Adelaide’s award winning bold and adventurous string quartet, Zephyr Quartet and New York-based Sydney-born soprano Jane Sheldon have been working on a new program entitled Musica Anonymous which will be presented tomorrow night at the Utzon Room in the Sydney Opera House. The program is their tribute to unknown composers of traditional music. It sounds like a fascinating area to explore, which they do in depth.
How does one define traditional/folk music? One meaning often given is that of old songs, with no known composers; another is music that has been transmitted and evolved by a process of oral transmission or performed by custom over a long period of time.
Whilst this concert celebrates the legacy of music bequeathed to us by anonymous composers, it also questions what the future of anonymous music and therefore, folk music, will be. In an age of globalization, information sharing and the loss of anonymity, will there be any more music by unknown composers? Are these concerts a homage to the almost certain death of any more anonymous music?
Hilary Kleinig, founding member of the Zephyr Quartet, gives us insights into how the program has evolved and what it will be like:-
“With music from Australia, Mexico, Spain, Iran, Iceland, Finland, Macedonia, France and Israel, this is truly a global program. It is also one for which the quartet have been gathering parts for many years; a bit like bowerbirds storing groups of trinkets of their fancy, we have been collecting bits of music that resonate with us as individuals.
In looking at our collection from a distance, rather than seeing the differences, in language and musical idiosyncrasies, what we began to notice were the similarities, in particular with regard to the themes and stories behind the music: themes of love and the loss of love, death and the supernatural, dance and celebration, lullabies and childhood and the wonder of nature”.
Zephyr Quartet explores and creates beautiful and diverse music and forges dynamic collaborations. They have become a leading exponent of collaborative arts practice, drawing inspiration from working with artists from diverse backgrounds, including theatre, dance, literature, visual art, environmental art, design, film and media art, to produce work that is vital, current and courageous. Jane Sheldon is based in NYC and has a fascinating career across Australia and around the world.
These sound cloud links will give you even more of an idea of what kind of an experience you can expect:-
For the Zephyr Quartet-
For Jane Sheldon-
The Zephyr Quartet and Jane Sheldon’s program MUSICA ANONYMOUS is playing the Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House tomorrow night at 7.30pm. Bookings- http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com.