Live Music

Classical Music in the Dark

A performance in pitch-black darkness may prove to reveal more than a show that’s well lit.

Have you ever curled up on your bed with the lights out, listening to your favorite song on your headphones? The folks at the avant-garde music venue National Sawdust hope to capture that sublime sense of immersion at an upcoming concert from a standout classical music troupe, the New York–based JACK Quartet.

JACK is a group of four young and exceptionally talented classically trained musicians (the name is a mnemonic of the first letter of each of their names: John Pickford Richards, Austin Wulliman, Christopher Otto, and Jay Campbell) whose adrenaline-filled playing breathes new life into the work of traditional composers, making it accessible and exciting for new audiences. For their winter solstice show at Sawdust, they’ll be taking on the music of Georg Friedrich Haas, a contemporary Austrian artist. And they’ll be doing so entirely in the dark.

The no-lights performance is not just a gimmick; Haas always intended his “String Quartet No. 9” to be performed in darkness. With no sensory stimulation besides the sound, getting completely lost in the music is even easier. Unlike when you listen on your headphones, though, this musical immersion should be a transporting communal experience.

Why You Should Go: To celebrate the first night of winter in otherworldly fashion.

JACK Quartet: Haas U.S. Premiere
National Sawdust, 80 North 6th Street, Williamsburg
Thursday, December 21
7 p.m.
$29; $34 at the door

Don’t be left out of the dark. We can plan the perfect night to celebrate the winter solstice.