Critic’s Choice

March 31, 2015 at 5:51 pm

By David Wright

Pierluigi Billone

Vienna-based composer Pierluigi Billone is an exacting experimentalist who typically works with musicians who have spent years learning the radical playing techniques he has invented for their instruments.  The goal is to create a ritual of never-before-heard sounds that transports the listener into another world.  The musical results, it is reported, are electrifying.

But, as they say in the scientific world, are they reproducible?  Boston University’s Center for New Music decided to find out.  Possibly with a good word from Billone’s composition teacher Salvatore Sciarrino, who was the CNM’s first composer-in-residence in 2012, the center coaxed Billone out of his European comfort zone for a three-week residency in Boston, introducing student musicians and local performers to his challenging art.

In the closing concert of that residency on Wednesday night, percussionist Mike Williams will perform Billone’s Mani.Matta and conductor Jeffrey Means will lead his new-music “sinfonietta” Sound Icon in the composer’s ensemble piece Verticale Muto.  The concert will begin with radicalOtherness by Onur Dülger, winner of the Boston University/Sound Icon competition for composers.  If you’re looking for the “shock of the new” in Boston this week, Wednesday night at BU would be a good bet.

The program will be performed 8 p.m. Wednesday at Boston University’s Tsai Performance Center, 685 Commonwealth Avenue.  Admission is free. bu.edu/cfa/research/research-centers/boston-university-center-for-new-music; 617-353-3350.

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