Release Date: September 9, 2016
Catalog #: NV6054
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Chamber
String Quartet

The Crossroads Project

Fry Street Quartet
Laura Kaminsky composer
Libby Larsen composer

Throughout history, musicians and activists have enlisted the power of music to connect us to the pressing issues of our times. The brainchild of physicist Robert Davies, THE CROSSROADS PROJECT comprises two performances, Rising Tide and Emergence, performed by the Fry Street Quartet in multi-disciplinary collaboration.

To form the musical anchor for these performances, The Fry Street Quartet commissioned two composers ― Laura Kaminsky and Libby Larsen ― to each create a musical landscape that speaks to the crisis of climate change and an imminently unsustainable human world…and move the listener toward meaningful response.

Weaving together poetic science lecture, evocative imagery and Kaminsky’s powerful music, CROSSROADS | Rising Tide unfolds in a series of four vignettes ― H20, Bios, Forage, and Societas. Kaminsky’s four movements of these same names then form a meditative space in which audiences explore connections between the human world and the natural world that envelops us.

Where Rising Tide is about what we know, CROSSROADS | Emergence is about how we respond to this knowledge on an intimate and personal level.  In this performance, the string quartet takes the stage, along with an actor, against a backdrop of projected video. Larsen’s five movements play the role of inner voice as actor and quartet engage in powerful dialogue ― sometimes fanciful, sometimes terrifying, sometimes poignant.

Both Kaminsky’s and Larsen’s scores showcase the Fry Street Quartet’s unique strengths, resulting in a performance that drifts from haunting to uplifting.  Throughout, the music arcs and cascades in step with the flow of nature.  On several occasions, the music matches the frenzied pace of change that our planet is experiencing. THE CROSSROADS PROJECT is equal parts contemplative and moving.

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Artist Information

Fry Street Quartet

Ensemble

This remarkable quartet - hailed as "a triumph of ensemble playing" by the New York Times - is a multi-faceted ensemble taking chamber music in new directions. Touring music of the masters as well as original works from visionary composers of our time, the Fry Street Quartet has perfected a "blend of technical precision and scorching spontaneity" (Strad). Since securing the Grand Prize at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the quartet has reached audiences from across the globe exploring the medium of the string quartet and its life-affirming potential with "profound understanding...depth of expression, and stunning technical astuteness" (Deseret Morning News).

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Laura Kaminsky

Composer

Cited in The Washington Post as “one of the top 35 female composers in classical music,” Laura Kaminsky frequently addresses critical social and political issues in her work, including sustainability, war, and human rights. She possesses “an ear for the new and interesting” (The New York Times) and “her music is full of fire as well as ice, contrasting dissonance and violence with tonal beauty and meditative reflection. It is strong stuff.” (American Record Guide).

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Libby Larsen

Composer

Libby Larsen (b. 24 December 1950, Wilmington, Delaware) is one of America’s most performed living composers. She has created a catalogue of over 400 works spanning virtually every genre from intimate vocal and chamber music to massive orchestral works and over twelve operas. Grammy Award winning and widely recorded, including over fifty CD’s of her work, she is constantly sought after for commissions and premieres by major artists, ensembles, and orchestras around the world, and has established a permanent place for her works in the concert repertory.

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