Syria is the second release by A-Septic, the tenor saxophone-piano duo of Piedmontese musicians Stefano Ferrian and Simone Quatrana. Ferrian, from Novara, is a multi-instrumentalist who in addition to tenor saxophone plays guitar and Chapman Stick; the Milanese Quatrana studied piano with Franco d’Andrea after an initial period of self-instruction. Together, they improvise a kind of music they describe as “instant composing”—which certainly isn’t a bad description of the music here, all of which exhibits a disciplined sense of structure and interplay.
Overall, the mood of the album is reflective—reflective but ultimately passionate. Ferrian and Quatrana play with rubato rhythms and rising and falling dynamics measured by the length of an emotional arc. Quatrana’s piano keeps the music harmonically centered with dark chords that often recall Mussorgsky—particularly on Neve Rossa, an engaging solo performance. Ferrian plays with a sense of melody that fits tightly over whatever harmonic framework he finds himself within. The album is dedicated to Syria, a country for whose sufferings the two tracks titled Sūriyā provide a heartfelt elegy.
Source: I CARE IF YOU LISTEN.
THE SONIC GREAT WALL | THE DREAM UNFINISHED
Huang Ruo’s The Sonic Great Wall is a musical interpretation of the Great Wall of China, performed by 13 musicians and audience. In this immersive performance, audience members and musicians join in a meditation and then assemble in rows symbolizing the wall with group recitations. Musicians are stationed throughout as watchtowers, and additional attendees walk along the wall, but cannot cross over to the other side.
Monday, July 9 at 7:00 PM
Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY
A FAR CRY
A Far Cry performs three vastly different stylistic works written specifically for strings that highlight AFC’s flexible playing. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Divertimento in F, which was written in 1772 when the composer was just 16, was inspired by trips to Italy with his father. Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 3, written in 1994, features entwining string lines as each player acts as a soloist, and is considered one of the composer’s more traditional works. Béla Bartók’s eve-of-WWII Divertimento for String Orchestra was his last work written while living in Europe and pulls out solo lines in clear, tonal writing.
Tuesday, July 10 at 7:30 PM
Central Park, Naumburg Bandshell, New York, NY
BRANDON LOPEZ + STEVE BACZKOWSKI
In the second performance of his year-long Van Lier Fellowship, bassist Brandon Lopez is joined by saxophonist Steve Baczkowski in a duet that tests the limits of the musicians’ endurance and their instruments. Known for the intense physicality of their performances, Lopez and Baczkowski transition between brutality and tenderness in a single show.
Thursday, July 12 at 8:00 PM
Tickets $15 online, $20 at door
Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
THREE ON 3 PRESENTS: BLACK AND BLEU | THE DREAM UNFINISHED
A recital featuring the expansive violin and piano works of Pulitzer Prize winner George Walker, and MacArthur Fellow Vijay Iyer. The evening will include a conversation on the legacy of black and migrant artists in classical music, hosted by Terrance McKnight from WQXR.
Friday, July 13 at 7:00 PM
Mount Morris Ascension Church, 15 Mt Morris Park West, New York, NY