Third Angle Tunes Up on Irvington's Porches

Fresh from their New York City debut, Portland's own contemporary music outfit Third Angle is bringing it home—to homes in Northeast Portland's Irvington neighborhood

By Fiona McCann June 24, 2015

Third Angle's Assistant Director and violinist Ron Blessinger at 2014's Porch Music

Fresh from their NYC debut at the Bang a Can Marathon last Sunday, Portland's Third Angle are bringing it home to Portland—to Portland homes, to be precise. The contemporary music group is taking it directly to fans, playing on porches in the leafy Irvington neighborhood on Saturday for some upclose previews of next season's shows. 

Now in its third year, Porch Music is like a contemporary music crawl through the Irvington neighborhood, with five homes being used as intimate venues to showcase Third Angle's upcoming season. The performers stay to play in 15-minute segments, and audience members move through the neighborhood to hear different pieces at every porch, before everyone comes together for the grand finale.

Those with tickets get an intimate musical experience, often seated right on the porch with the performers, or in an intimate outdoor space around one of the homes involved, though passersby may also get to sample the strains as they take their evening strolls or earwig over the hedges.

And Third Angle are fine with that. "It is a gift to Portland," says Executive Director Lisa Volle.

This year's audio treats include a piece for violin and cassette tape, performed by Ron Blessinger (above), 'Clapping Music' by Steve Reich, performed by percussionists Jon Greeney and Chris Whyte,  a two-part medieval polyphony with vocalists Mark and Kerry McCarthy, 'Press Release' by David Lang performed by bassoonist Evan Kuhlmann, and viola player Charles Noble teaming up with poet Sandra Stone for a piece called 'Frozen Smolder' by Jay Derderian.  Each piece from this year's Porch Music also serves as a preview of one of the show's planned for Third Angle's 2015/16 season. And after each session, audience members get to interact with the performers in close and cozy quarters. "We really like it because it provides an intimate access to the musicians," says Volle.

Tickets run at $35, and are available for advance purchase through the Third Angle website. The audience caps at 125, and you'll find a map of the five porches involved below.  

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