Chamber Cartel – Pléïades

This evening, in the back-room of Orpheus Brewing, Chamber Cartel presented us with an hour of sonic grace in the form of a fantastic performance of Xenakis’ piece for six percussionists, “Pléïades.” The slightly different kit for each of the six percussionists were arranged in a very large V that encompassed two rows of audience seats in the same shape except for one short row at each end that was perpendicular to the V, like dimples on a smile. I had the good fortune to sit at the tip of the audience’s V, such that I had two performers in front of me, two to the side, and two behind, absorbing me in a dramatic 6.0 surround sound experience. Each of the four movements of the work has different instrumentation and Xenakis suggested two different orders for the movements. The Cartel played a reversal of the first suggested order: Peaux (skins), Claviers (keyboards), Métaux (metals), and Mélanges (mixtures). Unlike the previous concerts in this series, the price of admission didn’t include tickets for beer tasting but they did include earplugs, which were absolutely necessary.
Continue reading