Pittsburgh New Music Net

cutting-edge music in the ’burgh and beyond

League of the Unsound Sound

January 14, 2012
8:00 pmto10:00 pm


No, they aren’t super heroes. The League of the Unsound Sound (LotUS for short) is actually a newly formed contemporary ensemble dedicated to exploring experimental music in all its variations. LotUS core members include musicians, composers, and improvisers; many of whom are also founding members of well-known contemporary groups such as Alarm Will Sound, ICE, and So Percussion. Having come together to form LotUS under the musical direction of co-curators David Smooke and Ken Ueno, this small but talented ensemble splashed onto the new music scene last year in D.C. and Baltimore earning such reviews as “absolutely riveting” and “spectacular performance” from the Washington Post.

LotUS isn’t afraid to take chances, preferring to challenge their audience to open their ears to new sounds. In addition to premiering many new compositions, LotUS also specializes in free improvisation. These improvisations are created without previously conceived parameters and involve explorations of the remote possibilities for performance on each instrument represented. Tim Feeney makes a single drum sing and speak, while David Smooke creates sustained harmonies and slides on a toy piano, and Ken Ueno uses vocal techniques from around the world to create an impossibly inhuman range of sound. When asked what the audience could expect of their debut concert in October 2010, co-director David Smooke replied, ” 1) the music would be experimental; 2) I guaranteed that audience members would hear something they had never heard before; and 3) that to me as an individual audience member the two previous characteristics are selling points.”

In addition to free improvisation, the League’s Pittsburgh concert will feature Two Hands for viola and percussion by LotUS co-director Ken Ueno, Sofia Gubaidulina’s masterful trio Quasi Hoquetus, and two world premieres: Pittsburgh composer Mathew Rosenblum’s Two Harmonies for viola, percussion and piano, and LotUS co-director David Smooke’s Topographies: transit/dis(solve) for bassoon and piano.

Music on the Edge and the Andy Warhol Museum are proud to co-present such an exciting ensemble, and hope that you will join us for the show at 8 p.m. on Saturday, January 14 in the Warhol Museum Theater. Tickets may be purchased in advance from ProArtsTickets. Tickets in advance are $15 for general admission and $10 for non-Pitt students and seniors. Call 412-394-3353 or visit www.proartstickets.org. At the door, general admission is $20 and admission for students and seniors is $15.

December 23, 2011 at 2:27 pm Comments (0)

I’m not dead yet! Oakland Girls Choir, Film Kitchen

I feel fine! Yeah, I know I disappeared for a while after the IonSound Project. I was really tired, OK? And new music stuff tends to slow down a bit in December when presenters work more holiday fare into their programs anyway. But, good news! You can go to a holiday concert this weekend and hear new music. Oakland Girls Choir is performing in Pittsburgh on Friday and Saturday night and those programs will include the premiere of a new song cycle by Andy Kohn, composer, bassist with the Opera/Ballet Orchestra, and Professor of Music at WVU. Andy’s new work will feature Laura Knoop Very, soprano, and Raymond Very, tenor.

As a proud papa of an Oakland Girls Training Choir member, I know first hand what a treasure OGC is for our city, and it’s great that they are celebrating the season by unveiling a new composition by a Pittsburgh composer. Here’s more information about the concert.

On another subject, I just find out that a film I scored for Will Zavala is screening at the Melwood Screening Room this Tuesday night for this month’s Film Kitchen. It’s called Virgil Cantini: The Artist in Public and features lots of Cantini’s public art that you have probably seen around town without necessarily knowing who made it. Check it out if you can.

December 12, 2011 at 12:58 pm Comments (0)

Oakland Girls Choir Premieres Andy Kohn Work

December 16, 2011
7:00 pm
December 17, 2011
7:00 pm

Friday,  Third Presbyterian Church


Saturday, Church of the Ascension

Oakland Girls Choirs will give two concerts this weekend, at Third Presbyterian Church on Friday night and Church of the Ascension on Saturday.  The concert features the Oakland Girls Tour Choir, Chamber Choir, and the premiere of Dr. Andrew Kohn’s song cycle Love Came Down at Christmas, with soloists Laura Knoop Very, soprano, and Raymond Very, tenor.  Saturday’s concert also includes performances by the Oakland Girls Training Choirs.

December 12, 2011 at 12:38 pm Comments (0)