Stage animals as well as outstanding chamber players, eighth blackbird perform with a freedom almost unheard of in their technically demanding repertoire.
—The Sunday Telegraph
eighth blackbird combines the virtuosity of a string quartet with the energy of a storefront theater company. This three-time Grammy-winning “superensemble” brings a very special program to the MCA, full to the brim with rambunctious characters, strange locales and wicked grins. If Tom Johnson’s Counting Duets is Sesame Street on acid, then new arrangements of Ligeti’s Études are Chopin Gone Wild. Steve Mackey provides a moving portrait of loneliness and delusion in his Grammy-winning Slide, while Australian composer Brett Dean fills Old Kings in Exile with hallucinatory dreams and threatening night-terrors. Last Exit, by eighth blackbird flutist Tim Munro, evokes the dark shadows of his hometown of Brisbane, Australia, and Gabriella Smith is an original, talented and compelling new voice in American composition.
eighth blackbird and MCA Chicago are presenting the program Still in Motion rather than the previously announced Heart and Breath (including Colombine’s Paradise Theatre). Due to a knee injury of an ensemble member and the theatrical demands of Colombine’s Paradise Theatre, that program is replaced and may be presented in a future season.
The blackbirds are examples of a new breed of super-musicians.