Friday , July 21 2017
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Photo by Linderman Photography




FEARnoMUSIC has a simple mission: to bring formally composed instrumental music back in style. Too often seen as “classical” or academic, this music can actually be just as brand new and vibrant as the latest radio hits. Can it be as popular? It’s getting there, thanks to efforts like fEARnoMUSIC.

Founded by pianist Jeff Payne and percussionist Joel Bluestone in 1992, the group straddled Portland and Seattle before settling down here. Their signature concerts in bars, rather than more formal halls, offered their audience an accessible first listen to brand-new compositions presented by Northwest artists—with a drink in hand and casual conversation between songs.

Now in their 25th season, fEARnoMUSIC plans to double down on their commitment to local composers. In the fall, they’ll celebrate Bluestone’s music career, and in the spring, they’ll have Ryan Francis guest curate a show. In between, their Young Composers project will continue to hook the next generation on music creation; their third installment of Locally Sourced Sounds will incorporate local indie rock, folk, jazz, metal, and experimental music; and their collaboration with Cascade Composers will present new works by Cuban composers to Portland audiences.

“What about music is left to fear?” they ask. The question is rhetorical, but the answer is, “Nothing!” .

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ARTSLANDIA APPLAUDS: the 25-year milestone for a Northwest group that keeps new music performance accessibly low key.