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February 04, 2010

Kronos: Music From 4 Fences

Come join the Kronos Quartet for four performances, each with a different program, on February 24, 25, 26, and 27 at 8 PM at San Francisco's Z Space @ Artaud.  Each performance features Jon Rose's Music from 4 Fences, along with a work by Terry Riley, and pieces by composers from the Kronos: Under 30 Project. Also on the program are works by Damon Albarn on Feb. 24 (frontman of the Britpop band Blur, Gorillaz), John Zorn on Feb. 25, Clint Mansell on Feb. 26 (Requiem for a Dream soundtrack), and Bryce Dessner on Feb. 27 (guitarist for the indie rock band The National.) Tickets are $20 in advance and can be purchased here.

Premiered at the Sydney Opera House in June 2009, Music from 4 Fences features Kronos performing on four specially-built fences to create an eclectic aural environment, accompanied by a visual design by Willie Williams, U2's long time tour designer and director. View photos on Facebook and Flickr.

About Music from 4 Fences, composer Jon Rose writes, "when I started to play concerts on fences in 1983, I saw fences purely in terms of sonic material. However, the metaphorical significance of fence music soon became evident. To find music in such inherently ugly and unlikely artifacts can be a powerful experience. Fence music often encapsulates the vastness of border country; it is the music of distance. The fence also challenges our perceptions of what a musical instrument can be."

Kronos' founder and artistic director David Harrington adds, "the variety of sounds and range of musical color that a bass bow can get out of a barbed wire fence, combined with the intensity and expressiveness of those sounds made me determined that Kronos needed to learn to play this instrument, and that we had to bring it into our concerts.  The idea that musicians can turn objects of confinement, detainment and violence into musical instruments has inspired me since I first heard Jon's work. Through our concerts, Kronos attempts to make statements about our world, and that we are surrounded by fences seems to be an essential part of the time we live in. There might be a way to transform the nature of fences, by bowing them. We will try."

Tickets are $20 in advance / $25 at the door, available through Brown Paper Tickets or by calling 1-800-838-3006. Watch interviews with Jon Rose about the piece (video 1 I video 2) and see photos of Kronos rehearsing the with the fences (Facebook I Flickr). Learn more about the performance here.

Kronos' San Francisco Home Season is sponsored in part by Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund and The Bernard Osher Foundation.


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