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Performance Talks

CWPS Performance Talks is a series of events in collaboration with local arts presenters, which aims to bring performers to campus to foster intellectual exchange between students, faculty and practitioners, as a means of illuminating global perspectives on performance practice.

2017-2018 Academic Year

Russian Renaissance
Adaptation

January 24, 2018
4pm-5:15pm
East Quad Keene Theater

Russian Renaissance brings together tradition and modernity in unique crossover and fusion styles, employing the balalaika (a Russian stringed instrument with a unique triangular body), domra (a long-necked Russian string instrument from the lute family), button accordion, and contrabass balalaika. This quartet prides themselves on presenting high-calibre traditional folk music through a modern, vibrant, and enticing lens. For this talk, members of Russian Renaissance discuss working and collaborating within the large international chamber arts landscape.

UMS presents Russian Renaissance at Rackham Auditorium on Saturday, January 27 at 8:00pm.

Kaoru Watanabe
Adaptation

November 16, 2017
4pm-5:15pm
East Quad Keene Theater

Kaoru Watanabe went from being culturally "American," playing classical music as a child in St. Louis and studying jazz flute and saxophone at the Manhattan School of Music, to being a member of the globetrotting Japanese taiko drumming ensemble Kodo and becoming a leading specialist in the bamboo shinobue flute. He now lives back in New York, creating his own genre of music that reflects the entirety of his musical and cultural experiences and collaborating with artists like pianist Jason Moran, filmmaker Wes Anderson and Yo-Yo Ma and the Silkroad Ensemble. 

For his talk at the Residential College, Watanabe will address the unending series of adaptations he's dealt with through this journey and reflect on how it has affected his art.

Watanabe also performs at Kerrytown Concert House on Tuesday, 11/14 at 8pm. 

Shead/Dikeman/Townkeepers/Piazza

Thursday, February 22, 2018
4pm-5:15pm
East Quad Keene Theater

University of Michigan MM Improvisation and Center for World Performance Studies alum Adam Shead brings his quartet with Amsterdam musicians and coordinators of Dutch improv organization DoEk, John Dikeman and Casper Townkeepers, to the Keene Theater on February 22nd for a performance and discussion regarding concepts of improvisation such as cultural memory, tradition, authenticity, innovation, common language, activism through improvisation, and the business of non-commercial music. Adam Shead met both Dikeman and Townkeepers while doing research in Amsterdam, NL where he subsequently recorded a duo album with each performer, as well as interning for DoEk. During Adam's time in Amsterdam he conducted interviews, performances, and recording projects dealing with improvisation such as cultural memory. The opportunities and discoveries brought about during Adam's time with the Center for World Performance Studies have become quintessential to his life's work, ultimately resulting in the formation of a new quartet with John Dikeman, Casper Townkeepers, and Tony Piazza.

The quartet is set to tour the United States in February/March, and will also perform at Ziggy’s in Ypsilanti on Thursday, 2/22 at 8:00pm.

Colin Stetson
Adaptation

Friday, April 13, 2018
5:30pm-7:00pm
Watkins Lecture Hall
Earl V. Moore Building | 1100 Baits Dr.

Saxophonist, composer and improviser Colin Stetson speaks about his re-imagining of  Henryk Górecki's Symphony No. 3, or "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs." Performed by a 12-piece band, includes electric guitars, synthesizers, drums, strings, woodwinds, and soprano, Stetson's "Sorrow" employs a contemporary sonic palate, while maintaining the heartbreaking core of the composition.

This event is presented in conjunction with Colin Stetson's performance of SORROW - A Reimagining of Gorecki's Third Symphony on April 14 at the Michigan Theater.  Tickets available at ums.org

 

Bill Bruford

April 17, 2018
7pm-8:30pm
Watkins Lecture Hall
Earl V. Moore Building | 1100 Baits Dr. 

Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer Bill Bruford spent a working life as an internationally-known musician and teacher before stepping out of practice to investigate aspects of creativity in popular music performance. His musical character was forged in the fiery furnace of four of the biggest progressive rock groups of the 1970s, including Yes, King Crimson, Genesis, and UK. As a musician, he was innovative in the use of advanced harmony, electronics and odd meters in progressive rock and electric jazz. Following retirement from public performance in 2009, Bruford authored an autobiography and received a PhD in musicology from the University of Surrey. This talk will focus on his latest book Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, recently published by University of Michigan Press.

This event is co-sponsored by the School of Music, Theatre & Dance.