Tired of dull, predictable concerts? The antidote is close at hand.
This Tuesday, April 26, the performance event known as Kagel Nacht comes to Lippes Concert Hall at Slee Hall. Described by its creators as "a performance event featuring new interpretations of works by the seminal avant-garde composer Mauricio Kagel," it interweaves a melange of inter-connected and overlapping pieces, highlighting the most absurd and engaging of Kagel's prolific output. From the disconnected political ramblings of Der Tribune, to the meticulous puppetry/theater of Repetoire, to the squealing and scratching of Acustica, Kagel Nacht connects to listeners in a way rarely found in the classical music world.
For American listeners, Mauricio Kagel (1931 - 2008) occupies an odd place in the pantheon of contemporary composers -- too famous to be considered a cult figure, but too idiosyncratic to be an icon. Born and educated in Buenos Aires, he served as a visiting lecture at Darmstadt in the late 50s, and taught at UB in 1964-65 as the Slee Professor of Music Theory. Dramatic elements were a constant presence in his work, which often overshot the boundaries of music composition to encompass theater and film.
According to the creators of Kagel Nacht, "Despite being one of the most radical and revolutionary 20th century European avant-garde composers, Mauricio Kagel's music has remained relatively obscure, especially here in the US. In an attempt to change this, two musicians from New York City have spent the last 3 years researching Kagel's massive body of work, seeking out rare scores, recordings, and videos of his bizarre, often hysterically theatrical compositions. The result is the performance-event known as Kagel Nacht. Joining them will be a stacked deck of musicians from Brooklyn's artistic multiverse, performers deeply situated in the theater, performance art, classical, and experimental music worlds. They will be performing a very diverse selection from Kagel's grand oeuvre, including 'classical' works (Music For Rennaissance Instruments), electro-acoustic compositions (Acustica), absurdist ballet (Kontra-Danse), radio plays (Der Tribun), and some of his most daring and hilarious works of 'instrumental theater' (Staatstheater, Con Voce). With interpretations ranging from strict to fully recontextualized, Kagel Nacht breaths new life into these important and underperformed works by joining them into one, multi-stage, panoramic, evening-length event that brings a new meaning to 'musical theater.'"
Kagel Nacht is currently touring the Northeast, performing for universities as well as underground venues, art spaces, and other communities, giving people access to the world of classical and avant-garde music through the universal appeal of Kagel's profound and absurd compositions. In order to limit costs and emissions, they are traveling on a school-bus-turn-tour-bus, that runs on waste vegetable oil. Kagel Nacht will feature the musical and theatrical artistry of:
- Rick Burkhardt - orator, accordion
- Stephe Cooper - producer, glockenspiel, guitar
- Sam Kulik - trombone
- Jordan Mclean - trumpet, conductor, arranger
- Jason Mears - clarinet, saxophone
- Roberta Michel - flute, piccolo
- Geoff Nosach - lighting, set design
- Sam Sowyrda - producer, conductor, percussion
- Dennis Sullivan - percussion
Here's a video of Kagel Nacht in action.