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.

First concert of 2014 at Kings Place

8659877My father Bastien (view his Guardian obit here), was a great supporter of the Fitzwilliam String Quartet and they regularly rehearsed and performed in my parents London home.

The Quartet are playing their first concert of the year on 19 Jan 4pm at Kings Place as part of the ‘Out Hear‘ programme.

The concert will fuse jazz, classical, folk, and electronic music, featuring original compositions by Uwe Steinmetz, Liz Johnson, and Bastien’s great friend, the geologist John Ramsay. The concert will celebrate the release of the recording Absolutely! You can listen to a sample of the music here.

Also included in the concert, will be a short piece written especially for Bastien by Uwe.

Tickets can be booked on line

Later in the year the quartet are performing in Andover, Oxford, Cambridge, Hay on Wye, Cardiff, Newton Abbott, Gloucester, Allendale as well as many concerts in and around London. Here is their schedule of performances.