On Sacred Ground

North America, Asia, Australia, South America

For seventeen years, The Bad Plus have thrived at the intersection of jazz, indie rock and contemporary classical music. On Sacred Ground: Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, is the group’s most ambitious project yet; a multimedia re-imagining of Stravinsky’s iconic work. Co-commissioned by Duke Performances and Lincoln Center, the group’s “ferocious re-scoring” was met with immediate and widespread critical acclaim. Not interested in using “The Rite” as simply as a vehicle for improvisation, the trio engaged in a rigorous study of the original composition before beginning to craft their own interpretation for live performance and their critically acclaimed The Rite of Spring album. As The New York Times describes it, On Sacred Ground “makes few departures from Stravinsky’s score; in most respects it’s an electrifying and remarkably close transcription. There are several hair-raising effects: the bassist Reid Anderson plays pizzicato trills that sound like a transposed balalaika; David King, percussionist, produces high-squeaking hums by stroking slow circles around the surface of his cymbal; and on piano Mr. Iverson isolates separate ideas, sonorities and rhythms in his left and right hands as if he were at least two instrumentalists.” The brilliant transformation proves there are still vital lessons to be learned from the piece that caused a riot at its Paris premiere over 100 years ago.