Portsmouth Music and Arts Center (PMAC) is pleased to announce a special concert of John Cage’s music performed by UNH professor Rob Haskins along with Laurel Karlic Sheehan, Eric Klaxton, and Ethan Giles. The concert takes place on Friday, September 13, at 7:30pm. The pieces that will be performed are Cheap Imitation for piano solo (1969), and Four3 for four performers. From 1969 on, the notorious music of John Cage changed profoundly as he began to include more specified pitches in his music. He also used various new techniques. Cheap Imitation, for solo piano, changes the notes of Erik Satie’s music-drama Socrate but leaves the rhythms as they are. Four3 is much sparser, including a piano melody (again adapted from Satie), the sound of twelve rain sticks, and a high pitch produced by a violin or through electronic means. Cage produced a number art works during his career—notably, a series of prints from 1978 on. Both compositions in the concert reflect this sensibility and seem indeed to resemble visual gestures translated into the temporal domain of music.Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind event. Tickets are $10/$5 for seniors and PMAC and UNH students and can be purchased at https://www.facebook.com/events/640829919759616
“I think Cage’s music shows an inexhaustible imagination even as he consistently applied principles related to Zen Buddhism in his work. This concert includes two pieces that are less known than his notorious works like 4’33” and I think reflect his interest in Buddhism very powerfully.”-Rob Haskins
About Rob Haskins: Rob Haskins is professor of music at the University of New Hampshire, where he has taught since 2004. He has published on music after 1945, especially the music of John Cage. He also maintains a professional interest in piano performance and has recorded CDs for Mode, Nonesuch, and other labels. His most recent book is Classical Listening: Two Decades of Reviews from “The American Record Guide”.
About Laurel Sheehan: Laurel Karlik Sheehan holds a BM in piano from the Peabody Institute. She has taught and performed piano since 1984, at the Peabody Preparatory and, in Aspen and Carbondale, Colorado, and most recently she maintains a private studio in Ellicott City, MD, where she teaches students in traditional settings and also with the assistance of electronic communication. Her accomplishments include the Canadian premiere of John Cage’s Two2, as well as a recording (for Mode Records) and performance at New York’s Merkin Hall of that piece with Rob Haskins. She has performed at many Cage festivals and is currently working with living American composers commissioning works for a new project called “Five Minutes, Please.” Laurel also serves as coordinator of the Elma Donovan Memorial Concert Series at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, where she uses music as a force for healing and change.
About Eric Klaxton: Residing in the stretch of seacoast where New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts meet, Eric Klaxton has become part of a broad and prolific community of musicians and artists. Working as a freelance saxophonist, pianist, and educator, he has played with and arranged for a number of ensembles. Eric is currently a teaching artist at PMAC and an active member of notable ensembles including: The Soggy Po Boys, Sojoy, and OurBigBand. In addition to his work with collective ensembles, Eric is often writing and arranging original works for various groups of his own. He earned his BA in Saxophone Performance at the University of New Hampshire where he had the opportunity to work with many inspiring musicians including Clark Terry, Frank Wess, Terell Stafford, Jimmy Heath, and Stjepko Gut. As a UNH student, he took an interest in composition and studied jazz harmony with Mark Shilanksy and arranging with Mike Annicchiarico. Since graduation, Eric has continued his studies with saxophonist Bill McHenry and has taken the stage with many special guests including: Frank Carlberg, Dave Douglas, Ben Allison, Matt Ulery, and Curtis Hasselbring. Eric broadly enjoys the arts across the spectrum and continues to seek inspiration from the works of great philosophers, classical composers, modern authors, directors, and visual artists.
About Ethan Giles: Ethan Giles is a bassist from Whitefield, NH and currently studies music at the University of New Hampshire. He plays double bass in the UNH Symphony Orchestra and Wind Symphony, but also plays various other styles, including jazz, on electric bass. He also composes and had his first-string quartet titled “The Isle of Passion” commissioned in the spring of 2019.
Portsmouth Music and Arts Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community music and visual arts school located at 973 Islington Street in Portsmouth, NH. PMAC offers private instruction in music and visual arts, art classes for all ages and music ensembles and classes for all ages.
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