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A brush with Britt: Orchestra performances return wild and free

Britt Festival Orchestra's first-announced performances will be free of charge and nestled among the Jacksonville Woodlands Trails in late July.

Posted: Jun 7, 2021 12:33 PM
Updated: Jun 7, 2021 5:38 PM

JACKSONVILLE, Ore. — The Britt Festival Orchestra announced its first set of 2021 performances on Monday, but these particular showings will be a departure from the usual fare. 

Brush: Music in the Woodlands is the project of Pulitzer Prize-winning musician and composer Caroline Shaw and BFO music director Teddy Abrams. From July 30 through August 2, six free performances will be set on the Jacksonville Woodlands Trail system.

Audience members will be invited to walk along the trails above the Britt Pavilion, encountering groups of musicians spread out along the path.

“It points toward the idea of experiencing a brief encounter with something new and unexpected ('a brush with...'), and thinking about musical textures and ideas as brushstrokes, and of course the image of the brush in the woodlands,” said Shaw.

The performances are free, but donations will be accepted. Britt said that the intent is to five back to the community after a year that saw the Almeda Fire and COVID-19 pandemic transfigure life in southern Oregon.

"We’ve always been dreaming about a successor to the Crater Lake Project, another piece that brings music together with nature,” said music director and conductor Teddy Abrams. “Given that Britt’s venue is immediately next to these beautiful Woodlands Trails in Jacksonville, it seems only natural that we would connect these two elements together. Caroline is the perfect person to imagine this music. She has such a creative mind and spirit of wonder that lend themselves well to developing this kind of experience.”

Shaw was a Composer/Conductor Fellow in 2019. Though she is a recognized composer for a variety of pieces, this is Shaw's first work created for a site-specific outdoor performance.

"Ultimately, I want the piece to be about how we listen and how we pay attention to the world around us, and if you give the world just a little bit more of a moment, you’ll notice something you wouldn’t have noticed before," said Shaw.

Audience members will need to register in advance so that Britt can minimize environmental impacts and help traffic flow. Registration will open on June 25 when the rest of the 2021 BFO season is announced.

Performance dates and times:

  • Friday, July 30, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 31, 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 31, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, August 1, 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, August 1, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
  • Monday, August 2, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

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