Beauty of Innuendoes Concert

I do not know which to prefer,

The beauty of inflections

Or the beauty of innuendoes,

The blackbird whistling

Or just after.

Wallace Stevens, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

Concert at Spectrum (70 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn)

Join percussionist Jon Clancy, soprano Alexandra Porter, pianist Daniel Schreiner, and flutist Joshua Weinberg for an intimate evening exploring the sonic ramifications of “inflection” versus “innuendo”. Defined by Merriam-Webster as a “change in pitch or loudness of the voice,” inflection is direct expression, mediated and manipulated, yet nonetheless purposeful; by contrast, an innuendo is “an oblique or veiled allusion, hint, or insinuation” -- in other words, the antithesis of directness. How does this dichotomy between expression and suggestion play out in composed music, where the passage of time constantly warps and re-contextualizes our perception of the present moment? And how do we interpret the seemingly “direct” expressions of the natural world (like birdsong, for instance) without any trace of human subjectivity?


Lukas Foss (1922-2009): Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (1978)

voice, flute, percussion, piano

Sarah Hennies (b. 1979): Psalm 2 (2010)

snare drum

Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992): Le merle noir (1952)

flute and piano

Messiaen: Petites esquisses d’oiseaux (1985)


Kaija Saariaho (b. 1952): Dolce tormento (2004)


Kate Soper (b. 1981): Only the Words Themselves Mean What They Say (2012)

voice and flutes

Daniel SchreinerSpectrum