Modern Orchesta blooms with Rose

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Keith Powers
May 19, 2007

Gil Rose and his Boston Modern Orchestra Project are nothing if not adventurous, playing all sorts of new music and bringing classical music to pubs and bars.

Tonight they take that spirit even further by performing Anthony De Ritis' Devolution: A Concerto for DJ and Orchestra featuring DJ Spooky the Subliminal Kid; Steven Mackey's Dreamhouse featuring electric guitars and vocalists; and the world premiere of Evan Ziporyn's Hard Drive. The program, at Sanders Theatre, is part of the Celebrity Series Boston Marquee performances.

"I give DJ Spooky some of the orchestration," composer De Ritis said, "and some of the moods, cues for him to come in and go out, and one big cadenza. But the decisions he makes really inform the piece."

Based in part on Ravel's Bolero and a movement of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, "Devolution," De Ritis said, "is a cool wash of acoustic and electronic music. There are some things that are definitely fixed, and others that are improvised. I gave the DJ lots of space."

Mackey's hour-long Dreamhouse intersperses rock and classical music. It features four guitars, four-part harmonies from the Synergy Vocals group, and tenor soloist Rinde Eckert, whom Boston audiences may remember from Mackey's opera Ravenshead, a one-man show that Eckert pulled off as a tour-de-force at Boston Conservatory in 2001.

"I don't think what I do is mixing rock or classical," Mackey said. "It's simply how I imagine music should go."