'Cutting edge' music ensemble to perform tonight in Fine Arts Center

By Hattie Stahl

The engaging and accomplished sextet eighth blackbird will perform at 8 p.m. tonight in the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center Concert Hall as a part of both Macalester’s 2007 International Roundtable and the Macalester New Music Series. The ensemble is composed of six performers playing flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion. Many of the pieces they perform involve use of electronic amplification and modification, along with mixed media. The last piece on this evening’s program, “Mirrors,” by Tamar Muskal, will include performance by visual artist Danny Rozin.

“They’re cutting edge on what they do,” Music Professor Carleton Macy said. “Music and imagination – most of the discussants in the Roundtable are ethnomusicological. In other words, they’re the social side of things and they’re going to talk about music and culture, not music on the concert hall stage. So in a way, this is presenting the new directions of music in the musical culture, in the concert culture.”

In addition to their evening performance, eighth blackbird will have an open rehearsal session in the concert hall from 4:30 to 5:30 this afternoon. Students are invited to attend.

The ensemble formed in 1996 and have since produced four widely acclaimed CDs.

The Music Department is currently in its second year of the “New Music at Macalester” Series. This series is made possible by a grant from the Rivendell Foundation, and seeks to bring high profile performers to Macalester. Funds from this grant paid for half of the cost of bringing eighth blackbird to campus.

The concert is free.