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Originally posted on June 28, 2009

Playing as loud as humanly possible, Loadbang roared into their set with Silhouette by Matthew Hough, a piece that has been of late the group’s signature opener.  A few seconds of this shocking cacophony, then an abrupt halt and split second of silence follow, after which the music returns, with a dramatic drop in volume, the baritone intoning a poem.  In a text-setting that is partly tongue-in-cheek, the baritone sings a brief and tranquil solo, extending words over several notes (as in the first syllable of the phrase “swatting flies”).  The instruments return—equally tranquil and with a touch of melancholy—for the end of the poem, which takes a more serious turn in its final line, “…there was a garden, there exists one in each of us, a longing, still vibrating.”  At this the voice falls silent and the instruments sustain sky-high notes, hovering so closely to each other that one feels the beating of sound waves against the ear.

Next on the program was Story by John Cage, in which the text of a poem by Gertrude Stein is broken apart and repeated, spoken simultaneously by all four members of the group in a kind of rap.  This was followed by a free improvisation, a regular feature of Loadbang’s performances.  Before their last piece, trumpeter Andy Kozar added “I should mention that Matt Hough, the composer of the first piece—who just walked in—is here,” at which the audience laughed and clapped (Hough’s piece was encored at the end of the concert).  Loadbang ended their set with an adept performance of the minimalist-esque “Waiting for the Man” by David Lang, based on the song by Lou Reed.

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