I/O New Music

I/O Fest – The Form of Space

I/O Fest welcomes all to the Clark Art Institute for an afternoon concert in the Conforti Pavilion.

I/O Fest presents a one-hour program of works that explores space, form, and the physical materials of sound through music for instruments ranging from woodwinds, brass, and strings to drums and everyday objects. With musicians arranged around the pavilion, the audience will be immersed in a living and kinetic world of sound. At the center or the program is Michael Pisaro’s Ricefall (1) for sixteen percussionists, which envelops the listener in a soundscape composed of falling grains of rice. The sound, “like a gentle shower…explores the potentials for the harmonic coloring of noise.” The performers set up on a grid of sixteen squares with the audience interspersed throughout, and gently pour rice on a range of resonant materials. Surrounding the Pisaro are works that explore space and motion, positioning the listener in an ever-shifting acoustic environment. Zosha Di Castri’s La Forma Dello Spazio is inspired by the mobiles of Lee Bontecou and Alexander Calder, and traces sound trajectories around the room through the spatialized ensemble. Matthias Pintscher’s Shining Forth refers to the austere, geometrical work of Barnett Newman with its black lines on untreated canvas. Gérard Grisey’s funereal Stèle opens the program with a bending of time and space through the slides, scrapes, and tolling of drums placed antiphonally in the hall. Join the I/O Ensemble in a sonic exploration of the Conforti Pavilion with music that moves and envelops the audience.

Ricefall video:

Clark links:


About I/O Fest
The I/O Fest is the Williams College Department of Music’s annual immersion in the music of now. Over the course of four days and nights performers and audiences take a deep dive into new and adventurous music from around the world and down the street. Performances, talks, and workshops are held in the ’62 Center for Theatre & Dance and The Clark Art Institute, with a special interest in unconventional spaces and modes of performance. I/O Fest 2018 features composer/performer Kate Soper, in residence for a performance of her landmark chamber opera Here Be Sirens by guest ensemble Fresh Squeezed Opera, and performances by the I/O Ensemble, IOTA, and an array of Williams faculty, students, alumni, and guests.