Chicagoist

Come See Music, Theater, and Some Jacob TV
Alex Hough

Tonight at the Merit School of Music, the 11 young musicians of Fifth House Ensemble will double as actors in the third act of their Commedia dell’Arte concert series. Fifth House presents unconventional concerts, connecting music with seemingly unrelated things (recently they worked with a biology class relating classical compositions to ecosystems). Tonight they combine an old Italian theater form with works by Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern, and…Jacob TV?

Yes, Jacob TV. And the piece, written for piano trio, is called Nivea Hair Care Styling Mousse. Self-professed lover of American culture and media, Jacob TV writes music that combines his formal composition training with his experience as a rock and blues musician. If he errs on one side of that divide, it’s towards the latter, since he feels that modern composers’ emphasis on dissonance has taken the fun out of music.

Which might make him less than pleased to appear on a program with purveyors of atonality such as Schoenberg and Webern, but that’s exactly what Fifth House has in mind. They’ll unite the disparate music styles by using them to tell a story about two young lovers who get c-blocked by some cranky old people.

Quick bit of trivia: Remember the quartet that performed at Obama’s inauguration? The clarinetist, Chicago native Anthony McGill, is a Merit School of Music alum. Merit provides low-cost high-quality music education to children – and obviously with success – so they’re one of those good Chicago institutions.

Read the original story on the Chicagoist website.
Fifth House Ensemble

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