Old Town School of Folk Music concert series will feature leading Chicago based contemporary classical chamber music ensemble eighth blackbird, in the program “Still in Motion” at 8 p.m., Friday, April 24, 2015. The concert will take place at the school’s Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall, 4544 N Lincoln Ave Chicago, IL.  

Bryce Dessner’s “Murder Ballades” is the foundation of this unique program. Dessner (of the band The National) has commissioned a composition surrounding the ‘murder ballad’; “a European tradition, in which grisly details of bloody homicides are recounted through song.”  Exploring tales of romantically-charged killings, early folk songs, and the Civil War era murder ballad/fiddle tune, the six musicians of eighth blackbird will commit themselves to the depths of the seductive music and violent stories of these murder ballads. The show features an exclusive collection of music composed by Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry, indie-folk artist Bon Iver and steel-pan virtuoso Andy Akiho.

eighth blackbird combines the finesse of a string quartet, the energy of a rock band and the audacity of a storefront theater company. The Chicago-based, three-time Grammy Award-winning “super musicians” (LA Times) entertain and provoke audiences across the country and around the world. In addition to longstanding relationships as Ensemble in Residence at the University of Richmond and University of Chicago, eighth blackbird is also in its third year of a three-year, Mellon Foundation-funded term as Ensemble in Residence at Philadelphia’s prestigious Curtis Institute of Music. The ensembl’s members hail from America’s Great Lakes, Keystone, Golden and Bay states, and Australia’s Sunshine State. The name “eighth blackbird” derives from the eighth stanza of Wallace Steven’s evocative poem Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (1917). Highlights of their 2014-15 season include debuts at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival in New York, Interlochen, and in Hawaii and Turkey, as well as returns to the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, and Chicago appearances at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Advance tickets to the concert are $25 for the general public, $23 for Old Town School Members and are available at www.oldtownschool.org/ or by calling 773.728.6000.

Members of the Grammy winning contemporary chamber music ensemble, eighth blackbird (photo by Luke Ratray).

eighth blackbird to Make their Old Town School Debut with "Still in Motion"