Between now and Christmas we are excited to be presenting four world premieres; three as part of the Listenpony concert series, and one at the Royal Academy of Arts in their In Tune with Abstract Expressionism event.
With the Listenpony concert coming up next week we have been spending a lot of time learning the three new works by Emre Sihan Kaleli, Erica Telisnor, and William Marsey. All three works have been commissioned for the quartet by the Listenpony concert series and written specifically for us. Playing new music is always a fantastic experience for the quartet as it draws upon a different skill set to playing standard repertoire. The music comes to each of us without any preconceived notions of how it should sound; there are no other artists' interpretations to compare and contrast with, and no history of performance practice behind the work. As an ensemble it enables you to experiment with the works in a completely free way, and discovering and unwrapping the music is often great fun and really rewarding.
One of the advantages of playing new works is having the composers there to talk to, which really help with the whole "knowing the composers intention" thing that performers strive to achieve! In our rehearsal today William Marsey joined us and it was great to be able to have his input and to give feedback to him on the work. It's a really valuable tool for both us as performers and (I hope) composers, as it enables us both to really clarify how the piece works for our quartet. The three pieces are really contrasting in styles and it should make for a fantastic concert paired with three more established pieces of our repertoire.
With the commission for the Royal Academy of Arts concert we actually met with the composer, Andrew Chen, last week before he began writing the work to discuss the different ideas he had, how we play, and what music we like playing. In the meeting Andrew said he wanted to take the time to get to know us so he could write us a work we would want to play again and its great to be able to work so closely with composers to help create new works for our instrument.