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PREVIEW: Fulcrum Point Preview

By Alexander Hough in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 27, 2009 4:20PM

Photo by David Cortez
New-music group Fulcrum Point will play a concert tomorrow night to preview their November 12 show at the Harris Theater. While, yes, it is to a large degree "only" a preview concert, the fact is sometimes watching a trailer is pretty cool.

And that's a convenient metaphor, because the concert being previewed is a multimedia event featuring music and film. We're pretty excited about that show, but we're trying to tackle one thing at a time. If you're eager to grab your tickets, check out Harris Theater's website, but we'll give you a reminder when the date gets closer.

Tomorrow night's concert at SPACE in Evanston will include two pieces from that upcoming concert, "Holding Fast" by Fulcrum Point composer-in-residence Randall Woolf and "Grab It!" by Jacob TV. "Holding Fast" was a collaboration between Woolf and the filmmakers Mary Harron (director of "American Pyscho") and John C. Walsh. Harron and Walsh visited a Tibetan refugee camp near Darjeeling, India, filming and recording sounds from the village. They then gave Woolf the material, and he used the chanting, speaking, and environmental noise to create an electronic track that gets played alongside a live solo violin. Woolf then sent the music over to Harron and Walsh, who edited their video footage into a short film to accompany what Woolf had written. The piece itself features somber, simple violin lines that slide around the recorded sounds, synthesizing the two in a startlingly cohesive - and beautiful - way.

"Grab It!" is one of Jacob TV's "boombox pieces," which, like "Holding Fast," features a live instrumentalist (in this case, a saxophonist) with an electronic accompanying track (instead of a Himalayan village, they're from the documentary "Scared Straight!"). The piece, written over a decade ago, has been reworked, with new bass and drum parts and an added video component.

Fulcrum Point will also perform a couple pieces that will be on this concert only, Jacob TV's "Lipstick" (which Fulcrum Point performed last March) and Karlheinz Stockhausen’s "Aries" from his "Zodiac" suite, which is some of the more accessible Stockhausen you'll hear.

And make sure to keep your eyes peeled next week for information about yet another film-related Fulcrum Point show.

SPACE, 1245 Chicago, Evanston, Wednesday, October 28, at 7:30 p.m, $20 (general admission, plus cash bar), $100 (four tickets and four beverages)