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.
2014 / 2015 Touring Season:
Still in Motion
In this all-acoustic recital, the birds assemble a performance that will feature works by the most adventurous of the new breed of contemporary composers, including Brett Dean, Mayke Nas and Lee Hyla.
an all-birds performance as well, with added sound reinforcement in the production. In this sixty-minute (no intermission) program, the ensemble draws upon works by Steve Reich, Nico Muhly, David Lang, Derek Bermel and others. “Electrically Charged” is an exciting recital program showcasing the newest technologies in the service of music-making.
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.
Heart and Breath
Amy Beth Kirsten’s “Colombine’s Paradise Theatre” is the foundation of this theatric production. Kirsten has created a dark musical tale of love and death, dream and delusion. The six musicians of eighth blackbird play, speak, sing, whisper, growl and mime, breathing theatrical life into these rich Commedia dell’Arte characters. Choreography and direction is by Mark DeChiazza. As a curtain-raiser to this heart-haunted show, eighth blackbird presents a set of love songs through the ages, including pieces by Claudio Monteverdi, Carlo Gesualdo, Bon Iver and Richard Reed Parry.
Untitled Project with Sleeping Giant
Sleeping Giant, the all-star young-composer sextet, has created six new sextets to fill an evening's program. Each sextet is a mini-concerto, with one "giant" composing and one "bird" highlighted, offering a work fizzing with the alchemy of two unique personalities. Rules for the composers? mold a dramatic arc through the evening and redraw the concerto genre boundaries. Rule for the ensemble? Perform this hexad of birds-songs entirely from memory.
“Stage animals as well as outstanding chamber players, eighth blackbird performs with a freedom almost unheard of in their technically demanding repertoire. The musicians were integrated into the production and played their parts from memory - an uncommon delicacy. "–The Sunday Telegraph (London)
“The concerto is showy, exuberant, beautifully crafted. The audience erupted, hollered, stood, smiled, laughed with communal euphoria.”–Atlanta Journal Constitution