Polyphony Spree

Australian composer and poet Chris Mann is interested in what you think he’s thinking. Rapidly reading aloud densely worded texts of his own creation (such as his 4,335-word “The Plato Songs”), Mann varies the pitch and inflection of his distinctive Australian accent, then further alters the text by splitting his voice through sixteen separate channels so that it flutters and warbles with peculiar sibilances and pops. Discrete words and phrases coalesce from the overlapping fog of words, and through some quirk of the human brain’s language center, the listener perceives a meaning or understanding that may or may not be there. It’s the audial equivalent of thumbing rapidly through a book back to front, assembling a sense of the story from barely scanned paragraphs. Listen to “The Plato Songs” a second time, and a different sense is gleaned, your brain finding new points to recognize, a new pattern to comprehend. Mann performs at 7:30 p.m. at the Bastian Center for the Performing Arts on the St. Louis Community College-Forest Park campus (5600 Oakland Avenue; 314-567-5384 or www.newmusiccircle.org) as the guest of the New Music Circle. Also on the bill is Rob Voisey’s 60x60, a one-hour concert composed of 60-second bursts of music created by 60 different composers. Local video artist Zlatko Cosic provides visuals to go with 60x60, creating a full evening of rapid-eye and -ear entertainment. Tickets are $6 to $12.
Sat., April 5, 2008

 
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