The border between popular and new classical music has long been blurred. Glass, Stockhausen and Reich lurk in the background of much electronica and avant-rock, while many contemporary composers owe a debt to ambient or even punk. The upcoming performances of Graham Fitkin and Max Richter offer an opportunity to explore this gray area.
Fitkin receives commissions from orchestras and dance companies all around the world, yet “Kaplan,” a piece for two musicians performed with a video backdrop, could — with a little remixing — be club music. Inspired by the unseen character that propels Alfred Hitchcock’s film “North by Northwest,” Fitkin’s score is compulsively jazzy. Just as the elusive Kaplan sends Hitchcock’s characters around in circles, the composition twists and turns with a gleeful paranoia. Fitkin cites Wire as an influence and “Kaplan” mirrors that band’s skittish rhythms.
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