Concerts (David Claman):
Dither Electric Guitar Quartet (Miller Theatre at Columbia University, 2960 Broadway at 116th Street, Manhattan, 1 train), October 16, 9:00 pm. Tickets $15. New York may be the best city in the world for hearing cutting-edge modern and experimental music. This Fall, from October 14th-22nd, The Sonic Festival will be presenting a New York Citywide Festival of Sounds Of a New Century, October 14 - 22, 2011. A decade into this new millennium of ours, the soundscape of the new century is being written and re-written by a new generation of composers. All the music is new, as in 21st century new, written by composers age 40 and under. SONiC presents the largest and most startling array of what new composers are up to now, with 9 days of concerts, 16 ensembles, and more than 100 composers. Many of these concerts will be very good, but my pick is the concert by the Dither Electric Guitar Quartet on Sunday, October 16th, at 9:00 p.m. I've followed this ensemble since they started out about five years ago. They are excellent musicians and function almost like a classical string quartet, with intense interaction among the players. And yet the music is entirely new, with effects boxes, distortion and other amazing sounds.
Anonymous 4, Music from the 13th Century (529 W. 121st St., Manhattan), October 21. Student tickets are $27.50, but there will be 20 student tickets available on the day of the concert for only $10. The organization called Music Before 1800 has been bringing the finest performers of Medieval and Renaissance music to New York City for many years. It is a rare treat to hear such music live. This year they have several terrific performances coming up. My first choice would be to hear the wonderful internationally known female acapella group known as "Anonymous 4". Even more interestingly, they will be performing sacred music from the 13th Century! This kind of music is so rarely performed that this concert may literally be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This music is very different from music of the Renaissance and later periods. It can sound ancient and at the same time strangely modern. Concerts take place at Corpus Christi Church, 529 West 121st Street, near Columbia University in Manhattan. Subway: Take the #1 (Broadway local) to 116th Street (Columbia University). Walk north to 121st Street and turn right. Corpus Christi Church is on the north side of 121st Street just east of
Broadway. Bus: Take the M4 or M104 to Broadway and 120th Street; the M5 to Riverside Drive and 120th Street; or M11 to Amsterdam Avenue and 120th Street.
That Morning Thing, an opera by Robert Ashley, The Kitchen (512 W 19th St, Manhattan), November 19-21. Robert Ashley is a unique American composer. His "operas" combine story-telling, electronic sound, dancers, and other multi-media elements. The result is a mesmerizing narrative experience like nothing else. His opera from 1967 "That Morning Thing" will be performed at The Kitchen, with several performances, from November 19-21. Tickets are $30.