Northwest Reverb, July 2017

Chamber Music Northwest topped off its weeklong celebration of music by women composers with a doozy of concert on Saturday evening (July 15) at Kaul Auditorium. Even though Smith’s piece had the the seemingly innocent title of “Carrot Revolution,” (2015) the music that she devised had tantalizingly complex rhythms and lots of brief melodic detours. Played by violinists Tomas Cotik and Rebecca Anderson, violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama, and cellist Nancy Ives, the music launched with Ives patting a pulsating beat before being joined by her colleagues in a series of slip-sliding sounds – some of which seemed scratchy. The cello led the way with a bluesy motif and another round of tapping that was followed by a herky-herky and folksy-fiddly section for the entire ensemble. Soulful melodic lines for the viola and cello, throbbing, vibrant passages for the foursome, and a hypnotic section that sounded as if the entire collective were melting down and changing keys along the way – was pretty awesome. The finale arrived on a zippy note that made me want to hear it all again… or at least ask the ushers for a glass of carrot juice. James Bash Read More