by Leann Lo, MFA-1 student in CalArts’ Creative Writing Program
The Isaura String Quartet (ISQ) performs at The Boston Court in Pasadena, Calif., on Saturday (May 14) as part of MicroFest, a festival now in its 20th year, which celebrates music with non-standard tunings.
The program, titled Microfest: Slightly Irregular Tuning, is an exploration of microtonal music and features works composed by Kraig Grady, Gloria Coates, Andrew McIntosh (Music MFA 08) and John Luther Adams (Music BFA 73). At MicroFest, ISQ debuts a new piece by McIntosh, as well as revisits Coates’ Quartet No. 9, which ISQ had given its US premiere in November 2014.
The members of quartet are all CalArts alumnae: Violin players Emily Call (Music MFA 13) and Madeline Falcone (Music MFA 13); viola player Melinda Rice (Music MFA 06); and cellist Betsy Rettig (Music MFA 12) met at CalArts and formed the quartet in 2013. Through their repertoire of both traditional and contemporary chamber music, ISQ promotes interdisciplinary practices through live performance, workshops and collaborative projects with composers and other artists.
Above: Comic Book by Daniel Corral (world premiere), performed at REDCAT in April 2014.
In the past, ISQ has worked closely with composers Coates, Cassia Streb, Sean Griffin, CalArts alumnus Daniel Corral (Music MFA 07), as well as CalArts music faculty Anne LeBaron, Mark Menzies and art faculty Charles Gaines. Recent performances include the 2015 Venice Biennale of new music by Gaines and Griffin, and scenes from LeBaron’s opera LSD: The Opera with Grammy Award-winning ensemble Partch at REDCAT.
Earlier this semester, the quartet returned to CalArts to workshop with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, Herb Alpert Award winner and visiting artist Julia Wolfe.
The performance at the Boston Court begins at 8 pm. Use the discount code MusicBC to get $5 off the general admission price.