On to the Next One! Looking Forward to the Rest of the Season

Hi everyone! This is Jacob, violinist with Loop38. I had a blast performing in strange~wild~weird Monday night, and since we’re on the last day (!!) of our fundraising campaign, I wanted to share some of what I’m excited about in the rest of our season. We have concerts coming up every month through April, and I think it’s incredible how diverse and unique they all are.

First, in January we’re heading out to the Live Oak Friends Meeting House in the Heights, which features one of artist James Turrell’s Skyspaces. This will be one of our location-specific concerts this season, with a program created specifically for the Meeting House. The central work on the program is bayou-born by Annea Lockwood, written in honor of the late Houston-born musical pioneer Pauline Oliveros. In this piece, six performers converse with and flow around each other, mimicking how Houston’s bayous wind their way through the city. Bookending the program are ensemble works by Estonian composers: Sculpture’s Morning by René Eespere and Estonian Lullaby by Arvo Pärt. In between are works by Julia Wolfe, Angélica Negron, and Evan Chapman which feature one or two of our performers in short, often meditative pieces. As a specifically Houston-based ensemble, we wanted to create something that would highlight our connections to the city, and we hope that this concert will be a meaningful, meditative experience and a moving tribute to what it means to live in Houston.

In February we’ll be performing a completely different program: Bach/Berio at the Silos. For this concert we’re breaking into solo acts to perform music by Johann Sebastian Bach and Luciano Berio at the Silos at Sawyer Yards (thus the name of the event!). These two composers come from completely different time periods and wrote in completely different styles, but they both created sets of works for solo instruments that pushed the boundaries of what was thought to be musically and technically possible. In this program, we’ll perform various solo works by Bach and juxtapose them with performances of Berio’s Sequenzas. What makes this possible is the unique set-up of the Silos: each silo is its own performance space, but the audience can move between them. So when I’m playing Berio’s Sequenza 8 for violin, Loop38’s cellist Ariana might be playing a Bach cello suite in the silo next door. By playing these works back-to-back and simultaneously, we want to explore what it means to play and listen to both Bach and Berio in the 21st century. In modern life we are constantly inundated with many different sounds from many different sources, from city noises to top-40 hits on the radio to snippets of orchestral excerpts from practice rooms (or maybe that one’s just me!). But everything we hear has a history—some very recent, and some quite old. So in honor of our fragmented, postmodern (or are we now post-postmodern?) culture, it seems appropriate to explore what this means in classical music with two of the most important composers of their eras.

All this, and I haven’t even touched on all our other concerts coming up! In March, we’re collaborating with Rice University’s Theatre Program to perform Words and Music by Samuel Beckett and Morton Feldman, a cross-disciplinary exploration of the interaction of words and music, and of the natures of semantic meaning and tonal law. Plus, we’ll continue our collaboration with Sawyer Yards: on the Second Saturday of each month, we present our musical interpretation of one of their artists’ works, drawing on the tradition of graphic scores. This culminates in our season finale in April at MATCH—which is a surprise! (Stay tuned…) For more details on all of these concerts, be sure to check out our homepage.

I’m excited about what we have coming down the lane (bayou?) because I think it really shows who we are as a group: passionate, adventurous, virtuosic, willing to push boundaries and explore the eclectic, the unique, the new. And we want you to join with us in making this vision happen. If you’re even half as excited as I am, please consider making a donation. With your support, I think we can make the rest of this season truly special.