Concert integrates arts to create rich experience
Chroma Chamber Orchestra
Music Institute of Chicago’s Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston
7:30 p.m. June 3
Tickets: $32; $27 seniors; $20 students
(847) 905-1500, ext. 108, or visit www.musicinst.org
Music involves more than listening and taking in the sounds. For the Chroma Chamber Orchestra, music involves all the senses — and other creative arts.
This new Evanston-based orchestra presents early 20th-century works “ … in a context that integrates the performing, visual and literary arts to create a unique, multifaceted concert experience.” According to Chroma Artistic Director, David Crane of Skokie, “We [Chroma] are filling a niche that hasn’t been tapped into. I hope the audience becomes more enlightened after attending our performance and not only is entertained, but has a deeper appreciation for ‘living art.’ ”
Chroma performs the last concert of its inaugural season, “L’Historie du Soldat,” at 7:30 p.m. June 3 at the Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston.
Crane will conduct the world premiere of his piece, “Ode to the Telegraph,” which focuses on one of the earliest forms of distance communications — Morse Code.
“Morse Code is such an integral piece of history and has been engrained in our culture. It has deep roots in technological history. This piece takes a nostalgic look at the early days of communications,” explains Crane, who also serves as the music director of the Southwest Symphony Orchestra in Palos Heights.
“There is a certain rhythm and a structure and cohesiveness to this piece which reflects Morse Code,” states Crane.
Two creative arts unite during this piece — music and poetry. In keeping
with Crane’s mission to
integrate creative arts, Richard Jones, an award-winning poet and professor of poetry at DePaul University, will recite a poem he wrote specifically for the concert.
The audience will hear
a seven-minute discussion
of Crane’s piece and the poem in relation to each other and their reflections on communications through the years.
After the world premiere, Crane will conduct Igor Stravinksy’s L’Historie du Soldat, or, The Soldier’s Tale. Host of Chicago’s classical and folk music radio station, WFMT (FM 98.7), Peter Van De Graaf, will narrate this piece.
Dancers Victor Alexander, Jessie Gutierrez, and Michael Rodriguez from Chicago Dance, Inc. will perform the roles of “The Devil, “The Princess” and “The Soldier,” of the piece, bringing the performance to life for the audience to experience as Stravinksy intended. That is, as a musical composition that retells a Russian folk tale about a soldier who trades his fiddle to the devil for a book that predicts the future of the economy.
The dancers also add
a strong, visual element
to the concert, which en-hances the total musical experience.
Chroma’s last concerts have incorporated other arts such as photography, painting and sculpture, into the programs, and Crane intends to continue to design such programs.
This fuller orchestra experience should last well beyond the evening, he says. “We [Chroma Chamber Orchestra] share a collective thinking that art can bring a greater meaning to our lives.”