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Contempo: Crazy good crazy music

Contempo, the renowned contemporary music collective and Chicago mainstay, opens its 52nd season with Interplay, a showcase of instrumental theater works.

Developed in the 1950s by German-Argentine composer Mauricio Kagel, instrumental theater highlights the inherent theatricality in music performances by instructing the performer(s) to combine action with musical elements. Interplay is based around one of Kagel's early works, Sur Scène. This groundbreaking piece, which calls for a speaker, mime, and singer, trivializes serious composers and righteous critics, and mimics the clichés of avant-garde music. The program also includes pieces that have evolved from the genre: Karlheinz Stockhausen's retelling of commedia dell'arte's romantic hero Harlequin (Der kleine Harlekin), Peter Maxwell Davies' monodrama on King George III (Eight Songs for a Mad King), and John Cage's four movement quartet for "unspecified instruments" found in a sitting room (Living Room Music). New York-based Talea Ensemble (pictured above), whose co-Artistic Director is Chicago-based composer and pianist Anthony Cheung, performs with baritone Michael Weyandt. They are joined by director and speaker Rick Burkhardt and mime Benjamin Domask. There will be a pre-concert lecture at 6:30 PM with Seth Brodsky, Assistant Professor of Music and the Humanities.

Tickets for this concert at $25 / $20 UCID / $5 students and may be purchased at the UChicago Arts Box Office PROGRAM Karlheinz Stockhausen: Der kleine Harlekin
Peter Maxwell Davies:
Eight Songs for a Mad King
[baritone, flute/piccolo, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion, piano]
Mauricio Kagel:
Sur Scène [speaker, mime, singer, electronics, piano, percussion, celesta]
John Cage: Living Room Music
[quartet, for unspecified instruments] Talea Ensemble
Rick Burkhardt, director and speaker
Benjamin Domask, mime
Michael Weyandt, baritone

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