Oregon Music News: Oregon’s all-genre music magazine since 2009

Guitarist Steven Mackey
Guitarist Steven Mackey

Orpheus Unsung preview, Third Angle at Holocene Feb. 20th & 21st

 By MATT CARTER // Yes, Sophocles, there are holograms. Orpheus Unsung, Guitarist and Harvard professor of music Steven Mackey, along with Jason Treuting of Sō Percussion at Third Angle at Holocene Wednesday and Thursday February 20 & 21.


Third Angle will take over Holocene for two nights this week with the ambitious composition Orpheus Unsung. Guitarist and Harvard professor of music Steven Mackey, along with Jason Treuting of Sō Percussion, will present a unique hybrid-event that is part-avant-garde opera, part-interpretive mythology. If you're wondering what that entails, think John Cage meets John Zorn, with everything from Calypso drums to xylophones setting the pace.

Mackey is scoring a story many may not be familiar with – a story as mystical as it is epic. And if you doubt he's up to the task, look no further than Mackey's 2017 album Color Theory, which also featured Sō Percussion on rhythmic duties. Brimming with cinematic wonder – and mercurially arranged to turn a dime – Color Theory starts as an experiment but leaves you feeling as though you returned from a night at the theater. Mackey's mathematical approach, coupled with Sō Percussion's meander of the sound spectrum, is a visual match made in musical academia heaven.

For Orpheus Unsung, Mackey and Treuting plan to follow the life of Greek mythology’s Orpheus. A notable wizard of song, Orpheus loses his wife on their wedding day to a satyr…or horse-like nature spirit that is less than enlightened about women. He then ventures into the underworld to save his beloved, Eurydice. It’s a descent that, without spoiling too much, ultimately decides Orpheus' fate. Be sure to take advantage of the multiple performances, as Holocene's lighting production will surely make the show’s multi-media visuals come alive with captivating spectacle.

February 20th and 21st @ 7:30 PM

Performance is 60 minutes with no intermission, tickets $35

Third Angle's mission is to perform and record the masterworks of the 21st Century while commissioning new works from regionally and nationally recognized composers.

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