From deli to concert hall

By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  February 24, 2010

There are a few ways in which Brooklyn Rider achieve such intimacy. Their recordings, Dominant Curve in particular, deliver on the moments of eerie violence (particularly in the Debussy piece), but they're also adept at more unusual and conceptual pieces, such as "(Cycles) what falls must rise," a collaboration with the electro-acoustic Japanese performer Kojiro Umezaki. They also often play standing up (for increased expressiveness), and pride themselves on giving their pieces proper cultural and historical context in program notes.

Their rather trendy habit of playing unusual venues (they're playing at South by Southwest next month), then, isn't so much an expression of diffidence ("I believe in the concert hall experience," Cords notes) as another example of the group's excitement about the increasing merges and cross-pollinations among diverse cultural traditions. "We have a burning desire for our music to be relevant to our generation," says violinist Colin Jacobsen. "I think there are a number of people in my generation who aren't tied down to one way of defining themselves. We love playing Debussy [and others] . . . , but love doing it in the context of our time."

Christopher Gray can be reached at cgray@phx.com.

DOMINANT CURVE | released by Brooklyn Rider on In a Circle | free performance at Hannaford, 295 Forest Ave, Portland | February 26 @ 6 pm | Ticketed show at USM's Hannaford Hall in Portland | February 27 @ 8 pm | $32, students $10 | 207.842.0800

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