Splinter Reeds | Constellation | Classical | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Splinter Reeds

Splinter Reeds

Aubrey Trinnaman

When: Sun., Oct. 16, 8:30 p.m. 2016
Price: $10
Splinter Reeds formed in the Bay Area in 2013 with the intent to perform contemporary compositions and showcase the possibilities of the reed quintet. The ensemble’s instrumental lineup—founder Dana Jessen plays bassoon, Bill Kalinkos clarinet, David Wegehaupt saxophones, Jeff Anderle bass clarinet, and former Chicagoan Kyle Bruckmann oboe and English horn—affords more punch than the traditional woodwind quintet’s complement of flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, and bassoon. But it’s the musicians’ close attention to sonic detail and springy rhythmic sense that make the pieces on their debut CD, Got Stung (Splinter Records), so compelling. It opens with “Splinter,” an eight-part suite by Chicagoan Marc Mellits that encompasses Steve Reich-like repetition, gentle unisons, and a forceful finale that pivots on some satisfyingly funky bass clarinet. Bruckmann’s “Mitigating Factors” occupies more challenging territory, contrasting monolithic walls of sound with flickering electronics and subliminal clarinet whispers. The program for Splinter Reeds’ Chicago debut includes Bruckmann’s piece as well as compositions by Yannis Kyriakides, Matthew Shlomowitz, and three members of the celebrated new -music group Wet Ink: Eric Wubbels, Alex Mincek and Sam Pluta.
— Bill Meyer
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