The full premiere of "The End of It" by composer John Eaton, 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, and features texts from Dante's Paradiso and the poetry of John Donne, Karen Swenson and Frederick Borsch.
The program, at Performance Hall, Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th Street Chicago, IL will also feature music by Lee Hyla, Ralph Shapey, Shulamit Ran, and Huck Hodge.
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.
On October 18th, Eaton gave an hour-long presentation on The End of It, during the University of Chicago’s Humanities Day. The new song cycle employs 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.