Classical Brass Blast

ChamberLab VIII: Brass and Percussion

8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 28

The Rialto Theatre 318 E. Congress St.


Before the time of electric drops by DJs like Steve Aoki or mind-melting guitar solos from Jimi Hendrix, beautiful angelic harmonies were created by simply blowing through a knotted brass tube.

"You've never heard a sound like this. You've never felt a sound like this," said Chris Black, a composer and founder and director of ChamberLab. "You get a bunch of brass instruments in a concrete room and it's a marvelous thing. You can feel it, the booming of the bass."

ChamberLab started as a collection of artists from different bands who all really liked classical music. Then they decided to start writing their own chamber music and have other musicians perform it, which led to the creation of Tucson's first alt-classical concert series.

"We're now writing for the brass and percussion, the loud guys," Black said. The Rialto Theatre will be full of classical harmonies, with the sounds of trumpets, trombones and tubas reverberating off the concrete floors and the walls of the historic theater.

The orchestra will be arranged in front of the stage and surrounded by seats. Guests are encouraged to get a drink from the bar and roam the venue to fully experience the ways the echoes and sounds work with the room.

Black will be accompanied by an all-star cast of local composers and musicians with decorated backgrounds in performing and composing.

As in the days when greats like Johann Sebastian Bach and Mozart performed, no sound system will be on hand to amplify the music or clean up the sound of the instruments.

Tickets are $10 and are available the day of the show at the Rialto box office.

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