Now in the second week of its 25th annual summer musical festival, Salt Bay Chamberfest is this year presenting five evening concerts at Darrows Barn—one more than in past seasons. The season also features two special free outdoor concerts that celebrate Maine and its landscape by bringing together Native American musicians from the region in musical conversation with Salt Bay Chamberfest’s more “classically” minded musicians.
On Thursday, Aug. 8 at 6 p.m. at Beech Hill Preserve in Rockport, flutist Claire Chase, a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, is joined by flutist, composer, and instrument-maker Hawk Henries, a member of the Chaubunagungamaug band of Nipmuck, a people indigenous to what is now southern New England. The free concert, entitled “The Spirit of the Flute: A Cultural Dialogue,” is also part of Coastal Mountains Land Trust’s popular Arts on the Hill summer series.
The second free outdoor concert, “Rhythms and Songs of Our Earth,” takes place on Sunday, Aug. 11 at 3 p.m. on the grounds of Round Top Farm in Damariscotta. Four SBC percussionists will be joined by the Burnurwurbskek Singers, a drumming and singing ensemble of men representing many of Maine’s Wabanaki people. Traditional northeast woodland songs as well as contemporary intertribal songs will be performed alongside a work by the composer and environmentalist John Luther Adams: Three Drum Quartets from Earth and Great Weather.
Two additional free events for the community include Claire Chase’s solo performance of Marcos Balter’s “Pan” in Rockland’s Strand Theatre, and an OffTopic! lecture/demo with percussionist Eduardo Leandro at the Lincoln Home in Newcastle.
Salt Bay Chamberfest’s third and fourth festival concerts at Darrows Barn at Round Top Farm will take place on Friday, Aug. 9, and Tuesday, Aug. 13, both beginning at 7:30 p.m. The August 9 concert is all about mythology and the uncomfortable questions it makes us ask. It will include Pan by Marcos Balter, featuring Ms. Chase, an ensemble of community volunteers, and live electronics; and soprano Hyunah Yu and pianist Thomas Sauer performing a series of songs by Claude Debussy (Chansons de Bilits and Syrinx), Barbara Strozzi (“Che si può fare”), and Richard Strauss (“O mein Leukippos” from Daphne).
The Aug. 13 concert examines nature as metaphor through a piece featuring percussion and cello in an elegy by Chinese composer Tan Dun (Snow in June), and a series of songs by Shostakovich (Seven Romances on Poems by Alexander Blok); also featuring works by Giorgio Battistelli (Orazi e Curiazi). The performers are Hyunah Yu, soprano; Jennifer Frautschi, violin; Wilhelmina Smith, cello; Ignat Solzhenitsyn, piano; and Tim Feeney, Ayano Kataoka, Eduardo Leandro, and Doug Perkins on percussion.