Bang on a Can All-Stars with Trio Mediæval
Memorial Hall, UNC Campus—The work of New York composer Julia Wolfe always seems swollen with energy, an unexpected mix of instruments—her excellent Believing features cymbal, tambourine, cello and electric guitar—setting layers of textures aglow. And few things convey fervor more readily than the mountain dulcimer, one of the several Appalachian instruments around which she's based her latest work, Steel Hammer. The banjo-and-bone-played piece draws on music echoing from North Carolina's western reaches.
Appropriately, it premieres tonight near one of the South's cultural hubs, UNC's Southern Folklife Collection. Wolfe couldn't ask for a better opening night cast: Bang on a Can All-Stars, arguably the world's hippest and most proven classical conduit, plays the piece, while Norway's Trio Mediæval sings it. The Nord female powerhouse is no stranger to twists on folk music, either: Their 2007 CD, Folk Songs, turned Scandinavian standards into serene place settings for their crystalline voices. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show are $20-$30 or $10 for UNC students. See www.carolinaperformingarts.org. —Grayson Currin