On October 18th, composer John Eaton will be giving an hour-long presentation on his recent song cycle, The End of It, during the University of Chicago’s Humanities Day, and will be playing excerpts from recordings of his earlier song cycles.
The full premiere of "The End of It" will be Jan. 24, 2015 by the Contempo Ensemble, which consists of two amazing groups: Eighth Blackbird and the Pacifica Quartet, to which the composer has added the harpist, Alison Attar, and soprano Sharon Harms. The composition was commissioned in celebration of the University of Chicago's Contemporary Chamber Players 50th anniversary.
John Eaton will discuss his piece “The End of It,” commissioned by Contempo for their 50th-anniversary performance. This multimedia presentation, including excerpts from four previous song cycles and and a DVD excerpt from an opera, will point toward the new song cycle and will discuss the use of microtonal and new vocal and instrumental techniques. The poems that inspired and are set in “The End of It” move from the terror of confronting the end of life in some of John Donne and Karen Swenson to the ecstatic end of Dante's Paradiso, with a poem of Frederick Borsch serving as a transition.
Dedicated exclusively to the performance of new music, the University of Chicago’s Contempo—formerly known as the Contemporary Chamber Players— is one of the most successful new music groups in the nation. Now in its 49th season, Contempo has earned an enviable reputation for outstanding performances of music by living composers.