"Serious Business" Album Release Party (Mayne Stage)

  • Mayne Stage 1328 West Morse Avenue Chicago, IL, 60626 United States

OMG do we have a dazzler of an album for you. Serious Business was recorded at Sono Luminus in rural Virginia this summer, and we are stoked at how this tempting tangle of captivating, humor-infused tracks came to life under the mics. For the release party, we’ll be dishing you selections from the tracklist, live, from one of our favorite comedy clubs in the city, the cocktail-slinging cabaret, Mayne Stage.

What's on the album? Well...

Comprised almost exclusively of tonal cadences, Sky Macklay’s Many Many Cadences from 2014 sends the quartet plummeting from the upper reaches of their instruments, cycling at cutthroat speeds, before warping into a fevered variant of itself.

Equal parts punk rock and classical virtuosity, David Reminick’s 2014 The Ancestral Mousetrap requires the quartet to sing while traversing taut, complex counterpoint. The macabre, absurdist, and often profound poetry of Russell Edson provides the libretto for this one-of-a-kind work.

Chris Fisher-Lochhead’s Hack, written in 2015, takes painstaking transcriptions of bits from famous stand-up comedians (including Sarah Silverman, Dave Chappelle, George Carlin, Robin Williams, Rodney Dangerfield, Kumail Nanjiani, Richard Pryor, and many more) as the piece’s launch point, and mines the nonverbal elements of humor: cadence, pitch, and timing. The staggering score is by turns rapturous, heady, and hyperkinetic.

The Spektral Quartet has yet to experience a performance of Josef Haydn’s “The Joke” in which the audience doesn’t laugh at the piece’s fake-out conclusion. Brimming with whimsy, radiant string writing, and memorable melodies, “The Joke”, from 1781, stands as the historic counterbalance to the abundance of new commissions on Serious Business.

We'll have copies of Serious Business at the show, but you can help us promote the album by pre-ordering at Amazon.