The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The acclaimed New Music group Clocks in Motion will give two world premieres by composers with Madison ties this Friday night at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. Plus, tonight at 7:30 the UW Masters Singers give a FREE performance of Haydn’s “Lord Nelson” Mass.

December 9, 2013
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ALERT REMINDER: Tonight, Monday, Dec, 9, the UW Master Singers, under conductors Adam Kluck and Brian Gurley, will perform a FREE concert of Franz Joseph Haydn‘s “Lord Nelson” Mass at 7:30 p.m. in Mills Hall. The singers will be accompanied by a pick-up orchestra. Like other late masses of Haydn, it is a great work that deserves to be performed and heard more often.

By Jacob Stockinger

On this Friday, the critically acclaimed New Music group Clocks in Motion (below) will present a “New Discoveries” program with two world premieres.

clocks in motion in concert

The concert is at 7:30 p.m. on Friday in the DeLuca Forum (below top) of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery (below bottom) at 330 North Orchard Street, across from Union South on the UW-Madison campus, in Madison, Wisconsin.

SEW Forum room


General admission is $15; $10 for students with a current University of Wisconsin ID.

Tickets are available in advance at

“Allhallows,” a new work by Madison composer John Jeffrey Gibbens (below, in a  photo by Milt Leidman) features two unique instruments built by Clocks in Motion: the quarimba, an unconventionally tuned marimba allowing for a 24-note scale, and the galvitone, a set of meticulously tuned steel pipes.

Clocks in Motion John Jefffey Gibbens cr MiltLeidman

The second world premiere, Percussion Duo, by Tom Lang (below), is a virtuosic work for one pianist and one percussionist playing marimba and vibraphone simultaneously in a “stacked” arrangement.   Lang, a UW-Madison graduate now living in Minneapolis, creates sophisticated and intertwining rhythms and pitches in this piece, resulting in a dynamic interplay between the musicians.

Thomas Lang

The program will close with Iannis Xenakis’ powerful composition, Persephassa by the famous 20tyh century composer Iannos Xenakis (below).  This work features 6 percussionists surrounding the audience with an array of drums, gongs, siren whistles, tam-tams, cymbals, wooden bars, and metal slabs.  The resulting three-dimensional antiphonal effect makes for an unmatched live experience.

Iannis Xenakis

Hailed as “nothing short of remarkable” (, Clocks in Motion is a group that performs new music, builds rare instruments, and breaks down the boundaries of the traditional concert program.  Formed in 2011, the ensemble is currently in residence at the University of Wisconsin School of Music. You can hear them in the video at the bottom, one of a dozen that the group has posted on YouTube.

The individual members (below) of Clocks in Motion’s unique skill sets and specialties contain an impressive mix of musical styles including, rock, jazz, contemporary classical music, orchestral percussion, marching percussion, and world music styles.  Among its many recent engagements, the group served as resident performers and educators at the Interlochen Arts Academy, Rhapsody Arts Center, University of Michigan, Baldwin-Wallace University, and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.

Clocks in Motion outside

You may also recall the unusual rave review the group received on this blog from critic and musician Mikko Utevsky when Clocks in Motion last performed. Here is a link:

For more information, including advance ticket sales, repertoire, upcoming events, biographies, and media, visit

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