Stephen F. Austin State University

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eighth blackbird concert promises music with theatrical flair at SFA

October 19, 2010 - Sylvia Bierschenk
The Grammy Award-winning musical sextet, eighth blackbird, will present "The Only Moving Thing" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26, in W.M. Turner Auditorium as part of the Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts' University Series.

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - While the title of eighth blackbird's concert--"The Only Moving Thing"--implies a static stage presence, the actual performance will be anything but that, promised Dr. John W. Goodall, associate dean of the Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts.

The Grammy Award-winning sextet, known for its theatricality, will present its kinetic program at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26, in W.M. Turner Auditorium as part of the SFA College of Fine Arts' University Series.

The six musicians who make up eighth blackbird-Tim Munro (flutes), Michael J. Maccaferri (clarinets), Matt Albert (violin and viola), Nicholas Photinos (cello), Matthew Duvall (percussion) and Lisa Kaplan (piano)-are known world wide for their virtuosity and innovative techniques in performing contemporary music.

"In fact, contemporary composers consider it an honor to have their work performed by eighth blackbird," said Dr. Stephen Lias, SFA professor of composition.

"The Only Moving Thing" features two works written especially for the group.

Steve Reich's "Double Sextet," which the group performs against a recording of themselves, won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Music. The composer describes the piece as "the interlocking of six different pairs of percussion, string and wind instruments."

The other work on the program is "singing in the dead of night," a collaborative effort of Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe. Wanting to capitalize on eighth blackbird's musical talents and physical movements, the composers invited choreographer Susan Marshall to work with them and shape the players' movements.

The end result is a performance that capitalizes on eighth blackbird's reputation in the contemporary music world. According to the Chicago Sun Times, they are "champions of both modern music and dramatic expression."

Visit www.eighthblackbird.com to hear samples of the group's music.

Prior to the concert, Lias will give a brief lecture about the program at 7 p.m. in Griffith Gallery, located across the hall from Turner Auditorium. The audience is invited back to the gallery after the concert for a reception honoring the event's corporate sponsor, Cataract, Glaucoma & Retina Consultants of East Texas.

Tickets range from $35 to $17.50, with discounts for seniors, students and youth. For tickets or more information, please go to www.finearts.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.