by Robert Leeper
The no longer new, new music revolution taking place within the Mostly Mozart Festival continued Tuesday night with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) performing three works by the enterprising Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir. It was a study in delivering not just a concert, but an experience.
The second of three ICE performances in the Park Avenue Armory’s Board of Officers Room, it continued a thread of programming that, while not necessarily site specific, leaves you with the distinct feeling it could not have been performed anywhere else. At points, flickering bulbs illuminated the intimate - if austere - Officers Room. Acoustic and electronic sounds came from all corners, collided majestically in the center, and proceeded to resonate smoothly throughout the space.
Shades of Silence, the first piece on the program, began not in the Officers Room, but in the hallway outside the sliding doors. The work, scored for violin, viola, cello, and harpsichord, was a compendium of distant rattles and rustles each one exploring the farthest possibilities of the instruments. The harpsichord, used mostly as a percussion instrument, emerged as the focal point.