Modulus Festival Sept 27 – 30

Calder Quartet

The Calder Quartet play the Modulus Festival Sept 27-30. Photo courtesy of Modulus Festival.

Fans of adventurous music in the city will get to see another side of a member of one of  Canada’s most successful bands at the Modulus Festival. Not only that, but he’ll help mount a musical event featuring 15 people riding glowing bikes and playing boomboxes.

The show is a free one on the last day of the four-day festival, which is a showcase for post-classical and new music. Among the guest musicians is Richard Reed Parry, of Montreal’s Grammy-winning Arcade Fire.

Parry will perform a few of his pieces over the four-day festival, as well as oversee his work Drones/Revelations (at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre). It features 15 cyclists on bikes circling a darkened room. Each cyclist carries their own boom box filled with Parry’s score.

The serious-minded Modulus isn’t all glowing bike wheels, of course. Here’s a brief rundown of what else to expect during Modulus, presented by Music on Main. (For a full list of events, visit the Modulus Festival website.)

Modulus Opening night, Thursday Sept 27 (Heritage Hall) – In their Vancouver debut, Los Angeles’ Calder Quartet performs Parry’s DuetQuartet and Sextet. The evening also includes three world premieres, two by British legend Michael Finnissy and one from Music on Main’s new Composer In Residence, Jocelyn Morlock. The concert closes with Olivier Messiaen’s Visions de L’Amen, a rarely heard masterpiece for two pianos.

Richard Reed Parry

Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire is a guest at this year’s Modulus Festival. Photo courtesy Modulus Festival.

Modulus Friday Night, Sept 28 (Heritage Hall) – The Calder Quartet, who have also been known to play with indie-rock band The National, returns for a second night at the 2012 Modules Festival. This time the quartet performs an evening of music featuring a Canadian premiere from New York composer Andy Akiho, Henryk Górecki’s Quasi una fantasia (String Quartet No.2) and Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No. 6 in F Minor.

Modulus Saturdan Night/One Night Stand: Kaija Saariaho (Heritage Hall) – The Music on Main All-Star Band performs a full evening of works by the Finnish-born, Paris-based composer Kaija Saariaho. Her music is described on the Modulus Festival site as “both tantalizingly seductive and intellectually stimulating.” You’ll hear iconic music like Sept Papillons for solo cello and Lonh for voice and electronics with seldom-heard works that give us insight into one of today’s great composers.

Each individual concert (except for the free Sunday afternoon performance) is $35 regular admission/$15 for students.  A Festival Pass ($99/$49) gives you access to all five Modulus Festival concerts. Tickets are available online at Tickets Tonight or by phone at 604.879.9888.

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