Present Music
Press Release

Present Music’s “Future Folk Machine” Concert Feb. 17 and Feb. 18 Offers Futuristic Takes on Folk Music, Poems, Dance Forms in Wide Variety of New Music

Show features guest artists soprano Ariadne Greif and modified-banjo player Paul Metzger, piece by renowned Korean composer Unsuk Chin

By - Jan 11th, 2023 10:04 am

MILWAUKEE, WIS. (Jan. 11, 2023) – Leading new music ensemble Present Music will perform “Future Folk Machine,” a bold program of imagined paths for the future of folk, in-person at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17 and Feb. 18 at the Jan Serr Studio, 2163 N Prospect Ave, with a live-stream option on Feb. 18.

“In an evening of encounters with an almost impossibly wide variety of music, this concert carves an audacious path for the future of folk,” Present Music Artistic Co-Director David Bloom said.

Highlights of the seven-piece program include:

  • Performances by soprano Ariadne Greif, who is active internationally as an opera singer and recitalist and in the Baroque, traditional and contemporary music scenes.
  • An improvisation by visiting instrumentalist Paul Metzger on a homemade 23-string banjo. Avant-folk artist Metzger, whose range of expression runs from traditional roots to rapturous flights of avant-garde fancy, has transfixed audiences worldwide with his unique vision.
  • A major work by featured composer Unsuk Chin, whose large-scale theatrical works garner much attention. Present Music will perform Gougalon, a high-octane work for large ensemble bursting with color and sporting an immense battery of percussion instruments taking up half the stage.
  • “Love Story,” by Italian concert organist and composer Francesco Filidei, scored for 7 musicians, each playing a roll of toilet paper; the work explores all the sonic possibilities of the quotidian bathroom tissue.

“Many of the works on this program are futuristic reimaginings of poems, dance forms or musical instruments with strong folk elements,” Segnitz said. “Taking a cue from iconic folk artists like Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, who famously had messages emblazoned on their guitar and banjo, this program is Present Music’s “machine” – a true happening, bringing folk to the future with a gathering of some of the finest contemporary music specialists in the country.”

In-person and live-streaming tickets for the shows are available at https://www.presentmusic.org/events.

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Present Music’s “Future Folk Machine” Concert Feb. 17 and Feb. 18 Offers Futuristic Takes on Folk Music, Poems, Dance Forms in Wide Variety of New Music

Show features guest artists soprano Ariadne Greif and modified-banjo player Paul Metzger, piece by renowned Korean composer Unsuk Chin

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