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Christopher Cerrone Portrait Concert at Columbia's Miller Theatre

Christopher Cerrone has taken inspiration for many of his works from the worlds of literature and poetry; on March 29th, he will see the premiere of a new work entitled "A Natural History of Vacant Lots" that instead draws from the poesis of the urban landscape.

Echoing the etymological root of the term "poesis" (ποίησις)—to bring something into existence that did not exist before—Cerrone's new piece takes inspiration from a 1987 book that surveys the life that emerges from vacant city lots, a cyclical process that unfolds organically and that can create surprising results. As Cerrone told Broadway World, "Though the growth of the material is extremely gradual, the things that emerge from the cycle of chords are sometimes surprising and veer quite far from the original material." This material is heard developing around the audience in a dimly-lit concert hall, emerging from two vibraphones and several loudspeakers into what New York Magazine calls a "dense sonic tangle."

A Natural History of Vacant Lots will be performed by Third Coast Percussion, with whom Cerrrone has worked extensively, and who co-commissioned the work along with Miller Theatre. Third Coast will also perform Cerrone's 2016 Goldbeater's Skin, accompanied by the soprano Rachel Calloway, and his 2012 work Memory Palace, arranged for percussion quartet. Check out the solo version of Memory Palace below. 

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