Dispatch from London

November 18th, 2010

On October 29, the Smith Quartet premiered a new piece by Giancarlo Vulcano at the Bloomberg Art Space in Finsbury Square. The rest of the program included “2 Houses in Brasil,” accompanying the Micro Films of Jean-Pascal Flavien, and “Cob and Bar,” from Monologues for Minerals, read by Julien Bismuth. The new string quartet was inspired by the artist Joseph Cornell.

Program Notes:
“For years I lived in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn. Down the street from me was the building where poet Marianne Moore lived with her mother. In a biography of Joseph Cornell I learned that he was a prodigious NY city walker, and that one of his favorite weekend walks was to Fort Greene where he would visit with Moore. When I discovered this, it immediately conjured up visions of Joseph Cornell walking down my street, maybe sitting on my stoop, but certainly seeing what I saw everyday. To me this was magic, I started seeing my neighborhood differently, and music would come into my head as I took my own walks. The string quartet you will hear is the notation of what I heard, influenced strongly by Cornell’s own music predilection for early Lieder and Opera recordings by the divas of the day.”

Here is a recording of movement one of the string quartet.

string quartet mvt1