Summer breaks from regular obligations allowed a broadly-talented local troupe of top-tier musicians time to compose new works, re-arrange beloved compositions and ready themselves to introduce Columbia and the Midlands to a brand new cultural experience. Eclectica Ensemble makes its debut Thursday, September 14, at a fundraiser dinner theatre event at 300 Senate Street in Columbia.
Musicians who are part of this new cultural initiative expressed excitement about the potential to introduce the capital city to a new way of experiencing music.
Two of Lexington’s most distinguished musicians, Richard Maltz and James Ackley, are among the seasoned professionals comprising the region’s new interdisciplinary performance group.
Maltz composed some of the music to be part of the ensemble’s public introduction, “Adding pieces of film and bursts of dance confront the audiences’ senses in fresh new ways, said Maltz, a music professor at the University of South Carolina-Aiken.
“The addition of Eclectica Ensemble to the Midlands’ cultural landscape adds fresh possibilities.” Maltz said conceiving new music, as he has for Eclectica Ensemble’s inaugural performance, is a longer process than rescoring or re-arranging work already written.
As an example of how various cultural mediums will work together in the ensemble, Maltz composed a short polka that will be presented with clips of film.
Achley said, “We are going to take our audience on a journey, presenting aspects of world music – some of the new compositions are inspired by old music, so they will have a familiar sound.”
Achley, who teaches trumpet at USC’s main campus and performs internationally, said: “Being part of this ensemble allows me to explore music with my colleagues.”
He noted the musicians investing in this experimental art form “all perform at a very high level.”
One of those colleagues is Dick Goodwin, who performs in a variety of venues throughout the Midlands and beyond.
“The ensemble’s founder and artistic director Suzanne Pavlovsky had a get-acquainted session back in the spring and, based on our response and agreement, our premier performance will be ‘a dinner theatre to ignite the senses,’’’ Goodwin said.
He added, “Alas, I will be on assignment, but should be well represented by a performance of my “Dessau Dances,” a tribute to an old German dance hall in Texas.”
Goodwin also arranged for Eclectica’s 15 talented performers’ premiere “Arturo Márquez’s sensuous “Danzón No. 2.”
He said the Márquez piece is one that will be accompanied by film.
In addition to these three, other musicians in the ensemble are: Sonia Jacobsen, David Cutler, Ryan Fox, Scott Herring, Cyndi Williams, Isabel Ong, Neal Postma, Zachary Bond, Catherine Hazan, Sarah Wright, Jeremy Culler, Robyn Doherty, Kenneth Pruitt, and Coleman Krieremeyer.
Find Eclectica Ensemble on Facebook.com.