Strings ’n’ bass

Helmut Lachenmann comes to town, plus DJ G Notorious’s Dubwise monthly
By SUSANNA BOLLE  |  February 26, 2008


The low end: The bassline house invasion. By Richard Beck.
This week we’re hitting the sonic extremes, beginning with HELMUT LACHENMANN. One of the most inventive composers of the past three decades, Lachenmann has two concerts coming up — one at the Goethe-Institut this Saturday, and another on Wednesday at New England Conservatory.

Lachenmann may compose for traditional instruments, but he uses them in radically unconventional ways. “Lachenmann’s æsthetic is about opening people’s ears to a new way of listening,” says violinist Ari Streisfeld of the JACK Quartet, who will perform an all-Lachenmann program at the Goethe-Institut. “He approaches each instrument as if it were a found object and asks himself ‘Okay, how can I make a sound out of this?’ and figures out all sorts of different ways of playing it.”

Some of Lachenmann’s most overtly experimental works are his three string quartets. The JACK Quartet will perform two of them, Gran Torso (1972) and Grido (2001). At NEC, the Callithumpian Consort will play another lauded Lachenmann opus, “ . . . zwei Gefühle” . . . , Musik mit Leonardo.

At another end of the sonic spectrum, we have DJ G NOTORIOUS bringing the hot new UK club sound, bassline house, to Enormous Room on Sunday. It’s a genre that cares not a whit for textural subtleties; as its name suggests, this young cousin to dubstep, grime, and UK garage is all about bass. DJ G Notorious will spin a set of the bounceable stuff as part of his Dubwise monthly.

JACK QUARTET + HELMUT LACHENMANN | Goethe-Institut, 170 Beacon St, Boston | March 1 | 617.262.6050 | CALLITHUMPIAN CONSORT + HELMUT LACHENMANN | Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough St, Boston | March 5 | 617.585.1260 | DJ G NOTORIOUS + CDBUZ + PANDAI’A | Enormous Room, 567 Mass Ave, Cambridge | March 2 | 617.491.5550

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