Guerrilla orchestra

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.

This feature was posted on Thursday, December 20, 2012 and is filed under Audio Slideshows.
The student musicians: Daniel Fernandez ’14 (clarinet), Serena Lofftus ’13 (violin), Emma Lott ’14 (violin), Jonathan Mott ’14 (percussion), Peter Olsen ’13 (piano), Michael Rolincik ’16 (oboe), John Stathapoulos ’16 (cello).

Senior Producer: Ravi Jain, Producers: Miles Benson, Ryan Newton, Audio: Ryan Newton. Photographs by J. D. Levine.