I have back to back shows this weekend. They both feature new music, but couldn't be more different.
On Saturday May 16 at 8 PM, I am performing with the Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk). For those unfamiliar with PLOrk, the name is fairly self-explanatory: we're an orchestra of laptops. However, we do things a bit differently compared to other electronic music ensembles in that each member has a personal, six-channel speaker that replicates how sound radiates from an acoustic instrument, rather than having all sounds come out of the same amplification system. You'll see the members of orchestra play with the trackpad and keyboard, manipulate external hardware, and even move the laptop itself to create sound.
Even better, PLOrk is playing with some special guests! First, Matmos is an electronic music duo originally from San Francisco that has gained notoriety for its creative use of both everyday and obscure sounds to create techno, including noises from surgery (scalpels, liposuction, great stuff!). They have also worked extensively with Bjork. Second, So Percussion is a quartet of classically trained percussionists that have traded in their timpani for cacti, ceramic pots, and a host of other obscure instruments. They like to call their proprietary blend of 20th century classical music and their own forward-thinking, genre-bending compositions "funky contemporary music." Riley Lee is the first shakuhachi (a traditional Japanese bamboo flute) player not from Japan to attain the rank of "Grand Master" and has taught and performed all over the world.
It's going to be a wild night, like nothing you've ever heard before. Check it out. Richardson Auditorium (right off Nassau Street on the Princeton campus), 8 PM. $15 for general admission, $5 for students.
And if that's not enough for you, I'm playing at Richardson the next day at 4 PM with the Tim Keyes Consort. Tim Keyes is a local New Jersey composer whose work is in the tonal and orchestral realm; there will be no laptops in sight. His music is cinematic and majestic, though I think he's at his best when he gets playful and the music takes itself less seriously. Anyway, the concert will feature two of my good friends, Soolean Choy on clarinet and Dan Choi and violin, playing concerti by Tim.
So, whatever your cup of tea is--crazy electronic/percussive freak-outs or grand, sweeping orchestral music--you can have a good time listening to music this weekend in Princeton. Hope to see you there.