Collaboration in the key of C

Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration. I know… you’ve seen it all over our website, our blog, our facebook. Yadda yadda yadda, right? It’s one of those hot words that everyone puts in their mission statement, program descriptions, and grant applications. Want to know a secret? Collaboration is really tough, forces you out of your comfort zone(s), and can be exhausting. But the fact of the matter is that reaching outside of the normal parameters of work is the only way to continuously be learning, growing, and adapting.

Every rehearsal is a collaboration of sorts for us. In chamber music, without a clear leader, we have to articulate our artistic ideas, be open to experimentation with things that might be uncomfortable, and eventually, settle on a solution that is agreeable to all. We work hard to make sure that the answer isn’t the lowest common denominator, but rather, the highest artistic ideal we can muster.

Those same habits guide how we work with others, and right now, we have a flurry of projects that are interesting and new for us! Thought it might be fun to give you some insight as to what we’re up to.

In C benefitting New Music Chicago at the MCA – this Saturday at 10pm
New Music Chicago is a fantastic collective of music groups within the city, and represents what makes our culture so vibrant and exciting. Founded in 2004, NMC produces calendars advertising New Music events, sponsors best practices meetings where ensemble can exchange ideas and experiences, and occasionally special event concerts.

This Saturday night, following a terrific concert by Chicago’s own eighth blackbird, nearly 50 performers from the NMC community will gather on stage to perform Terry Riley’s landmark work of 1964, In C. This hypnotic, minimalist work is a thrill to hear live, and its open-ended size and instrumentation mean that every single performance is unique.

Six of us from 5HE (Melissa, Crystal, Jenny, Clark, Herine, and me) will be playing in this piece, and it will be a lot of fun! We’re excited to work with our colleagues from other ensembles, and to prepare this great piece which will also be a part of fresh inc this summer. Sharing the stage in this makeshift orchestra is going to be fun!

Tickets to the event are available here, and cost $15/$10 for gen admission/students. If you were at the 8bb show before (like I will be), just $10/$5. Come and see the show!

Inertia – Be Moved By The Unknown
One really cool project we were involved in last week was recording the score to a short film, Inertia. We were approached about this in December, but it took a number of months for us to find space in our schedule. We may have had an inside connection to the film (the score was written by 5HE intern Chris Dageforde), but we were excited for the experience. Last Wednesday, Drew, Clark, Herine and I hunkered down to make it happen.

It was our first time as an ensemble working with click track, recording short cues, and having a pretty tight time frame in which to do it. It was an intense morning of recording, but we loved being back at the WBEZ studios. The equipment is great, and I get the particularly nerdy thrill of running into NPR personalities in the hall. That’s right… I’m exactly that geeky. I know what people on the radio look like, and I get giddy when I see them.

Anyway, Inertia was directed by Wade Rogers, and will be making its premiere next month. Follow our blog for more updates on its release! You can also check out Inertia on facebook here.

So that’s what we’ve been up to lately. Oh yeah, and we have a new show, #iwitness, in production opening in a month, reprises of #this rocks this month and next, and a special collaborative show that our wind quintet will play at U of Illinois – Springfield. We’ve got just a few things going on right now… So that’s my cue to close wordpress and head back to google docs. There is paperwork to be done!!!

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