So the dust is beginning to settle on our February 25th concert at University Settlement, where PUBLIQuartet, joined by a smashing cast of musical companions, performed all of my recent works for string quartet, wind quartet and music for film. The program started off with Eric Lamb, Josh Rubin, Adrian Morejon and Katie Sheele playing a premiere of Scherzo for Winds. It was a noodl-y piece which they maneuvered masterfully. PQ played Voodoo Dolls, a piece written for a youth dance troupe that featured some improv solos, and my most recent string quartet, Standing/Forward. Curtis took this one home with his full throttle, legs-a-flaring solo at the end. Jannina Norpoth stepped in to fill my spot on 3 Scenes for String Quartet. It was very settling to sit back and hear the piece performed so efficiently and beautifully. The film cues were entertaining from what I could tell of audience laughter (at the cartoons on the screen, hopefully and not at the content of the music ;-/) and sighing. The arrangement of Strum for 11-piece string orchestra was just a heck of a lot of fun. Everyone was really going for it and the energy really made the piece fly.
It felt like PQ was in exceptional form: performing with ease and really connecting. Speyer Hall has a warm, intimate sound and it felt like we were taking full advantage of it. The audience was also filled with old friends from the Lower East Side 80s and 90s downtown music and art scene which gave extra warmth to the moment and added to the sense that we were sharing in the life-cylce of our mentors and idols--Representing. Looking back, I am touched by the dedication and insight that everyone put in to the performance of these pieces, some of which I had drummed up from the past and even thought were unworthy of presentation--but the thoughtfulness and creativity of my colleagues helped bring the pieces to life again in a brand new way, and I am indebted to them. It gave me the confidence to begin to listen to and own my ideas more readily and charge ahead with new energy.
Jessie Montgomery, violin