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Classical 101

"Restless" At The Short North Stage, This Wednesday Only

Jeffrey Bishop's album artwork
Artist Jeffrey Bishop captures the jagged harmonies and grid-like conversation between cello and piano on Ashley Bathgate and Karl Larson's newly released album, "Restless," featuring the music of Ken Thomson.

There's only one place in town to catch Bang on a Can All-Stars cellist Ashley Bathgate and innovative pianist Karl Larson: The Short North Stage, courtesy of The Johnstone Fund for New Music. 

Don't miss "restless."

The Program

This week's concert features a program unlike anything else in Columbus. Ken Thomson's restless (2014) and Philip Glass's Closing (1981) stand out as favorites for me, but there is really a great deal of 21st Century music history represented on this program: 

  • Galina Ustvolskaya--Grand Duet (1959)
  • Reiko Fueting--Kaddish: The Art of Losing (2008)
  • Ken Thomson--restless (2014)
  • Philip Glass--Closing from "Glassworks" (1981)

The People

The main feature of this event, however great the program is, has got to be the musicians themselves.

I spoke with the duo briefly via video-chat on Friday and they were in the midst of rehearsing and getting ready to leave for their Mid-West tour with much anticipation... and no hot water in Karl's apartment. It was a great conversation that reinforced what I love about so many musicians, New Music specialists particularly; their sense of humor and affinity for bringing human-ness to the stage. 

Karl Larson is no new-comer to Short North Stage, but his diverse ensembles and repertoire keep his perspective on the piano fresh and broad-minded. Karl's most recent appearance at SNS with Bearthoven was an absolute hit and a season highlight for fans of New Music in Columbus. His piano technique is flawless, but his energy is anything but pedagogical monotony. 

Likewise, Ashley Bathgate is a powerhouse string player with the attention to performance that makes her both vulnerable and powerful onstage. 

Check out this great interview with Ashley where she talks about growing up with rodeo-performing parents and her musical inspirations:


The Album

Of course, what is a tour without an album release? 

Check out Karl and Ashley's newly-released album, available on vinyl (!!!), Restless by Ken Thomson with a solo piano B-side.