Performances: In Plain Air

Philadelphia, PA
Sept. 22-23
Event Title
In Plain Air
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Event Location
Christ Church
20 N American St
Philadelphia, PA 19148
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Event Details
A 3,000-pipe organ, centuries-old bells as they are heard in the belfry, an orchestra of pipe whistles, community-built music boxes: the sounds of In Plain Air carry the audience through the campus and history of one of the nation’s most historic sites.

As Christ Church installed its C.B. Fisk pipe organ—the latest in a 300-year history of grand church organs within the space—it invited members of the acclaimed International Contemporary Ensemble to inaugurate the new instrument with a program of original compositions. Composers Phyllis Chen (known for her work with hand-wound music boxes and toy pianos) and Nathan Davis (a percussionist fascinated by the mechanics of instruments) immersed themselves in the sound-making possibilities of the church’s organ, bells, and open spaces, as well as the history and public role of the venerable institution.

The resulting multi-movement program unites the church’s historic bell tolls, the majesty of the intricately constructed organ, and the Ensemble’s characteristic focus on place and community into a one-of-a-kind sonic experience—a worthy welcome to an instrument that will continue to ring in the ears of visitors for the next 300 years.

Presented in partnership with FringeArts as part of the 2018 Fringe Festival, FREE world premiere performances of In Plain Air will be on September 22 (1:00, 3:30, 6:00) and September 23 (3:30, 6:00).

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Abigail Guay