For its Home Season 2014-15 the Del Sol String Quartet continues its “Soundings” Project with a series of three unique concerts in January, April and June exploring the interface between new music and visual art. The series will present music by three living composers paired with new artworks commissioned from visual artists working in a variety of media.
On each concert program Del Sol will explore in depth a major piece by a contemporary composer and the commissioned visual artwork inspired by and connected to the music. The three composers are: Pierre Jalbert (b.1967), “String Quartet No. 4” (2008) for Concert 1; Huang Ruo (b. 1976, China), “Calligraffiti” (2009) for Concert 2; and Ken Ueno (b.1970), “Peradam” (2011) for Concert 3. Each concert will include performance and discussion with the audience, musicians, attending composer and commissioned artist, followed by a post-concert reception.
Concert 1 will pair Pierre Jalbert’s music with Kevin B. Chen, a Bay Area artist whose work in drawing, collage and sculpture has been exhibited locally and nationally. The 4-movement work by Jalbert is fast, rhythmic and vibrant, full of instrumental color and shifting dynamics.
Concert 2 will pair Huang Ruo’s music with Kate Rannells, an Oakland-based artist who focuses on a sense of place in mixed media works using paint, wax, and found and natural objects. Huang’s piece was inspired by the ancient calligraphy of his native China and the urban graffiti of New York City, where he moved as a young adult.
Concert 3 will pair Ueno’s music with New York-based visualist and software designer Joshue Ott, who collaborates with musicians to create an immersive, multi-sensory experience through cinematic, visual improvisations performed live and projected in large scale. Ken Ueno’s work was inspired by an allegorical novel about the search upon a mountain for a mythical diamond-like stone–a metaphor for a spiritual quest.
The “Soundings” Project aims to redefine the concert experience to create a deeper sense of involvement in and appreciation of new chamber music by the audience. Like underwater exploration through taking “soundings” to determine the location, depth, and structure of objects below the surface, we hope to enable the audience to listen more deeply and gain insight into the music. The project also reflects Del Sol’s interest in multi-media work–using the interaction with other arts forms to illuminate new music.