New Millennium Orchestra with Olga Bell | Thalia Hall | Classical | Chicago Reader
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New Millennium Orchestra with Olga Bell 

When: Fri., May 8, 7 p.m. 2015
Price: $22
Last year Dirty Projectors keyboardist Olga Bell released a stunning nine-part suite about her Russian homeland called Krai (New Amsterdam), in which each movement is inspired by a different frontier area (krai is Russian for “edge”). Bell’s lead vocals—as well as the immaculately constructed harmonies—reflect her cultural heritage not simply via the language, but also by referencing various traditions, such as the yodel-like howl found in the Carpathians or quasi-Tuvan throat singing. There’s nothing folklike in her charged arrangements, which meld giddy, poppy vocal melodies with brisk guitar-driven grooves from Grey McMurray (also of Itsnotyouitsme). For her first Chicago solo performance Bell will appear as a guest of the genre-warping new-music group New Millennium Orchestra. She’ll sing songs from Krai along with some newer material, sandwiched between performances by NMO, who’ll play a couple movements from Schubert’s Fifth Symphony and contemporary classical composer Nico Muhly’s “Seeing Is Believing.” —Peter Margasak
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