Critic’s Choice

Tue Apr 04, 2017 at 5:35 pm
Photo: Lovis Ostenrik

Photo: Lovis Ostenrik

Composer Phil Kline is likely most well known for three things: his Christmastime boom box parade piece, Unsilent Night, his searing Vietnam War cycle, Zippo Songs, and his show on WQXR’s Q2 web radio station.

Kline has a substantial body of work to his credit, and appears to be in the midst of a long-term purple patch. Along with his boom box works and his rock-based use  of electric guitar, Kline has made energetic, attractive, and spiky music for chamber ensembles, written extensively for the voice—including a Latin Mass setting and a Frank Sinatra-style chamber song cycle—and is currently creating two music dramas, I Am Joan Crawford and Tesla.

This Wednesday, Roulette is presenting “Not OK” a generous look at recent, new, and in-progress music from Kline, part of the venues Curated by Meredith Monk series. This will likely be the most concentrated look at Kline’s work one can experience. The concert will bring together a broad range of disparate performers, including pianist Kathleen Supové, filmmaker (and guitarist) Jim Jarmusch, and Kline’s daughter Clementine, appearing as a singer. On the program are three world premieres, an excerpt from his new Drone Diary, Not OK, and a cycle of songs from the Joan Crawford opera, Vienna’s Place.

Phil Kline: Not OK takes place 8 p.m. Wednesday at Roulette.

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