The Living Frobius Octet - an unholy combination of the Living Earth Show, Mobius Trio, and Friction Quartet - capped off the Hot Air New Music Festival with a fantastic, beer-fueled show at the Hotel Utah Saloon, which has to be the tinest venue in the world to still have a balcony. The concert featured works by Adrian Knight, Brendon Randall-Myers, Aaron Jay Kernis, Danny Clay, and Nick Benavides.
The high point of the show for me was Brendon Randall-Myers' Sherlock Horse: Horse Detective for string quartet and drumset. I've written about Randall-Myers' and his math-rock band Grains for NewMusicBox and had heard this piece several months ago in Berkeley, but the version performed at the Hotel Utah was extensvely revised. The original version was intense without letup - Randall-Myers' called it "monolithic" - but in the revised version he added some contracting sections as well as reoccuring motifs in the violins that offer a break from the more gnarly stretches and serve as reference points in the overall structure of the work.
The Friction Quartet and drummer Andrew Meyerson tore into this complex music with startling ease and really just played the crap out of it. Sherlock Horse: Horse Detective a very cool piece and Randall-Myers has a unique musical voice. Check out his music here.