The jazz quartet Sonic Openings Under Pressure will perform at the Erie Art Museum on Sunday October 29 at 8 p.m. as part of the Museum’s Contemporary Music Series. The performance follows a 7 p.m. “Meet the Composer” session with members of the quartet and also concludes an artist residence at the Museum.

Composer and saxophonist Patrick Brennan has led Sonic Openings Under Pressure since 1979. Brennan has performed throughout North America and in Africa and Europe for over 25 years, traversing a persistently independent musical path. His extended compositions use rhythm and melody to distribute drum language throughout an ensemble. This creates what Brennan calls “an overall groovic resonance,” something he first witnessed in his native Detroit, and which he has since developed into an important characteristic of his own compositions.

The ensemble will also perform compositions by band mate David Pleasant. A native of the Georgia Sea Islands, Pleasant is a virtuoso percussionist, rhythm effects vocalist, avant-garde performance artist, and former Fulbright Scholar. Pleasant’s own innovative understandings of rhythm find their ground in the sophistications of Afro-indigenous juba, hand jive, rapping and shout. Hilliard Greene (bass) and Marlene Rice (violin) round out the ensemble.

Pleasant and Brennan will lead workshops for students on October 24 and 25. The band will work in conjunction with the current Museum exhibit “Outside the Centers/On the Edge,” which features cutting edge and non-traditional artwork, as it presents an inspiring analogy to their compositions.

On Sunday, October 29 at 7 p.m. Brennan and Pleasant will discuss their concept of how, as composers, they transform sound into music and how the audience becomes a collaborator in that process. A concert featuring the full quartet will follow at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 for general admission, $10 for Museum and JazzErie Members and $6 for students and seniors.

This residency is funded in part through grants from the Meet the Composer Foundation, the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

Dennis Weed blogs at Erie Blogs.

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