From the Archive

Q survives the studio!

Did anyone else catch Jeremy Denk’s piece in the New Yorker this week? Jeremy is a phenomenal concert pianist and a great writer. His New Yorker article came at quite a timely moment for Q, since he wrote about the perils of being in the recording studio….the week after we spent 15 hours in the recording studio…

On Creating FJORDS

Have you ever noticed how musicians, visual artists, actors, composers, writers, and other artistic personalities tend to get lumped into the same general “arts” genre most of the time? And to a degree, we do have a lot in common. (like a lack of interest in earning a sustainable income! Just kidding! Well, sort of!) But there is one major division between artists—there are those that perform and those that create….

On our plate

Well, our 2 CDs have been released, FJORDS is a thing of the past (or is it?? stay tuned…), and summer is fast approaching. So, what next, you ask? Exciting things, to be sure! We are currently planning and rehearsing for several upcoming events…

Lost in Translation

Q was invited to perform at an award ceremony for the Goethe Institute of Chicago that took place this week, and the experience made me think about my role as an interpretive artist quite differently…

On Inspiration

In many fields, but especially music, the one theory that gets a lot of attention is the 10,000-hour rule. It basically states that it takes at least 10,000 hours of practice or study to achieve an expert level of performance. And we musicians take this to heart, because to a certain extent, it’s absolutely true. Those 10,000 hours, or 10 years, or even 20 years, or MORE, are what it takes to have a solid enough technical foundation to make it in the professional realm. But there is an aspect of music-making that the 10,000 hour rule does not necessarily take into account: Inspiration, spontaneity, creativity.

A Q Year in Review

Ssince we’re all wishing each other a Happy 2013 and reflecting on 2012, I thought this would be a great time to review some of our big successes of the past year.

3 Concerts, 3 Audiences. Check, check, and check.

Do you ever get that feeling that your professional life has turned completely schizophrenic? That’s kind of what happened to us last week. After a month and a half of regular rehearsals, we played three concerts in what were probably the most insanely DIFFERENT settings we could possibly imagine.

The Interdisciplinary Feedback Loop

If you’ve been checking the Chicago Q Ensemble facebook page in the last week, you may have noticed some odd pictures. Ellen, standing on a giant box, violin under her chin, with crazy pink lights behind her. Aimee, playing while kneeling on the floor with her music stand pushed down as far as it will go. You’ve probably been thinking to yourself, “Those Q ladies have really gone off the deep end. Can’t they just have a normal rehearsal?” Well yes, we’ve been doing that too—matching bowstrokes, working with the metronome, yadda yadda yadda. But what we’re really excited about, the thing that has us sending emails back and forth with the subject line “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh”, the thing that has us free-writing about prayer, and the thing that has actually been shaping many of our musical decisions is our explorations into true interdisciplinary collaboration.

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