This Kickstarter project is to raise money for our debut album! After performing together for 4 years, we are excited to finally share our music with you. On this album you will hear works that were written for us by some of today's most innovative emerging composers, that were selected through our emerging composer's initiative PUBLIQ Access, and that we wrote ourselves for our MIND|THE|GAP program. The album's collection of works embody our musical voice and the diverse sound worlds we play in. Our collective background in classical, jazz, world, and electro-acoustic performance creates a unique sound-world that explores and expands the stylistic norms of the String Quartet through traditional, contemporary, and improvised music.
Our team includes the talented and brilliant Nadia Sirota as our producer and master engineer Alexander Overington. Nadia is the violist in yMusic and hosts the inspiring podcast, Meet the Composer on Q2 music. Alex works with WQXR and many of today's top musicians. Alex and Nadia have worked closely together for many years and co-produceMeet the Composer. The CD will be released through Concert Artists Guild on CAG Records.
Your donations will go towards costs such as recording studio rental, paying our amazing production team, mastering and printing the CD, and promotion to get the album out into the world.
MIND|THE|GAP is an original program we developed in 2011. This concept bridges gaps and forms deep connections between diverse musical genres through PQ's own brand of jazz meets rock meets stylistically-crazed group improvisation and composition. The process of writing a MIND|THE|GAP involves brainstorming what two composers will best compliment or juxtapose each other in a new and exciting way. Past pairings have included Anton Webern with Mozart, and Alfred Schnittke with Joseph Haydn. On this album we compliment Claude Debussy with Charlie Parker in our group composition, "Bird In Paris" and Igor Stravinsky with Thelonious Monk in "Epistrophe". The creative process becomes wildly experimental, playing through each composer's music, looping a bar and improvising on top of it, creating a cadenza, perhaps warping to another section, all to get the essence and flavor of the music. We pick the piece apart, put it back together, and slowly create the piece's skeletal structure. Each pass through, we flesh out the details and hone in on the most satisfying flow, all the while respecting the integrity of the composers' original music.
PUBLIQ Access is a program which promotes new works for the string quartet and highlights the voices of today’s emerging composers. PQA is a genre-independent program designed to represent music in the string quartet repertoire regardless of style. Applicants may submit pieces in styles of jazz, improvised, traditional, contemporary, and electronic music. Each PQA cycle culminates in a high profile showcase concert at the DiMenna Center featuring the winning compositions and a panel discussion with distinguished composers, performers, and academics. In our inaugural concert in May 2014, 7 pieces were chosen, two of which you will hear on the album: David Biedenbender's "Surface Tension" and Eugene Birman's "String Quartet".
The rest of the pieces hold a special place in our repertoire because they were written for us by two close friends and colleagues, Howie Kenty and Jessie Montgomery. Jessie, who was a founding violinist of PUBLIQuartet, wrote "Voodoo Dolls" for the JUMP Dance company in Rhode Island. This was one of our first pieces that incorporated improvisation into a written structure. Jessie wrote "Breakaway" for us after her departure from the group in 2012. The piece was inspired by the special sounds that PQ developed with her through improvisation. Howie Kenty's "String Quartet" was written for us during our contemporary string quartet residency at Queens College, which we have participated in for the past three years, performing world premieres at LeFrak Concert Hall. Howie's radical piece involves rhythmic stomping, extended techniques, and cartoon-like playfulness and we immediately connected with it on a personal and musical level.
We hit the studio in January, so please help support our debut album! Look to the column on the right ---> and you will see all of our reward possibilities that come with your donation. We can't wait to record this album and share it with you and your friends! But - we can't do this without you! Please help us reach our goal!
Jannina, Curtis, Nick, and Amanda
Risks and challenges
This is our first professional album and one of our biggest projects yet. Producing this album will require a tremendous amount of work and organization. We have to coordinate schedules between the quartet, production team, and recording studio. We need to ensure that we have high quality equipment and a good space to record in. We need to design and coordinate the album art with our designer, Barbara Barefield. We need to meet all of our mastering and printing deadlines. Along with the logistics, we have spent many months brainstorming the perfect repertoire where we feel we are putting our most meaningful pieces on the album. This repertoire needs to not only satisfy our own artistic image, but a wide range of listeners as well as our label, CAG Records. If we meet our Kickstarter campaign goal, it will immensely help us achieve all of these factors!
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