• Dan Deacon and John Schaefer at their pre-show mic check. Wrote Deacon about 'Opal Toad': "Fist pumping and head banging are two things I hope come to mind."
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    Dan Deacon and John Schaefer at their pre-show mic check. Wrote Deacon about 'Opal Toad': "Fist pumping and head banging are two things I hope come to mind."
    Kim Nowacki/courtesy of Q2
  • Dan Deacon rehearses his new concert piece, 'An Opal Toad with Obsidian Eyes,' with the NOW Ensemble and the Calder Quartet before its premiere at the Ecstatic Music Festival at New York's Merkin Concert Hall on March 20, 2012.
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    Dan Deacon rehearses his new concert piece, 'An Opal Toad with Obsidian Eyes,' with the NOW Ensemble and the Calder Quartet before its premiere at the Ecstatic Music Festival at New York's Merkin Concert Hall on March 20, 2012.
    David Andrako/courtesy of Merkin Concert Hall
  • Bassist Peter Rosenfeld and clarinetist Sara Budde play Mark Dancigers' 'Cloudbank,' which opened the concert..
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    Bassist Peter Rosenfeld and clarinetist Sara Budde play Mark Dancigers' 'Cloudbank,' which opened the concert.

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    David Andrako/courtesy of Merkin Concert Hall
  • Members of the NOW Ensemble (flutist Nathalie Joachim, guitarist Mark Dancigers, Rosenfeld and Budde play Dancigers' 'Cloudbank.'.
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    Members of the NOW Ensemble (flutist Nathalie Joachim, guitarist Mark Dancigers, Rosenfeld and Budde play Dancigers' 'Cloudbank.'

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    David Andrako/courtesy of Merkin Concert Hall
  • WNYC's John Schaefer, the evening's host, chats onstage with composer Daniel Wohl before the Calder Quartet plays Wohl's 2009 piece 'Glitch' for string quartet and electronics.
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    WNYC's John Schaefer, the evening's host, chats onstage with composer Daniel Wohl before the Calder Quartet plays Wohl's 2009 piece 'Glitch' for string quartet and electronics.
    David Andrako/courtesy of Merkin Concert Hall
  • The Calder Quartet, deep in 'Glitch.'.
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    The Calder Quartet, deep in 'Glitch.'

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    David Andrako/courtesy of Merkin Concert Hall
  • Deacon, the Calder Quartet and the NOW Ensemble joined forces for 'An Opal Toad with Obsidian Eyes.'.
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    Deacon, the Calder Quartet and the NOW Ensemble joined forces for 'An Opal Toad with Obsidian Eyes.'

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    David Andrako/courtesy of Merkin Concert Hall
  • Deacon's music was divided into three sections titled "Mirkwood Drone," "Fleece Needs" and "Caddyshack Batman."
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    Deacon's music was divided into three sections titled "Mirkwood Drone," "Fleece Needs" and "Caddyshack Batman."
    David Andrako/courtesy of Merkin Concert Hall

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Live in Concert

Ecstatic Music: Dan Deacon, NOW Ensemble And Calder QuartetQ2

PROGRAM
  • Mark Dancigers: Cloudburst
  • Daniel Wohl: Glitch
  • Dan Deacon: An Opal Toad with Obsidian Eyes

The Ecstatic Music Festival, held at New York's Merkin Concert Hall, is all about exciting — and inspiring — juxtapositions, and this show's conglomerations were no exception. After our SXSW showcase last week that included Dan Deacon, our own Stephen Thompson called the indie rocker/composer "a ringleader for a ludicrously overdriven orgy of sound." Given that description, who better for Deacon to team up with than NOW Ensemble and the Calder Quartet, two heavyweight groups from new music community known for their own vibrant yet serious musical ruckuses?

As part of the Ecstatic Music Festival at New York's Merkin Concert Hall, Deacon led the world premiere of his piece An Opal Toad with Obsidian Eyes, a piece that pulsates with an energy that recalls Terry Riley, Conlon Nancarrow and Steve Reich. Paired with Opal Toad were two other recent works: 2006's evocative Cloudbank, written by NOW Ensemble guitarist Mark Dancigers, as well as 2009's Glitch, with its layered textures of sonic lines for string quartet and electronics, written by Daniel Wohl for the Calder Quartet.

Credit: Audio archive courtesy of Q2 Music and The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space.

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