© 2024 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

New Music Circle’s concert will have you questioning what you know about music

New Music Circle board members Alex Cunningham and Josh Levi are both experimental musicians.
Avery Lea Rogers
St. Louis Public Radio
New Music Circle board members Alex Cunningham and Josh Levi are both experimental musicians.

Sometimes you will hear the occasional cash register or police siren in mainstream music. They emphasize certain themes within otherwise predictable arrangements. In experimental music, however, unusual sounds are often the focus of the composition.

“Experimental music is the catch-all umbrella term for various genres and styles … that are pushing against the boundaries of what can be considered music,” said New Music Circle board member Alex Cunningham.

Since its founding in 1959, New Music Circle has been an integral part of the worldwide experimental music scene, calling prominent musicians to play the Gateway City for more than 64 years.

This Saturday, New Music Circle welcomes two experimental music acts: solo artist Madalyn Merkey and duo Jack Callahan and Jeff Witscher.

Callahan said he and Witscher will perform “speech-based music that uses the sonic palette of the contemporary” with only two microphones onstage. “It is almost like an Instagram, TikTok, meme sound collage,” Callahan added.

In a very different style of experimental music, Merkey describes her pieces as “lush synthetic environments.”

Saturday’s show will exemplify the breadth of contemporary experimental music and how artists are exploring the potential, and sometimes unconventional, uses of technology to make music.

Related Event
What: Madalyn Merkey and Jack Callahan for New Music Circle — (Get tickets)
When: 8 p.m. Feb. 18 (Doors open at 7 p.m.)
Where: The Schlafly Tap Room (2100 Locust St., St. Louis, MO 63103)

Catch a preview of what you’d hear at the concert this weekend by listening to St. Louis on the Air on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or by clicking the play button below.

Alex Cunningham and Josh Levi join St. Louis on the Air.

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is produced by Miya Norfleet, Emily Woodbury, Danny Wicentowski, Elaine Cha and Alex Heuer. Avery Rogers is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr. Send questions and comments about this story to talk@stlpr.org

Stay Connected
Avery is the Production Assistant for "St. Louis On The Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.