It seems that almost every major city these days has its own left-of-center new-music ensemble, determined to give the ol' classical music a fresh profile. This ionarts post on Steve Reich alerted me to the existence of the wonderfully named, DC-based Great Noise Ensemble, which is giving a Reich concert on October 7. And an e-mail from Brede Rørstad led me to the Music Population Project, an Oregonian chamber group that gives free concerts in non-traditional venues. Brede also sent along a link to 9 Beet Stretch, a stretched-out, twenty-four-hour-long version of Beethoven's Ninth. It's remarkably soothing.