Written in 1970, Black Angels is a visceral, at times shocking, exploration of the spiritual disquiet pervading American culture during the Vietnam War. This vivid outburst of music-theater stretches the possibilities of sound to their limit and leaves audiences speechless in its wake, yet talking about its implications for months afterward.
Black Angels is an American masterwork, employing amplification, auxiliary percussion instruments, myriad extended performance techniques, and spoken text, to which we have developed immersive lighting and staging. Spektral Quartet places this work in the context of classic and modern composers engaging with war and societal problems or in a conversation between American composers. In 2012, the quartet curated a concert event titled Theater of War which included video art, drama, poetry and music to highlight contemporary art’s reaction to the impact of war on our world. TimeOut Chicago named it the top chamber music performance of the year.