Women in (New) Music: Just Like a Woman Video Premiere

by Maggie Molloy

Lara Downes, photo by Rit Keller.

An entire chorus of women’s voices has risen up this year in unparalleled numbers—and not just through protests and political marches, but also through the beautiful subtleties of music, performance, and poetry.

Women in (New) Music is proud to premiere pianist Lara Downes’ Just Like A Woman: a brand new video series which weaves together the work of today’s top women composers and poets. Each episode features Downes performing a solo piano work by a woman composer, paired with a poetry reading by a woman writer.

“As an artist who works in both music and words, I want to create a space for women’s voices to come together in the expression of shared desires, dreams, and destinies,” Downes said. “These videos are meant to be glimpses into the creative lives of women.”

The first episode, which just launched on International Women’s Day, features Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Rita Dove’s achingly nostalgic “Singsong” paired with composer Rachel Grimes’ introspective “Every Morning.”

We’re thrilled to premiere Episode Two right here on Second Inversion. In this second installment, Downes lends her fingers to Sarah Kirkland Snider’s liquidly lyrical “The Currents,” the music woven together with Safiya Sinclair’s vividly emotive poem “Hands.”

LIVE CONCERT SPOTLIGHT: April 30-May 2

by Maggie Molloy

This week’s sensational concert spotlight has sound sculptures, steelpans, suspended chimes, and oh yeah, a supernatural piano.

Inverted Space Performs Jeff Bowen

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If you like Second Inversion, you’ll love University of Washington’s Inverted Space Ensemble. The local contemporary music group is committed to turning classical music on its head by showcasing diverse new works in adventurous performance spaces and casual concert settings.

This week, you can hear them perform an eclectic collection of new works for chamber ensemble by composer Jeff Bowen. The program includes a variety of pieces featuring imaginative instrumentation, including “what will sound (has already sounded)” for violin and electronics, “Pan, Sinking” for steelpan and 10 instruments, “Stalasso II” for flute, violin, cello, and piano, “Turbulent Field” for bassoon and harp, and a String Quartet.

The performance is this Thursday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Chapel Performance Space at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford.

Seattle Symphony’s [untitled 3]

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If you think playing piano is impressive, wait until you see international sound sculptor Trimpin’s latest work: a piano that can be played and conducted without even being touched. The Seattle Symphony Music Alive Composer in Residence is being featured in the final indescribable, undefinable [untitled] event of the Seattle Symphony season this weekend.

Like the other events in this casual, late-night series, [untitled 3] will feature musical works by contemporary composers who think outside of the box, off the stage, and beyond the concert hall. This weekend’s event includes the latest premiere from Trimpin, featuring the aforementioned magical piano, suspended chimes, a wandering soprano, and much more!

The event will also celebrate the 100th birthday of the late American composer George Perle by featuring performances of a selection of musical sound worlds from throughout his compositional career.

 

The performance is this Friday, May 1 at 10 p.m. in Benaroya Hall’s Samuel and Althea Stroum Grand Lobby.

Washington Composers Forum: Transport Series

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As 21st century music enthusiasts, we listen to electric guitarists nearly every day. Pop music, rock, jazz—electric guitar is everywhere. But you’ve probably never heard it like this before.

Italian-born guitarist Giacomo Fiore is a contemporary artist with an imaginative sound that reaches far beyond the idiomatic clichés of electric guitar. Currently touring in support of his recent album “iv: american electric guitars,” he is stopping through Seattle this weekend to perform a unique musical program focusing on electric guitar and effects.

The performance, which is put on by the Washington Composers Forum, will also feature Seattle’s own pianist and new music specialist Cristina Valdes performing with composer and pianist Rocco DiPietro. The two will be presenting original works by DiPietro, whose music is often inspired by community issues.

The performance is this Saturday, May 2 at 8 p.m. at the Chapel Performance Space at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford.

Portland Cello Project with Rachel Grimes

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Known for its unique urban culture and diverse arts scene, Portland has no shortage of talented artists—and as it turns out, they have no shortage of talented cellists, either. But you don’t have to travel south to see it; this weekend, you can experience Portland’s rocking cello scene firsthand from the comfort of downtown Seattle.

The Portland Cello Project is a group of cellists with a reputation for mixing musical genres and blurring the lines between classical and popular music. Their wide-ranging musical repertoire has something for everyone, from the cello-loving classical music buffs to the head-nodding indie rockers. They’ll be joined by pianist Rachel Grimes of the minimalist chamber music group Rachel’s.

Performances are this Saturday, May 2 at the Triple Door at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.