Event Description

At a time when the environment is more threatened than ever with pollution and our life-giving waterways at risk, Fifth House Ensemble traces the life cycle of water from its metaphorical descent from the heavens as rain, to its long journey in streams and rivers informed by conservation experts and ecologists. Featuring a new commission by Fresh Inc Festival alumnus Patrick O’Malley driven by ecological data from Friends of the Chicago River, 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, this program asks what it would mean to return to a sacred conception in which humans are a part of nature rather than beings standing outside of its impact. Accompanying the final piece on the concert are videos designed by Simon Tarr about the endangered wetlands.

During the 2019-2020 season, Fifth House Ensemble will co-create public performances, events, and educational programs with its organizational partners on the project, including Friends of the Chicago River, the American Indian Center, Wild Mile, Chicago Wilderness, the Sierra Club, and the Center for Neighborhood Technology.


John Luther Adams, arr. Alex Goodin — The Wind in High Places
I. Above Sunset Pass
Brent Michael Davids — In Wisconsin Woods
Mason Bates — Red River – movement 1, 4, and 5
Shawn Okpebholo — Fractured Water
Patrick O’Malley — Rivers Empyrean
Dan Visconti — Low Country Haze

This performance is supported by Sweetwater.

2430 North Cannon Drive
Chicago, IL 60614
United States
(773) 755-5100