Author Topic: string quartet commission  (Read 699 times)

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Michel.R.E

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string quartet commission
« on: November 24, 2017, 02:14:56 PM »
I got my contracts today for that commission for a string quartet. it's due in April, concert is at the end of May. The hall for the premiere is a dream site: the monks at Oka (world-famous for the cheese they've made for nearly 100 years) sold their entire cheese-making facility and the old monastery (it was just west of Montreal on Lac-des-deux-montagnes).
With the immense profits from this sale, they had an absolutely stunning modern monastery built in Saint-Jean de Matha (which is north/east of where I presently live).

This is where the concert will happen:


Anyway, this should be an interesting commission. I'm trying to decide whether I go with something that matches the above photo (serene, beautiful, and "natural") or whether I contrast it violently.
The cellist of the quartet is also an incredibly talented photographer, and I find her nature photos very inspiring. I was considering writing a pastoral sort of work, with maybe some animal/bird calls incorporated. But this is something I've never done (the animal/bird call thing, I mean), and I am on a VERY tight schedule to finish this work.

Thankfully, it's not a long piece, I've been asked 8-10 minutes duration. So this allows me to write a prelude of sorts, a short descriptive work, a musical image.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

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Ron

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Re: string quartet commission
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2017, 03:05:16 PM »
We will be there. Keep us posted. :)
Ron
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sandalwood

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Re: string quartet commission
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2017, 03:12:29 PM »
Wonderful news. Congratulations!

RJB54

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Re: string quartet commission
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2017, 03:21:13 PM »
Congratulations!
Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is THE BEST.
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Michel.R.E

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Re: string quartet commission
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2017, 10:29:51 PM »
We will be there. Keep us posted. :)

definitely looking forward to seeing you and Ann again!
the concert seems to be well-placed on the calendar, it seems Michel will be free to drive down from Quebec City that week-end.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

whitebark

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Re: string quartet commission
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2017, 11:02:34 AM »
Congrats on the new commission.  That new performance hall looks beautiful!

Michel.R.E

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Re: string quartet commission
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2017, 11:18:16 AM »
Thank-you.

Oh, and just to clear up any misunderstanding about the layout of the hall (my spouse asked me the same question last night):

the seats on each side in that image are not for the audience.
the audience is actually seated behind where the camera taking the picture would be.
so the picture gives a good idea of what the audience sees during a concert.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

Patrick O'Keefe

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Re: string quartet commission
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2017, 08:38:19 PM »
Congratulations Michel!  I hope the composition goes smoothly (and quickly, considering the time frame).  And I hope the acoustics of the room are as beautiful as its appearance.  The glass and polished wood could make for a very "live" environment.

Very off-topic, but what, pray tell, is that instrument pictured?  Unless it's much bigger than it appears, the treble strings seem far too close together for it to be a hammered dulcimer or cimbalom.   

Michel.R.E

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Re: string quartet commission
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2017, 08:43:44 PM »
I honestly don't know what that instrument is, I was assuming some sort of dulcimer.
It was there when they took the picture but is not (to the best of my knowledge) normally there, at least I've never seen it other than in this picture.

The acoustics are actually incredible. The chapel was built with music in mind and was constructed so that sound was perfect.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

Michel.R.E

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Re: string quartet commission
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2017, 12:09:20 PM »
I just had a wonderful long telephone chat with the 1st violin of the string quartet commissioning this work.
I've settled on a title for the work, and started to jot down some ideas for it.
It will be "Les Oiseaux imaginaires".

The whole concert is done in conjunction with an ornithological association and a wildlife photography exhibition on the monastery grounds. It is also timed to coincide with bird migrations into the geographic area.

A very well-known radio personality will be reading some texts to set the mood.

I'm very excited by this project.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

tbmartin

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Re: string quartet commission
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2017, 12:50:56 PM »
Congratulations! But please don't write something cheesy. (Hey, somebody had to throw in that bad joke to recognize the Oka monks!)

The venue looks like the minimalist Scandinavian style: Very clean and calm. Good luck on the composition!
Terence Martin

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Michel.R.E

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Re: string quartet commission
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2017, 01:06:19 PM »
 :P
I can't write anything cheesy.. they sold off the brand to the Saputo family (I know, it sounds like a Montreal mafia family, but they are a HUGE producer of milk products).

but thanks  :)
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

flint

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Re: string quartet commission
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2017, 06:27:35 PM »
Congratulation, Michel! The world needs more of your music :-)
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Jamie Kowalski

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Re: string quartet commission
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2017, 06:15:54 AM »
Congratulations on the commission!

Jerry Engelbach

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Re: string quartet commission
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2017, 06:23:40 AM »
Looking forward to hearing it, of course.
 
Cheers,
Jer
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