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The Chicagoist

-Alexander Hough

New Music From a New Ensemble

Photo: Renee LaLonde

We all know a marriage creates a single existence out of two individual lives, but composer Sarah Ritch and violinist Aurelien Pederzoli’s wedding also created a music ensemble. Pederzoli’s gift to his new bride was a concert of her works, and the subsequent collaboration between them and two others, Cory Tiffin and Lisa Dell, was so successful, they decided to run with it.

The result was Anaphora, which has its one year anniversary next month. The Chicago-based group plays both classical and contemporary music, and this Monday, April 27, they’ll concentrate on the latter, putting on a concert of largely improvisatory minimalist and process pieces at the Chopin Theatre.

Anaphora will play two works by Chicago composer and sound artist Olivia Block. An untitled electroacoustic composition will be perfomed by the composer, and “Stupid Afternoon,” an acoustic work for winds, strings, and piano, commissioned by Anaphora, will receive its world premiere.

Chicago music scene mainstay George Flynn will perform his own “An Inner Glance” for solo piano, and five percussionists will play “Music for Pieces of Wood” by Steve Reich, who was awarded a long overdue Pulitzer Prize this week.

Rounding out the show, husband and wife will team up, with Pederzoli playing Ritch’s “400 g,” written for violin and CD. The recording is a four second clip of a violin performance that has been stretched to four minutes (think lateral expansion; the pitch isn’t affected), a process Ritch likens to looking at a cell under a microscope. Pederzoli will play a graphically notated score that calls for improvisation according to these usually hidden nuances.

The traditional gift for a one year anniversary is paper, so bring your $10 cash ($5 if you’re a student, and nothing if you’re 12 or under) and help Anaphora celebrate early.

Chopin Theatre, 1543 W Division, Monday, April 27, 7 p.m., $10, $5 with student ID, free for ages 12 and under, (773) 278-1500

TimeOut Chicago

-Bryant Manning

Time Out Chicago / Issue 217 : Apr 23–29, 2009


Chopin Theatre; Mon 27


Photo: Renee LaLonde

Since the collaboratively run Anaphora Ensemble started in April of last year, it’s performed more shows than just about any small classical troupe in the city. The ensemble’s willingness to play anything lets it explore limitless worlds. Unlike other niche area chamber ensembles, Anaphora has no wish to specialize strictly in the concerti grossi of Handel or the cobwebbed corners of the 20th century. Sarah J. Ritch, the ensemble’s composer-in-residence and cofounder, says she favors interdisciplinary programming and throwing Brahms and John Cage side by side if a coherent artistic mission justifies it.

On Monday 27, the collective of four primary members and a slew of local performers presents a thrillingly modern concert that showcases local up-and-comers and legends. Sound artist Olivia Block, with a background in video art, injects her latest experiments into the world premiere of “Stupid Afternoon” and an untitled electroacoustic composition. DePaul composer and improvisation icon George Flynn performs a work for solo piano.

Ritch’s opus, “400g for Violin and CD,” samples a recording by violinist Carmel Raz. The Pro Tools–doctored clip takes a four-second phrase and balloons it to four minutes so that every tiny nuance of sound becomes a clear and present motif. The violinist Aurelien Pederzoli then fiddles along live to this mutated, improvised recording, forming a “duo” with herself.

With almost 32 concerts already planned for its second season, Anaphora not only avoids any of the repetition suggested by its moniker but sidesteps any hint of a sophomore slump.

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