The concert featured three such pieces.
Kaija Saariaho, one of the best Finnish composers in the post-Rautavaara generation, was represented with her exhilarating "New Gates." Baker had to play her flute with breathy tones that gradually gained vibrancy while Myers created raspy viola sounds, as if playing with a velvet chisel instead of a bow. Wadden drew rustling sounds from the harp before providing a persistent underlying beat at the close as the music faded to silence.
Janus played the first two movements of Jason Treuting's "Pluck, Bow, Blow." "Pluck" included Baker trading her flute for a banjo joining Wadden and Myers in unison on a vaguely Japanese-sounding melody that was flecked with little asides by harp and viola.
"Bow" featured a little melodic phrase from the viola, to which Myers added more rhythmic subdivisions to give it a gathering energy, while Baker and Wadden played notes on the harp with violin bows. It gave the harp an odd sound, vaguely like a cello, but the harp was nearly inaudible against the viola.
Paul Lansky's five movements from "Book of Memory" ranged from dissonantly tonal, in "Antique Cadences," to sounding like Ravel filtered through Copland in the dancing sounds of "Bransle." "Lied" had Baker playing the alto flute with dark warmth and ended with a striking combination of flute and harp in low octaves while Myers etched a melody in harmonics high above.
Myers played a long melody in the final "Lament" while flute and harp chirped along in quiet support.
Each movement was framed by hushed interludes that included the performers singing in whispers while playing hand percussion such as woodblocks and little bells.
The concert opened with pianist Jacob Bumgarner, a junior at South Charleston High School, making a fine account of Brahms' Rhapsody in G Minor, Op. 79, No. 2.