Spektral Quartet

Spektral Quartet

Stave off Seasonal Affective Disorder this January by heading over to cozy local haunt The Hideout for a concert program as varied and...colorful...as phrases to describe Chicago winters. Movements from Dvořák, Haydn, Ligeti, and Beethoven frame a brilliant new tango arrangement by Julien Labro and selections of ringtones from the ensemble’s critically-acclaimed Mobile Miniatures project. The world premiere of David Reminick's Ancestral Mousetrap, which features the quartet singing and playing simultaneously, anchors the program.

Reminick's punk band, Paper Mice, closes the proceedings with a set of its own. Prepare for lyrics torn from the newspapers, mind-boggling meter changes, and one of the most hyper-kinetic nights you've had in a good while.

"…the most memorable chamber music performance of the year."
(Chicago Classical Review)

With its innovative programming consistently filling venues with a "crowd that other classical presenters would kill to attract" (Chicago Classical Review), the Spektral Quartet has established itself as one of Chicago's most intrepid and skillful ensembles. With a priority on blurring the boundary between traditional masterworks and the music of today, Spektral concerts feature the likes of Beethoven and Mozart right alongside Elliot Carter and Thomas Adés.

Hailed by Time Out Chicago as having "forged a reputation for fiercely on-point performances as well as some of the city's most imaginative chamber programming," the Spektral Quartet continues to close the distance between performer and audience member. For its 'Sampler Pack' series at indie rock venues like The Empty Bottle and The Hideout, quartet movements are extracted and shuffled with brand new short works, many commissioned by the quartet, to explore unexpected artistic connections in an informal bar setting.

Pretty Monsters

The four-piece PRETTY MONSTERS drifts and lurches between heavy, noisy, doomy improv and eerie, experimental chamber music. With compositions and leadership by bassoonist Katherine Young, the band's unique sound world amasses from the idiosyncrasies and strengths of each of the integral members: Young, violinist Erica Dicker, guitarist Owen Stewart-Robertson, and drummer/percussionist Mike Pride.

Formed in early 2010 as an extension of Young's solo amplified bassoon project, the band's repertoire has since greatly expanded. Young's compositions vary widely in their structures and mechanisms: Some are wide-open scores utilizing verbal notation and relying heavily on the band's deep improvisational resources. Others are fully notated forms that underscore the ensemble's precision playing. Most are somewhere in between.

Young regularly employs pedals, with which she enhances the bassoon's acoustic sound, draws out interior resonances, and creates monolithic soundscapes. A dynamic and mercurial musical project, Pretty Monsters combines Young's personal approach to her instrument with Dicker's creative and technical virtuosity, Stewart-Robertson's tactile approach to the guitar, and Pride's heavy-hitting experience. Pretty Monsters' debut full-length is currently in production.

Photo credit: Peter Gannushkin


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