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Pianist Vicki Ray, founder of PianoSpheres and member of the California E.A.R. Unit and Xtet, has been described as fearless, a compliment often bestowed upon virtually any musician brave enough to jump into that daunting arena known as new music. But Ray not only jumped into the arena; she lives there. Long a champion of the genre, she's worked with all the masters, from Boulez, Carter and Ligeti to Subotnik, Knussen, Ades and scores of others. This week she enlivens Redcat with "Vic Ray Electric," an evening of works for piano and electronics that definitely sharpens music's cutting edge. The program includes Peter Ablinger's Voices and Piano, an eerie work in which crashing piano noises echo a disjointed electronic voice that sounds like a bad connection from beyond the grave; South African composer Shaun Naidoo's Credo and Bad Times Coming — written for Ray — in which percussive synthesizer sounds blend with piano to create what Naidoo calls "the juxtaposition of violence and ironic humor"; The Body of Your Dreams, a piece by Jacob ter Veldhuis, a.k.a. JacobTV, whose tonal language has been oddly described as somewhere between John Adams, Arvo Part and Jean Sibelius (huh?); Eric Chasalow's Due Cintamani; Steven Rick's Young American Inventions; Daniel Wohl's Foret Mecanique; and the world premiere of Rand Steiger's awhirl.
Wed., Dec. 10, 8:30 p.m., 2008

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