Brushwood Center presents Fifth House Ensemble outdoor concert

Performance traces the life cycle of water; youth art exhibition also opening

RIVERWOODS – Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods welcomes Fifth House Ensemble’s performance of “River Empyrean,” an outdoor concert at 2 p.m. Sept. 19.

At a time when the environment is threatened by pollution and waterways are at risk, Fifth House Ensemble traces the life cycle of water from its descent from the sky as rain to its journey in streams and rivers.

The concert is taking place in conjunction with the opening of Brushwood Center’s newest exhibition showcasing youth artwork, “Our Future: Youth Perspectives on the Environment.”

Featuring a new commission by Fresh Inc Festival alumnus Patrick O’Malley driven by ecological data from Friends of the Chicago River and a new commission by Shawn Okpebholo that celebrates water as a precious resource by transforming it into a musical instrument alongside music inspired by First Peoples, the program asks what it would mean to return to a conception in which humans are part of nature rather than beings standing outside of its impact. After the performance, the audience is free to join members of Fifth House Ensemble on a deep listening walk to navigate the sounds of the natural world.

“Rivers Empyrean” and its related residency and partnership programs have been made possible with support from Chamber Music America through its residency endowment fund; New Music USA; annual program support and/or endowment gifts from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, the Fidelity Foundation, the Rogers & Hammerstein Foundation and anonymous donors; and a grant from the Paul R. Judy Center for Innovation and Research at the Eastman School of Music.

Registration is required for the concert. Tickets are $20 for Brushwood Center members and Riverwoods residents and $30 for nonmembers. The concert is free for children 14 and younger who are accompanied by a ticket-holding adult.