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OpenICE: In Plain Air Preview at Christ Church Neighborhood House Theater

  • Christ Church Neighborhood House Theater 20 North American Street Philadelphia, PA, 19106 United States (map)

The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) presents a free preview performance of In Plain Air, a program of original compositions by Phyllis Chen and Nathan Davis to inaugurate Christ Church’s custom 3,000-pipe organ. An evening informed by, but away from, the organ—the performance will be in the Neighborhood House theater—featured work includes compositions inspired by the bells in Christ Church’s iconic tower and the experience of watching C.B. Fisk organ builders assemble and voice the instrument during the composers’ fifteen-month residency.

Learn from Chen and Davis about the process of exploring the sound-making possibilities of the church’s organ, bells, and open spaces. Experience a chorus of pipe whistles, custom instruments based on the wood pipes in church’s organ. And hear the Christ Church bells as you never have: played by hand with the sound captured inside the tower.

Presented in partnership with FringeArts as part of the 2018 Fringe Festival, premiere performances of In Plain Air will be on September 22 and 23.


  • Nathan Davis - Cipher | for baritone saxophone and electronics
  • Phyllis Chen - When Breath Becomes Air | for organ whistle ensemble, from In Plain Air
  • Nathan Davis - Inside Voice | for ensemble and electronics, from In Plain Air
  • Additional works to be curated by Phyllis Chen, Nathan Davis, Ryan Muncy, and the artists of International Contemporary Ensemble

Major support for In Plain Air has been provided to Christ Church Preservation Trust by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation and Arthur Judson Foundation.


OpenICE is made possible by the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, Booth Ferris Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, A.N. and Pearl G. Barnett Family Foundation, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, Amphion Foundation, Pacific Harmony Foundation, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, Casement Fund, BMI Foundation, as well as public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council for the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. Yamaha Artist Services New York is the exclusive piano provider for ICE.