Music

Third Angle Previews New Season With 'Porch Music'

OPB | July 3, 2013 7 a.m.

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GeorgeAnne Ries performs to preview "Maria de Buenos Aires" concert.

GeorgeAnne Ries performs to preview "Maria de Buenos Aires" concert.

Kayo Lackey

“It’s a Third Angle tradition that every time we do an outdoor event, we dial in great weather,” says Ron Blessinger, artistic director of Third Angle New Music Ensemble.

On a recent gorgeous Saturday afternoon, Third Angle, an organization whose mission is to present world-class performances of new chamber music, hosted “Porch Music” in Portland’s Irvington neighborhood.

As a creative way to preview Third Angle’s upcoming concert season, five porches in the Irvington neighborhood served as venues for each performance. The audience strolled among those sites over the course of approximately 2 hours, enjoying five miniature performances which included music by Argentine tango master Astor Piazzolla, Peruvian/American composer Gabriela Lena Frank and Austrian composer Georg Friederich Haas.

“We are experimenters not just [with] the music, but also with the way the music is performed,” says Blessinger.

Gordon Rencher & Chris Whyte perform to preview "Entre Los Mundos," music of Gabriela Lena Frank.

Gordon Rencher & Chris Whyte perform to preview "Entre Los Mundos," music of Gabriela Lena Frank.

Kayo Lackey

“Like for this event, Porch Music, where we use the neighborhood as the venue if you will, we find the context changes the experience of performing and listening tremendously. So we want to redefine what people expect in terms of the context within which we hear music,” adds Blessinger.

The final performance in the afternoon’s Porch Music series featured a short excerpt from String Quartet No. 3 by Georg Friedrich Hass. The audience was asked to close their eyes and pretend that it was pitch dark as they listened to the music. “There is a reason for that,” explains Blessinger. “It refers to the night before the resurrection of the Christ, so it’s a really spiritual, very dark and desperate environment. The music has to be in that context.”

Go See It!

When Third Angle’s new season begins in September, musicians will perform Hass’ String Quartet No. 3 in actual pitch darkness at the OMSI planetarium as part of PICA’s TBA:13 Festival. It will be a very interesting experience for the audience, though will pose a challenge to the players who are required to memorize the piece for an hour-long performance. 

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