Wikipedia defines a dilemma as: "problem offering at least two solutions or possibilities, of which none are practically acceptable." [I foresee a day when Valedictorians cite Wikipedia instead of Websters.]
Sunday: New Music Dilemma
The dilemma this Sunday (April 25) is: Palomar or MAVerick?
The MAVerick Ensemble has presented concerts in Chicago for a number of years, primarily at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art (UIMA). They continually prove to be the among the most avant-garde ensembles, pursuing the limits of esoteric, post-WWII intellectual music, including a great deal of Cage, Tenney, and Carter. Their programming orbits around an aesthetic embraced by artistic director William Jason Raynovich, who, as a composer, contributes a number of works to the ensemble's repertoire. [This sampling of recordings will give a decent introduction to their musical aesthetic.] The ensemble routinely goes beyond the notes to give impassioned performances that are as spell-binding to see as to hear.
The Palomar Ensemble grew out of Accessible Contemporary Music (ACM), and organization that "promotes the performance and understanding of contemporary music." Their focus, then, is on new music of many varieties. This locus of this concert seems to a somewhat less austere than MAVerick's, spanning a wide range of styles including a Tango by John Mackey, a duo by Saariaho, and a piece called "Mulatash Stomp" by Derek Bremel.
Now it's decision time. Both ensembles play at 2pm Sunday, an eventuality that would ideally be avoided through the helpful calendar at New Music Chicago. But, realistically, there is some but perhaps little overlap between the loyal followings of each ensemble, just like how people fell into either the Stones camp or the Beatles camp. The MAVerick ensemble plays in a museum with supportive acoustics, a great venue for their brand of subtly nuanced music. And there is typically a free reception afterwards, including wine. Palomar is playing at the Green Mill, a bar, which means you can drink while the concert is going on. The acoustics, however, are suspect, requiring that the instruments be amplified in spite of the small size of the room. Also, I've been to some Sunday afternoon concerts at the Green Mill and have felt a little weird being in a dark, dingy bar in the middle of the afternoon--like I had a problem or something.
I am, unfortunately, working and so don't have to make a decision.
I'll leave it up to you. Let me know which you choose and how it goes.
[I'll also be interested to see which concert Seth Boustead attends; he is the executive director of ACM but has a piece on MAVerick's program.]
Sunday April 25, 2pm
Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art
2320 W Chicago
Music by Bilotta, Boustead, Crumb, Sciarrino, Räisänen
Sunday April 25, 2pm
4802 N Broadway
Music by Pierce, Bermel, Saariaho, Weisman, Mackey (John)