Viola Preview

The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players have been doing something interesting: On the day before certain concerts, they have a special show that focuses on just one piece. After it’s performed, the audience gets to hear the piece, ask questions of the composer and musicians, and sip some wine.

The next one of these sessions comes on Saturday, Jan. 24, in anticipation of a Jan 25 concert.  The featured piece happens to be a viola one, which is how this show caught my eye on the Bay Improviser/Transbay Calendar sites.

The featured piece is “… more leaves …” for viola, ensemble, and electronics. The viola takes the starring role, with the SF Symphony’s Nanci Severance at the strings.

It’s by Michael Jarrell, a Swiss composer, and the piece is described thusly:

“The electronics in the piece are a resonant shadow in the background, augmenting the depth and richness of the instruments.” [The instruments being clarinet, trumpet, trombone, piano, contrabass.]

Oooh!

Seriously, it sounds interesting.  “… more leaves …” is the opening piece of a larger program being performed Jan. 25 at Herbst Theater … but again, you can hear it played and explained the day before. That’s at the ODC Theater, a setting that will be more intimate but is still a theater, so you’ll get the acoustics of the room enhancing the piece.

I can’t point a link directly to all the details, because the SFCMP site uses Flash to display each concert’s contents.  But go to sfcmp.org and you’ll find the Jan. 24/25 program easily; it’s titled “Natural Phenomena,” and the preview session its part of the “Contemporary Insights” series.

UPDATE 1:15 p.m. — I lied; I do have a direct link.  Click here for the press release about the whole thing.

“The electronics in the piece are a resonant shadow in the background, augmenting the depth and richness of the instruments.”