TACOMA, Wash. – A mix of original contemporary and classical music, blended with videos, digital animation, and ink and charcoal drawings, is how music ensemble TORCH and visual artist Scott Kolbo chose to give audiences a cultural experience well outside the norm.
Their multimedia performance, The Elements, will take place at University of Puget Sound on Friday, Oct. 20, at 7:30 p.m., in Schneebeck Concert Hall, a short walk from the corner of N. 14th Street and Union Ave. Ticket information for the Jacobsen Series concert and a map of campus are below.
The five classical Greek elements—earth, air, fire, water, and aether—which were adopted to explain the complex nature of matter by ancient cultures ranging from the Babylonians to the Tibetans, form the inspiration for the composition Elements, the major work of the night.
“The moving images in this performance are the result of over a year of collaboration with Brian Chin and the amazing group of musicians who make up TORCH,” Kolbo said. “I wanted to play with the deeper concepts that lurk behind our metaphorical understandings of fire, air, water, and earth, so I loosely interpreted the categories, placing them in contemporary situations and settings.”
The first half of the program will present a sample of original works from TORCH’s soon-to-be-released album. These include pieces inspired by classical composers Erik Satie and Igor Stravinsky, and modern Spanish composer Manuel de Falla.
Elements, in the second half, portrays the five elements through five individual works connected by brief interludes, in the style of the promenades in Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. The fifth element, aether—believed by ancient science to fill the universe beyond the Earth’s land masses—is presented as a series of pieces using improvisation and pauses, alongside free-flowing images of video art
TORCH’s artists include Brian Chin, trumpets; Eric Likkel, clarinets; Steve Schermer, double bass; and Ben Thomas, vibes, percussion, and bandoneon. The contemporary chamber music group is the resident ensemble at Common Tone Arts, a nonprofit based in the Pacific Northwest that offers a music academy, arts education, music publishing, and a concert series.
Visual artist Scott Kolbo is an associate professor of art at Seattle Pacific University who has exhibited work locally and nationally, and in Web-based formats. His interests revolve around the study of culture, aesthetics, literature, film, and contemporary art. In his studio art work, he incorporates new technologies into traditional art and mixes elements from high and low culture.
The Jacobsen Series, named in honor of Leonard Jacobsen, former chair of the piano department at Puget Sound, has been running since 1984. The Jacobsen Series Scholarship Fund awards annual music scholarships to outstanding student performers and scholars. The fund is sustained entirely by season subscribers and ticket sales.
FOR TICKETS: Tickets are available online at tickets.pugetsound.edu, or at Wheelock Information Center, 253.879.3100. Admission is $15 for the general public; $10 for seniors (55+), students, military, and Puget Sound faculty and staff. The concert is free for current Puget Sound students. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door.
Press photos of the artists are available upon request.
Photos on page: TORCH, and works by Scott Kolbo: From top right: The Elements: Water; The Elements: Earth; The Elements: Cursing (detail).
For more about TORCH visit: torchthemusic.com
For More Music Events visit the School of Music calendar.
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