Entertainment & Arts

Critic’s Pick: Dog Star Orchestra ready to roam

Lower Grand
Lower Grand Avenue will be the site for a concert presented by Dog Star Orchestra on Monday.
(Mark Swed / Los Angeles Times)

While big bands at the Music Center and elsewhere are wrapping up their 2013-14 seasons, the frisky Dog Star Orchestra is back to noisily nip at their heels.

Formed a decade ago at CalArts to perform classic avant-garde works requiring large forces but ignored by traditional ensembles as well as keep up with cutting-edge youngsters, Dog Star has also been putting on messily exceptional June festivals around town since 2005.

Each of this year’s 15 concerts, beginning Friday and running through June 14, has its own curator and some their own locals. The wulf, a loft space devoted to new music in downtown arts district, is now the ad hoc headquarters and will be the site of several programs. CalArts outdoor venue, the Wild Beast, will house the Dogs for two programs. Most concerts are free.

But be prepared to wander byways and alleyways. Todd Lerew will be performing a piece for road flares in the Pacific Palisades on Saturday. Monday night Brendan Carn will “semi-conduct” an event on Lower Grand Avenue, the tunnel off Kosciuszko Way that leads to underground parking at Walt Disney Concert Hall and Colburn School. Trombone, drums, electric guitar and electronics will wail Wednesday in the alley behind Full House Seafood on Hill Street in Chinatown. Other concerts take place in private houses, one providing a lawn for an outdoor orchestra of toys in Mount Washington.


Two formal programs require tickets. Tuesday night Curve Line Space in Pasadena will be host the Icelandic composer collective SLATUR. On June 8 at Automata, a gallery on Chung King Court, the Southland Ensemble will explore early instrumental and vocal pieces by Robert Ashley, the pioneering American opera composer who died this spring.

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