The music of Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson cast a pall over (le) Poisson Rouge last night, where Jóhannsson performed live piano and electronics while accompanied by the string quartet from the American Contemporary Music Ensemble. For most of the set, Jóhannsson's music was relentlessly sad, like the soundtrack to a breakup or other departing. The one exception was towards the end of the set, when Jóhannsson's electronic drone rose to a deafening roar, drowning out both strings and piano; it was filled with fury, as frightening a moment as it was thrilling.
Opening was the charming and eclectic composer Angélica Negrón and her new project, “Los Objetos Maravillosos,” in which she explores ambient soundscapes using both electronics and tiny objects she's collected over the years. The bells, chimes, and shells hung on the stage each seemed to have their own rich history, which Negrón played with reverence of ritual.
More pics below and on the photo page.