FSQ and the Out Hear! Festival @KingsPlace

AbsoluetelyOn Sunday 19 Jan, Kings Place hosted a the first of a series of concerts in the Out Hear! programme that explores electronics, classical compositions and acoustical elements from leading and upcoming artists within the world of contemporary music. There was a excellent turn out for a winter afternoon, a warm hearted gathering of friends, admirers and the intrigued. The concert attracted a diverse crowd; the oldest being close to 100 years of age, and the youngest, just a day shy of 11. One member of the audience had travelled all the way from San Diego. That is dedication!

The concert was based around three current recording projects of the Fitzwilliam String Quartet. They kicked off with the beautiful and emotionally exuberant first quartet of geologist John Ramsay, written in 2001, inspired by Bartok and folk music of Eastern Europe. This was followed by a fantastic duet for solo violin and live electronics called Iridaceae written in 2002 by Liz Johnson. The piece used 8 speakers around the auditorium to expand the sound of the violin, granulise, pitch shift and multiply 99 times the violin ‘voice’. Wonderful echo’s and undulations were generated as the piece progressed. The music describes the unfurling of Iris petals and the journey from life to death.

The second half included two pieces for saxophone and string quartet, Fantasia 1, Epiphany composed in 2009 and ABSOLUTELY!, composed in 2008, a musical meditation on purity, unselfishness, honesty and love both by Uwe Steinmetz. These pieces are a fabulous blend of jazz and classical music playing. Reviews of the recently released CD can be found here.