The Cirrus Quartet has returned after a quick trip to Colorado and Wyoming. Due to construction at The Abbey of St. Walburga, we had to look for new options to keep our series going this year.
Our first performance was at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Ft. Collins on June 28th. We had a wonderful crowd who seemed to thoroughly enjoy our adaptation of string quartet music. (We even think we won over a few “die-hard” string quartet fans with the flute and bassoon.) Several of our regular audience members were able to offer comments on the acoustics (always tricky to adjust to in a new venue) and led the way with our audience activities.
Sunday the 29th saw us in Laramie, performing at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Cathedral. Thanks to a nice article in the local newspaper, we were able to pull in a good-sized crowd of new audience members!
Thanks to all those who helped us pull off concerts in not one but TWO new venues! So many people at the churches were willing to jump in and help us, offering their ears and eyes and hands to make everything go smoothly. Special thanks to Viki Johnson, Kathy and Dan Wendland, Robert Blue, Rev. Stephen Askew, Kris Utterback and Punch Williamson.
Since we weren’t sure how these…Read More...
Chamber music comes from a long tradition of family or friends getting together with whatever instruments were available, to play whatever music was available. The Cirrus Quartet likes to think they’re continuing this tradition.
Brothers Michael and Eric Jones and their wives, Ruth Ann Ritchie and Claudia Jones, take much of their repertoire from standard string quartets, but adapt violin and cello parts for flute and bassoon. Much of the music translates very well with few changes, but occasionally the musicians have to get creative. Flute and violin, for example, share a similar range, but violins can play two notes at once (known as “double-stops”), while flutes cannot. In these cases, the quartet is forced to choose the most important note, or occasionally, rewrite the part to move important harmonies to another instrument.
Articulation is another huge difference between instruments. Articulation refers to the attack and decay of notes, and string players approach this with their bows–are they starting with the bow right on the string or do they come from above; will their bow move up or down? For wind players, articulation is all about the mouth and tongue. And it differs between flute and bassoon, too–Michael is controlling a reed, while Ruth Ann is freely blowing across an open tonehole. To make matters more confusing, the way the…Read More...