Octarium, the Kansas City-based choral music ensemble, marks the release of its fourth album, Modern Masters, with a lively performance and presentation exploring the State of Choral Music in an American Idol Age on Friday, November 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. All eight members of the group will be joined by artistic director Krista Lang Blackwood, composer Stephen Hatfield, and the winner of the 2009 Octarium Composition Competition, Steve Danyew, whose piece "On Green Mountains" is featured on Modern Masters.
Hailed by Jean Ashworth Battle as "a genius," Stephen Hatfield is much lauded for his ability to make music a vibrant reflection of life by integrating it with our emotional and physical natures. A dynamic and unconventional speaker, Hatfield mines the music for moments that can appeal to a broad spectrum of listeners and, through stories and examples, illuminates why choral music is important and wonderful.
Krista Lang Blackwood is the founding artistic director of Octarium. Since its inception in 2003, Octarium has become one of the freshest vocal sounds in American choral music. Octarium’s philosophy is more one of chamber musicians than traditional choral singers, exemplifying the concept of "musical synergy," and singing with such combined artistry that phrasing, breath, nuance, and dynamics all happen spontaneously. The eight singers become so connected that they think and sing as one, and the results, as Paul Horsley noted in The Kansas City Star are "breathless unity, polish and meticulously crafted balance."
Modern Masters is an album of choral music chosen by the composers themselves. Composer collaborators include some giants of choral music as Libby Larsen, Morten Lauridsen, Mark Adamo, Eric Whitacre, Steven Stucky, Stephen Hatfield, Daniel Gawthrop, Rene Clausen and Stephen Paulus.
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the performance. Click here or call 816.701.3407 to RSVP. Free parking is available in the Library District Parking Garage at 10th and Baltimore.