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Close Quarters Digital Series with “Sonic Shift”

Close Quarters Digital Series with “Sonic Shift”LA Chamber Orchestra Continues Lauded Close Quarters Digital Series with Two Daring New Episodes Spotlighting Contemporary Composers, Musically Curated by Composer Jessie Montgomery, Produced by Nadia Sirota, and Led by Guest Conductor Christopher Rountree

Episode 11, “Sonic Shift,” Includes Works by Alyssa Weinberg, Anna Meredith and Marcos Balter with Original Animations by Artist Will Kim

Jessie Montgomery, one of America’s most relevant and sought-after composers, provides musical curation for two back-to-back episodes of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s (LACO) lauded CLOSE QUARTERS interdisciplinary digital series that melds musical and visual arts premiering on Fridays, April 23 and May 7, 2021, 6:30 pm. The broadcasts feature the creative and collaborative interweaving of classical music with elements of social justice, language and improvisation, spotlighting the music of Montgomery as well as contemporary composers Alvin Singleton, Mazz Swift, Alyssa Weinberg, Marcos Balter and Anna Meredith. Guest conductor Christopher Rountree leads both musical programs, which are produced by Anna Meredith, with artist Will Kim providing original animations for the first episode and multi-GRAMMY-winning mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard making her directorial debut in the second episode with creative direction by LACO Creative Director of Digital Content James Darrah. Thanks to the generosity of individual donors, the new episodes are available to the public at no cost and can be streamed on demand following its premiere at, LACO’s YouTube and Facebook live channels. Digital pre-broadcast discussions begin at 5:30 pm (PT) via Zoom.

Montgomery, whose profoundly felt works have been described as “turbulent, wildly colorful and exploding with life” (The Washington Post), is also an acclaimed violinist and educator. She is the recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Award from the ASCAP Foundation, and her works are performed frequently around the world by leading musicians and ensembles. Montgomery’s music, infused with elements of vernacular music and social justice, places her squarely as one of the foremost interpreters of the 21st-century American sound and experience.

EPISODE 11: “Sonic Shift”

Montgomery states, “The program ‘Sonic Shift’ is inspired by the synthesis between deep rhythmic pulse and electro-acoustic alchemy.” It begins with Alyssa Weinberg’s Still Life, which bends the line between modernism and groove and also blends the clarinet and strings to create surprising and fresh colors. Marcos Balter’s Bladed Stance breaks the acoustic barrier, merging the instruments in waves of color that suggest an electro-acoustic palette. The final two works by Anna Meredith, Two Movements for Trumpet and String quartet and Tuggemo
pick up the colors of the Balter “to finish the program with an epic electronica groove-scape between the string quartet and composed electronics,” according to Montgomery. In Sonic Shift, she collaborates with charcoal and watercolor artist Will Kim to create original animations which will enhance the visual presence of LACO’s musicians. The drawings will come alive in conjunction with the musical works, further highlighting and complementing the musicians’ artistry.  

CLOSE QUARTERS’ “digitally native” programs, created specifically for streaming and hailed as “musically and artistically compelling” (Los Angeles Times), have drawn more than one million views to date since debuting in November 2020. Between 30 and 40 minutes in length, they are safely filmed at The Colburn School’s Olive Rehearsal Hall. Additionally, Darrah has established a creative hub for developing artistic media content with L.A.-based artists and filmmakers at a first-of-its-kind LACO digital studio at Wilhardt & Naud: a film studio and multidisciplinary arts campus located in Chinatown in downtown Los Angeles. The artists, inspired by the Orchestra’s musical programming, will create new visual works in a variety of mediums that will factor into the broadcasts and endure long after the season concludes. CLOSE QUARTERS builds upon the highly successful LACO SummerFest series, the Orchestra’s first foray into streaming that concluded in September and featured five digital chamber music concerts that have attracted nearly 250,000 views to date.

Subsequent CLOSE QUARTERS episodes premiere on Fridays, May 21, and June 4, 2021, at 6:30 pm (PT).

Presenter / Producer: Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Listed Categories
Music > Chamber Music
Music > Contemporary Classical / New Music

Event Phone: 213-622-7001

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra On Demand Online

Los Angeles CA 90014

LA - Central / Downtown

Performance Dates: 4/23/2021
Friday, 04/23/2021

Performance Times
6:30 pm (PT)
Pre-Concert Conversation, 5:30 pm (PT)

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