IOWA CITY — MusicIC is heading to the dark side of the moon June 20 to 23, as this year’s gaze turns skyward.
Season eight of the festival dubbed “where music and literature meet,” features string quartets from Beethoven, Bartok and Mozart, as well as contemporary works by Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov and American composer Christopher Cerrone.
The final evening concert blurs the lines between classical and pop music with a chamber arrangement of Pink Floyd’s classic LP, “The Dark Side of the Moon.” Local writers will share brief original pieces that touch on the themes in that work at 7:30 p.m. Friday (6/22) at the Englert Theatre, 221 E. Washington St.
Music will be performed by the Solera Quartet, with MusicIC Artistic Director Tricia Park and Miki-Sophia Cloud on violin, Molly Carr on viola and Andrew Janss on cello. Amanda Grimm (viola) and Laura Usiskin (cello) as well as local musicians Minji Kwon (piano) and Eric Douglas (drums). Iowa City native Meagan Brus will be vocalist during the festival.
For the “Dark Side” concert, area writers, including Jan Weismiller (co-owner of Prairie Lights Books) and Nick Twemlow will read original writing on the topics addressed in the original work.
The festival begins Wednesday (6/20) with “Stargazing,” a program of classics from Beethoven and Bartok, as well as Cerrone’s “How to Breathe Underwater,” a work for string quartet and electronics inspired by a character in Jonathan Franzen’s novel, “Freedom.” The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 320 E. College St., and is free.
Events continue on June 21 with “Night Music,” featuring multiple pieces by Brahms and Schoenberg’s “Verklarte Nacht (Transfigured Night) Op. 4,” inspired by poetry of Richard Dehmel at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal and is free.
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The only ticketed event is the June 22 Englert concert, where the Solera Quartet will be joined by drummer Douglas and vocalist Brus to perform an arrangement by Andrew Janss of Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon.”
Accompanying the Pink Floyd performance will be a projection of the filmed light improvisation “Invisible Writing,” by famed ’60s light show pioneers Single Wing Turquoise Bird. Tickets are $10 to $18 at the Englert Box Office, (319) 688-2653 or Englert.org
The festival closes June 23, with a free family concert at 10:30 a.m. at the Iowa City Public Library, 123 S. Linn St. The Solera Quartet will play, interspersed with students from the Iowa Youth Writing Project reading work inspired by the music and the festival’s themes.
The festival is presented by the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature organization.