Southern Exposure New Music Series: Trinity Cathedral Chamber Singers

  “O sacrum convivium” measures 30x30 and is Acrylic on Canvas. by Roger Hutchison

Messiaen had the ability to transcribe sounds into colors (synesthesia) in their inner imagination and goes to great length describing these colors in his scores where appropriate:  “I too see colors- if only in my mind - colors corresponding to sound. I try to incorporate this in my work, to pass on to the listener. It's all very mobile. You've got to feel sound moving. Sounds are high, low, fast, slow etc. My colors do the same thing, they move in the same way. Like rainbows shifting from one hue to the next.” -- the artist, Roger Hutchison


Southern Exposure’s first concert of 2014 features one of the Southeast’s finest choirs, the Trinity Cathedral Chamber Singers, directed by Jared Johnson, Trinity’s music director and organ professor at the University of South Carolina.

The Trinity Cathedral Choir regularly tours throughout Europe, including performances at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, and the Canterbury and Gloucester Cathedrals in England. The Trinity Chamber Singers, a select group of 12-14 singers, have created a program that will plumb the depths of innovative choral music, both a capella and accompanied by the organ, from the 20th and 21st centuries. Works by the famed “holy minimalists” Arvo Pärt and John Tavener will highlight a mystical, mercurial program that includes fresh-sounding works both (comparatively) old – by quirky American composer William Albright, British master Benjamin Britten, and French icon Olivier Messiaen – and new, by some of today’s brightest stars, including Steven Stucky, Zachary Wadsworth, Daniel Kellogg, John Fitz Rogers, Gabriel Jackson and Jonathan Dove.

(arrive early for this popular series as seats fill to capacity)

Featured performers:

Trinity Cathedral Chamber Singers

Directed by Jared Johnson

With organist Christopher Jacobson

 USC School of Music Recital Hall (813 Assembly Street, 2nd floor- next to Koger Center for the Arts) February 22, 7:30 p.m.; Free

Artist Exposure: The Artist Exposure initiative is made possible by collaboration between Southern Exposure and local arts organization Pocket Productions.  Each concert features a local visual artist and their work on selected concerts throughout the series, making meaningful connections between visual arts and music and supporting Columbia's local arts scene. The featured gallery artist for this concert is Roger Hutchison, a Columbia-based painter and writer who also works at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.


Southern Exposure Website:


Trinity Cathedral Choir website:

Jasper's Two Cents on TwoSense


TwoSense Live

The Southern Exposure New Music Series kicks off its 2013-2014 concert season on Friday, October 11, with a 7:30 PM concert featuring the cello/piano duo TwoSense. A lineage of performances tracing its route through Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Barbican, and Bang on a Can All-Stars, cellist Ashley Bathgate and pianist Lisa Moore will perform a concert of new and contemporary works by composers Martin Bresnick and Kate Moore, and two premieres of works by Jack Perla and Paul Dresher. The program spans from mercurial, angular pieces to jazz and world-music-inspired eclecticisms, all to be revealed by a duo of performers with wildly positive critical acclaim.

Before the evening’s concert, TwoSense will give a variety of talks and masterclasses, including a discussion of commissioning and performing new works from 1:10-2:00 PM in the USC School of Music Recital Hall (as a composer, I approve this message), and the composer Martin Bresnick will be giving a masterclass and composition talk from 2:30-4 PM, also in the USC School of Music Recital Hall. In addition, area artist Adrian Rhodes will have visual artwork on display in the gallery at the USC School of Music prior to the main event.

The concert and the events are part of the Opera-Tunity Foundation’s Celebration of Women Artists. All events are open to the public and free.

-Tom Dempster

Southern Exposure New Music Series: Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians

  Steve Reich

One of the most compelling parts of Columbia’s arts scene is the Southern Exposure New Music Series, a series of FREE concerts put on by the nonprofit each year that explore contemporary classical and world compositions as well as some of the masterworks of the 20th century. The shows are often standing room only affairs, largely because of the depth and quality of the performances, which have a reputation for being wildly eclectic and stunning in equal measure.

If you’ve never been, consider going this weekend to a performance of Steve Reich’s seminal Music for 18 Musicians. Reich is perhaps the definitive composer of the second half of the 20th century, and this is his most famous piece—a gorgeous work of pulsating musical minimalism that builds (and contracts) ever-so-slowly as melodies and harmonies are gradually added to create a mesmerizing, hypnotic effect that is best experience live. The 18 musicians comes from the fact that the piece requires at a minimum four pianists, six percussionists, four female singers, two clarinetists, a violinist, and a cellist—parts which will be ably handled by 18 of USC’s most talented students in the School of Music (many of whom will be also be tackling more than one instrument in the course of the performance). Directing the work is USC piano professor Phillip Bush (who is also performing—the composition is traditionally performed without a conductor), who has played the piece numerous times around the world with Reich himself. Bush will also be giving a short talk before each performance.

