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July 21, 2010

Friday will be Cool Music Night in Baltimore, with BSO, Shodekeh, GeNIA, Gabriel Prokofiev

The stars have aligned to make Friday the coolest night, musically speaking, for Baltimore in quite a while.

The BSO will start things off at the Meyerhoff with a program that includes works by two of the most famous musicians born in this city. Marin Alsop will conduct the orchestra in Philip Glass' Symphony No. 4 ("Heroes"), which was inspired by a David Bowie/Brian Eno album, and several pieces by Frank Zappa. That would be enough to qualify as pretty darn cool, but there's more.

Shodekeh, the popular beatboxer based here, will collaborate with the BSO in a concerto for, yes, beatboxer and strings by Jan Mikael Vainio called "Fujiko’s Fairy Tale." This has got to be the, well, coolest thing the orchestra has presented during summertime. I wouldn't miss it. (UPDATE 7/22: I added a video clip of Shodekeh in rehearsal with the BSO.)

Shodekeh will head from the Meyerhoff over to

the Windup Space for a concert presented by the ever-hip Mobtown Modern.

This event also features the local debut of Gabriel Prokofiev, London-based grandson of that Prokofiev; he's an innovative composer, turntablist and record producer. Performing some of this super-cool guy's music will be another super-cool Londoner, the pianist who goes by the single name GeNIA.

Also participating in the program will be the British percussion/sound design ensemble Powerplant. Oh yeah, Steve Reich's "Electric Counterpoint" is on the program, too, so that pretty much seals the deal. We're talking a way-downtown night in Baltimore. Assuming they don't bar over-30s at the door, I'll be there.

Here's a taste of Gabriel Prokofiev's "Import/Export," performed by Powerplant, followed by a clip of GeNIA performing "John Richards Suite for Piano & Electronics --Prelude" (which is also available on a release by the beyond-cool Nonclassical label). And a clip of Shodekeh in rehearsal with the BSO:

Posted by Tim Smith at 6:26 AM | | Comments (0)

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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