Published: December 2012
On December 9 in Gasson 100, Stephen Drury, founder and director of the contemporary–music group Callithumpian Consort, led 10 musicians—three Callithumpians and seven undergraduates—in a rehearsal of Cobra (1984), an improvisational work by American composer John Zorn. Cobra is one of Zorn’s “game” pieces, in which rules substitute for a score. Hand signals, flash cards, and custody of a headband determine the order of playing, the dynamics, and who solos, but the music is the performers’ to invent, from off-kilter oboe intonations to brushed piano strings to percussive cello.
On December 10 in Gasson 100, the group performed Cobra (it’s different every time) in a concert that also included works by John Cage, Lukas Foss, and Harrison Birtwistle. The Callithumpian Consort has been named artists-in-residence for 2012–13, sponsored by the University’s Institute for the Liberal Arts and the music department.