The stars have aligned to make Friday the coolest night, musically speaking, for Baltimore in quite a while.
The BSO will start things off at the Meyerhoff with a program that includes works by two of the most famous musicians born in this city. Marin Alsop will conduct the orchestra in Philip Glass' Symphony No. 4 ("Heroes"), which was inspired by a David Bowie/Brian Eno album, and several pieces by Frank Zappa. That would be enough to qualify as pretty darn cool, but there's more.
Shodekeh, the popular beatboxer based here, will collaborate with the BSO in a concerto for, yes, beatboxer and strings by Jan Mikael Vainio called "Fujiko's Fairy Tale." This has got to be the, well, coolest thing the orchestra has presented during summertime. I wouldn't miss it. (UPDATE 7/22: I added a video clip of Shodekeh in rehearsal with the BSO.)
Shodekeh will head from the Meyerhoff over to
the Windup Space for a concert presented by the ever-hip Mobtown Modern.
This event also features the local debut of Gabriel Prokofiev, London-based grandson of that Prokofiev; he's an innovative composer, turntablist and record producer. Performing some of this super-cool guy's music will be another super-cool Londoner, the pianist who goes by the single name GeNIA.
Also participating in the program will be the British percussion/sound design ensemble Powerplant. Oh yeah, Steve Reich's "Electric Counterpoint" is on the program, too, so that pretty much seals the deal. We're talking a way-downtown night in Baltimore. Assuming they don't bar over-30s at the door, I'll be there.
Here's a taste of Gabriel Prokofiev's "Import/Export," performed by Powerplant, followed by a clip of GeNIA performing "John Richards Suite for Piano & Electronics --Prelude" (which is also available on a release by the beyond-cool Nonclassical label). And a clip of Shodekeh in rehearsal with the BSO: