"Nerve-wrackingly intricate" – Thomas May reviews Icebreaker VII Feb 19, 2014

by Erin

"Seattle Chamber Players (SCP) just concluded Icebreaker, its biennial two-day festival of new music. This year’s edition, the seventh in their history, was titled open source, with a focus on high-tech music-making.

Artistic director Elena Dubinets — a key figure responsible for the Seattle Symphony’s smart programming — organized a stimulating and provocative program of five compositions spread over two evenings at Seattle’s terrific On the Boards space. SCP’s core members consist of Laura DeLuca (clarinet), David Sabee (cello), Mikhail Shmidt (violin) — all members of the Seattle Symphony — and Paul Taub (flute).

Their ranks were supplemented by a chamber orchestra of fine colleagues, with Alastair Willis conducting for the majority of the two concerts. (The requirements for some of these pieces should count as training for a certification in air traffic control — that’s how nerve-wrackingly intricate they are.)

open source ranged far and wide in terms of ambition, scope, and attitude. There was room for pieces featuring cheeky allusions and playful “rewiring” of musical codes as well as epic-scale updatings of the Gesamtkunstwerk meme and its goal of a total-immersion experience."

–Read the rest of the review at