Classical Music Buzz > Sybaritic Singer > in performance: AM/PM Sax Quartet

AM/PM Sax Quartet

The Metro Gallery and The Windup Space (both in Baltimore’s Station North District) are the (Le) Poisson Rouge of Charm City. On almost any night of the week I can show up expecting interesting and eclectic music, art, and/or film.

(Le) Poisson Rouge is a multimedia art cabaret founded by musicians on the site of the historic Village Gate. Dedicated to the fusion of popular and art cultures in music, film, theater, dance, and fine art, the venue’s mission is to revive the symbiotic relationship between art and revelry; to establish a creative asylum for both artists and audiences.

LPR prides itself in offering the highest quality eclectic programming, impeccable acoustics, and bold design. LPR is a source you can trust for exposure to visionary work, people of character, and a consistently dynamic environment.

LPR finishes off their introductory paragraph urging you to bring an “open mind and drinking shoes.” For the AM/PM Sax Quartet concert on Saturday night at the Metro Gallery, that’s exactly what I did. After taking the Charm City Circulator (gotta love the purple line) there and settling in with a Manhattan, I prepared for their program featuring compositions that use electronic tape.


Thom Limbert: Numbers/Dates
Kati Agócs: Hymn
Jacob Ter Veldhuis: Heartbreakers
Matthew Burtner: Incantation S4=X
Paul Leary: “I Have A Past Life Memory From The War That Blew The Fifth Planet Into The Asteroid Belt” and other stories from AM Radio

Honestly, it was so refreshing to see and hear a great quartet – one that has ensemble skills in spades. The AM/PM Sax Quartet, all successful players in their own right, have a sensitivity for collaborative music making. The Agócs’ piece allowed the quartet to display their ability to weave each line with incredible dynamic and harmonic control.

The real highlight of the evening was Jacob Ter Veldhuis‘ “Heartbreakers.” Zach Herchen (alto saxophone), whose technical training in saxophone performance and audiovisual electronics made him a likely choice for the spokesman of the evening, gave a short introduction to the piece. He revealed that Dutch ‘avant pop’ composer JacobTV (Jacob Ter Veldhuis)has a love affair with American media and world events and draws materials from that inspiration. Not surprisingly, chuckles rippled across the audience when they discovered the sound clips were from the Jerry Springer show. The catchy syncopated rhythms alone made me want to jump about chanting, “Jerry! Jerry!” with all the other disembodied voices. The second movement of “Heartbreakers” gives weight to the title with its somber beginning quote, “she just turned her back on me.” The duet lines were perfectly underlined by the quartet’s tender touch.

You will not want to miss the AM/PM Sax Quartet when they perform at the Red Room (425 E. 31st Street Baltimore, MD 21218) on March 12 , 2011 @ 9:00pm. In fact, the quartet will feature some of the same pieces from this past Saturday again!

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