Tonight at OMSI, a string quartet from the Third Angle New Music Ensemble performs In the Dark, a piece by Georg Friedrich Haas meant to be played... well, in the dark.
There's a decent chance I'm going to fall asleep—these late nights at the Con-Way warehouse are taking their toll!—but I'm really looking forward to this one. For our TBA guide, Matt Stangel interviewed Third Angle's Ron Blessinger; the conversation is insightful:
BLESSINGER: [Performing in the darkness] places a lot of pressure on us because we have to play the piece from memory. Now, the good thing is, it's more like jazz than it is like classical music in that there's nothing literal that we have to memorize. We just have to understand the rules. And the rules are that the piece is in 18 sections, and each section has a gesture—it could be a sound, it could be a noise, or it could be a pluck, a pizzicato, something that is an invitation—and that invitation can be accepted by someone else in the quartet or not. If it's accepted, then that section is played. And if it's not accepted, then we kinda wander around in the darkness until someone makes another invitation gesture for another section, and then we accept that or not. So there's a lot of wandering around, and we find our way through the sections of the piece, and so the call-and-response aspect has a religious significance, too, that's very orthodox. And that's kinda loosely the structure.
We'll have a review of the show tomorrow on our TBA blog!