clyfford still | museum
A man stands on a stool next to a grand piano
Photo credit: Denver Art Museum

Abstract Expressions: A Performance Lecture

Thu, Mar 16, 2023 06:00 - 07:30 PM MDT

Venue : Clyfford Still Museum

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Category: Music + Films, Talks,

6 p.m. Museum will be open
6:30 p.m. Performance lecture begins
Featuring Nathan Hall and the Playground Ensemble

Abstract Expressions is a sound and garden installation envisioned by composer and artist Nathan Hall in collaboration with Kevin Philip Williams, assistant curator and horticulturist at the Denver Botanic Gardens. Join Nathan Hall for an evening of sound exploration and conversation featuring the reimagined terraces at the Clyfford Still Museum. The Playground Ensemble, who promote the music of our time and provide stimulating performances, will accompany Hall’s lecture in unexpected ways.

This program is free for CSM members, $5 for the public, and registration is required to attend in person. Registration will open soon.

About Nathan Hall

A man in a colorful flower shirt and glasses stands in front of a colorful wall
Nathan Hall by Lewis Neef

Nathan uses music as an artistic medium to explore a variety of fields including science, nature, the fine arts, history, and sexuality. There is an emotional resonance present in all of Nathan’s works, from his traditional classical pieces for chamber ensembles to experimental electronic pieces, sound sculptures, and multimedia projects.

Nathan’s drive for making site-specific work is tied to his passions for travel and cultural exchange. Other works are inspired by the composer’s sexuality and experiences as a gay man, creating a special intimacy between performer, place, and audience.

Nathan Hall is a former Fulbright Fellow to Iceland, a McKnight Visiting Composer (2021), and holds his Doctorate in Musical Arts (DMA) from CU Boulder. He holds a BA from Vassar College and MM from Carnegie Mellon. His works have been performed and exhibited in 13 countries and 20 US States by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, Tenth Intervention, GALA Choruses, Playground Ensemble, Decho Ensemble, The Gay/Lesbian Chorus of San Francisco, New Wave Singers, International Orange Chorale San Francisco, Ars Nova Singers, pianist Adam Tendler, a convention of roller coaster enthusiasts, artist Ásdis Sif Gunnardóttir, and porn star Dirk Caber. Nathan has taught music composition and performance media at CU Boulder and is currently an adjunct faculty member in Composition at the University of Denver. He is President of the Board of Playground Ensemble and lives in Denver. Learn more about Hall at

About the Playground Ensemble

Playground Ensemble logo

The Playground Ensemble is the Rocky Mountain Region’s premier new music group. We are professional musicians, composers, educators and fans dedicated to presenting chamber music as a living art form. We promote the music of our time through performance, new music commissions, education, and community outreach. Our goal is to provide stimulating performances, expand common perceptions of both contemporary music and the chamber ensemble, and nurture a community around the music that we love.

In addition to concert seasons that feature the work of recognized composers, we work to cultivate a thriving local composition community of all ages. Collaboration is at the heart of the Playground’s artistic vision, and we commission new works by living composers and perform in support of touring improvisors. We work with dancers, poets, spoken word artists, visual artists, and multimedia artists, finding inspiration across disciplines and exploring new, hybrid artistic forms.

Our efforts have been recognized and supported by numerous regional and national organizations including the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Chamber Music America, The Amphion Foundation, The American Music Center, New Music USA, the Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado, the Singer Foundation and the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.