PICK: Musicircus at University of Richmond, Saturday, April 9

The Musicircus is a unique, free, semi-synergistic/semi-cacophonous sonic event which takes place this Saturday afternoon at the University of Richmond’s Westhampton Green Commons.

The rules, devised by iconoclastic 20th century composer John Cage, are simple. Musicians from a wide range of genres gather in a defined space and play for exactly one hour. It is a floating event, organized on an almost annual basis by drummer Brian Jones.

This is the first time that it is happening outside, with provisions to move into Booker Hall if the weather, currently predicted to be partly cloudy and springlike, takes a turn for the worse.

The event draws in a crowd of Richmond’s most interesting musicians, usually in unfamiliar combinations. The individual performances are often charming, sometimes bracingly experimental. It’s easy to get attached to a single performance, but the real fun is at the margins, where the sound of a modern percussion ensemble bleeds into a folk song overlaid with Indonesian gamelan music with a tinge of saxophone improvisation.

For a solid hour, worlds collide. And, if there is energy left over, Curt Sydnor’s CD release party with an allstar band hits Gallery5 at 8 pm.

Musicircus takes place at Westhampton Green from 3 to 4 p.m. Free. In the event of rain, it moves to Booker Hall.

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