by Mike Telin

8bb-wallWhat does eighth blackbird flutist Tim Munro want audiences to know about their Cleveland Chamber Music Society program titled Still in Motion? “There are a lot of things that I love about this program, the surprising twists and turns that it takes. But I would say to expect the unexpected.”

On Tuesday, April 29 beginning at 7:30 in Waetjen Auditorium at Cleveland State University, eighth blackbird makes a return visit to the Chamber Music Society’s series with a concert that features Dessner’s Murder Ballade Suite, Johnson/Ligeti’s Counting Duets/Etudes, Parry’s Duet for Heart and Breath, Dean’s Sextet & Mackey’s Suite: Slide. A pre-concert lecture by Daniel Hathaway begins at 6:30.

Speaking by telephone from Philadelphia where the group serves as Ensemble in Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music, Munro said there is a duality implied in the concert’s title, Still in Motion. “Sometimes things can appear to be very still while requiring a lot of energy or requiring a lot of motion. It’s about the conjunction between those two things and the fight between those two things – the stillness and the motion. And no sooner are you lulled into a false sense of stillness and calmness, than the music takes you into another direction and moves you into motion. So the world of the concert is constantly shifting.The ground is constantly shifting under your feet.“

Munro adds that this constant musical shifting was done intentionally by himself and his colleagues Michael J. Maccaferri, clarinets, Yvonne Lam, violin & viola, Matthew Duvall, percussion, Lisa Kaplan, piano, and Nicholas Photinos, cello. “We never want audiences to be bored. There’s nothing worse for us then a reaction like ‘That was OK.’ We’d much rather if people were burning with excitement or frustrated or amused. We want people to have a lot of reactions. I’m always excited to hear the responses of audiences after the concert and hear how confused or delighted or offended they were, and so that’s how we build our concerts.”

Munro also feels that the composers on this program are all expressing the same emotions, just doing it very differently from one another. “These composers are struggling with the same things. They may come from very different musical worlds but they’re all expressing the same sort of sense of what it is to be human. What it is to be alive and confront life’s complex issues.”

In addition to their residency at Curtis, eighth blackbird also serves as Ensemble in Residence at the University of Richmond and the University of Chicago. The ensemble has won three Grammy Awards for the recordings strange imaginary animals (2008), Lonely Motel: Music from Slide (2011) and Meanwhile (2012).

On Thursday, April 24 Tim Munro discusses Bryce Dessner’s Murder Ballade Suite, Tom Johnson’s Counting Duets and György Ligeti’s Etudes.

On Friday, April 25 Munro will discuss Richard Reid Parry’s Duo for Heart and Breath, Brett Dean’s Old Kings in Exile and Steven Mackey’s Suite Slide.

Published on ClevelandClassical.com April 22, 2014.

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