New Music Circle has announced its lineup of concerts for the 2009-10 season, which marks NMC's 51st year of presenting contemporary and experimental music in St. Louis. This year's schedule once again has a number of multimedia events, mixing music with film, dance and spoken word performance.
Pianist, composer and electronic musician James Hegarty kicks off the season with a concert on Saturday, October 3 at St. Louis Community College - Forest Park's Center Mildred E. Bastian Center for the Performing Arts. Hegarty's performance, called "eXscapement," is a collaboration with his artist daughter Anna inspired by their recent trip to Japan.
Saxophonist Larry Ochs, perhaps best known as a member of the Rova Saxophone Quartet, comes to St. Louis on Friday, Oct. 9 for a performance at the Sheldon Concert Hall with his group Sax & Drumming Core. Formed in 2000, the band includes Ochs on saxophone, plus drummers Donald Robinson and Scott Amendola, Natsuki Tamura on trumpet, and Satoko Fujii on synthesizer and piano.
Then on Sunday, November 8, NMC will present a local version of composer Rob Voisey’s 60x60 Dance project at Mad Art Gallery, featuring St. Louis dancers and choreographers performing to 60 different 60-second pieces written by 60 different composers and curated by Voisey.
Performance artist Kelsey LaPoint, who has been involved in several previous NMC events, closes out the year with a holiday-themed performance piece to be staged Wednesday, December 2 through Friday, December 4 at the Regional Arts Commission building, 6128 Delmar.
The new year starts with multi-instrumentalist Douglas Ewart (pictured), known as a key member of Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), and St. Louis bassist and mbira player Zimbabwe Nkenya collaborating on a concert Saturday, January 30 at the Kranzberg Arts Center.
Next up, video artist Van McElwee returns again this year with a program called "Modular Mazes" on Saturday, February 27 at the Winifred Moore Auditorium on the Webster University campus. Dedicated to "exploring the ancient form of the labyrinth in new ways," the piece will combine video, 3D animation and music from Jim Hegarty, percussionist Rich O'Donnell and the Semi Acoustic Noise Ensemble (SANE).
On Saturday, March 13, Swedish sound artist John Tamm-Buckle will perform "Droning Maud Land" at the Kranzberg Arts Center. The piece is "an interactive sculpture made of ice frozen around a frame, contact microphones, and a digital thermometer. While the ice melts, pieces of the sculpture will be amplified and played like a percussion instrument. The signal sources will be run through a custom Max/MSP patch that performs various signal-processing and signal-routing functions. In addition to the sound of the sculpture, analyzed audio data will trigger and morph samples recorded in Antarctica."
The following month, cellist Craig Hultgren brings his repertoire of extended cello techniques back to St. Louis for a performance on Saturday, April 3 at the Kranzberg. Hultgren's peformance "Stains" is described as "an evocative set of solo cello pieces with strong narratives will be sampled and extended to run seamlessly, overlapping poems and stories. The works will include acoustic, electronic, and video pieces for solo cello played by Hultgren, as well as a variety of narrative pieces."
The season's penultimate concert features composer, software designer and granular synthesis pioneer Curtis Roads and video artist Brian O’Reilly, who will present a set of new electronic compositions with visual accompaniment on Saturday, May 1 at the Mildred E Bastian Performing Arts Center. Electronic musician and former St. Louisan Tom Hamilton closes out the 2009-10 season with a concert on Saturday, May 8 at the Kranzberg.
Season tickets are $80 for regular admission, or $40 for students and "starving artists". NMC also offers a "benefactor" membership for $110 that includes a total of 15 tickets that can be used for any performance. For more information, visit NMC's Web site, or download a copy of the season brochure in .pdf format here .