Friday, June 17, 2011

A (non) Winter Trip to DC

Is it almost summer already? Del Sol is a bit seasonally confused because, in February, we travelled to a balmy 70 degree Washington DC to perform two engaging all-Asian programs. Our performance of works by six composers at the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery featured Kui Dong's “Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter Suite” for string quartet and traditional Chinese instruments - this concert was in conjunction with the the exhibition "Seasons: Chinese Landscapes" at the museum. Guest artists playing pipa, sheng, guzheng, and Chinese strings and winds accompanied us with the composer participating, and the Washington Post reviewer praised the work for "exceptional beauty and imagination." Three of the six featured composers attended the performance (Kui Dong, Reza Vali and Koji Nakano), further captivating the audience in a delightful evening, despite any mishaps due to the DC metro shut-down the Smithsonian stop. Sadly, post-concert, after-museum-hour photos in the gallery did not pan out!

The following day, we performed the entrancing string quartet version of Koji Nakano’s Time Song III at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theatre, sponsored by the S & R Foundation. In this piece, we evoke the spirits of transfigured souls by shouting and singing while playing our instrumental line. This distinct and powerful music provided many interesting conversations later that evening, at reception hosted by the foundation - few people had ever heard music like it!

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