Chicago-based Dal Niente pops up in new LA music series called Poolhouse – Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles debut of the provocative Chicago collective Ensemble Dal Niente on Thursday night came courtesy of a new music curatorial dream team, composer Ted Hearne and violinist Anna Bulbrook, who have begun a pop-up series called Poolhouse.

Hearne is the composer of the Chelsea Manning opera, “The Source,” recently mounted by Los Angeles Opera, as well as half of the pop duo R We Who R We. The classically trained Bulbrook is a rock star, a member of the popular and literate rock band the Airborne Toxic Event.

New music in L.A. is already hopping, open-minded and in no need of defining. Still, Poolhouse looks to be a uniquely hip yet brainy building of new bridges. It popped up Dal Niente, appropriately enough, at USC’s Brain and Creativity Institute. The institute’s intimate, cave-like Cammilleri Hall gave the impression of the inside of a brain. It had good acoustics and seemed a perfect fit for Dal Niente.

Dal Niente, which is part of a lively new music scene in Chicago unjustly lacking the national attention given Brooklyn and L.A., takes its intellectual inspiration from the post-World War II European avant-garde that went out of fashion in the U.S. with the advent of Minimalism and now the pop-infused post-Minimalism hallmark of the Brooklyn sound. The ensemble has further earned its European avant-gardist stripes by being featured at ground zero of the movement, the International Summer Courses in Darmstadt, Germany, where Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen held forth in the 1950s. “Dal Niente” is the name of a clarinet piece by the current German dean of the movement, Helmut Lachenmann.

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