Time Out

If you haven’t attended Jacaranda, L.A.’s most progressive chamber music series, you should: Where else can you hear music played in time signatures so fiendishly difficult the conductor has to stop and start a piece three times?

Jacaranda begins its new season October 20 at First Presbyterian Church in Santa Monica. On the program are works by William Bolcom, Joan Tower, Elliott Carter and Steve Reich. The Denali Quartet (pictured) performs.

The season is entitled “The O.M. Century” and will pay hommage in a variety of ways to Olivier Messiaen and composers influenced by the modern French master.

“The audience for Jacaranda has been growing because it feels like a festival, an unexpected mix organized to express ideas and passions,” Jacaranda cofounder Patrick Scott told FineArtsLA. ” The performers’ commitment to the music is like an aphrodisiac. For many listeners Jacaranda is an addiction.”

For Saturday’s concert, Jacranda issued the following:

Jacaranda’s tradition of an all-American season opener begins with Bolcom recollecting his teacher Messiaen in these New Etudes. About pianist Scott Dunn’s performance in last season’s special return concert, the Los Angeles Times described him as, “suave, masterly, insouciant, nostalgic and exuberant.” He then joins cellist Timothy Loo as Tower pays hommage to Messiaen’s most famous music. Carter, an exact contemporary, is represented by an ingenious and engaging diversion for the unusual group of four virtuoso winds.

Reich’s “Different Trains” meditates on his childhood trans-American trips, while in Europe civilians and POWs, such as Messiaen, were sent to camps. The fearless Denali Quartet (”knock-your-socks-off”– Los Angeles Times) will bring, “a keen stage presence” (The Strad Magazine) to this riveting journey. Reich transforms the live electric guitar into an instrument of tingling meditation. Each work represents a high point in Reich’s combining of live and pre-recorded music.

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