Last Thursday, we pulled Verdi's String Quartet out of the pile of quartet parts in our respective studios and rehearsed it for the first time in over two months. But, this was no normal quartet session hidden away in one of our living rooms, we intended to do work on the slow movement in front of a small audience. Our goal was to get them immersed in our process, and have them learn about the way we do work.
We had first tried this concept at the Scrag Mountain Music Festival in December and were eager to try some of its possibilities out in the Music Institute of Chicago's lovely Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston. So, we decided it would be great to have our inquisitive board member Natalie Bontumasi on hand as the non-performer moderator. We also invited the inimitable Hans Jensen to provide his deep brand of thinking into the musical ideas and string playing issues at hand. Both are pictured here:
Mathias Tacke, a former member the venerable Vermeer Quartet, was also on hand providing thoughtful and provocative comments:
While we learned from what our mentors had to offer, we also picked up new thoughts from our audience's insights and questions as well.
We even got in a few laughs.
We'll definitely be doing this again, in many subtly different forms, in the hopes that exposing the inner workings of what we do can provide new sources of inspiration for both the audience and ourselves.