Carrot Revolution: A Fresh Look at the String Quartet
Music intersects with visual art in a new string quartet. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the work is a musical reaction to the unconventional way that paintings, furniture, metalwork and other objects are displayed at the Barnes Foundation.
Music: Carrot Revolution
Susan Lewis: The beginning of the string quartet called Carrot Revolution is quite percussive - with sounds you don’t think of as coming from violins, viola, and cello.
Gabriella Smith: I think that’s part of the idea of new ways of looking at old things – that’s what Barnes was doing.
SL: Composer Gabriella Smith was commissioned to write a work inspired by the way Barnes arranged his art in ensembles, to highlight common elements such as color, shapes, and textures.
GS: I like seeing the juxtapositions, and similarities and contrasts Barnes was trying to point out
SL: Carrot Revolution has eclectic array of influences - among them, Joni Mitchell, Bach, and bluegrass, Georgian folk music, Ligeti, and Simon & Garfunkel. These inspirations come together n unexpected ways as the piece moves forward...
GS: Shifting back and forth, on that continuum from noise to pitch, sometimes gradually sometimes cutting directly from one end of the spectrum to the other
SL: Smith says Carrot Revolution takes its name from a quote attributed to Cezanne in a novel by Emile Zola, which states: “The day will come when a freshly observed carrot will start a revolution.”
GS: I think it embodies that spirit of fresh observation...that Dr. Barnes was going for, and what I go for in my music. This was part of my new way of looking at the string quartet.
SL: Carrot Revolution was premiered by the Aizuri Quartet at the Barnes Foundation in May, 2015.