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Global Rhythms VI: Time Out Preview
Mia Clark

“It’s meant to be a peacock of rhythm,” explains Lane Alexander, Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s cofounder and director. “As many different perspectives as we can fit into four concerts.” The feathers in this sixth Global Rhythms showcase include urban beats, Japanese taiko drumming, stepping and ancient French melodies.

Four bold acts represent Alexander’s desired diversity in rhythmic expression: CHRP’s own tap-dancing crew, BAM!; Fulcrum Point New Music Project; local street rhythm kings Be the Groove; and medieval Gallic vocal troupe Diabolus in Musica. “Forms emerge from chaos,” Alexander says. “Be the Groove provides the perfect counterpoint to Diabolus; one is 13th century, the other totally 21st century.”

Fulcrum Point musicians Jeff Handley and Tina Laughlin again team up with David Lang’s “Anvil Chorus,” a highlight of the group’s Motown Metal concert in October. Lang has said he wanted to write a piece that reminded the listener “that people have always banged on things as a result of their professions.”

Diabolus in Musica, an ensemble from Tours, France, sings works from the canon of female trouvères, poet-composers who wrote in the northern dialects of France. Among the 250 well-known trouvères, only eight women minstrels penned lyrics accompanied by melodies.

Alexander sees little difference among Global Rhythms’ assembled arts. “A lot of contemporary tap dancers really think of themselves more as percussionists,” he says. “Some of us drum with our hands, some do it with our feet.”