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Grab Some Valentine's Day New-Music Afternoon Delight

By Alexander Hough in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 12, 2010 5:30PM

Anaphora (top) and Third Coast Percussion (bottom) each perform on Sunday afternoon. (Anaphora photo by Renee LaLonde; photo of TCP courtesy of TCP)
Here at Chicagoist, our motto's always been "When it's right, it's right." This then raises the question: Why wait until the middle of the cold, dark night? That's the thinking of two Chicagoist faves, Anaphora and Third Coast Percussion, each of whom has scheduled some afternoon delight for this Sunday's day o' love.

Normally known for jazz, the Green Mill occasionally hosts contemporary chamber music, too. Head up there on Valentine's Day and succumb to Anaphora's wiles. They know what you like, centering their show around Edgar Varèse's groundbreaking work for solo flute, "Density 21.5," and Morton Gould's clarinet and bass duet "Benny's Gig," written for Benny Goodman's 70th birthday. And Anaphora's always adventurous, so they'll also try out some new stuff on you, like Anaphora curator Sarah Ritch's "Duo for Solo Cello," which uses looped feedback created from her cello's natural resonance as the other performer; Sam Krahn's "Guitar Hero," a work loosely based on Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me;" and Randall Snyder's "Chicago Profiles, which is based on literary works by eight Chicago authors and poets. They swear, they've never played those last two pieces before - hell, no one in the world has - so it's O.K. if you're a little nervous. Just grab yourself a drink from the bar, and relax, relax.

Third Coast Percussion
Alternatively, you could go down to the Cultural Center to see Third Coast Percussion, who knows that rubbin' sticks and stones together makes the sparks ignite. The quartet will start off at full speed, wowing you with John Fitz Rogers's technically demanding marimba duet "Once Removed." Next they'll try out some new stuff they've been thinking about, playing David T. Little's "Three Sketches," the nascent ideas that will eventually form a larger piece he's writing for TCP. And then they'll mix it up, playing Guo Wenjing's "Parade," written for six Beijing opera gongs. Finally, just when you think it couldn't get any better, they'll pull out all the stops for you and get a little wild, bringing in an extra person, the renowned avant-garde pianist Lisa Moore, to perform Martin Bresnick's "Emphatic Caprices" along with a DVD of Francisco Goya's "The Disasters of War" put together by the composer's daughter Johanna Bresnick. Uh, you know what? Incorporating all that into puerile, clunky innuendo breaks more taboos than we're comfortable with, so let's just leave that be.

Unfortunately, Anaphora's concert begins at 2:00 p.m. and TCP's gets going at 3:00 p.m., so you can't have it all. Whichever you choose, though, you'll be hearing lots of music 'fore the sun goes down.

Anaphora plays on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at the Green Mill, 4802 N Broadway, $5; Third Coast Percussion plays on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. at the Cultural Center, 78 E Washington, FREE