Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Clocks in Motion a very promising group

I didn't have time to write about these guys (plus one gal) when I saw them on March 24 in a concert on the campus of Baldwin Wallace University, but I wanted to post about this group before it's too late. Clocks in Motion seems very promising to me. I hope the group becomes part of the modern classical landscape the way that, say, Kronos Quartet or eighth blackbird has become.

The group, a percussion ensemble from Wisconsin , opened its BW concert with a performance of Steve Reich's "Music for Pieces of Wood." The performance consisted of five guys hitting blocks of wood with a mallet. The piece sounded like a miniature version of "Music for 18 Musicians," with individual instruments (sorry, "pieces of wood") dropping in and out.

Next, the group played "Concerto for Violin and Percussion Orchestra" by Lou Harrison. I've been a Lou Harrison fan for years, but I didn't know that particular piece. It was unusual and fun. One musician had a row of flower pots of different sizes, suspended by ropes; the same musician also played a set of wind chimes. Another musician banged on a cello that had been set up horizontally above the stage. Excellent playing by guest violinist Evan Kleve really helped the piece go. (When I mentioned that to one of the group's members, Sean Kleve, he replied, "That's my brother!" Sean is the guy on the right in the above photo.)

The next piece was by the only featured composer I've never heard of, Herbert Brün. "At Loose Ends" had some beautiful soundscapes, and I'd love to be able to find a recording so I can hear it again. After the break, the group concluded with a rendition of Xenaxis' "Pléïades," and I plan to  hunt up a recording of it, too.

I asked Sean Kleve after the concert when the group will start issuing recordings, and he said recording sessions are scheduled this summer.

Here's a review of the group's May 25 concert at Cleveland State University; it was identical to the Baldwin Wallace show, except that the group dropped the Reich and opened instead with John Cage's "Bacchanale." Wish I could have heard that, too.

I've signed up for the group's email list and hope to hear more of the group in the future.