Here’s  a complete performance available on YouTube (you really have to see it live though):


And, in the tradition of the increasingly collaborative arts scene we have in Columbia, local painter Blake Morgan will have his paintings on exhibit in the gallery for both performances. His involvement is sponsored by Pocket Productions!

A note on composer: Reich’s music always feels like waves upon waves of sound to me—while the careful the listener can note the subtle, ceaseless shifts in rhythm, melody, and harmony, there is something visceral about the listening experience as well, that hits you in the gut. That’s likely the reason Reich’s music has enjoyed such popularity outside of traditional contemporary music circles as well. While his compositions are usually debuted in the finest concert halls at this point (a stark contrast from his earlier years, when his work was shunned by the elites), Reich still gets an audience outside of those confines, even at rock festivals. Check out this video, where Reich and Bang On A Can’s Dave Cossin perform to whopping audience at the rock-centered Bloc festival in east London.

The series will be giving two performances of Music for 18 Musicians: on Friday and Saturday, April 12-13, 7:30pm, at the USC School of Music Recital Hall, 813 Assembly Street (next to the Koger Center), 2nd Floor. Admission, as always, is free.


K. Petersen, Jasper Music Editor

Correction: The original post incorrectly stated that Blake Morgan would be painting live during the performance. He will not be.

Playing After Dark -- This Friday and Saturday Nights

Neither cartoons, puppets, video games, nor music sound all too foreign.  Unless you’ve been living under a rather sizable rock (or had the misfortune of attending an artistically disinclined South Carolina public school), you’ve undoubtedly encountered each of these creative media before.  But chances are you haven’t encountered them together as a single, collaborative event.

This Friday and Saturday, Pocket Productions affords you the opportunity to do so.  Since 2009, this local arts organization has been expanding the public’s definition of art by exposing Columbia to innovative examples of interdisciplinary artistic cooperation.  Their “Playing After Dark” series, in particular, has introduced audiences to visual, musical, performing, and even culinary arts.

This weekend’s installment of Playing After Dark (titled “1001”) revolves around the unique collaboration between digital and analog art.  It will feature the following performances: Dre and Sammy Lopez of Piensa Art Company will present a combination of digital and analog drawings; Lyon Hill (puppetmaker and puppeteer with the Columbia Marionette Theatre) and Wade Sellers (commercial producer/director and owner of Coal Powered Filmworks) will perform a marionette/cartoon act; Professor Fripples (brilliant young programmer David Hamiter) will show off an audio controlled video game that runs alongside a puppet show; and DJ Deft Key (Entropy Studios’ producer, sound engineer, multi-instrumentalist, and remix artist) and singer/songwriter Bob Benjamin will perform a fusion of digital and acoustic music.

Playing After Dark “1001” begins at 7 pm this Friday and Saturday at CMFA Arts Space (914 Pulaski).  Tickets are available for $10 in advance (online at, $12 at the door, or $8 with membership.  In addition to the one free drink with admission, fine IPAs, stouts, Merlot, Syraz, and hors d’oeuvre will be available.  The event may also feature a “puppet” boiled peanut stand courtesy of Happiness Bomb (a diverse group of artists, musicians, designers, programmers, and, of course, puppeteers).

For more information about Pocket Productions, check them out on Twitter ( and Facebook (


-- Austin Blaze - intern, Jasper Magazine



Share Your Old Cola Photos & Stories to Win Tickets to Playing After Dark Jan. 27

Pocket Productions is at it again

bringing Columbia a sixth issue of Playing After Dark on Friday, Jan. 27 at the Columbia Music Festival Association downtown and we want you there!

That's why we're offering a chance at FREE tickets.

Submit your photos or stories of Columbia from the past, no later that 1980, to Photos and stories submitted will be displayed at the show. Everyone who submits a photo or story will be entered into a drawing to win free tickets. The deadline to submit is just a few days away -- Wednesday, Jan. 25.

Like past Playing After Dark galas, “Storytellers” will expose audiences to unique, unsuspecting art forms - in this case, the art of storytelling. Paddy Dover will perform original music to guide the audience along a journey through Columbia’s soulful past. Local mixed-media artist Lisa Gray will display her latest work in the gallery as the featured artist. Coal Powered Filmworks Producer and Director Wade Sellers will also allow us access to his personal collection of WWII Veteran footage for a preview of his series on ETV as well as some stories on camera.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at or at the door. The event will be held at CMFA, 914 Pulaski Street, Columbia, SC 29201. Doors open at 7 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided. This event is open to the public.