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Wild Up Offers More Experiments in Darkness Sounding

January 12, 2021

The musicians of Wild Up are updating a signature project. Last winter, the new-music collective hosted a concert series, under the name Darkness Sounding, that encouraged a kind of community introspection. Performances were “mindful” and took place at unconventional venues around the Los Angeles area, from the Philosophical Research Society to Joshua Tree.

Now, in an era of social distancing, isolation has taken on new meaning. Wild Up is revisiting the Darkness Sounding concept this month and next, with music that experiments with the moment. Some performances are streaming, some are in person, and a handful are something in between.

On Jan. 17, pianist Richard Valitutto streams an all-day recital, starting at sunrise and ending at sunset; long, quiet 20th- and 21st-century works are on the program. The “darkest days of the year” theme continues with a world-premiere piece from string player and composer Andrew McIntosh, available online but only at specific times — 6 in the morning and 5 in the evening (Pacific) on Jan. 22, 23, and 24. Audiences anywhere can tune in to these performances, shared through Wild Up’s Patreon page.

The singers are getting creative for their part of Darkness Sounding. Vocalist and composer Holland Andrews has conceived a kind of one-on-one performance that takes place over the phone. And in person, Odeya Nini is offering something similarly intimate, a piece called I see you, which she performs outside the listener’s house.

Wild Up is coordinating more L.A.-specific events for the adventurous. Quick Response Shows will be available in locations around the city in January and February. The idea: you find a QR code at a scheduled site and, scanning it with your phone, get access to a recording. The series also finds its way back to Joshua Tree this year, with a guided audio hike through the national park, featuring work by composer Archie Carey.

Find the complete schedule of Darkness Sounding performances here. A subscription to Wild Up on Patreon, starting at $5 a month, functions as a sort of ticket: you will see all of the Darkness Sounding offerings and can sign up for individual and in-person events there, too.

Peter Feher is an editor at SFCV. He can be reached at [email protected].