Last fall, I received an intriguing email: an upcoming exhibition at The Transformer Gallery sought a live string quartet to accompany the visual installations for an upcoming show by Esther Teichmann. Would our ensemble be interested in performing Somewhere I Have Never Travelled, by composer Deirdre Gribbon, written to accompany the exhibition?
Um, in short, YES. We’ve performed in many, many galleries and in many contexts, but never have we been invited to perform as a PART of the art, itself.
After a lovely Skype session with artist Esther Teichmann and a handful of emails exchanged with gallery owner Fred Bidwell, a plan was in place: begin independent ensemble rehearsals in early January, stop in the gallery the week of the opening for a dress rehearsal and fitting of custom-made tunics (pictured below), designed in the palate of Esther’s works, and undertake three performances throughout early 2017.
The first performance, this past Saturday night, was a HUGE success. We looped the piece throughout the evening in various locations in the gallery, experimenting with positioning and ensemble configuration. Esther guided us on where and when to set up each new performance, and our quartet played approximately 8 times in the course of three hours. It was a stunning addition to an already stunning exhibition: painting, photography, written word, film installations, custom-costumes… and music.
OPUS 216 with “Heavy The Sea”:
Ariel Clayton Karas, violin
Leah Latoracca, violin
Patrick Miller, viola
Sophie Benn, cello
Pictures below. Subsequent performances take place on March 4, and April 29 – see http://www.transformerstation.org for details.