For those of you out there in the local music scene, next Thursday, Feb. 27 is the launch of an interesting new Ithaca concert series with a bent toward the experimental. Weighter Music is excited to present the Weighter Music Series series in Ithaca with a solo performance from Weighter founder Nick Hennies. Weighter Music/Recordings is a record label founded in 2013 by percussionist and composer Nick Hennies and is focused on the release of unconventional musical compositions.
Hennies, who very recently relocated to Ithaca from Austin, TX, has an active career as a solo artist as well as being a member of Meridian, a percussion trio with Greg Stuart and former Ithaca resident Tim Feeney. Through this new concert series venue Hennies aims to promote adventurous and artistic music outside of an academic environment. He hopes that this series will foster an open exploration of experimental music within his new community and attract both local and visiting musicians for guest performances.
For the inagural program on Feb. 27th Hennies will perform two of his solo albums in full, Duets for Solo Snare Drum and Psalms. Duets for Solo Snare Drum opens the program, consisting of three pieces for the solo snare drum that are in “duet” with three different non-performative elements. One4, by John Cage, explores unconventional timbral possibilities of the snare drum while prominently using silence as a compositional tool. Snare Drum and FM Noise by Austrian composer Peter Ablinger pairs radio static with very soft, white-noise-like snare drum rolls. Hennies’ own piece, Cast and Work, a 23-minute continuous drum roll with sine waves, is a deeply meditative listening experience. Cast and Work will also feature guest performances by Ithaca musicians Annie Lewandowski (piano) and Chris Demetriou (percussion).
The second half of the program is Hennies’ cycle of compositions called Psalms. Each of the five pieces are for a single percussion instrument (vibraphone, snare drum, woodblock, and triangle) and use long periods of rapid fire repetition to expose hidden depths and detail in what we normally think of as familiar sounds. Psalms is also notable in that includes Alvin Lucier’s classic piece for the solo triangle from 1987, Silver Streetcar for the Orchestra.
The music event on Thursday, Feb. 27 will take place at 8 p.m. at the Community School of Music and Arts (330 E. State St.) in the 3rd floor performance space. Admission is on a sliding scale from $5-$10. The Weighter Music Series will continue on March 23rd with a performance by Chicago organ/electronics duo Coppice.