Using the innovations of both modern stagecraft and club production, Mercury Soul re-imagines the classical music experience for a broad audience in extraordinary spaces, from clubs to warehouses to concert halls. This fluid evening of electronica and classical music is curated by composer/DJ Mason Bates, conductor Benjamin Shwartz, and director Anne Patterson. Collaborations with the Chicago Symphony, the New World Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony have brought crowds of 1000+ people to experience this unique and exciting event. Each show is completely redesigned for the space and the ensemble. Forget flipping through an endless program book in the restrictive seating of a concert hall. The audience is given the same freedom to roam as at a rock show, with the program notes projected onto the walls alongside neon and aluminum art installations. In between DJ sets, classical performers appear scattered around the space, performing music from Mozart to Ligeti to Reich. Along with slowly shifting lighting, groovy electro-acoustic interludes fusing classical ensembles and DJing guide the crowd from one musical space to another.
The Age of Anxiety
This multimedia concert focuses on works inspired by Auden’s great poem, Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2 The Age of Anxiety, and Alexander Polzin’s series of paintings with the same name. Alexander Polzin’s series of paintings, 99 in total, respond to particular moments of insight and beauty in the poem. In this concert, slides of Polzin’s paintings are projected along with brief passages from Auden in between works on the program.