Nik Bärtsch’s MOBILE
2016-17 MIT Sounding Series
Rigorously conceptual zen-funk
Nik Bärtsch’s MOBILE ensemble made its Boston-area public debut with their 2017 MIT Killian Hall appearance. Bärtsch was joined by the captivating innovations of alt saxophonist and bass/contra bass clarinet virtuoso Sha, the powerful grooves of drummer and longtime collaborator Kaspar Rast, and the rhythmic improvisations of percussionist Nicolas Stocker.
MOBILE’s visit to the Institute was part of MIT Sounding, an innovative annual performance series that blurs the boundaries between contemporary and world music. Curated by Evan Ziporyn, Faculty Director of the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology, the 2016-17 season of MIT Sounding integrates the avant-garde sounds of ancient instruments and traditional practices with cutting-edge composition and technology to present various visions of a new, evolving music that defies genre.
January 5, 2017 / 8:00pm
MIT Killian Hall, 14W-111
160 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA
Swiss composer/pianist Nik Bärtsch’s music seamlessly blends the hypnotic shifting textures of post-minimalism with a precision groove honed in the spirit of James Brown. It has been variously described (by the same respected New York Times music critic) as ‘rigorously conceptual’ and ‘zen-funk.’ Mainly known in the US for his amplified RONIN ensemble, Bärtsch has recently explored a new palette of chamber music-like colors with his acoustic MOBILE ensemble, featured on his critically acclaimed 2016 ECM album Continuum.
“Few musicians have continued to hone a concept as singularly unique and instantly recognizable, irrespective of context, as that being explored by Swiss pianist Nik Bärtsch.” – John Kelman, All About Jazz, April 2016
More at the artist’s website: Nik Bärtsch