Krannert Art Museum hosting gong concert
CHAMPAIGN — The Nakatani Gong Orchestra will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Krannert Art Museum as part of the Sudden Sound Series.
The orchestra, directed by acoustic sound artist and percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani, is a nontraditional one that explores the harmony of multiple gongs.
Featuring 10 local performers who learned Nakatani's specialized bowed gong and conduction techniques, the ensemble concert will immerse listeners in the sonic spectrum of resonating gongs, anchored by the low frequencies of a 50-inch gong.
Created in 2011 after 10 years of solo performance and collaborations worldwide, the Nakatani Gong Orchestra has performed in more than 50 venues, including The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Also featured in this concert will be a short solo performance by Nakatani.
Urbana musician Jason Finkelman, who curates the Sudden Sound Series, said Nakatani is one of the few U.S.-based improvisers today who consistently tours the country to share his music.
"Nakatani continually inspires audiences and creative music communities with his solo and collaborative performances," Finkelman said. "His personal approach to creating acoustic music is dynamically expressed, often with extended techniques, to produce minute sounds, drones and explosive, percussive passages.
"The Nakatani Gong Orchestra is a wonderful vehicle not only for Nakatani to explore the sonic richness of multiple bowed gongs, a sound he had long imagined, but also for the participants, who are all members of each local community he visits."
While here, Nakatani also will work with local musicians in the Improvisers Exchange workshop from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Institute for Creativity. The workshop fee is a sliding scale of $15 to $20.
Participants will explore strategies for improvisation with Nakatani and be invited to perform in the 9 p.m. concert at I4C in downtown Champaign. Admission to the concert will be a sliding scale of $5 to $10. Nakatani will perform solo and in various combinations with workshop participants.
The institute is upstairs at 111 S. Walnut St. Krannert Art Museum is at 500 E. Peabody Drive, C. Admission to the museum concert is free.