric - Led by Artistic Director Lukas Ligeti, this band from West Africa mingles the traditions and rhythms of Burkina Faso with contemporary electronic dance culture, making it a trailblazer in electronic world music.

Evan Ziporyn - Composer/clarinetist Evan Ziporyn is a founding member of the Bang on a Can All-stars. He is Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Michael Harrison - One of the present day masters of alternative tuning creates mystical and memorable piano soundscapes. A long-time collaborator of minimalist masters Terry Riley and LaMonte Young, Harrison also brings his own aesthetic point of view into a deeply reflective and emotionally powerful composition.

Sö Percussion - Since coming together at the Yale School of Music in 1999, Sö Percussion has performed its music all over the world. Sö will perform its new work "Imaginary City," which will be played on a transforming percussion instrument constructed on stage during the work and will include video featuring reflections and images of the co-commissioning cities.

The Playground - Made up primarily of graduates of the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music Masters Program, The Playground expands common conceptions of both contemporary music and the chamber ensemble.

Tom Moon - Festival Moderator (Award-winning music journalist Tom Moon is the author of 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die: A Listener's Life List, a New York Times bestseller. He is a regular contributor to National Public Radio's All Things Considered as well as Rolling Stone, Blender and other publications.)

Lukas Ligeti writes this will be "my first performance ever in Colorado!" He does have a local connection, however. Boulder's Starkland label commissioned a surround sound piece from Lukas that premiered on Starkland's first-of-its-kind Immersion DVD, released in 2000.

We hope Denver audiences will pack the hall and café for these superb performers and the worthwhile new music.

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