Grammy-winning eighth blackbird promises – and delivers – provocative and mind-changing performances to its burgeoning audiences. Combining bracing virtuosity with an alluring sense of irreverence, the sextet debunks the myth that contemporary music is only for a cerebral few.
2015 / 2016 Touring Season:
Hand Eye brings together a musical dream-team. eighth blackbird, multi-Grammy-winning ensemble, and Sleeping Giant, superstar composer sextet, unites for an evening-length work fizzing with the alchemy of twelve unique personalities. Hand Eye’s composers embrace diverse worlds: wild rambunctiousness (Andrew Norman), driving tunes (Ted Hearne), fragile lyricism (Chris Cerrone), flickering virtuosity (Timo Andres), atmospheric beauty (Jacob Cooper) and minimalism-tinged athleticism (Rob Honstein).
Hand Eye was commissioned by the Stuart and Maxine Frankel Foundation and co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall, University of Texas at Austin.
With Special Guest Michael Ward-Bergeman
The entire Grammy-winning cast of eighth blackbird takes the stage with virtuoso accordionist Michael Ward-Bergeman. Hailing from the Big Easy, Ward-Bergeman has written for Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project and dazzled at venues from Gainesville Correctional Facility to Carnegie Hall. He joins 8bb in a lively exploration of the song tradition incorporating Argentinian folk songs, indie rock anthems, 16th century madrigals, New Orleans second line tunes and a contemporary take on the Murder Ballad tradition for a program that zings, zooms and zips with verve and wit.
In this 60-minute, amplified program without intermission, the ensemble draws upon works by Steve Reich, Nico Muhly, David Lang and others in a mind-bending, wired program of works spanning vast sonic worlds.
On a Wire
This daring concerto for sextet and orchestra was composed for eighth blackbird by Jennifer Higdon. It has been performed by major orchestras internationally, including Atlanta, Cincinnati, Melbourne, Kansas City and St. Louis.
"Their ability to synchronize in absolute lockstep was, in a word, amazing"
“The concerto is showy, exuberant, beautifully crafted. The audience erupted, hollered, stood, smiled, laughed with communal euphoria.”–Atlanta Journal Constitution