Critic’s Choice

Tue Feb 16, 2016 at 6:08 pm
Alvin Lucier

Alvin Lucier

The predominant pleasure in experiencing classical music is that of the satisfaction of expectations. One knows how that piano sonata goes, and relishes how a recording or performance meshes with memory.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Fulfilling expectations is how music works all over the world. That includes the amorphous “indie-classical” movement, which is built on the premise of meshing the satisfactions of pop music with forms and structures of post-minimal compositions.

For those who enjoy the pleasures of the unexpected, there should be a double-dose of surprises Wednesday night at Merkin Concert Hall, when the Ecstatic Music Festival presents the unprecedented juxtaposition of the great experimental composer Alvin Lucier and the indie-pop band Yo La Tengo

Lucier’s career is built on exploring the unknown quality, finding out just what happens when one of his pieces is performed, and Yo La Tengo themselves have constantly upended the expectations their music has created. Each will be bringing in new music, the band will honor the composer and play some of its own vast repertoire, and likely nothing will happen as one would expect.

Yo La Tengo and Alvin Lucier appear in the Ecstatic Music Festival 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Merkin Concert Hall.

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